Easyjet U-turn on passport validity wrangle

Easyjet, a low-cost air carrier with headquarters in Luton, UK, has said that it will not now turn away passengers travelling to Cyprus if their passports are valid for less than three months, according to a report in the Daily Mail newspaper.

The airline had said that passengers flying to the destinations of Larnaca and Paphos on the Mediterranean holiday island risked being turned away if their passports did not have at least three months validity remaining. The airline took this stance despite the fact that the border authorities of both the UK and Cyprus insisted that such passports are still valid, and the official EU regulation states that passports are valid for travel up until their stated expiry date.

One passenger that fell foul of the airline’s stance was Jonathan Rickard, a charity executive aged 32. He was turned away from the flight to Cyprus that he was about to board to attend a wedding because his passport only had eight weeks until expiry. He told The Independent newspaper, ‘I felt gobsmacked that I was being forced to walk away from a holiday I had planned for months.’

The airline also refused to refund the cost of his ticket, which was almost £300.

However, since the MailOnline took up the story, Easyjet have had a change of heart and admitted that the imposition of the rule was an error on their part. Passengers to Cyprus will now be able to board aircraft with less than three months remaining on their passports, and a spokesman for the airline was quoted by the Daily Mail, saying, ‘Unfortunately easyJet made an error in Mr Rickard’s case and so would like to apologise that he was unable to travel. We will be contacting the passenger directly to remedy the situation.’