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Have you ever been questioned at airport passport control for having a different surname to your DC?

(44 Posts)
DamonBradleylovesPippi Sun 11-Oct-09 20:45:11

I fly with them at least 4 times a year and this has never been a problem. On my last trip however both in Italy and at Stansted they asked me for extra proof of identity as children have different surname from me. As I had my British passport with me, which shows my double barreled surname, they let me go. I did question him however and his reply was that I should travel with birth certificate. Never heard that before.

Surely if children have passport they can travel with anybody. What if they go on hol with my mum?

Anyone with similar experience or knows more?

HuwEdwards Sun 11-Oct-09 20:49:25

No, I have a different surname and have travelled dozens of times around Europe (Italy included) and have never been questioned. How odd!

MadameDefarge Sun 11-Oct-09 20:51:47

Apparently we now need to give permission from both parents if children are to travel abroad, iyswim. I had to give exp a letter giving him permission to take ds abroad, and this would have been the case even if we were married (still). However, I have never been asked to do it when I take him to Spain and France, but do know the USA and Canada are pretty hot on it. But then its pretty sticky as exp does not have PR,

I think its to do with parental abduction. But that doesn't really answer the different surname question!

DamonBradleylovesPippi Sun 11-Oct-09 20:55:41

Yes he did say it has all to do with child abduction but I found it odd too as if this is the case it surely should be clearly stated somewhere.

Must remember to ask properly next time.

oldraver Sun 11-Oct-09 23:13:26

I have written a permisSion letter for my parents when they have taken DS1 abroad without me. I also carry DS2's birth certificate which shows only I have PR. I had read both on MN and on another site of lone women (or in one case a Mum with a dawdling DC and it appeared she was on her own as her DH was ahead of them) being asked if they had permission from the other parent with PR.

When I have gone into Spain though immigration was skiving having a Siesta hmm

bran Sun 11-Oct-09 23:18:54

I often get asked and now always travel with birth certs and adoption certs. Occasionally they even ask to see the birth cert when we check in. The DC have different surnames from both DH and I (and currently from each other) and DS is still travelling on his pre-adoption passport in his old name, so I suppose we do look quite suspicious when we present our passports.

rachyh85 Sun 11-Oct-09 23:37:13

my sil took 30 kids to paris on a french visit from uk with her school. all the kids aged 11-13 were on a group passport - no photos, just names. the passport cost about £60 for all of them to be on, and lasts a month i think. she said that immigration didnt even come onto the bus to count how many kids they had!

imo, they should adopt the same routine for every passenger instead of giving lone parents a tough ride or letting a bus load of teens through without so much as a head count.

moondog Sun 11-Oct-09 23:39:36

No, and I travel either with my dh or alone with my kids about 5/6 times a year to different places and we all have different names.

TigerBitesAgain Sun 11-Oct-09 23:39:46

Never, but I've only travelled with DH who does have the same surname as DS. It has crossed my mind that this could be a problem if I went somewhere on my own with DS. We are married (and I have no idea where the cert is btw) but I never use DH's name.

sb6699 Sun 11-Oct-09 23:47:09

I am always questioned when I arrive at Stansted, but normally it is just a discreet "are the children all yours". I answer yes, and they let us go on our way.

(my ds has a different sirname from the rest of us).

Drayford Mon 12-Oct-09 00:36:55

My DC & I are all dual national and I retained my maiden name when I married DH (who is not british either) - the only time I was ever questioned was when we were travelling on different nationality passports from each other and only on entering the UK. I've never been questioned since they turned 16. I used to carry my marriage cert (from both my countries of nationality) tucked inside my passport(s).

I suppose things may have changed now because of the stricter laws on immigration that have been imposed over the past couple of years and to prevent child abduction and trafficking.

kickassangel Mon 12-Oct-09 00:46:57

dd got a gentle, 'and where's your daddy while you're on holiday' as we left & re-entered the USA. They didn't ask for any further info, but i had an authorised letter from him, just in case. We're married & all use the same family name.

exexpat Mon 12-Oct-09 00:53:23

I have a different surname from DCs, and have been asked several times on the way in to Heathrow whether they are my children. This summer on the way into Canada from the US I had more questions, including "where is the father of the children today?" He died three years ago; I was carrying DC's birth certificates (which have my names and DH's on) and DH's death certificate just in case, as I had heard that US immigration could be tough on this, but they didn't actually ask to see any documents. Worth having something just in case, though.

DamonBradleylovesPippi Mon 12-Oct-09 12:42:27

Thank you all. Yes I did show my italian passport and dc's british one at first. I always carry both my italian and british though. Worth takine the birth cert in the future. Do you all think I should travel with auth from dh too?
One more thing to think about angry.

stepaway Mon 12-Oct-09 12:50:15

have never had issue of different surnames, even though mine is different from the DCs. I've travelled with the kids (sans DH) many times. However, as another poster mentioned, to get into some countries (e.g. Canada) you need a written letter from the parent who is not travelling and the children are likely to be asked a few innocent questions.

sabinar Mon 12-Oct-09 12:56:25

I have a different surname from my son and often travel with him without my husband and the only time I've ever run into trouble like this was when flying to the States, where we were taken out of line and made to wait for ages whilst they decided whether or not to let us proceed to check in and get our flight. I didn't have any evidence to 'prove' he was mine at the time, fortunately we were able to get our flight but they made me feel as though I was v lucky to be able to do this.

As a result, I pack a copy of DS's birth certificate with me along with our passports, just to head this off at the pass. I've had to use this once, again, when traveling to the States. I've never been asked for a 'permission letter' from Dad, but perhaps I might pack one of those as well. Best to be prepared, in my experience.

MadameDefarge Mon 12-Oct-09 13:16:31

Sabina, yes, it was Canada where they let him in in that instance, but told him to get a letter from me, as they were planning to visit US during trip, so I did that.

kreecherlivesupstairs Mon 12-Oct-09 13:28:44

Blimey, I've never had this. I have a different name to my dh and dd, but she has my surname as part of her name just not double barrelled. We did have an issue once when we were driving over the border into Dubai, I hadn't got permission from dh to take her hmm, a quick phone call resolved the situation.

Bucharest Mon 12-Oct-09 13:34:05

Pippi- was it Milan? I know that at Malpensa and Linate they expect you to have different docs for some reason- when I renewed dd's ppt (you remember the saga...) the embassy sent back the ppt with a little note saying "the ppt won't be enough if you are leaving Italy out of Milan".

I was asked repeatedly by some oik "who eeeeez Caterina?" at Bari airport once...(dd's mn) and when I (eventually) understood him I pointed to dd and said, "her, but her name is ****" He then huffed and puffed and said I should be ashamed of myself not knowing my own child's name.angry and <it could only happen toBuch emoticon>

I know from my days at the Home Office that the UK authorities are v careful when they see lone fathers travelling alone, but I don't know if they've gone as far as to make a rule about permission letters being carried.

They probably should actually.

hatwoman Mon 12-Oct-09 13:37:41

I've never been questioned - but have never taken dds abroad without dh (dds have his surname). also dds have my surname as their middle name which probably helps.

Never had any questions, although have only travelled without DH a couple of times (both longhaul, though -- China and India).

Then again, it may be because of the two children dancing around pulling on bits of my anatomy yelling "Mummy mummy mummy mummy mummy"...

bran Mon 12-Oct-09 14:22:53

Bucharest - I was once asked at immigration where Sasana was. I said I had no idea and the guy gave me a very suspicious look and said "You don't know where you were born?" It's the Irish word for England, but I was hardly in a position to remember a second language after a 13 hour flight.

DH once packed DS's birth cert and adoption cert into our suitcase on the way back from Malaysia. hmm We had to wait about 20 mins at immigration while they checked the records. Thanks goodness for computerisation, it would have been a lot longer if they'd had to actually phone the court/registry office.

giantwickerstacks Mon 12-Oct-09 14:27:09

So for all the fuss about isometric passports etc our dcs ones don't have the parental info on there? What on earth do they have on the chips then?

giantwickerstacks Mon 12-Oct-09 14:35:38

or should that be biometric? [confused emoticon]

CHOOGIRL Mon 12-Oct-09 14:55:48

My DD has a different surname to me. On entering Gatwick the guy at customs just asked me 'and who is this'. I said DD and we were on our way. My DD is mixed race and looks more like her dad than me. DP never has a problem, but they share the same surname.

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