A British family were left over €2,000 out of pocket after not realising that a rule had changed for travel after Brexit.
The Gordons have complained that staff showed a lack of compassion to them over missing their flight to Portugal after an issue was found with a passport.
Meg Gordon, her husband Andy and their 16-year-old twins Jasmine and Dylan arrived at Cornwall Airport Newquay, only to discover that Meg’s passport was invalid due to new EU rules post Brexit.
She told CornwallLive : “We checked the bags in, had the passports checked and scanned – no problem, went through security and sat in the departure lounge and watched it fill up with other eager, excited passengers.
“Brilliant, the time had come to board the plane. Andy, Jas and Dylan were in front of me, but when a member of the ground staff checked my passport she told me it’s out of date. I replied, ‘sorry I think you are mistaken it’s valid until April 2023’. ‘No it’s not’ – the ten years run from the issue date, in my case July 8, 2012.”
What had caught her out was the ‘ten-year rule’ that some destinations enforce.
Since Brexit, UK passports must meet two requirements for those planning to visit an EU country (except Ireland, thanks to the Common Travel Agreement).
- They must be less than 10 years old – from the date of issue – on the day you enter your destination
- They must remain valid for at least three months after you leave
Meg continued: “I was then abruptly informed that as the UK are no longer in the EU the rules have changed and I would not be able to travel. I was marched back through the busy departure gate in front of everyone while my family were still waiting to board the plane.”
Meg, who believes these details haven’t been made clear to British travellers, added: “We were completely unaware of it. I asked how I got through check-in over two hours ago without it being noticed, plus I entered my passport details when I purchased the flights. They couldn’t answer.
“Subsequently our bags arrived very quickly and we were escorted out of the airport like criminals.”
The couple say they have lost £2,000 in flights, car hire and other holiday plans as a result of the misunderstanding.