By Alex Glenn • 17 April 2022 • 8:48
Ana Tiganescu had been heading on holiday to Portugal with her family. Trouble struck when it was discovered that her passport did not have sufficient time left on it. As reported by The Mirror on April 16, Ana had to leave her son at the Ryanair check-in desk and stay behind.
The family had been heading out from Leeds Bradford Airport. Ana’s passport still had six months left on it but she had to tearfully say goodbye to her husband and her son as her UK passport had been issued over 10 years ago. Ana was left behind in the UK as the rest of the family carried on with their holiday.
Speaking to The Mirror Ana explained: “This was a huge shock and very distressing for us all – especially my son, who didn’t understand why I wasn’t allowed to go with them.
“I was left very upset, in shock, and humiliated, waiting for an unspecified amount of time, almost 2 hours, for a Ryanair steward to escort me back through security.
“This situation was deeply distressing. When I finally made it back out of the airport, I was in such a state that I couldn’t remember my postcode for a taxi home.
“I think it will be complete chaos this summer, when people begin travelling again for the first time since the pandemic.
She went on to add: “No one is going to look at their passports if they have a year left. The Government claims they sent a million text messages about this in 2019, but that was only to people who gave their phone numbers when they applied for a passport ten years ago.
“For such disruptive changes, likely to affect thousands of UK people, I believe it is the responsibility of the government to ensure the public are fully aware.
“Everyone affected by this rule change should have been notified individually that their passports would no longer be valid for EU travel, even if still in-date – this contradiction is very confusing.
“This situation is not helped by airlines not being under any obligation to check passport issue dates at the point of booking – a simple change that leaves time to update documents if necessary,”
Passport rules have changed since the UK left the EU. Current guidance from the government for people heading to Portugal states: “Check both the issue date and the expiry date in your passport.
“If you renewed your passport early, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. This could affect the requirement for your passport to be less than 10 years old.”
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Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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