Ryanair staff refuse to let boy board Tenerife flight despite him having legal passport

Ryanair staff refuse to let boy board Tenerife flight despite him having legal passport

A boy was left in tears after Ryanair refused to let him board his flight to Tenerife despite having a legal passport.

Ryley McGuckin, 11, cried when staff at Prestwick Airport said his passport was invalid even though it still had four months on it.

The youngster’s travel document was issued in March 2017 and expires in September 2022.

Brexit rules on entering the EU state passports must be less than 10 years old and have at least three months’ validity left on the passenger’s return date. This means his passport is valid for use until June 31.

Ryanair staff told his mum Natasha Rae that her son’s passport was more than five years old – making it invalid in the EU.

Natasha told the Daily Record : “We arrived at the airport on Monday at 4am to check-in for the flight at 6am and the person at the desk said they had to phone ‘Ryanair immigration’.

Do you have a passport nightmare story? Email webnews@mirror.co.uk

The mum claims Ryanair staff her son’s passport was invalid
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AFP via Getty Images)

“After they got off the phone they said we weren’t able to fly because his passport was invalid and that it was against the law.

“We were absolutely devastated. Both of my sons were crying.

“Barry wasn’t old enough to understand and was absolutely distraught.

“Ryley was devastated because he thought it was all his fault we couldn’t go on holiday and he was apologising to his wee brother.”

The holiday was a Christmas gift from Natasha’s mum.

Natasha checked all of her family’s passports with the Passport Office and the FCDO before leaving.

The family were furious when Ryanair staff turned them away, so they decided to go to Edinburgh Airport to try their luck.

The family booked a package holiday to Tenerife through Jet2 after they splashed out an extra £600 on new flights.

Natasha claims Ryanair “made up” the child passport rule – and is seeking compensation from the airline for the stress and extra cost.

She added: “I doubt I’m going to be able to get my money back – I just don’t trust Ryanair at all now.

“It’s not like I just had £600 lying around for the Jet2 flights either. People save year-round for this.

“This is our first big family holiday since before the pandemic, and we were so excited.

“Ryanair has just made up its own rules. I will never fly with them again, ever.”

A spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said that anyone who is denied boarding with “no reasonable grounds” to do so is entitled to compensation.

Reimbursement should be sought from the airline first – then through an alternative dispute resolution scheme (ADR) if the carrier does not resolve the initial complaint.

The CAA did not say whether it was working with Ryanair to ensure its rules were in line with the law.

A statement from Ryanair to the Daily Record admitted the airline’s mistake and confirmed the family had been given a full refund for the unused flight.

It said: “Our Immigration Dept. have now clarified this case with the EU Commission and we now accept that our handling agents at Glasgow Prestwick Airport wrongly believe that this child’s passport was not valid for travel as they wrongly believed that a child’s passport must be no more than 5 years old on the date of travel, whereas in fact, all UK nationals travelling to the EU, regardless of age, must meet the same entry requirements for travel to the EU, which are:

“1. Passports must be issued within 10 years of the date of arrival into the EU.

“2. The passport must be valid for at least three months from the return date of travel from the EU unless the passenger has a Schengen issued Residence Permit or a Schengen long term visa.

“In light of this clear error on our part, we have written to his family and given them a full refund of GBP £313.79 cost of their unused flights and as a gesture of goodwill, we have also given them a travel voucher for another £315 which we hope they will use to book more Ryanair flights for the family in the very near future.

“We apologise sincerely for the error we made in this case and we have updated our briefing notes to all our airport handling agents to ensure this error does not recur.”

The Mirror contacted Ryanair for comment.

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