A family has been given a credit voucher for the full cost of a Norwegian fjords cruise after the mum was unable to travel due to her passport being more than 10 years old.
Fleur Capito was stopped from boarding P&O Cruises’ Iona even though her passport had more than eight months left until it expired.
That’s because under EU law, passports issued to travellers from outside the bloc must not be more than 10 years’ old when they enter the EU.
Since Brexit, travellers from the UK are obliged to comply with the same rules as other non-EU countries, but Fleur told the Bournemouth Echo that the issue with her passport had not been flagged by her agent Hays Travel.
Also, P&O Cruises had allowed her to check in for her cruise online in the days leading up to the trip.
Fleur was only told there was an issue with the passport after the family had dropped off their bags and went to pick up the cruise cards.
However, P&O Cruises confirmed to Travel Gossip that it has given her a credit for the full amount of £3,796 and it has fully refunded the £692 pre-paid drinks package.
Fleur had originally booked the cruise for herself, her husband and her 10-year-old twins in 2019, but it was cancelled and rebooked twice due to the pandemic.
She told the Echo: “We booked through an agency, and in my eyes, an agent has a duty of care to its customers to check their passports and visas.
“To me, it felt like once they’ve got my money, there was no communication whatsoever. There was no offer of any additional assistance apart from to try and sell us more stuff, such as currency.
“I do accept that it’s our responsibility ultimately, but we were given no advice whatsoever.”
She admitted that EU regulations were mentioned in the booking terms and conditions but complained that there was no extra guidance.
Hays Travel told the Echo: “While we can provide general information about travel documents, specific passport and visa requirements are the customer’s own responsibility – which is set out in our terms and conditions.
“We always advise customers to check their passport will be valid for travel and if not to renew at the earliest opportunity.”
Read more: What are the new EU passport rules?