• Sat. May 20th, 2023

Aussie passenger detained at airport over passport picture

A passenger has opened up about the unbelievable reason they were detained at the airport while going through passport control.

Tomi Grainger was excited after arriving at Sydney International Airport last week, as they were heading over to Tokyo, Japan, for a short trip.

The 29-year-old is a seasoned traveller and has visited many different countries in all different corners of the globe.

Tomi’s passport is over eight years old and will be due for renewal soon, but in the meantime they have been using it when travelling to and from Australia without any major issues.

They first got their passport when they were just 22 and since then, have gone through some major changes to become the person they are today.

As a result, they now look quite different to how they did when they first posed for their passport picture all those years ago – something that border officials were quick to pick up on.

Instead of letting Tomi through as normal, they were detained while security officers confirmed their identity.

“It was funny but super nerve-racking at the same time,” Tomi told news.com.au.

“I’ve been through the airport many times and never had an issue like that.

“My heart was racing, I thought I might miss my flight. That would have been a nightmare.

“The electronic machine did not recognise my face, so it asked me to go to a desk with a person working on it.

“This is a backup for when the facial detection does not work and you cannot automatically go through.”

Tomi shared the experience on TikTok, where is rapidly went viral – racking up over 100k plays in a matter of days.

Wild reason traveller detained at airport

“You’ll never believe what just happened to me at Sydney airport,” Tomi said in the clip.

“I am low-key freaking out. My heart is still pounding.

“So, you go through airport security and you put your passport through so they can identify you. But the machine said it wasn’t me and would not let me through.

“I get ushered into this private line to see a security woman who holds up my passport, looks at my face and she just keeps looking and frowning.

“She then walks off with my passport, and gets another worker and the two of them just stand there talking about me, shaking their heads and frowning.

“I thought oh my god, they’re not going to let me through.

“That’s when I realised, ‘Oh yeah, I don’t look like the person in my passport photo anymore because I’ve had so much plastic surgery.’

“So I end up having to say to them, look I’ve had some plastic surgery, I’ve had a face lift.

“And only then did they let me through.”

Tomi is very open and honest about all the work they have had done to alter their physical appearance over the years.

The majority of their plastic surgery done has taken place in the last year or two.

“I think the things I’ve had done have changed my face quite a bit,” Tomi said.

“Especially in the last two months, it’s been more dramatic.

“Over the last couple of years, I’ve had a face lift, a surgical lip lift, surgical brow lift, botox, filler and threads.

“I’ve also lost weight. I think when it is you, you don’t realise how different you look.

“But I have had people tell me I look really different to my passport picture, and my driver’s license photo really looks different too.

“Having the passport people literally hold me back was really eye opening.

“But then I think, well lots of people are having things done more often than ever before these days.”

After posting the clip online, Tomi was inundated with comments from people who found the entire situation hilarious.

Many agreed that they looked nothing like their passport photo and understood where the border officials were coming from.

Thankfully, Tomi’s passport is up for renewal soon as it reaches the end of the 10 year expiry.

“I think it’s about time I change my passport,” they added.

“I’ve never had any major issues before today. Getting into Japan was not a problem either.

“But I will be relieved once I have a new document and picture. I can imagine from now I will feel anxious going through passport control.

“It is definitely time for a new passport.”

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