Changes to passport expiry rules that came into effect in January as a result of Brexit are now causing confusion among holidaymakers, according to agents’ reports.
As a result of the UK leaving the EU, British passport holders travelling to the bloc must have at least three months left on their passports, which must have been issued within the last 10 years.
Many travellers who renewed passports before their previous one expired were given extra months beyond the 10-year expiry date to cover the period between when they renewed and the expiry date of their old passport. Those extra months may not be valid because of Brexit changes.
The problem at present can typcially affect holders of passports issued in 2011 and early 2012.
The government offers a service where travellers can check the validity of their passport by country.
Some travellers have reportedly been denied boarding flights following the changes.
Agents said the confusion was another reason to book with a trusted travel professional.
Graeme Brett, owner of Westoe Travel, said: “We always see people’s passports before they book, so we are picking it up. People who are booking direct or online are not being asked or are putting in the wrong expiry date. It is a great opportunity for the trade to promote booking with an agent.”
President of Barrhead Travel, Jacqueline Dobson said: “With much of the focus on the pandemic, there has been little public discussion surrounding the aftermath of Brexit and the real impact this has on European travel.
“Work needs to be done to effectively communicate exactly what Brexit means and what actions should be taken.
“This issue further underlines just how important it is for customers to use a reputable travel professional.”
Dobson said Barrhead had done “a lot of work” to help customers interpret the advice and prompt them to check passports. “The majority were unaware passport rules had changed,” she added.
Abta has information on its website and highlighted the changes to consumers before Brexit.
A spokesman said: “It is not a surprise some people have been caught out by this. It shows again the benefits of using a travel agent or booking a package.”