Christmas holidays are here with us and we have a lot of plans to travel to have fun. It is all exciting and you can’t wait to board a plane and some documents are required. This happened to a teenager below the age of seventeen years, Maisy Bennett. Maisy had plans with her mum Odette- Baxter Booth to travel to South Africa. They were ready to board a plane at Heathrow airport to go spend time with Odette’s fiancé Jason Dreyer and family.
To their disappointment, Maisy could not be *allowed to board the plane because she did not produce a consent letter from her father. Maisy’s father lives in Truro and the law requires a written permission letter for her to travel out of the country. Frustrations set in as she was denied entry and Maisy broke down into tears. This was heart-breaking bearing in mind that it wasn’t her fault and her mum was not aware of the law, which left her considering whether she would need to seek legal help from solicitors in Manchester, London, or elsewhere.
When Odette decided to make things easier for her daughter by obtaining a letter that would allow Maisy travel. Things took a bitter turn because the letter was emailed yet the authorities require an original document. The scanned copy could not hold water to clear the tension that had already set in. The South African embassy rejected the letter which was now obsolete. They contemplated whether it was worth going to Cornwall to get the affidavit and have the tickets replaced. The expenses skyrocketed and they cancelled the holiday they had wished to enjoy.
To the couple Odette and Jason, it brought a lot of weight to their hearts. They had a lot planned for in South Africa. Odette had the expectation of booking a venue for their upcoming wedding. The affidavit had messed everything up and they did not envisage it at all. Laws have to be followed to the latter as per the travel requirements. Children who are minors have to be protected too by all means necessary.
It is a wake-up call for all parents to know that children under eighteen should travel with a valid passport and birth certificate. When they are accompanied by one parent, there should be an affidavit of consent to travel by the other parent. This way you will save yourself from disappointment, loss of money and time.
For Odette, she had to learn about this at the airport when she was all set to have the moment of her life with the people she loved. Going back home to Cornwall made her heart sink more because she had an expectation of a joyful, fun-filled Christmas. They had to make other plans which were not there before.