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Time for easyJet to reflect on how it deals with passengers – and learn from its latest passport foul-up

Simon Calder’s Travel

Telling large companies how to run their businesses is much easier than actually running one. Nonetheless, allow me to address Britain’s biggest budget airline, easyJet, and recommend how it could improve.

To set the scene: I spent a fair amount of 2021 involved in a long back-and-forth with EU home affairs officials in Brussels about post-Brexit passport validity rules. After the UK voted to leave the European Union, Boris Johnson’s government requested that we should become third-country nationals – alongside citizens of an interesting range of other countries, including Tonga and Venezuela.

It was clear that, when international travel returned at scale after the shambolic tangle of quarantine rules was finally lifted, travellers and the travel industry needed to know what exactly the rules were. Finally, on 10 November 2021, I received sign-off from Brussels on the two EU tests for British passport holders:

  • On the day of travel to the EU, issued not more than 10 years earlier
  • On the intended day of exit, at least three months to run
Caerphilly does it: British passport issued on 20 November 2014, expiring on 20 March 2025
Caerphilly does it: British passport issued on 20 November 2014, expiring on 20 March 2025 (Simon Calder)

For example, a British passport issued on 20 November 2014, expiring on 20 March 2025, can be used to travel out to the European Union up to 19 November 2024 for a stay until 20 December 2024.

I promptly informed all the leading airlines flying from the UK to the European Union about my findings – supplying the lengthy correspondence and contact details so they could conduct their own checks. I stressed that they should not make up nonsense conditions about British passports being valid in Europe only for nine years and nine months – pretending that the EU has imposed a limit of 10 years on any UK travel document.

As far as I know, British Airways has not put a foot wrong. Jet2 turned one passenger away very early but corrected the error overnight and promptly made good the harm to the traveller. Unfortunately, easyJet and Ryanair made up their own rules, citing bizarre UK government advice that showed ministers didn’t understand what they had signed up for.

Eventually, I persuaded all three organisations to accept the rules.

But occasionally a member of staff “goes rogue” and needlessly turns an innocent and properly documented passenger away.

Jacqui McGeough from Lanarkshire is the latest…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at The Independent Travel…