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13 June, 2024
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200 Brits rejected daily due to passport rules

UK tourists warned of passport rules to avoid disruptions in EU travel


Simon Calder, a travel correspondent at the Independent, highlights a concerning trend: approximately 200 UK nationals face rejection at EU airports daily due to the bloc's travel regulations, SchengenVisaInfo reports. Calder estimates that yearly, over 100,000 British travelers encounter difficulties boarding flights or proceeding with planned vacations due to these rules.

To address this issue, Calder has urged airlines to enhance awareness among British travelers regarding post-Brexit EU travel regulations. Despite airlines providing reminders and links, there's no assurance that potentially invalid passport details will be identified beforehand, as reported by BBC.

Since the UK's departure from the EU in 2020, British citizens are considered third-country nationals, losing the privilege of passport-free entry and other facilitated travel benefits. To enter the EU, Britons must ensure their passports meet specific criteria:

1. Validity of three to six months beyond the planned departure date.
2. Passport issuance within the last ten years.

Failure to meet these criteria results in denial of boarding or entry by airline staff and border officers, respectively. However, many UK nationals remain uninformed of these regulations even four years post-Brexit, leading to vacation disruptions and financial losses.

In 2022 alone, UK nationals made 56.1 million trips to EU countries out of a total of 93.1 million trips, according to the UK Office for National Statistics.

Tragic tales emerge, such as a couple unable to attend an opera in Sofia, Bulgaria, after the husband's passport exceeded the ten-year limit. They incurred a loss of £3,000 on flight tickets, car parking, and opera tickets, underscoring the financial impact of non-compliance.

Calder emphasizes the passenger's responsibility to ensure passport compliance, as travel insurance typically does not cover such mishaps.

As summer approaches, the UK Home Office and travel experts advise Britons planning EU vacations to verify passport validity promptly. The online adult passport application fee is currently £82.50, set to increase to £88.50 starting April 11. Popular destinations like Portugal, Spain, and Greece draw millions of British tourists annually, emphasizing the importance of passport awareness for seamless travel experiences.

[With information sourced from Schengen Visa Info]

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