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Say Goodbye to Outgoing Passenger Cards in Australia

They’ve always been a slightly annoying but required part of any international flight out of Australia, but very soon they will be no more.

Those little green outgoing passenger cards will be redundant after what’s being reported as a 1st of July 2017 cut off date.

When I heard the date I actually had a little ‘oh that’s a shame’ moment as I’m flying out on my next international adventure on the 2nd of July.

Sure, I’ve never loved them but I would have liked to have known I was filling out my last one, handing it over for the last time.

Or as it has been lately, putting it into a little box for the last time.

Outgoing passenger cards for international travel from Australia are to be stopped

Funnily enough, the last time I did fill one out I forgot to put it into that little box when I was supposed to. In the old days when you spoke to someone face to face and handed it over it was easy to remember.

With the new passport scanning I was somehow momentarily distracted and missed my moment to put it into the box. It wasn’t until I was sitting down for a drink that I noticed I still had it.

I did have a ‘do these things even matter anymore?’ moment. Surely the authorities knew everything they needed to know already?

It turns out they pretty much do, with the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) that airlines use capturing information like passenger names, destinations, flight numbers, passport details and so on.

But not being sure at the time I walked back to security and admitted my mistake, and they then pointed out another box near duty free that was half full. Clearly I wasn’t the only one to miss that original box after passport control.

So it turns out that was my last one.

That said I do have a few in my passport wallet. I used to take some to fill out on my way to the airport or while I was waiting in line to check in, so I could zip through as soon as I had my boarding pass.

They may never get to fulfil their original destiny, but they’ll become souvenirs. One day I’ll bring them out for some young folks in a little “In my day…” show and tell.

My last outgoing passenger cards for international travel from Australia will remain a souvenir

And what will happen to incoming passenger cards, I hear you ask.

Those incoming cards will still be around for at least a while longer though there is also talk of them being phased out next year.

I see them as a bit of a chance for people to be reminded about the whole bringing foods and other things into Australia so it will be interesting to see how they change down the track.

But when it comes to incoming passenger card questions my favourite is still Fiji where the “do you have in your possession Holy Water / Cremated Human Remains” one is a bit of a standout.

And while I’m fairly certain it’s nothing to do with vampires, I think of Buffy every time.

How about you? Do you have a passenger card that made you do a double take? And how much are you going to miss filling out the Aussie ones when they go?

Incoming passenger cards for Fiji have questions about Holy Water and human remains

Preparing to head to the airport? You may want to check out my piece on five things you don’t want to do when packing for a trip.

Heading to Fiji? You may like to check out what it’s like to stay at the beautiful Outrigger Fiji Beach resort, or on the gorgeous Castaway Island.