Man with valid passport refused boarding on BA flight to wedding

British Airways said it was a 'one-off mistake'

Updated: 
Man with valid passport refused boarding on BA flight to wedding

A father-of-two was barred from travelling to a wedding in France after British Airways mistakenly said his passport wasn't valid.

To make matters worse, Toby Keen, 48, from Oxfordshire, said he then received a letter saying it was his fault he missed the flight.

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Mr Keen had arrived at London Heathrow with his wife and two children en route to the wedding in Nice over the August bank holiday.

However, his family had to travel without him after a BA staff member allegedly told him he couldn't travel because his passport had less than three months to run, reports the Telegraph.

Mr Keen had to travel to the Passport Office in central London to get a new passport.

While at the office, he was told that his passport was actually valid for travel to France.

He had to pay £210 for a later flight to Nice.

Mr Keen received a letter from BA that read: "As the passport you attempted to travel with was the old style, it must be valid for three months beyond the period of intended stay.

"When travelling with the new biometric passport, it must only be valid on arrival. As you travelled with the old style passport and it wasn't valid for three months after your stay in Nice, we're unable to accept your claim for expenses.

"Sorry if you weren't aware of this, but carrying the correct documentation to travel is the passenger's responsibility."

However, this is not the case. British citizens travelling to the EU don't need any additional period of validity on their passports beyond the length of their stay, according to the Foreign Office.

A spokesperson for British Airways told the Independent: "This appears to have been a one-off mistake made by a member of staff and then accidentally and wrongly reiterated.

"There is nothing to suggest that anyone else has received such communication."

The spokesman added that they would contact Mr Keen to resolve the situation.


World's best airlines 2016 (Skytrax)

World's best airlines 2016 (Skytrax)