Ryanair finally falls in line with European rules on UK passport validity

Passengers booked on Ryanair whose UK passports meet European validity standards should no longer face being denied boarding.

Europe’s largest low-cost airline has said the independent that airport assistance agents have been advised to follow the two conditions for British passport holders traveling to the EU:

  • Date of issue: under 10 years of age on the day of entry into the EU.
  • Expiration date: there are at least three months left on the scheduled day of departure.

Previously the Irish airline had insisted: “If you are using a British passport to travel, it must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry to any EU member state.

“If your passport is valid for more than 10 years, the additional validity period will not help satisfy the necessary requirements to travel to an EU member state.”

Ryanair now accepts that those provisions were incorrect.

In addition, the company has retracted its statement that “a child’s passport must not be more than five years old on the date of travel.”

Zak Schoneville, 15, was turned away by the airline at Glasgow Prestwick Airport on Sunday. He has a valid UK passport issued just over five years ago, with five months to expire.

The Schoneville family was booked to fly with their family on Ryanair to Tenerife. Later they flew with Jet2.

A Ryanair spokesman has now said the independent: “Our Immigration Department has now clarified this case with the EU Commission.

“We now accept that our handling agents at Glasgow Prestwick Airport mistakenly believed that this teenager’s passport was not valid for travel, as they mistakenly believed that a child’s passport must not be more than five years old on the date of travel. , while, in fact, all UK citizens traveling to the EU, regardless of their age, must meet the same entry requirements to travel to the EU, which are:

  1. Passports must be issued within 10 years of the date of arrival in the EU.
  2. The passport must be valid for at least three months from the date of return travel from the EU, unless the passenger has a residence permit issued by Schengen or a long-term Schengen visa.

“In light of this clear error on our part, we have written to his family and reimbursed them £413.24 and, as a gesture of goodwill, we have also given them a further £415 travel voucher which we hope they will reap. use. book more Ryanair flights for the family in the very near future.

“We sincerely apologize for the mistake we made in this case and have updated our briefing notes for all of our airport handling agents.”

last november the independent informed all the major airlines flying from the UK to Europe of the exact rules for British passport holders after Brexit, but some have imposed their own stricter policies.

Last week, easyJet fell in line with European rules and is now paying compensation to passengers wrongly denied boarding. Ryanair is expected to face even more legal challenges.

Under air passenger rights rules, properly documented passengers who are denied flights to Europe must pay £220 or £350 in cash (depending on distance), in addition to replacement tickets and other costs.

The current surge in passport applications is due in part to airlines and holiday companies misrepresenting European requirements, leading many travelers to apply for renewals unnecessarily early.

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