AN AIRLINE blunder caused a grandmother to be wrongly banned from her easyJet flight earlier this year, after cabin crew confused the post-Brexit passport rules.
Mary Rankin had planned a big family trip to Disneyland Paris in April, to celebrate her 70th birthday.
Photolibrary – GettyMary Rankin had booked to go to Disneyland with her family for her 70th birthday[/caption]
However, when she arrived at Glasgow airport, she was informed by airline staff that her passport didn’t meet new post-Brexit rules and she would not be able to board the plane.
Regulations established in 2021 state that, for Brits heading to the EU, their passport must have been issued no more than 10 years before entry to the EU with an expiry date of at least three months after the day of intended departure from the EU.
Ms Rankin’s passport satisfied both criteria, as it was issued on July 15, 2012 and expired on March 15, 2023.
However, she was still prevented from flying as she had intended.
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Fortunately, Ms Rankin was able to hastily book an appointment at the Glasgow passport office and managed to fly out the same day, meaning she didn’t miss out on her holiday.
However, it was stress that she simply didn’t need to be put through.
Speaking to the Independent, her granddaughter Nicola Gow, said: “This was meant to be a special holiday and while we were lucky to still go on our trip, we still incurred additional costs, lost time at our destination and had the stress of trying to resolve the situation.
“Had we not been so lucky, we would not have made it on our trip.”
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Despite the airline’s mix up, it took easyJet over three months to agree to a refund and to pay for the additional costs.
Ms Gow claimed that the airline initially refused to acknowledge their error, saying that her grandmother’s passport details were not valid for travel.
However, after being challenged on their assessment, easyJet finally agreed they had been in the wrong.
A spokesperson from the airline told Sun Online Travel: “We are very sorry that Ms Rankin was incorrectly denied boarding to her flight and for the delay in compensating her.
“This was unfortunately due to a misunderstanding of relevant passport validity rules at the time by the team at the gate which has since been clarified, and by the advisor assisting with the claim and so we are reissuing guidance to our customer teams, to ensure current passport validity rules are clear.
“We are in touch with the family to apologise for their experience, reimburse them for their alternative travel expenses and provide the compensation due.
“Should any other cases of this nature be brought to our attention we will of course review and provide compensation where it is due.”
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AFPEasyJet prevented Ms Rankin from boarding her flight despite her passport being valid[/caption]