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Help! Lost/Stolen Wallet On Vacation -- How Can We Get Home??


Sep 3rd, 2008, 10:12 PM
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Help! Lost/Stolen Wallet On Vacation -- How Can We Get Home??


I need some sound advice -- and fast. Am on vacation in FL with a friend. He either lost or had his wallet stolen. We are supposed to fly home to VA this Saturday morning, but you are supposed to produce ID in order to be able to obtain a boarding pass and pass through security at the airport. Have already called the airline who referred us to TSA. We will call them tomorrow when they open, but am just posting on here in case anyone has any experiences/sound advice they can share. Any help is GREATLY appreciated!!! Thanks!!
LT is offline  
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Sep 3rd, 2008, 10:34 PM
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Hello LT, a few years ago there was a Fodorite whose son either lost or had his wallet stolen and consequently did not have any ID with him to fly home. I don't remember all the details but he did get home.

Did you friend file a police report? If not that should be done. And does your friend happen to have the documentation regarding his flight to Florida?

If memory serves me right the Fodorite whose son ended up without his wallet went through additional security to fly home and did have a copy of the police report. Best regards.
LoveItaly is offline  
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Sep 3rd, 2008, 11:14 PM
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I am that Fodorite.

First, file a police report - but that has nothing to do with flying. As the Jackson Hole, WY police told us - you can tell us anything in a police report, but that does not make it true.

Second - we were shocked to discover that there is no law requiring photo ID to fly. Airlines all require it, so it might as well be a law, however.

What we were told to do (and it worked) is to get to airport early. Go to regular airline check-in. They will refuse to issue boarding pass since he has no ID - but then they will call over whatever local law enforcement (state police, sheriff's dept) monitors that airport. What they will do is grant him permission to fly without ID by whatever means they are comfortable with.

That includes anything with his name on it - luggage tag, initials on items, out-bound boarding pass, car rental agreement PLUS they will check with local motor vehicle registry if necessary to do a match. What apparantly is not useful is a photo copy of passport - soince we had a friend break into our house, photo copy son's passport and fax it to us. Police called that worthless.

This all worked for us in Jackson about 3 years ago. It is worth a call to local police and TSA still. At least your airline did not tell you what United told us - since Wyoming was not part of the US he would have had to use a passport to fly Boston-Jackson and should just use the passport for ID.

Hope this eases your mind somewhat - hope your trip is not further delayed by various hurricanes.
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Sep 3rd, 2008, 11:27 PM
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Same thing happened to my father in FL last year. He printed his boarding pass from a PC and then explained to the TSA agent and he had no problems getting through.

When I was leaving Maui last year I couldn't find my wallet so had no id. They hand checked my carry-ons and wanded me but also let me through without much of a problem.

Good luck!
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Sep 4th, 2008, 12:37 AM
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Once a few years ago, we lost our carry-on bag , including passports,medication, tickets for a six-week trip from Australia, hotel vouchers, hire-car vouchers etc when it was stolen from our car, whilst going for a short walk near Santa Monika Pier (early for the flight to Miami)We obviously missed that flight, the Police were helpful letting us use their phone, and I had the relevant info in my hidden pouch,so the next day, was able to replace the passports, and have the vouchers faxed over by our travel agent in Australia.We had trouble however, getting the flight ticket to Miami re-issued. They said it just couldn't be done. But the persistance of DH led to the meeting of a cluey United official, who just issued us with a boarding pass, which solved this problem.

Now with the net, we don't use travel agents so much, but copy all our travel documentation onto one of those little computer sticks which you can wear.

Am sure LT's problem is solved by now, but our experience is - don't accept what you are told by the first person you speak to!

We actually caught the robber in the act, but he was much younger, stronger and faster than DH, and he ran off with the carry bag. But had we been a few minutes later, all our luggage would have been stolen - our large suitcase was already on the footpath, presumably waiting to be transferred into a car parked nearby.
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Sep 4th, 2008, 01:56 AM
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Hi gail, I did sort of remember your problem. I am glad you saw this thread as I couldn't remember all the details.

Best wishes LT. Obviously your friend is not the only one that has had this problem.
LoveItaly is offline  
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Sep 4th, 2008, 03:53 AM
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New TSA rules from May 2008:

Anonymous is offline  
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Sep 4th, 2008, 03:57 AM
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Having two full days before you return home gives some hope of meeting TSA requirements. Does your friend have a passport or other acceptable ID at home, that somebody could send to him via FedEx for delivery tomorrow?
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Sep 4th, 2008, 04:50 AM
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I read an article this week about photo IDs, etc. In amongst the rhetoric about how useless they are, it said that if people have lost IDs they are taken aside for more complete examination and questioning.
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Sep 4th, 2008, 05:00 AM
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Anon references acceptable ID forms for regular travel - but this site does not address issue of lost ID. It is logical to assume that if one were flying with one of these acceptable forms of ID and lost it, they would not have a back-up ID available.

LT - use some logic here. People lose or have stolen wallets all the time. They are not all stranded in their travel destinations. Nor are they all able to get alternate ID sent to them.

Please let us know how this all turns out.
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Sep 4th, 2008, 06:01 AM
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Actually, Anon's suggestion makes some sense to me. When we travel domestically, we don't carry our passports, copies of birth certificates, etc. If there's a way for a friend/relative back in VA could get access to one of those, they could at least fax copy if fed ex wouldn't be in time.

And, yes, let us know how it worked out.
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Sep 4th, 2008, 06:32 AM
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Right, it is not logical to imagine that people are stranded in non-home locales. However, the same is not necessarily true for originating travel. Earlier this summer, the TSA agent (in Boston) did not let a woman thru security b/c her license had expired a year ago. She was a somewhat elderly woman who, perhaps, had not renewed her license but thought she could still use it for ID purposes. We did not hang around gawking, but it seemed that they were *not* going to let her fly out.
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Sep 4th, 2008, 07:11 AM
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My cousin flew out here from LA this summer with absoltuely no photo id, her wallet was stolen the day before she was coming here - it is a TSA rule not a law - as Gail said and others, usually law enforcement intervenes on your behalf, whether airlines look at that as assuming some risk for them who knows, but I was shocked my cousin was allowed through with nothing -

She had to go to the airport earlier and figure things out in person (she was having better luck than phone calls) good luck

let us know what happens !
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Sep 4th, 2008, 08:25 AM
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By the way, I always have a photocopy of each of our picture IDs (drivers license in the US or passport when international) tucked into our luggage when we travel. I was told by American that it would make check-in very easy if a wallet were stolen.
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Sep 4th, 2008, 09:56 AM
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We lost our ID's in Hawaii. You do not need a photo ID to fly. You just get to go through some extra security questions, pat downs, etc.
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Sep 4th, 2008, 02:36 PM
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I had this problem a year ago when I flew from Sacramento to LAX. I had foolishly forgotten my wallet when I changed purses before leaving on the trip. Miraculously the TSA agent in Sac let me through with only my picture ID on my debit card. I was so pleased until I arrived in LA and my daughter said fine, but LAX will NEVER let you back through with that! My husband FedExed my DL to LA, but it NEVER ARRIVED!!

What I did: I contacted the airline who made a special note on my ticket info and told me to go to the ticket counter. Someone then escorted me to security and I was sent to their enhanced security section.

What happened next: Someone yelled at me that the agents had gone to dinner. I explained that I had no ID, so the guy simply wrote, "No I.D." on my boarding pass and sent me through without even basic screening!!!

(Don't you all feel safer now??)
Anyway, contact the airline and they will help you with this, especially if you are on your return trip.
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Sep 4th, 2008, 02:38 PM
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Just realized you already contacted the airline. But I'm sure TSA will help you. There is always a way.

Please let us know the outcome!
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Sep 4th, 2008, 02:47 PM
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A recent LA Times article mentioned a service, the American citizens Services and Crisis Management (www.travel.state.gov). "This service can help you get in touch with family or friends who can help with money, or if need be, it can float you a small loan to help you regain your footing. You can reach ACS at 888 407-4747 in the US and from overseas at 202-501-4444"
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Sep 6th, 2008, 08:14 AM
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Hello and many, many thanks to you all for such thoughtful, caring responses. We called the airline (AA), and informed them about the situation. The person made a note on our reservation and informed us to get whatever ID we could and show up at the airport 2 hrs. in advance for the advanced security screening. We then went to the Social Security office and got a temporary printout with his SSN. He unfortunately has no passport (but that will probably change after this!), but he had his mother express a copy of his birth certificate down. We also filed a police report, and the officer informed us that in FL, you can get a FL state ID card at the DMV with a birth certificate. So, we went to the DMV, only to discover that it has to be an original certificate; not a copy. So, because of Hanna we aren't leaving until tomorrow now, but we're set to show up 2 hrs. in advance. Will let you know what happens! Again, thanks so much!
LT is offline  
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Sep 6th, 2008, 08:23 AM
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Thanks for the update, LT.

This is a good reminder to everyone to keep alternate or copies of ID in more than one place when you travel. That way if your purse or wallet is stolen, you'd still have some kind of back up at your hotel.
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