Johanne Morris and Chayce Pearson were banned from boarding the easyJet flight
A woman has told of how she and her autistic godson were allegedly banned from boarding their easyJet flight and escorted from the airport over a passport blunder.
Johanne Morris and nine-year-old Chayce Pearson were supposed to fly to Portugal. However, when they tried to board the plane, the staff told her that her passport was invalid due to post-Brexit travel rules in Europe.
Her passport was issued on July 9, 2012, and according to government travel laws, your passport must be “issued less than ten years before the date you enter the country” and “valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave”.
But Johanne claims that when she renewed her old passport back in 2012, she was given a month from the old one to the new one, meaning her passport expired on August 9, this year, reports The Mirror.
Due to that, and the fact she was travelling out on April 24, for a week, she did not meet the government’s required rules for travelling as her passport wasn’t valid for the three months after her trip.
This was because Johanne claimed they had been going off the older dates without the extension she said she had been granted.
Chayce was supposed to go to Portugal with his godmother
However, Johanne says she had already logged the information on her passport’s expiry date on the airline’s app, long before they were refused boarding.
She has now been left hundreds of pounds out of pocket and says she was left “embarrassed” over how staff treated them.
Johanne and Chayce stayed overnight at Gatwick to ensure they would have a smooth time getting to their 6.35am flight to Portugal.
After heading through security and scanning their boarding passes, it was not until right up at the boarding gates that they ran into every problem.
Johanne, from Romford, London, said: “I was asked to scan my boarding pass on the machine which I did, it then showed a notification stating unable to fly in red writing.
“The lady then asked me for my passport which I was happy to provide but still was confused about what was happening as she didn’t explain to me why she needed my passport or why that message popped up after I had scanned my boarding pass.”
Johanne was then told she could not board.
She described being “in a state of confusion and shock” as she was told there was nothing she could do about it.
She claims she was then told to walk back through the airport alone to an information desk, but given no help getting there.
It was only after they got help from the special assistance desk that they made it there.
Once there, she claims they found it unmanned so she called the easyJet helpline and says she was told if she wanted a refund she would have to go through her travel insurance.
Johanne said she and her godson were then left waiting for over an hour at the desk before a member of staff approached them.
Johanne claimed the worker shouted at them from a distance asking if they were the ones waiting to be escorted out.
The youngster was left badly affected by the incident and had to take days off school
Johanne said: “We were treated like criminals being escorted through the airport.
“Every so often the member of staff would let people know as we were walking through that we didn’t make it to Portugal.
“I found this to be very upsetting and left us in a state of embarrassment.”
Johanne added: “I found it to be quite embarrassing because of how we were treated and Chayce not knowing we were not going on the plane as well made it so difficult.
“We were both up from about three o’clock. It’s how we were treated. It’s the whole ordeal and how we were treated.”
When she rang up easyJet, they told her she could be refunded the £16 taxes but nothing more.
She had forked out £260.28 for their travels in total as well as paying for a Covid test at Gatwick and a private car transfer in Portugal, all of which she now has lost for nothing.
A spokesperson for easyJet said: “easyJet follows current government rules on passport validity, as set out by governments where we operate.
“As Ms Morris’ passport was unfortunately not valid for her flight, we were unable to allow her to travel on this occasion.
“We remind customers during booking and before they travel via email to ensure they are aware of the travel requirements for the destination they are flying to and it is customers’ responsibility to ensure they have the correct valid documentation for travel.
“We are sorry to hear about Ms Morris’ experience when leaving the airport and we are looking into this with our ground handling provider and the airport.”