Traveler misses $1,300 vacation due to unclear passport requirements

She couldn’t inspire it.

A British woman broke down in tears at a Greater London airport when authorities told her she was prevented from joining her $1,300 all-inclusive holiday to Mallorca, Spain, due to strict and little-known European Union passport requirements ) could compete. SWNS reports.

Before Brexit began in 2020, UK passport holders could travel anywhere in the EU before their passport expired. Now Brits who want to visit Europe need a passport issued within the last 10 years.

It was unfortunate news for 28-year-old Kirsty Hawes, whose passport was issued on August 15, 2013 – ten years and a day before she was due to depart on August 16, 2023.

“They took our passports and said you couldn’t fly,” Hawes told SWNS, which reported her passport had another seven months to expire. “I thought it was a joke.”

Photo of a smiling woman.
Kirsty Hawes was “distraught” when a passport rule prevented her from going on holiday.
Courtesy of Kirsty Hawes/SWNS

Hawes was “distraught” as she had been looking forward to the holiday her best friend had booked for them both in April.

The friend allegedly provided his passport numbers and expiry dates on the booking form – but not the date of issue.

Hawes said she tried to get an emergency passport to rectify the situation, but the first appointments weren’t until two weeks later.

She said she had “no idea” about this rule before traveling.

She claims her tourism company TUI would not issue a refund because the “terms and conditions… were at the bottom of the email, not easy to find and in fine print”.

SWNS has reached out to TUI for comment.

Photo of a packed luggage.
Hawes said she was left “crying” at the airport.
Courtesy of Kirsty Hawes/SWNS

“I panicked and burst into tears,” Hawes told SWNS. “It was the one thing I looked forward to all year.”

It was meant to be a celebration of a promotion she received at work after a challenging few months during which several friends and family members broke up and died.

Hawes said she can’t afford another vacation and warns others to read the fine print before going on vacation.

“Tour operators have to put the passport issue date on their websites during booking and check-in so the issue is raised and people aren’t stuck at the airport screaming their eyes out,” Hawes said.

US travelers trying to visit European Union countries, meanwhile, will soon face new rules.

Beginning in 2024, US visitors will be required to obtain pre-approval through the European Travel Information and Authorization System for 30 European countries including Greece, France and Spain.

The application costs about $8. Travel documents and other information such as educational level and criminal record are required.

The permit is valid for up to three years or until the visitor’s passport expires.

Caroline Bleakley

Caroline Bleakley is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Caroline Bleakley joined USTimeToday in 2022 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Caroline Bleakley by emailing

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