Ruined Holidays Abroad. Children crying. Thousands of pounds wasted. Don’t let it happen to you.
Last Christmas, the chief executive of South Africa Tourism Services Association announced that between ten and twenty people on every single international booked flight inward to SA, had been denied access to the aeroplane because a child was travelling without both parents, and without a signed notarised consent from the non-travelling parent/s.
Ten to Twenty expensive tickets, wasted. ON EVERY PLANE. Family reunions, perhaps they would have been once in a lifetime, not happening. At Christmas. The futility and misery is hard to imagine really.
I have mentioned previously the requirements of many Countries around the world, regarding children travelling internationally.
Particularly when a child is travelling alone or with only one adult, the concern is that there may be a kidnap happening. So you will get asked to prove that the non-travelling parent knows and agrees to the journey.
If you are not carrying a notarised consent, the easiest thing for the airline or border guard is to refuse access.
It is happening more and more.
Many other countries have no fixed wording required, but increasingly children are being refused boarding passes onto flights, or entry to foreign countries, or indeed return to UK after a foreign holiday, if the flight attendants or border guards are not certain that both parents of a child have given consent to the child’s journey.
I am writing about this again, first because the Christmas holidays are a time for family travelling, and also because of a notification I have received yesterday from a fellow notary.
This is real. And it is another Christmas ruined for a whole family.
I have just seen a couple who went to Heathrow, last night, for mother and child to board an Air France flight to Chile. They were not allowed to board the plane because the Chilean government now requires a notarised consent from the non-travelling parent. The airline would not accept a consent that the father wrote out, there and then, insisting that it must be notarised.
I am often asked by parents whether a Consent to Travel is needed and I have not been able to be definite for most countries. My cautionary tale above should be sufficient to persuade most parents that a notarised Consent ought to be taken when both parents are not accompanying the child.
He is Bernard Cordell – Notary Public of Flat 3, 3 Tasker Road, London NW3 2YR – 44 (0)20 7209 4138
You may find many references on the internet to the problems of lack of parental consent to travel.
In particular in relation to the various articles written by English journalists, you will find reference to consents being prepared and countersigned by Solicitors.
Please do be very careful. This is probably because English journalists have rarely heard of Notaries.
However, around the world the reverse is true. Countries around the world all have Notaries, and they are well aware of Notaries. On the other hand, very few have ever heard of Solicitors, and those that have are aware that Solicitors are creatures of the British Legal system.
Accordingly of course Solicitors have no status in their country and a form of consent which is countersigned by a Solicitor may be as useless as none at all.
If your child is travelling this Christmas with one parent only, or with grandparents or friends, get in touch now.
And if both you and your spouse are travelling together with a child, you are not immune from suspicion.
So, these days it is very important that when you fly you take a full birth certificate of each travelling child. Then you can prove that you really are the parents. After all, a successful kidnapper is unlikely to travel without an accomplice.
So here is the song – link here He’s gone two thousand miles
It’s very far
The snow is falling down
Gets colder day by day
I miss you
The children will sing
He’ll be back at Christmas time
Louise and I are dealing with consents to travel all the time. And ALL of our clients have been allowed onto their planes. Hooray. Book your appointment with us, at AtkinsonNotary [0113 816 0116 or firstname.lastname@example.org] where we shall be more than happy to assist.