A father has had to pay £3,000 and travel 1,000 miles across Europe to take his family on holiday – after falling victim to a passport rule that caught many others.
Peter Holt, 50, was turned away at the gate for his flight to Croatia after being told his passport was out of date – even though it had only just expiredYear.
Although he arrived for his flight with his wife Claire and sons Rocky, eight, and six-year-old twins Axel and Hunter, he was the only one not allowed to board.
Since 2021, UK passport holders traveling to an EU country will be refused entry ten years after their passport is issued – even if there are months left.
Peter received his passport in July 2013 and was able to take unexpired months with him, so the passport expires in March 2024.
But the post-Brexit rules – which he had no idea about – brought that forward to July 2023.
Peter said his wife and children were “in tears” when he was turned away and escorted out of the airport on August 6.
He said “two others” were brought out with him who had been turned away because of “the same problem” with his passport.
Peter, from Surrey, said: “I was annoyed. We had booked.”in February, and there was no mention of a passport problem at the time.
“I had my boarding pass, went through baggage control and passport control, but was turned away at the last step.
“It just didn’t make sense — and still doesn’t make sense.”
Instead, he drove his car 1,102 milesCooper from Gatwick to , , and Slovenia before finally making its way to Croatia.
He said: “I had checked Uber for appointments for passport assistants but the website clearly said there were none due to the strike action.
“That’s when I got the idea of driving a car.
“I bought my ticket to go through the Eurotunnel and went on my way.
“The crazy thing is that both the English and French border control teams accepted my passport at the border crossing, which makes the story even more puzzling.”
Peter drove around 500 miles on the first day of his trip and stopped at a Hilton hotel in Strasbourg, France, at 10pm.
He then drove the remaining 608 miles in 12 hours through Germany, Austria and Slovenia to meet his family at their hotel in Pula at 8pm.
He ended up missing just two days of the trip, and while he said the unexpected road trip was “beautiful,” he warns others not to make the same mistake.
The trip cost him an additional £3,000 on top of their already expensive trip due to the cost of taxis to and from the airport (£60), Channel Tunnel ticker (£574), overnight hotel (£324) etc. Almost £2,000 in fuel costs .
He is warning others because, despite the rule, he was able to book the flights, check in online, check in his bags and get his boarding pass before being notified.
He said: “I’m glad I made it, but the situation was just so unnecessary.”
“I just wish someone, be it easyJet or the UK passport office, would have let me know.”
Sun Online Travel has reached out to easyJet for comment.
Earlier this year, teacher Rosie Simpson was barred from boarding her flight to Paris for a similar reason.
And Kirstie Hawes lost her £1,050 holiday to Mallorca because she made the same mistake.