Brit blocked from entering non-EU country due to post-Brexit passport rules
Jonathon Lane had to purchase an emergency passport and missed four days of his family holiday in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt after easyJet staff stopped him from boarding at Gatwick Airport
Image: Alan Lane)
A man was wrongly stopped from flying to Egypt despite having a valid passport due to a misinterpretation of EU travel rules.
Boarding staff working for the low-cost airline told him that post-Brexit passport rules meant he was unable to fly, despite Egypt having different rules and not being in Europe.
The protesting family were threatened with a visit from airport security if they kept arguing their case, despite being convinced they were in the right.
Determined to catch up with his family, Jonathon travelled to Peterborough and forked out for an emergency passport there, before booking himself onto a new flight four days later.
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EasyJet bosses have admitted the rules were misunderstood, and have pledged to compensate Jonathon after the Mirror contacted the airline.
Alan Lane, Jonathon’s dad, said: “It was a huge shock to us and it was totally unacceptable.
“They couldn’t show us in writing where they were getting this regulation from.”
He added: “The holiday was ruined. We had to look after a two and nine-year-old, because his father wasn’t there, and his mother became ill with all the stress.”
According to Alan, the boarding agent told the family that passports must meet EU entry rules as Egypt is part of the Schengen area, which it isn’t.
Since the UK left the bloc, Brits must have three months left before their passport expires on the date they leave the European country.
While Jonathon’s passport met the criteria – as he was flying in October and his passport doesn’t expire until June this year – his travel document was issued more than ten years ago, which means it falls foul of the EU rules.
Those rules only apply to the 27 EU member states and Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City, not Egypt.
Bloomberg via Getty Images)
The incident – which isn’t the first in which people have been wrongly stopped from boarding planes – raises concerns about how well the rules are understood.
The primarily rule regarding British travellers heading to Egypt is that their documents are valid for six months from their arrival date.
Alan, 72, added: “They ruined our holiday and they don’t have the decency to say sorry.
“We got humiliated at the check-out point, when the rest of the family boarded the plane, all our bags were taken off as my son had booked them all in.
“We needed to convince them to get our bags back on board.”
A spokesperson for easyJet said: “We are very sorry that Mr Lane was incorrectly denied boarding due to a misunderstanding of the passport validity rules for travel to Egypt by the boarding agent assisting them at the gate, and we are following up with our ground handling partner at London Gatwick to ensure this doesn’t occur in the future.
“We are in touch with Mr Lane to apologise for the error and to reimburse him in full for any travel expenses and process the compensation he is due.”