The typography of the new Spanish passports is generating conflicts for those who have scheduled trips to the United States this vacation. Dozens of users have reported through social networks that they have missed their flights, despite having approved the ESTA form requested by the North American authorities and even the check-in of the airlines where they bought the plane tickets.
Last July 13 it happened to Daniel. He applied for his visa in advance, entered the digits of his recently renewed passport and the procedure was approved without any warning. With the same confidence, he checked in at American Airlines the day before his flight, convinced that he correctly placed the digits on his document: ‘PA0’. The surprise would come later, when they explained to him at the airport that it was an “O” and not a “0”.
“We arrived at the airport, we passed the control, we punched the ticket for the first time and no mistake. We got to the boarding gate and, luckily, since we had time, we decided to check-in for the layover we had and thus saved time,” he says. At the airline counter, the employee who served Daniel and his partner was clear: “I think you’re not going to fly. This looks like a zero, but it’s an ‘O’”.
It was there when it was explained to them that it was a confusion in the typography of the passport numbers – made up of three letters and six numbers – that had not been detected at the time of buying the tickets, or when registering the trip, much less. when applying for a visa to the United States.
Thanks to the manual check-in, the airline staff detected the typing error; however, if Daniel had not taken advantage of that ‘free time’ that he had before getting on the plane –since he had the check-in approved– the situation would have been complicated when trying to enter the North American country.
Similar cases have been reported on Twitter. “A perfect case of the importance of design. Something as ‘stupid’ as the way of displaying the ‘os’ and zeros of the chosen font in the passport is causing a multitude of missed flights, unexpected costs and very annoying frustrations”, wrote Nacho Carretero.
Comments from other affected users who have shared their bad experiences due to the same confusion have been added to their publication.