Airport ground handler to review training after staff blocked elderly woman from travelling

Easyjet denied boarding
By Linsey McNeill
29/09/2023
Home » Airport ground handler to review training after staff blocked elderly woman from travelling

Swissport is to review its training material after its check-in staff prevented an 82-year-old passenger from boarding a British Airways flight because they wrongly believed her passport to be invalid.

BA has since apologised to Hazel Little, who missed half of her holiday with her daughter in Majorca because the check-in staff at Southampton Airport misunderstood passport rules introduced when the UK left the European Union.

Mrs Little’s daughter Juliet told The Independent one member of the Swissport team even Googled the rules and told them that, based on their online research, the airline could be fined if they allowed her to travel.

They wrongly believed that a UK passport must be no more than nine years and nine months old for travel to the EU, which is not the case. Under EU rules, passports for non-EU citizens must be no more than 10 years old to enter the EU and, separately, they must have at least three months to their expiry date when they intend to leave.

Swissport, which provides check in services to BA and numerous other airlines at 20 UK airports, is investigating the incident.

In a statement, it said: “We are sorry to hear about Hazel and Julie’s [sic] experience and the impact it had on their holiday.

“We are looking into the specific circumstances of what has happened here and in the meantime are conducting a thorough review of relevant training materials.”

Share this article

Latest News

Loading