British Airways has apologised after an elderly woman lost half of her holiday after staff mistakenly said she couldn’t travel on her passport.
The Independent reports that 82-year-old Hazel Little was denied boarding by staff at the BA check-in desk at Southampton, who said there needed to be three months between the return date and the 10-year anniversary of the passport.
She was travelling for a two-week holiday with her daughter, Juliet, to Majorca on 26 August. Juliet decided to go ahead and travel as she was worried she’d be at risk of losing the full cost of her holiday if she voluntarily remained behind, so her mum was collected from the airport by her sister.
Hazel then travelled more than 100 miles from her home in Winchester to the nearest Passport Office with a fast-track appointment, at Newport in South Wales.
She flew out a week later and arrived at the hotel having missed more than half of the holiday and £567 out of pocket after securing the new passport.
Juliet told the Independent: “Through this initial error, and no fault of our own, Mum has missed a week of her holiday and incurred additional expenses.
“As an 82-year-old lady, she had to face travelling on her own for the first time and negotiating a very busy Palma airport on a Saturday.
“I too feel aggrieved as although I have been on a two-week holiday, the first week was spent on my own – not something I would ever choose to do, and I didn’t feel comfortable being forced into it.
“During that first week, a good deal of my time was spent trying to figure out, from a distance, how we could get Mum to the Passport Office and back and finally out to Majorca.”
She said they then spent the second week trying to get an answer from BA and package provider TUI as to whether Hazel would be able to fly back to the UK, as she was a ‘no show’ on the original outbound flight and they were worried her seat had been cancelled.
“Over six days, in the second week alone, we visited the reps eight times, and finally only got the confirmation when we called a TUI number back in the UK,” Juliet said.
A spokesperson for British Airways told the Independent: “We’re very sorry for our customer’s experience and our teams will be in touch to apologise and resolve the matter.”