Britain’s biggest budget airline has dropped its misleading advice on the value of UK passports for trips to the EU: easyJet is now compliant with European Commission rules and does not It also imposes harsh conditions on its own invention.

But in the five months since easyJet was told of the post-Brexit rules and the airline that was right for them, ground staff have ruined the travel plans of thousands of passengers by gratuitously turning them away. necessary.

These travelers can now claim the airline for reimbursement.

What are the passport validity regulations for Europe?

As a result of Brexit, UK passport holders face two checks to enter the Schengen Area which includes nearly the entire European Union plus Switzerland, Iceland and Norway.

  • One is about the date of issue: on the date of arrival, the passport must be under 10 years old.
  • The other is about the shelf life: on the intended date of leaving the Schengen Area, it should have at least three months remaining.

Those two conditions are independent, as the European Commission confirmed in November 2021.

Passengers with a UK passport issued on 1 May 2012 and which expires on 1 November 2022 can travel to the Schengen Area until 30 April 2022.

What did EasyJet do differently?

The airline, along with Ryanair and the UK government, invented and imposed draconian regulations that allegedly resulted in thousands of passengers being denied boarding. The basic premise is that the two passport conditions are “cumulative” – ​​in other words, the passport must not be older than nine years and nine months on the date of travel.

It’s confusing why they should come to this conclusion; While actual European law is loosely worded and can be easily misinterpreted, a discussion with the European Commission’s Home Affairs and Migration department is all that is needed to ensure guarantee the rules.

On this Monday, five months from now The Independent having forwarded all relevant official correspondence to the UK’s top airlines, easyJet is still turning away passengers with valid documents – and making silly online travel claims to the EU that “on the date of travel you will need your passport with at least six months remaining on it”.

The airline has now changed its online information to comply with the rules and confirmations The Independent that the correct policy will be followed from today.

I was denied boarding by easyJet. What are my rights?

First, determine if the decision is appropriate. In some cases investigated by The Independent, easyJet ground staff correctly turned their backs on passengers. If your UK passport has celebrated its 10th birthday, you will not be allowed entry to Europe.

UK passports issued on 1 May 2012 or earlier are not valid for entry into the Schengen Area from 1 May 2022, regardless of the remaining time.

(Please note that no countries other than the EU are known to consider the release date.)

I checked all the dates and I should have been allowed in. What do I have to do now?

Start an airline complaint.

The first step is this online form because the claim for cash on board is denied but because anyone has wrongly denied it. This is a simple legal right beyond all other compensation.

The amount is £220 for flights under 1,500km (as far as London-Budapest) and £350 for longer flights.

You could ask everyone on the same booking – but note that easyJet could argue that other people should be able to travel and they actually chose not to. To the best of my knowledge, this has not been tested in court.

What is next?

Get your flight ticket back. If you are flying with another airline with a higher fare then claim this ticket – easyJet may deduct your initial payment from the bill.

All other expenses must be claimed on this sample. It is intended to be the claim portal for “any personal expenses you have incurred as a result of a canceled, diverted or delayed flight” but it should fit the bill.

What can I ask for?

If you lose your package holiday, the organizer of that trip – whether easyJet Holidays or another company – will refund the full amount. The company has failed to fulfill its contract for holiday delivery (due to easyJet’s error in not allowing you to start your holiday) and you are due for a full refund.

For independent trips, passengers who are denied boarding have the ability to claim the costs they have lost for factors such as accommodation and car rental. The airline, not unreasonably, will want a full receipt – and may ask for confirmation that the payment is not partially or fully refundable.

easyJet’s policy made me pay for an emergency passport and travel hundreds of miles for an urgent renewal

The airline’s misrepresentation of European regulations has led many travelers to needlessly renew their passports – putting more pressure on overcrowded passport offices.

Section 49 of the Consumer Rights Act 201 requires easyJet to provide its services to you “with reasonable care and skill”. While it’s great at flying safely, the airline also has a tacit obligation to provide accurate information on what you need to take advantage of your excellent transportation.

Those who have made long trips and paid a premium for a quick passport renewal because easyJet falsely informed them they would be refused can invoke this law and ask the airline.

A fair settlement to the claim would be the difference between £177 paid versus the standard renewal fee of £77.50 – plus travel costs and possible lost wages.

My passport got stuck in the backlog and I lost my vacation – but it turns out it’s still valid

You are not denied boarding, so there is no obligation for cash compensation. But a request for other expenses may succeed.

What about the accident?

In travel legal matters, emotional damage to a company’s conduct is often not considered in a claim.

But if, for example, easyJet wrecks an important family trip, an attorney could argue that additional compensation is due.

What does the airline say?

An easyJet spokesperson said: “We always review the information we provide about travel requests to ensure we are making this as clear as possible for our customers.

“Recently reviewing the guidance provided on government passport validity requirements, we have now updated this on our website to ensure they are clear and to avoid any misunderstandings.

“If a passenger submits a request to be denied boarding, which can be done through a simple web form on our website, our team will review and respond based on the fields specific circumstances of their individual case.

“As for other individual cases where we have been told where to deny boarding compensation, we will of course provide this, in addition to a full refund or rerouting costs if requested.”

What if easyJet declines my request?

Write a polite letter before acting: explain that if you do not receive a satisfactory resolution within 14 days, you will take the case to an Online Money Claim. Claims between £500.01 and £1,000 cost £7. If you win, the fee will be refunded.

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