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Couple's £1,800 Benidorm holiday ruined after being refused boarding on TUI flight

NewsCouple's £1,800 Benidorm holiday ruined after being refused boarding on TUI flight

A couple has been left hundreds of pounds out of pocket after being refused entry to their flight to Benidorm – due to having less than a year left on their passports.

Penny and Dug Priestly travelled to East Midlands Airport ready for a 10-day holiday in Spain after spending £1,800 on a TUI package hotel.

Upon arrival at the airport, however, they were told due to them not having a year left on their passports that TUI was unable to fly them to their destination. 

Speaking to NottinghamshireLive, Penny said:  “We just turned up and were waiting an hour in the queue, I think we were about fourth from last and the girl on the checkout said to the other girl, can you check those dates.

“She checked and said no they can’t fly. Then a bloke came over, a supervisor or something, and he said our only alternative is to go to Jet2 and ask them if we can fly.”

Read More: ‘Untapped European destination’ is a ‘low-cost’ summer holiday

The couple’s passports are both due to expire in February 2024, nine months after their planned flight in May.  

Penny says the pair have flown with TUI before and had never come across the airline’s policy that passengers must have a minimum of a year left on their passports. 

The 59-year-old also said they were still able to fly with other airlines.

After being refused by TUI they went to Jet2, who it was suggested that they could fly out with, but then return on their initial flights with TUI, but they claim TUI wouldn’t allow this.

They claim TUI staff at the airport told them if they had gone days earlier they would have been OK, saying: “They said if we had gone on Saturday we would have been alright.” 

The Saturday would have been May 13, and the ten-year mark from when the couple’s passports were issued.

Penny said: “We paid another £860 and Jet2 looked into it and said we could go back with them and just fly one way with them, but then a supervisor came over. He also said we would lose the hotel if my husband didn’t ring up, so we had to ring the hotel up and tell them we were coming a day later.”

Jet2 couldn’t fly the couple until the next day and they returned home to wait.  Penny said Dug had visited the TUI store and explained the situation – and was told they would have ‘been alright’ if they had travelled on Saturday. 

The couple say they “didn’t know” about TUI’s policy and that they were not informed about it and it was not made clear to them at any stage, as most other airlines will let passengers fly as long as they have at least six months on their passports.

Penny said they would “never ever” fly with TUI again. She added: “We will always use Jet 2 now or Ryanair, or even easyJet – they could fly us as well.”

The couple eventually managed to go on holiday at a later date with Jet2 for £860 and they were not able to be refunded the TUI flights or transfers as it was a package flight.

A TUI spokesperson said:  “We’re sorry that Mr Priestly was unable to fly with TUI as planned as his passport did not meet the required government passport guidelines.

“Government rules state that for customers travelling to certain EU countries, passports must be issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country and must also be valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave. We strongly advise that our customers check their passports are up to date before booking any flights.

“Details of passport validity guidelines can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice”

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