A man was denied entry into Mexico after an Air Canada ticket agent allegedly damaged his passport during check-in, forcing him and his wife to cancel their vacation and return home soon after their flight touched down.

“The problem is when the woman at Air Canada scanned his passport before boarding the plane,” Stevi Newman told CTV Toronto. “It ripped.”

Air Canada said it’s still investigating the incident.

“We are still reviewing the matter… and have been in touch with the customer to obtain additional details,” a spokesperson told CTV Toronto.

Newman and her husband Aman Kaushik say they arrived at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport earlier this month to check in with their documents in good condition.

“She scanned my passport, which was successful, and then scanned my husband’s,” Newman said. “And as she was rubbing it on the machine, the back part of the booklet ripped off of his passport.”

The couple say they were allowed to board the plane to Cancun, but during the flight, they became concerned about the damaged passport. Kaushik says his passport from India was less than three years old. As a permanent resident of Canada, he did not need to apply for a tourist visa to visit Mexico. But as soon as the couple landed and immigration authorities saw the damaged document, they told Kaushik that he had to return to Toronto.

“Pretty much, they put me back on the plane in half an hour,” Kaushik said. “And then I asked him, ‘Okay, fine, I’ll go back, which is okay, but I need to make sure that my wife is coming back with me.’”

While Kaushik was forced to leave immediately, Newman had to wait for approximately 12 hours and book and pay for her own flight back home.

“You wait so long to have a vacation and then that happens?” she said.

The couple believes that their lost vacation, extra flight and added expenses cost them $5,000. They say that the feel they should be compensated for their ruined holiday.

When Kaushik got back to Canada, he was issued a new passport. The couple then decided to take a trip to a different location in Mexico, using a different airline.

According to the Canadian government, you can face delays, be denied boarding or even refused entry into a country if your passport exhibits damage, such as torn pages, water damage or unauthorized markings. If you don’t have one already, you should buy a protector for your passport or consider getting a new passport even if your document is only slightly damaged.

With a report from CTV Toronto consumer reporter Pat Foran