News

Confusion over tests sees airlines turn passengers away

Airline passengers have been refused boarding amid confusion over the validity of their PCR tests.

Problems with Ryanair and easyJet flights were reported by Radio 4’s You & Yours programme.

It spoke to Sally Shiels who was due to fly from Birmingham to Dublin who said she, along with about 30 other passengers, were not allowed to board because they had the wrong type of negative Covid-19 test result.

As an NHS worker, she believed her latest PCR result from work could be used for travel.


More: EasyJet offers discounted Covid tests at airports

Heathrow to offer £59 PCR tests under new partnership

British Airways trial finds pre-departure testing ‘does catch Covid’


She later found out that the UK government advises that only private providers can be used for PCR tests for travel.

Ryanair told the programme it fully complies with government restrictions and said several passengers on the Birmingham-Dublin flight had been denied boarding as they failed to present a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test result, as required by Irish regulation.

The airline also referred to the Department for Transport guidance that private testing should be used, and that NHS Track and Trace cannot provide the required documents.

Shiels said some of the refused passengers had tried to use negative test results obtained from NHS Track and Trace.

Another NHS worker, called Imogen, had a similar experience at Luton airport, when she was not allowed to board her easyJet flight to Porto in Portugal.

She had a document showing the date the sample was tested but the a member of staff told her there was no proof of when she’d taken the test.

She had to pay £249 for a private PCR test with a fast result and £130 for a replacement flight to Portugal.

EasyJet told You & Yours: “Passengers travelling to Portugal are currently required to present a negative Covid test on departure, which includes providing documentation from a private provider with details of the passenger and the date the test was taken.

“Should passengers be unable to provide this unfortunately we are unable to carry them. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused however we do require passengers to have the correct documentation as required by the authorities.”

More: EasyJet offers discounted Covid tests at airports

Heathrow to offer £59 PCR tests under new partnerships

British Airways trial finds pre-departure testing ‘does catch Covid’

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.