Thursday, May 12, 2022

Federal Foreign Office changes information on passport rules for EU travel

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The Federal Foreign Office has finally changed its recommendation on passport validity for travel to the EU after dozens of air passengers were incorrectly told they could not fly.

Officials have changed the wording of the travel advice to bring it in line with the European Commission.

It comes after LatestPageNews reported on the plight of passengers who were wrongly turned away by airlines because of the check-in discrepancy.

The notice for Spain has been amended to advise travelers from the UK that their passport:

The information on France, Italy and other EU and other Schengen destinations is expected to be updated shortly.

Previously, the FCDO travel advice for countries in the European Union and Schengen area contained the misleading statement: “Some Schengen countries may require your passport to be less than 10 years old throughout your visit and the three months at the end of your visit may be within 10 years of the date of issue of your passport.”

LatestPageNews did its own research and received official confirmation letters from the European Commission last November.

On 10 November 2021, the correspondence was forwarded to the Foreign Office with a request “to ensure that all communications from the UK Government recognize the correct position of the European Union”.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “FCDO travel advice is under constant review to ensure British travelers are aware of the risks and have accurate information to help them plan their trip.

“We welcome that the European Commission is now updating its guidance on its rules affecting some UK passports.”

The ambivalence in the British government’s position has caused widespread confusion and despair.

It has also put additional pressure on HM Passport Office as many travelers seek early renewals of passports that were perfectly valid for travel to Europe.

Airlines such as easyJet and Ryanair have previously used the Foreign Office’s travel advice as a reason to refuse boarding to fully eligible passengers. All major airlines are now aligned with European Commission regulations; Ryanair was the last to adapt.

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