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A man has been turned away from a Ryanair flight despite having a year remaining on his passport.
66-year-old Ian Glover was planning to head out to Portugal from East Midlands Airport on Monday (25 April) when he was told that the issue date on his passport was not close enough to the end of his journey.
The retired chartered surveyor now wants to warn other travellers about the passport validity rules so that we don’t see more chaos at airports around the country this summer.
Glover says he renewed his passport back in 2012 when it still had a year to go on it, according to Derbyshire Live.
That means that when he attempted to fly to Faro, the date of expiry on his document said April 2023, leaving just under a year to go.
That wasn’t good enough for the people at Ryanair, though.
Glover explained: “As I was going through the Ryanair check-in desk, she said 'your passport isn’t valid'.
“I said it was because I looked at the Government website and it said that it shouldn’t have been issued more than 10 years ago, and it was issued in July 2012, which means the 10 years is July this year, and it also stated you needed to have three months from expiry, and the expiry is 6 April 2023.
“I’d read stories about people having problems so I’d looked into it but thought I was fine. What Ryanair were saying was that the expiry date is irrelevant, it’s the issue date that matters.
“What they’re saying is that 10 years after the passport expires obviously, but they also want 3 months from the expiry of the date of issue.
“That’s not being made clear at all.”
So, according to the Ryanair worker that three months after the return from travel also needs to be within a decade of the passport being issued.
Because he was coming back in May, and therefore three months later would be August, they wouldn’t have it.
However, Glover believes that the problem is with the government not making these rules clear enough.
He continued: “The Ryanair lady said she was so sorry but she really couldn’t let us through, so she said go and talk with Jet2, which I didn’t really understand, but they said they didn’t follow the same rules and I could buy a ticket from them. I asked them to check my passport in depth and they said that’s all okay and I bought the ticket.
“Now reading this information, I’m thinking if I get to that border in Portugal, I haven’t read anyone who has been banned from going in Portugal, but it’s very confusing what Ryanair are doing, and I can now understand why, but that Jet2 aren’t. What bothers me most is that it doesn’t make it clear.
“The language the Government website uses - ‘it may need’, ‘it might be’ - I’ve just gone on the passport validity. I had loads of time left on my passport, and I was well within the six months.”
The government rules state that to enter Portugal a passport needs to be less than 10 years from issue, with three months valid after the arrival date.
However, they do say that some countries might apply the extra three month rule.
In the end, Ryanair told Glover to ask Jet2 if he could fly with them as they have different rules.
He flew out the next day and kept his return flight, because Jet2 have different rules.
“Jet2 looked through everything and said their flight to Portugal had just gone but there was a flight tomorrow,” Glover said.
“They said I was fine to come back on my original ticket because I would be coming back into the UK and they’re okay with passports being like that.
“I think people should just be aware of it because when I left the airport and spoke to a woman behind the bar, she told her passport was exactly the same or even less time, so I don’t think she’ll be able to get a new one in time for her holiday. I think there are going to be a lot of people turning up at airports in the summer, who are thinking ‘great, here we go’, I think there should just be more information to be honest.
“To be fair the lady on the Ryanair desk was pleasant and she did recommend solutions like Jet2. After I went off to get a coffee at arrivals, she’d finished her shift and came running up to me and asked how I got on, and was so pleased when I told her I got another ticket.
“She was most helpful and did the best she could, and I was pleased she told me I was pleasant as well. After the day I’d had I just felt as flat as a pancake to be honest, but then I did count my blessings being able to come back here and play my golf and play my tennis.
“I’m very lucky really. It was a right blow rushing round the hospital, and then we rushed off thinking we’d made it, only for that to happen, we felt very flat.”
A spokesperson for Ryanair said: "Ryanair complies with all European Commission travel regulations and passengers travelling between the EU and the UK after the end of the transition period must have a passport that is not valid for more than 10 years. These T&C’s are available here on Ryanair.com.”