Home Travel & Adventure Calder Reports: EU Airports Rejecting 200 UK Tourists Daily

Calder Reports: EU Airports Rejecting 200 UK Tourists Daily


Simon Calder, travel correspondent at the Independent, claims that around 200 nationals of the United Kingdom are turned away at European Union airports daily, due to the bloc’s travel rules.

According to him, the number of British nationals unable to board a flight and go on their planned holidays due to such rules is around 100,000 yearly, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

Across the year you could easily find that there’s over 100,000 people who lose their holidays as a result of these rules.

Simon Calder, travel correspondent at the Independent

In order to avoid such things from happening, Calder has written to airlines, urging them to do more to raise awareness amongst British travellers on the rules of travel to the EU post-Brexit. The latter have told BBC that while they do provide reminders and links to their passengers, there is “no guarantee that potentially invalid passport details would be picked up in advance.”

Brits Remain Unaware of Passport Rules for Entering EU Over 4 Years Post-Brexit

After the UK left the EU on December 31, 2020, British citizens became third-country nationals to the EU, and as such, they are no longer eligible to benefit from passport-free entry, and other facilitated travel rules, like when they were EU citizens.

As third-country nationals, Britons must make sure their passports meet two important rules:

  • Their passports must be valid between three to six months beyond the date they plan to exit the EU.
  • Their passport must not be older than ten years on the date of planned departure from the EU.

Those whose passports do not meet these rules will not be permitted to board a flight by the airline staff. And in the rare cases when they might be permitted to board a flight, they will be turned away by the border officers upon arrival in the EU.

However, four years post-Brexit, many UK nationals remain unaware of these rules, and thus, suffer the consequences, losing not only their planned vacations, but often their money too.

According to the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS), UK nationals made 56.1 million trips to the EU countries in 2022, out of a total of 93.1 million trips.

Travellers Complain They Are Losing Money Due to Rules They Are Unaware of

A couple who was set to travel to Sofia, Bulgaria, to see German composer Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle, have been left unable to do so, after the husband’s passport was issued more than ten years before the date he planned to depart the EU.

As a result, the couple told BBC they have lost £3,000 as they could not get back the money paid for the flight tickets, car parking or opera tickets.

According to Calder, since it is the responsibility of the travellers to make sure their passport is valid for travel to the EU, they would not be covered by travel insurance or get the money back by the airlines.

It is always the passengers’ responsibility to make sure they are compliant.

Simon Calder, travel correspondent at the Independent

Brits Travelling to EU This Summer Urged to Check Their Passports & Renew Them on Time

The UK Home Office and travel experts have advised British nationals planning to spend their summer vacations in the EU, to check their passports’ validity now. In cases when their passports do not comply with the rules, travellers are advised to apply as soon as possible to renew them.

Currently, applying online for an adult passport is £82.50 and for those under 16 years old £53.30. The prices are set to increase to £88.50 and £57.50 respectively, starting from April 11, under government plans.

Hotspots like Portugal, Spain, and Greece are popular summer destinations for many Brits. Data show that roughly 43 million passengers travelled between Spain and the UK in 2023. Whereas more than 4.5 million travellers from the UK visited Greece.

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