If you are planning a trip within the next 90 days, please take a moment and look at your passport. Check to make sure it's not going to expire within the next 90 days...if it is, you may want to try to get it renewed by using the expedite feature at your local Passport and Control facility.
I was working in First Class on a trip from DFW-SJO the other day. Had a great group of passengers that really made the flight enjoyable. One of the things that stood out from this trip was we had a double aborted landing into SJO due to 'Dense Fog' at the end of the runway.
We had to divert to LIR to refuel. During this time, got the chance to chat with a few of the passengers, exchanging stories about aborted take-offs and landings. After 45 minutes had passed, we were refueled and on our way to SJO.
Once we finally landed and pulled up to the gate, everyone was surprisingly very relieved that the pilots made the right decision (because they knew it was their safety on the line) and we went to the hotel.
The next morning, our departure was pushed back due to our late arrival. Once we got to the gate, and I was talking with the agent about the flight load, I noticed one of my First class passengers from the night before.
Come to find out, the Customs Officials in SJO wouldn't allow him to enter their Country because his passport was due to expire within 90 days. Yes, it was still a valid Passport, but it was going to expire. From what he said, he was literally treated like a criminal, had to spend the night in an airport jail, on the floor with no pillow or blanket. Was escorted everywhere from gate to gate, bathroom, back to gate to ensure he wasn't going to escape.
We felt so bad to find this out, we made sure to take good care of him during the flight. When we finally had the chance to talk with him, he mentioned that there was one other individual that was in the same situation that he was in, but was on a different flight.
I know that some Countries require you to have certain Visa's to enter for Business, or being a visitor, however I had never heard of anyone being denied that they couldn't enter with a Passport still valid. I know that the Chinese Governement won't issue their 'work' visa if your passport is going to expire within two years. Their visa's are usually good for two years.
For this one individual, I felt really bad as he was traveling with good size group, paid a considerable amount of money to stay at a 'Mansion' for a couple of weeks. Now he couldn't do any of the activities they had planned and was being 'deported' back to the United States.
As the crew was clearing customs, we had asked the Customs Official what they would do in a situation such as this. He was kind of perplexed because a passport is always good up until the day it expires.
So one of the things that I can try to inform you, if you are planning a trip, make sure that your passport isn't going to expire anytime soon!