Save On Travel and Hotels Shop All Deals Now! Vrbo

‘Sorry, you can’t board, off you pop’: Traveller reveals how he was caught out by a post-Brexit passport rule and stopped from flying at the departure gate

A British traveller has revealed how he was prevented from boarding a flight to France – because of a new post-Brexit passport regulation.

The journey through the airport for Nathan Barnes, who was travelling with his fiancé to visit family in Limoges, was normal enough to begin with. Having checked in online for the flights, he made his way through security without any hiccups.

But the 31-year-old paramedic from Norwich was stopped at the departure gate and told that because his passport was more than 10 years old – despite not having expired yet – he could not fly. 

‘They were very matter of fact about it. They just said, “Sorry, you can’t board, off you pop,”‘ Nathan told the BBC. ‘I was gutted, surprised really. We had checked in online and thought it was fine.’

The pernickety ’10-year rule’ has been brought in since Britain left the EU – and Nathan isn’t the only one who has fallen victim to it. Here, we’ve explained everything you need to know about this and other surprising passport regulations. Plus, you’ll find some handy travel tips on paying less for renewals and how to avoid scams.


When travelling to the EU, British holidaymakers should be aware of the ’10-year rule’, and pay close attention to their passport’s issue date and expiry date

When travelling to the EU, a 10-year British passport is only valid for entry for exactly 10 years after the date of issue, regardless of the date of expiry.

Before September 2018, passport holders could have up to nine months added to their passport expiry date if they renewed their 10-year passport early. Post-Brexit, however, although the official validity of your passport may be beyond 10 years, the EU does not recognise these extra months if your passport is older than 10 years on the date that you enter the EU. On top of this, you must also have at least three months’ validity on your passport beyond the date you intend to leave the EU’s free-movement Schengen territory.

This means visitors must pay careful attention to the issue date and the expiry date.

For example, if you enter the EU from the UK on April 1, 2024, and return on April 5, 2024, you must have a passport issued less than 10 years before April 1, and that’s valid for at least three months after April 5.

To make sure you aren’t caught out, and for further details on EU passport rules, search for ‘documents you need for travel in Europe’ at or visit


Some holidaymakers have been unable to board their flights and trains due to confusion over EU passport rules  

Always check the specific entry requirements for the country you are visiting on the website before travelling – the rules around passport validity vary from country to country.

For instance, while most countries such as Australia, Canada and the USA just need your passport to be valid for the length of your stay, other countries such as China, Thailand, Egypt and Turkey need at least six months. As previously mentioned, you will need at least three months’ validity on your passport from the intended day of departure from the EU.


If your passport is filling up with stamps and there’s hardly any space left, you need to renew it – even if you’ve got several years left on it. This is because some countries can be fussy about passports with filled pages. For instance, Italy and South Africa require at least two full blank pages.


Travellers can apply online or by post to renew their passport – it can take up to three weeks to arrive 

There’s one simple way to save money when renewing your passport – apply for it online rather than post.

The current fee for a standard online application made from within the UK is £82.50 for adults and £53.50 for children. Postal applications, meanwhile, are £93 for adults and £64 for children. In general, how you choose to renew your passport could end up costing a family of four £40 more than it should.

However, in April, the cost is due to increase. A standard online application made from within the UK is due to rise to £88.50 for adults and £57.50 for children, while a standard postal application is due to increase to £100 for adults and £69 for children.

These price changes are still subject to parliamentary approval, but if given the green light, they’ll come into force from April 11.


Your passport will usually be issued within three weeks if you are applying within the UK, but customers are advised to apply in good time before travelling, according to

While it could take longer than three weeks, if the passport office needs more information, customers will be notified within these three weeks.


If travellers are short on time, there are two ways to apply for an urgent passport 

There are two ways to apply for an urgent passport. The first is the ‘one-day Premium’ service, in which customers will be asked to book an appointment at their nearest passport office, apply and pay online. They will get their new passport at their appointment.

The second is the one-week’ fast track’ service, customers can book an appointment at their nearest passport office, apply and pay online, and a new passport is delivered to their home within the subsequent seven days, excluding bank holidays. You must act quickly, however, as passport office appointment slots – each lasting around 10 minutes – are snapped up quickly.

The one-day premium service will set you back £193.50 for an adult passport, while the one-week fast track service costs £155 for an adult passport.

If you need a passport to travel urgently for healthcare or because a loved one is seriously ill or has died, it’s recommended that you call the ‘Passport Adviceline’ instead.


In April last year, holidaymakers were warned to look out for fraudsters exploiting passport delays caused by industrial action by UK Passport Office workers by offering bogus ‘fast-track’ services.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) warned that scammers were using increasingly sophisticated and convincing methods to trick travellers into paying for non-existent services.

The CTSI said it had seen a number of texts and emails offering speedy passport renewals, warning that victims could lose personal data to fraudsters as well as money.

CTSI chief executive John Herriman said: ‘As always, scammers are quick to leap on any opportunity to take advantage of uncertainty and upheaval. The exploitation of delays brought about by Passport Office strikes is just the latest example of scammers preying on people’s vulnerability.’

Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel, said: ‘Since we left the EU, the passport validity rules for UK citizens travelling to the EU and Schengen area have changed, and unfortunately a lot of people are getting caught out – sometimes even at the departure gate.

‘If you are in the process of booking a holiday, or are due to travel soon, make sure you check your passport as soon as possible, as there are two rules you need to bear in mind. You must have at least three months left on your passport when you plan to leave the EU, and crucially, when you enter, your passport must have been issued in the past ten years.

‘If you get caught out when you’re due to fly your options are sadly very limited, and it could prove to be a costly mistake, as travel insurance won’t cover you. If you realise shortly before your departure date, you might be able to get a last-minute priority passport appointment – but these are expensive, and there’s no guarantee your local office will have availability. You’ll also need to consider the costs of rebooking flights, and potentially accommodation and car hire as well.’

Source link

CHECK OUT: Top Travel Destinations

READ MORE: Travel News

About the author: Travel News

Related Posts

Sightseeing Pass TripAdvisor