A DAD was forced to pay £3,000 and drive 1,000 miles across Europe to join his family on holiday – after he fell victim to a passport rule catching many others out.
Peter Holt, 50, was turned away at the boarding gate for his flight to Croatia after being told his passport was out of date – despite it not expiring until next year.
Despite arriving for his flight with his wife Claire and sons Rocky, eight, and six-year-old-twins, Axel and Hunter, only he was not allowed to board.
Since 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 post-Brexit rules – which he had no idea about – brought this forward to July 2023.
Read more on passports
I was banned from my flight due to easy passport mistake – I lost £1,050
We were banned from our flight due to new travel rules – airlines should do more
Peter explained his wife and children were “in tears” as he was turned away and ushered out of the airport, on August 6.
He said there were "two others" ushered out with him who were turned away for the "same issue" he had with his passport.
Peter, from 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 at the final stage I was turned away.
Most read in News Travel
UK airline set to relaunch flights – six years after shutting down
I’m an air hostess… sneaky trick allows you to bring extra bag on plane for free
UK beach can only be reached through a tunnel – with golden sand & clear waters
Greek island only locals know – with beautiful beaches & Santorini-like houses
"It just didn’t – and still doesn’t – make sense."
Instead he drove 1,102 miles in his Mini Cooper from Gatwick through France, Germany, Austria, and Slovenia, before finally making it to Croatia.
He said: “I had looked in the Uber drive for passport assistant appointments, but the website was saying clearly that there were not any due to the strike action.
“That was when I came up with the idea to drive.
“I bought my ticket to pass through the Channel Tunnel and set off on my journey.
“The crazy thing is both the English and French border control teams at the crossing accepted my passport adding further mystery to the tale."
Peter drove around 500 miles on the first day of his journey stopping in Strasbourg, France at 10pm at a Hilton hotel.
He then drove the remaining 608 miles through Germany, Austria, and Slovenia in 12 hours to meet his family at their hotel in Pula at 8pm.
He ended up only missing two days of the trip and while he said the unexpected road trip was "beautiful," he's warning others not to make the same mistake.
The journey cost him an extra £3,000 pounds on top of their already expensive trip, due to the cost of the taxis to and from the airport (£60), the Channel Tunnel Ticker (£574), overnight hotel (£324) and nearly £2,000 in fuel costs.
He's warning others because despite the rule, he was able to book the flights, check in online, drop his bags and get his boarding pass before being alerted.
He said: "I am glad to have made it, but the situation was just so unnecessary."
“I just wish someone, be it easyJet or the UK Passport Office, would have let me know.”
Sun Online Travel has contacted easyJet for comment.
Read More on The Sun
Inside cushy jail where Lucy Letby ‘will die’ as she’s caged for life
Ollie Locke dad-shamed over newborn twins’ names after ‘scary’ premature birth
Earlier this year, teacher Rosie Simpson was banned from boarding her flight to Paris for a similar reason.
And Kirstie Hawes lost her £1,050 holiday to Majorca due to making the same mistake.
Source: Read Full Article