Thousands of travellers are reported to be “set to claim millions of pounds from airlines and holiday firms” after being wrongly denied boarding for flights to Europe.
The Independent said the potential claims follow the government’s misrepresentation of post-Brexit passport validity rules.
Travellers to the European Union need a passport valid “for at least three months after the date you intend to leave the EU country you are visiting [and] which was issued within the previous 10 years”.
The Independent said the two conditions are independent of each other, adding: “But the UK government claims otherwise, and many travel firms have followed its online advice.”
It said companies have refused travel to passengers whose documents were valid and now face “a barrage of claims for compensation”.
Those affected are people whose passports were issued less than 10 years ago and, on the intended date of return from the EU, had at least three months validity remaining.
The government told the Independent: “The three months you need when leaving a country must be within 10 years of the passport issue date.”
But the European Commission told The Independent that the government’s interpretation is wrong.
Tui has now changed its policy to comply with European law – “but only after mistakenly denying boarding to a significant number of passengers”, said the newspaper.
A spokesperson said: “Following new information provided, we can confirm that we have now changed our policy accordingly. Customers will not be denied boarding on the basis that their passport needs to meet both conditions dependently.”
Travel agents have also reported confusion among holidaymakers about the changes to passport expiry rules which came into effect in January as a result of Brexit.
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