Published On: Mon, Apr 15th, 2024

Three surprising passport mistakes that will ruin your summer holiday | Travel News | Travel


Britain is just weeks away from peak holiday season – but there’s a host of lesser-known issues to be aware of at the airport’s Border Control. Most people know the rules regarding luggage allowance and check-in times pre-departure.

Even infrequent flyers will have made themselves aware of the must dos before reaching the airport. However, there are some lesser known passport rules that could scupper a summer jaunt and throw it into chaos.

People presenting scuffed up passports, or travellers who have nearly exceeded all the pages in their little booklets will need to check before setting off.

Express.co.uk breaks down each rule Border Force officials look at – with those who present beaten up passports running the risk of being turned away, and forfeiting their holiday altogether.

There is also a handy checklist for people whose passports may have seen better days.

Although each passport has an official expiry date, some countries won’t let people in when their passport is due to expire in the next three or six months. According to VisaGuide.World 70 countries have a six-month validity rule and 41 have a three-month validity rule.

This means that to be admitted into any of these nations, a passport needs to have at least six or three months left on it.

For those still carrying a red passport, rather than the newer blue passport, there is a good chance it may not have long left before it expires. If it’s due up within three or six months, there’s a chance the holiday destination may not accept it.

For anyone who is already abroad, and finds their passport will run out while not on British soil, this may pose a bigger problem. Individuals will need to contact the embassy or an emergency travel document to get back home.

Countries with six-month and three-month validity rules can be found .

Looking back over those stamps can often be an achievement for keen travellers – but if those pages are too crowded it could be a red flag issue at the airport.

For frequent flyers, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that a passport may be running out of pages that border officials can stamp. Those with red passports, which will be nearing the end of their lives, should especially make these checks.

Anyone not found not to have a page to stamp free in a passport may be denied entry. This doesn’t just apply to far flung regions of the world. Now the UK has left the EU, whenever British passengers enter the Schengen Area, they should have their passport stamped.

Reality star Vicky Pattison, 36, best known for being on hit TV show Geordie Shore was denied access to the flight she’d booked to Italy last week, after falling foul of this passport regulation.

The star took to social media to accuse airline easyJet of being the “destroyer of dreams”, however in a statement the carrier explained that her passport was too damaged to accept.

She claimed the damage occurred when her dog chewed a small corner of the passport. On the trip, Ms Pattison was meant to be planning her wedding to The Only Way is Essex star Ercan Ramadan.

She said on Instagram: “Thought we were off to see our wedding venue today, we were so excited.. I rushed back from Newcastle, packed at midnight last night and jumped into bed and got three hours sleep… But I didn’t mind because we were going for our menu tasting @ercan_ram.

“Only to have the @easyiet staff turn me away.. I’ve been travelling with my passport all year and no one’s said anything, but it’s definitely well travelled to be fair. Company policy is company policy and I get it, I’m just beyond gutted you know??”

She added: “My wedding planner, her assistant, my florist, everyone are all heading out… And I’m just heading home… to have a really good cry I think. All the wasted money, how hard it was for me to get the time off, how excited we were, how I’ve wasted everyone’s time.. I’m just really sad I think.”

So exactly what rule had Ms Pattison fallen foul of? The regulations state that you are not allowed to travel if your passport is damaged to the extent that its authenticity could be called into question.

Eight points are considered when looking at a damaged passport, according to mybritishpassport.com:

  • your personal details cannot be read easily or at all

  • the laminate portion on your name page has lifted so that it has the potential for a substitute photo to be inserted

  • there are signs of fading or discolouration on the passport’s name page

  • your passport is stained on any of its pages (e.g.. it has ink, makeup or chemical spills)

  • there are missing, torn, defaced or detached pages

  • the chip on the passport can be seen on the back cover

  • the passport chip shows signs of damage; and

  • any other damage that may prevent the passport from being a legible form of identification.



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