Checkaco Travel News: don’t get caught out by the 10-year-passport rule (and get treated like a criminal)

Checkaco Travel News: don’t get caught out by the 10-year-passport rule (and get treated like a criminal)

By Rupert Bridgwater: Numerous travellers to Europe are being caught out by the 10-year-passport rule which sees them from prevented from travel and treated as though they were criminals. European Union rules state your passport must have more than one year left to run covering the duration of your stay abroad. If it doesn’t then passport control will stop you attempting to leave the airport or port in Britain or in the first passport control you come to in Europe.

The BBC reported a number of couples who were to have their holiday getaways shattered by being stopped from travelling to Barcelona at the airport despite having paid for a ticket. Sherie Ryder reported how Jane Opher, 61, from London who was stopped at Gatwick Airport in February despite having checked in online to speed things up. Jane Opher was reported as saying: “I was just saying to my partner that I must renew my passport soon, as we walked along the bridge to get to the boarding gate. It was very stressful and humiliating to have to be escorted back through the airport like a criminal.”

Another victim was Lara Barnes and her husband who lost £1,200, when attempting to fly to Majorca last October. Lara Barnes, 57, from the Isle of Man, was shocked when her husband was denied boarding and they lost the cash and the holiday. The BBC went on the report more stories of hapless Brits stopped at passport control as they didn’t have more than a year left on their passport and on a personal note I’ve fallen foul of an invalid passport when travelling to Rome. It is humiliating to be escorted through the airport like a criminal and sent home in the knowledge you’ve lost your money and your holiday.

To make sure it doesn’t happen to you check the date of your passport which will have a 10 year lifespan. If you are travelling to the EU (with the exception of Ireland plus Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein and Switzerland) there must be more than a year left to run before renewal. If not then you could be caught out and be hundreds if not thousands of pounds out of pocket.

If your passport is invalid, you can try to book an emergency appointment online at your nearest passport office which offers a one-day and a one-week fast track service. Or passports can be renewed online by HM Passport Office or by using a paper application from some Post Offices. It can take several weeks to renew a passport from the UK.

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