New Year Tenerife Holiday Dashed By Brexit Passport Rules

A British woman has told of her frustration after being removed from a flight to Tenerife and having her New Year’s Eve “ruined” over a little-known change to post-Brexit passport rules.

Aya Shillingford, 36, is reported to be “devastated” after staff escorted her from her Jet2 flight to the island on Thursday 30th December as her passport had been issued over ten years ago – meaning she could not travel to the EU under new post-Brexit guidelines.

She now faces losing nearly £2,000 after being forced to cancel the holiday at the last minute.

The Jet2 official said she could not fly to the EU as her passport had been issued more than ten years ago – despite not having reached the expiry date.

While the UK was in the European Union, British passports were valid up to and until the date of expiry. Many passports issued in the UK last up to 10 years and 9 months due to the Government’s policy of allowing “unspent” time for the renewal process.

But after the end of the post-Brexit transition period, British passport holders are now regarded as “third country nationals,” and for travel to the EU, UK passports must “be less than 10 years old on the day you enter” and “must be valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave.”

A spokesperson for Jet2 is reported to have told the UK Evening Standard newspaper: “We always follow Government advice relating to passport validity and we remind customers to check the validity of their passport in our pre-departure communications.

“We also point them to our Travel Requirements page on our website, where they can find more information on how to ensure that their passport is valid for travel and in line with Government advice.

“Unfortunately, Ms Shillingford’s passport was not valid for travel, and our teams noticed this before boarding. We would like to apologise to Ms Shillingford for this experience.”