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Lost passport while abroad...

Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
21,176 posts
Lost passport while abroad...

Wondering if anyone has any experiences with dealing with a lost passport while abroad? My husband has misplaced his US passport while in Germany on business. His office in Germany is not near a US consulate, and he is due to fly back on Friday. We're hoping it will turn up, but in case it doesn't, is the only way to get him back to the US to have him make his way to the consulate 250km away to get a new one? What would they do if his bag was lost on the way to the airport to get home? I know that in the US they will let you fly without ID if you can answer questions for TSA, if he has his US Driver's license and the copy of his passport info page, will they repatriate him?

And yes, I know that the only way to get official answers to this question is to call the consulate, but a) all the German offices are closed at the moment, and b) I don't want to call the US State Department until he's sure it's lost. I'll deal with official channels tomorrow, right now I'm wondering if anyone has personal experiences. I promise not to rely on any answers given anonymously on the internet. :)

Thanks in advance.

Frankfurt, Germany
Level Contributor
1,872 posts
4 reviews
1. Re: Lost passport while abroad...

The airline will most likely not allow him on the flight as they have to pay for a "return" flight if US authorities don't let him in. Because the airline can't be sure that he is being let in without his passport, as they can't be sure he actually is a US citizen with the right to enter the United States. Also they have to be sure about a person's identity, that's also a requirement by US authorities for US-bound flights.

On the other hand, German Border agency won't let him leave the country without a passport.

And like I said you do need a passport to enter the United States, he would be in a big trouble if he arrived without one.

So, yes, I think there is no other way but going to an US consulate asap and getting a new passport. I'm sure they can issue some kind of express emergency passport.

A copy of the passport and a driver's license will not be sufficient for any part of that trip. But the copy of the passport will be extremely helpful at the consulate.

Edited: 4:30 pm, May 13, 2013
Haarlem, The...
Level Contributor
1,440 posts
204 reviews
2. Re: Lost passport while abroad...

I know US passports are more difficult to get (judging from post here) but in an emergency surely they must be able to help. Have you checked the consulates website to see what they advice?

My Dutch passport was stolen in Kuala Lumpur and I got a new emergency one after a 30 min wait at the embassy.

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
29,433 posts
3. Re: Lost passport while abroad...

< I know that in the US they will let you fly without ID if you can answer questions for TSA >

I know that in the US they will let you fly DOMESTICALLY without ID if you can answer questions for TSA.

He won't be allowed to fly INTERNATIONALLY.

London, United...
Level Contributor
23,028 posts
28 reviews
4. Re: Lost passport while abroad...

He can't fly without a passport, I suspect you know this, anyone could just turn up with a fake driving licence and a photocopy of a passport and plead to go. Security is too tight.

If he has lost his passport, he needs to pick up the phone in the morning and speak to the us consulate and he will have to visit and apply for a new passport ( which can be issued quickly)

Next time tell him to keep it safe till he gets to the hotel, then lock it in the room safe immediately. Info from the us government on what to do below.

…state.gov/travel/…lostpassport_1197.html

Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
21,176 posts
5. Re: Lost passport while abroad...

Yes, I've checked the consulate's website, as far as I understand it, he'll have to make his way 250 km to the nearest consulate office, and return the next day, to pick up a replacement passport. So,1000km in two days. I'm sure it's doable, somehow, but right now I have no idea how. He has no car, and he has work to do.

I was hoping there was a better way. If there isn't, there isn't, I was just hoping that there was a general method used for people pickpocketed on their way to the airport. He can prove to immigration in New York that he is who he says he is, he has other government issued ID, and the airline knows that they flew him here yesterday and that he had a passport when he passed through immigration in Germany. I was hoping that maybe that would be enough. If it's not, then it's not.

Thanks.

Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
21,176 posts
6. Re: Lost passport while abroad...

I'm not going to tell him anything Froggy, he's kicking himself for being so stupid. He thinks he left it at the immigration desk, but it hasn't turned up yet. (I'm still hoping that it will turn up in the inside pocket of his jacket or something.)

He'll manage, he's a big boy. Thanks again.

Frankfurt, Germany
Level Contributor
1,872 posts
4 reviews
7. Re: Lost passport while abroad...

<He can prove to immigration in New York that he is who he says he is, he has other government issued ID, and the airline knows that they flew him here yesterday and that he had a passport when he passed through immigration in Germany. I was hoping that maybe that would be enough. If it's not, then it's not. >

While he might get into the USA with a few extra hour of waiting, he will not be able to leave Germany nor will they let him check-in or pass security.

The airline won't care that he flew in here with a passport a few days ago, they need to see it.

That is a really unfortunate situation. Especially that he is working in a place where there is no consulate nearby, because there are quite a lot in US consulates in Germany.

Has he tried to contact the German federal police at the airport where he might have left his passport at immigration?

I hope everything works out somehow and that it might turn up somewhere after all.

Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
21,176 posts
8. Re: Lost passport while abroad...

And, they found it at the airport. Whoo hoo! Thank you all again for the help, and I'm very, very glad it wasn't needed. :)

Frankfurt, Germany
Level Contributor
1,872 posts
4 reviews
9. Re: Lost passport while abroad...

That's great for you guys.

Can't imagine losing my passport abroad in a situation like that.

Better double check you've your passport with you as often as possible.

Edited: 4:52 pm, May 13, 2013
Leeds, United...
Destination Expert
for Leeds, Bradford
Level Contributor
13,193 posts
195 reviews
10. Re: Lost passport while abroad...

A friend of mine lost his passport in Tampa, FL around 10 years ago. He had to drive over to Orlando to the British consulate to get a temporary passport - basically a piece of paper with his details giving him permission to fly back home. This cost him around $70 at the time.

Incidentally, we did find his passport on the way home; he had left his jacket with the passport in the pocket in a restaurant landside at TPA!