A father has revealed how he was not only forced to fork out £3,000 but also drive over 1,000 miles across Europe to join his family on holiday - after falling victim to a little-known passport rule. Peter Holt, 50, was turned away at the boarding gate for his family’s flight to Croatia after being told his passport was “out of date” which left him confused, as it did not expire until next year.
Paul, who works as a financial planning consultant was powerless as he watched his wife, Claire, as well as and sons Rocky, eight, and six-year-old-twins, Axel and Hunter board an Easyjet flight without him. Determined not to miss out on quality memories and some time abroad, Paul hopped in his Mini Cooper and drove 1,102 miles from Gatwick Airport through France, Germany, Austria and Slovenia before finally making it to Croatia.
Before Brexit, UK passport holders could travel in and out of the EU as long as they held a valid passport, even if it expired the day after their return. But from 2021, UK passport holders travelling to any EU country will be denied entry ten years after their passport was issued - even if it still has extra months left.
Peter got his passport in July 2013 and was able to carry over unexpired months, giving the expiry of March 2024, but rules he had no idea about brought this forward to July 2023. Peter, from Guildford, Surrey, said: "I was annoyed.
“We had booked the holiday in February, and it said nothing about an issue with the passport then. I had my boarding pass, been through bag check, passport control, yet now at the final stage I was turned away. It just didn’t - and still doesn’t - make sense."
The incident occurred on Sunday, August 6, and Peter said his wife and children were “in tears” and there were "two others" ushered out with him who were turned away for the "same issue" he had with his passport.
Peter only missed two days of the holiday and the journey cost him an extra £3,000 pounds on top of their already expensive trip.
The list of expenses (both ways) was:
Uber home from Airport: £60
Channel Tunnel Ticket (both ways): £574
Pence per mile (45p): £1,99