A Brit traveller has been left unable to go on her dream £1,050 holiday because of a little-known post-Brexit law.
An EU rule about passport issue dates meant that Kirsty Hawes, 28, never made it on her all-inclusive holiday to Mallorca in Spain.
She booked the trip with a pal through TUI and, before she arrived at Luton on August 16, made sure her passport didn’t expire until March 2024.
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But at the airport, Kirsty was told that she wasn’t allowed to board her flight because her passport had been issued 10 years and one day before.
Prior to Brexit, Brits had been able to move freely throughout the EU up to and including the expiry date of their passports, but now UK citizens need to have documentation issued within the last 10 years.
Hers was received on August 15, 2013.
“They took our passports and said you can’t fly,” she said. “I thought it was a joke.”
Kirsty says she did not immediately see the small print that informed her of this new situation, but admitted that she did spot it there later on.
To make things worse, she has since been informed that she won’t be able to get a refund on her trip.
She said the refund couldn’t be given out because of the “terms of conditions… was right at the bottom of the email, not easy to find and in small print.”
Instead, she now wants to warn people off from making the same mistakes that she did and wants the booking pages of travel providers to make it more obvious for people so that they might avoid falling into the same situation.
From Bovingdon, Hertfordshire, she said: "They took our passports and said you can't fly. I thought it was a joke.
“But they were serious and said my passport was out of date.
“I said 'No it's not – it doesn't run out for seven months'. I was panicking and burst into tears.
“This was the one thing I was looking forward to all year."
She added: "I was in the middle of the airport crying my eyes out. I was so excited to chill. I love the sun and being tanned. It's really frustrating."
She explained: "I have been told that TUI will not give my money back as it is in terms of conditions which was right at the bottom of the email, not easy to find and in small print.
"I'm not going to get my money back. I can't afford another holiday.
"Holiday companies need to add an issue date of passport onto their websites when booking and checking in so this will raise the issue so people are not left stranded at the airport, crying their eyes out."
The Daily Star has contacted TUI for comment.
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