Easyjet has admitted being at fault in barring a passenger as his passport was set to expire in two months.

The Independent newspaper highlighted the issue after charity executive Jonathan Rickard from London was prevented from flying from Gatwick to Cyprus on Sunday.

He reportedly said: “I queued for an hour then was told at check-in that because my passport expires in August I couldn’t fly due to Cyprus immigration rules.

“When I was turned away at the desk I double-checked the details on my phone, including easyJet’s terms and conditions. I had the correct documentation. No one at Gatwick or over the phone would even listen to my complaint.”

After the issue was raised by the newspaper, the airline said: “Unfortunately easyJet made an error in Mr Rickard’s case and so would like to apologise that he was unable to travel. We will be contacting the passenger directly to remedy the situation.”

Besides the original £287 price of the ticket, Rickard is also out of pocket for airport transfers and accommodation booked in Cyprus. He may also be entitled to €400 in compensation under European passengers’ rights rules.

A Civil Aviation Authority spokesman said: “From what we understand of the case so far, it would appear the passenger should have been allowed to board and this may be a case of denied boarding. If that was the case, then the compensation rights would come into play.”

Kevin Clarke, an aviation lawyer for Bott & Co, said: “The intent behind denied boarding was to protect passengers against overbooking, but in these circumstances we’d be confident he would be successful.”