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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Check-in lady tore my passport page ahead of a 2 week trip

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British passport page was ripped as it was being swiped at the check-in counter of Monarch airlines on my way to Rome from London, resulting in a tiny thin strip of the paper separating from the bottom-left of the main page, specifically the first half of the code that's at the bottom of the page.

Needless to say they didn't let me get on the flight, and I'm now back in London with an appointment at the passport office tomorrow morning. However they only issue same-day replacements for damaged passports if they're outside the UK. If you're INSIDE the country you have to wait 7 days.

I had a whole itinerary ahead, driving down from Rome to Sicily for two weeks, my girlfriend joining me in Naples from Dublin in two days time (we both live in New York, I'm in London to visit family and she is in Dublin for work). Car rental, ferry, various airbnbs/b&b/hotels booked. Our flight back to New York is from Sicily. Basically this is a bit of a disaster.

I'll be finding a lawyer once I get back from the passport office to make sure Monarch are held responsible for all of this, but I don't want to just give up on my Italy trip after how much planning has gone into it, it's pretty upsetting. Does anyone have any advice on how I can travel fast track an emergency passport? The passport office people insisted how strict they are with damaged passports not getting fast-tracked.

To top things off, my US Visa is inside the damaged passport. When I realized that I might be stuck in London even further to re-apply for a new visa for the new passport, I called the US Visa office to ask if I could get back into the US with 2 passports: 1 damaged one with the visa, 1 new one without a visa. The woman sounded bored, said 'yes'. Anyone know if this is correct?

Any other suggestions? tips?

p.s. Another thing, which can maybe explain why this is so devastating to me: I was supposed to visit my father in Rome who I haven't seen or spoken to in 16 years (since I was 16). He is in his nineties, and I've been told by other members of the family that he won't be around for much longer, and this was supposed to be a hugely important moment in my life of reconnecting with him, for one single day, before he goes.

Like I said, I live in NYC. Booking this trip has been an ordeal where I have combined visiting friends and family members in London as well as old friends and family in Rome, as well as a road trip with my other half. Having another opportunity to come to Rome is probably not going to happen until it's too late.

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