Devizes-based Bridget Johnstone had been due to fly from London to Verona with her husband Stephen for a luxurious business trip on Wednesday, September 13.
The pair were looking forward to their first trip since the pandemic and hoped to get a contract to import stone.
But budget airline easyJet could not let Mrs Johnstone fly because her passport was more than ten years old, even though it does not expire until April 2024.
Post-Brexit EU requirements mean entry rules for Brits have tightened and travellers cannot enter the area with a passport issued more than ten years before the departure date.
This rule has caught out many holidaymakers and threw the pair’s two-night trip into chaos.
“The more I think about it, the angrier I feel because it’s a really confusing and distressing position to be put in, never mind the financial implications and loss of time.
“I’m just really upset that we’ve bought the tickets, put in all our details, and there is nothing to flag up the new European laws.”
While Mr Johnstone continued to sunny Italy as planned, his wife faced the gruelling return leg of a 12-hour round trip, which saw her navigate a coach, a taxi and a train.
She added: “By the time I crossed my own threshold in Devizes, my husband had landed, booked into his hotel in Verona, had begun exploring Lazise and was sat with a cold beer and a dinner of spaghetti with clams.”
The couple have now been left out of pocket after spending almost £500 on non-refundable tickets.
But Mrs Johnstone fears the rules will impact others, who may be going on bigger trips, even more.
The 61-year-old added: “This is ruining people’s holidays, it was an important business trip for us but that’s small fry compared to some people.
“Others could be on their family holiday and have their children with them, or even going to get married, there’s nothing to tell them to stop before their money is taken.
“Not many people go on holiday a lot, it’s happening to everyday people who just want to get away and it’s really unfair.”
The couple are now determined to raise awareness of the new rules and have urged airline companies such as easyJet to put measures in place to prevent similar incidents.
Mrs Johnstone said: “I get that it’s our responsibility to check the rules but there is nothing in place to mitigate anyone’s loss.
“They have a duty of care to their customers because they must know it’s happening.
“I can take it on the chin but it shouldn’t continue because they’re letting people part with their money and even once more would be too much.”
EasyJet insisted that customers are always reminded to check travel requirements before booking.
A spokeswoman for the airline said: “Unfortunately Mrs Johnstone was unable to fly to Verona due to her passport not meeting current validity rules.
“We follow the advice of the UK Home Office as well as all of the 35 plus countries we fly to, which can have differing requirements for passport validity.
“We always remind customers during booking, on the website, and before they travel via email to ensure they are aware of the requirements for the destination they are flying to. It is customers’ responsibility to ensure they have the correct, valid documentation for travel.”
#Woman #turned #airport #Brexit #passport #rule