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13th Jun 2023

Couple refused entry on TUI flight at airport because valid passports were ten years old

Charlie Herbert

couple told in-date passports were too old

They’d have been fine if they’d flown just a couple of days earlier

A couple had a nightmare start to their holiday before they’d even boarded their flight after they were told they couldn’t travel because their in-date passports were too old.

Making sure your passport is valid is one of the first things to be done when you’re looking to go away, but it turns out you can still run into some complications even if it is.

This was something that Penny and Dug Priestly found out all too late when they arrived at East Midlands Airport for their trip to Benidorm.

They’d spent £1,800 on a package deal with TUI, but were told they couldn’t board the flight when they arrived at the airport on May 16.

This was because their passports were too old, despite still having nine months left on them before they expired.

Penny, 59, told NottinghamshireLive: “We just turned up and were waiting an hour in the queue, I think we were about fourth from last and the girl on the checkout said to the other girl, can you check those dates.

“She checked and said no they can’t fly. Then a bloke came over, a supervisor or something, and he said our only alternative is to go to Jet2 and ask them if we can fly.”

The reason they couldn’t fly was because of a rule applying to some EU countries, which requires your passport to be less than 10 years old if you want to travel there.

Penny and Doug’s passports were more than 10 years old. So, despite not expiring until February 2024, they were too old for them to fly.

And if they’d booked a flight just three days earlier, they would have been fine.

“They said if we had gone on Saturday we would have been alright,” Penny said.

The couple managed to go on their travels eventually, but only once they’d paid another £860 to fly with Jet2 instead.

Penny said: “We paid another £860 and Jet2 looked into it and said we could go back with them and just fly one way with them, but then a supervisor came over. He also said we would lose the hotel if my husband didn’t ring up, so we had to ring the hotel up and tell them we were coming a day later.”

A spokesperson for TUI said: “We’re sorry that Mr Priestly was unable to fly with TUI as planned as his passport did not meet the required government passport guidelines.

“Government rules state that for customers travelling to certain EU countries, passports must be issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country and must also be valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave. We strongly advise that our customers check their passports are up to date before booking any flights.”

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