Passports, Bali and jabs: Simon Calder answers your pressing travel questions

The journey correspondent of The Unbiased was final seen boarding an Avanti West Coast practice from London Euston, shortly earlier than the West Coast major line slipped right into a vortex of perplexity as a consequence of a signalling failure at Crewe.

However earlier than communication was misplaced, Simon Calder had time to deal with your urgent journey questions.

Double passports?

Q: My passport runs out in September, and I clearly want to use for a brand new one. However whereas I’m ready for the brand new one, can I journey on my present passport?

Kim F

A: The quick reply is not any: assuming you’ll apply on-line (which, these troublesome days, is the one approach I like to recommend to resume a UK passport), then you’ll be requested to publish in your present passport. At which level you might be grounded and might do little greater than hope for the very best.

The perils of passport renewal are haunting many individuals in the mean time: HM Passport Workplace says it’s worthwhile to permit 10 weeks even for a easy substitute. For many who journey overseas steadily – whether or not on vacation, for household visits, on enterprise or a mixture – that instantly presents an issue. Easy renewals are typically taking three weeks or much less, however that can not be relied upon. Individuals who journey steadily are in a really troublesome place (one in 70 passport purposes are presently failing to make it again throughout the 10-week goal). Quick-track and same-day appointments are extraordinarily scarce.

If you really want to have a passport accessible always, then it’s legally attainable – with supporting proof – to acquire a second one. Proper now, with a lot uncertainty concerning the time it should take, that appears a wise method to proceed. The best method to show your want for a second passport is an evidence out of your employer as to why you want it.

One query I ought to ask: does your passport actually run out in September? Some individuals have been fooled by false assertions that UK passports expire precisely 10 years after their situation date. Whereas a few of them do, many don’t. What’s right is that since Brexit, British travellers are handled by the EU as “third nation nationals” – that means that you simply can’t enter with a passport that has had its tenth birthday.

System failure

Q: I utilized for my daughter’s first passport practically 10 weeks in the past, and we’re as a consequence of go on vacation on 3 June. I can cancel our lodging and transfers a couple of days earlier than departure, however the place do I stand on flights? If the passport isn’t returned in time, how can I get my a reimbursement?


A: 1. As soon as 10 weeks has elapsed, you may instantly demand escalation from the Passport Recommendation Line, and hopefully the passport will arrive.

2 If you happen to nonetheless don’t get the passport, and it’s demonstrably the fault of HM Passport Workplace, then it is best to be capable to recoup your misplaced prices.

Euro guidelines

Q: Travelling 28 Could 2022 to Spain returning 4 July. Passport issued 5 July 2022 and expires 5 April 23. Are you able to affirm that is OK?

Becky 21

A: The situations for entry of a British passport holder to the EU (and wider Schengen Space, together with Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) are these:

  • Difficulty date lower than 10 years in the past on day of entry to EU.
  • Expiry date at the very least three months away on meant day of return.

So in fact you may journey. The restrict to be used of your passport is: journey out by 4 July 2022, and keep as much as 90 days (because of a special European Union rule that we requested to be utilized to us), which might take you to the beginning of October.

Your passport will then proceed to be legitimate for a lot of different nations as much as and together with its expiry date.

Speaking Turkey

Q: I’m off to Turkey in 2 August 2022 for 2 weeks. My passport was issued on 21 January 2013 and expires on 21 February 2023.

Does the “10 yr rule” on passport validity apply to Turkey? In that case I might solely have 5 months remaining, Are you able to make clear?

A: No nation exterior the European Union (and wider Schengen space, together with Iceland, Norway and Switzerland however definitely not Turkey) cares concerning the situation date of a passport. You possibly can journey to Turkey as much as 21 August 2022, so you’ll be simply high-quality. Have an important journey.

The preposterous notion that passports expire after 10 years is is likely one of the 10 myths that I’ve written about for The Unbiased.

I’m actually involved concerning the damaging misinformation that seems on social media, and (I’m sorry to say) mainstream media and from components of the journey business. Not solely does it trigger stress for a lot of potential travellers – by persuading individuals to resume passports once they don’t have to, it will increase danger. A renewal would possibly get caught within the system, and any pointless renewals add to the strain on HM Passport Workplace.

Midwest distress

Q: Desperately need assistance. My 18-year-old daughter began college in Pittsburgh. Attributable to Covid she needed to journey alone. We booked a BA via ticket from London Heathrow to Pittsburgh with AA choosing up the flight from Chicago to Pittsburgh. As soon as on the gate to board the airplane from Chicago to Pittsburgh the flight was cancelled.

She was placed on standby for subsequent flight. She didn’t get to go on subsequent flight as a result of a platinum ticket holder took her place and he or she was placed on standby for subsequent flight which was the next day. We tried to get lodging however as a result of she was below the age of 21 years she couldn’t guide a room. She was left stranded and needed to sleep on the terminal ground with us watching her all night time on Facetime.

BA mentioned it’s nothing to do with them and AA say it was cancelled as a consequence of climate (though a flight later that night did go however she wasn’t provided a seat). My daughter’s security was put in danger. Who needs to be coping with my criticism.

Title equipped

A: Actually sorry to listen to this. As a result of this situation was the duty of American Airways, I urge you to contact the service’s customer support division to ask for an evidence. If that doesn’t produce an appropriate response, strive British Airways (although it’s possible you’ll discover that BA bats you again to AA). And failing that, get again in contact with me.

Jab journeys

Q: Asking for recommendation for the long run when our vaccine certificates appear like they are going to be thought-about old-fashioned. Will all of us be prevented from travelling to those nations (eg France, Portugal, Spain and plenty of extra) as soon as our final booster was finished greater than six months in the past?


A: Whereas I can perceive issues about Covid guidelines for travellers, proper now the prospect of European nations imposing expiry dates on booster jabs could be very low on my checklist of worries. The usual EU coverage is for preliminary programs of vaccinations to run out after 270 days (virtually 9 months), however a booster has no restrict to validity.

Q: I’m as a consequence of journey to Ibiza on 10 June. My vaccinations have handed the 270 days required to enter Spain and I don’t want to obtain the booster. Is a detrimental PCR check ample to enter the Spanish Island?


A: I definitely gained’t ask about your issues concerning the Covid-19 booster vaccination, however as you realise many nations which require proof of jabs will not be eager about an preliminary course that ended greater than 270 days in the past.

The official data I’ve for Spain says that the one various full vaccination (which features a booster if over 270 days for the reason that preliminary course) is a certificates of restoration from Covid-19 up to now six months. The testing various is out there just for individuals aged 12-17. If you happen to should not have a restoration certificates, for a visit to Ibiza in June a booster can be a vital. You possibly can have one any time as much as your departure – there isn’t a requirement for a niche between the jab and your arrival in Spain.

Having mentioned that, on Friday morning there are rumours of an imminent leisure of the foundations by the Spanish authorities.

Lacking elevate

Q: I used to be as a consequence of board a 6.30am airplane from Stansted to Sofia. However the help elevate, which permits me to entry the airplane, didn’t arrive on the boarding gate till after the flight was closed. The subsequent flight was 4.35pm, which left me with a 10-hour wait. I used to be taken to the Escape Lounge however there was no place to put flat. I boarded the airplane at 4pm however it didn’t take off till 6pm. As a result of excessive ache I used to be in I needed to guide a resort in Sofia fairly than journey on to my vacation spot.

What are my rights?


A: This sounds an terrible expertise. It seems that you had been successfully denied boarding and due to this fact qualify for £350 in money compensation. Moreover, the suitable plan of action would have been to discover a day room in one of many inns adjoining to the terminal at Stansted airport. Since this was not equipped, then I believe a separate declare in your resort room is Sofia is cheap. This isn’t so reduce and dried, although.

In any occasion, the Civil Aviation Authority is all the time eager to find out about passengers with diminished mobility who don’t get the first rate remedy they deserve.

Caribbean cares

Q: My passport has a difficulty date of 31 January 2013 and an expiry date of 31 October 2023. Nonetheless I’m going to St Lucia on 28 January 2023. So is the actual fact it is going to be 10 years from the difficulty date going to trigger an issue?


A: No, no, no! There are nonetheless too many sourcess nonetheless suggesting that British passports expire after 10 years. I’m doing all I can to stamp out the misinformation. Other than the waste, it additionally implies that individuals apply for renewed passports once they don’t have to, rising the queue for people who find themselves actually determined. You may be in St Lucia as much as and together with 31 October 2023.

Youngsters’ stuff

Q: I’m as a consequence of journey to Greece on 24 Could 2022 for every week. My little one’s passport was issued on 30 July 2017 and expires on 30 September 2022. I’ve contacted HM Passport Workplace a number of instances for recommendation and have obtained so many conflicting replies, I spoke with the progress workforce and buyer administration workforce who’ve tried to reassure me the passport is sweet to make use of however i’m nonetheless so apprehensive that we gained’t be capable to board


A: Sorry you’ve gotten been given the runaround too. Once more, inform me in the event you can see something on-line that peddles the parable that “Youngsters’s passports run out after 5 years”. A few of them do – however provided that they’ve been issued for precisely that size of time. A lot of them are longer. The utmost validity for a passport issued for a kid below 16 within the UK is 5 years, 9 months. Blindingly clearly, that is throughout the European Union’s 10-year-since-issue rule (as talked about, exterior the EU, nobody cares concerning the situation date anyway). The passport is legitimate for journey to Europe for stays as much as 30 June 2022.

It was when Ryanair pretended that such a rule existed (and due to this fact justified them cancelling a household vacation) that it grew to become clear the entire ludicrous confection had gone too far. Inside every week, Ryanair aligned with the precise guidelines.

Bali excessive

Q: We hope to go to Bali for Christmas and New Yr. We have already got an important deal at a resort as we took a big gamble and booked whereas Bali was nonetheless in lockdown, nonetheless, looking for an affordable flight is proving difficult. The conventional go-to of Google flights retains throwing up what seems to be like first rate choices however I’m continuously clicking via to search out these flights don’t exist. The identical appears to be throughout a number of search engines like google, Skyscanner, Momondo and so on…. Is it higher to simply chunk the bullet and go direct to an airline web site or ought to I simply persevere and hope that one of many cheaper fares is definitely accessible, the distinction between a search engine “deal” and airline is £700 per individual. On the same word, in its place, do companion fares for enterprise class ever crop up over this era?


A: It was daring to guide lodging with out having flights sorted for such a busy time. I imagine that the vary of obtainable flights will improve between now and Christmas, so I might not be getting apprehensive at this stage, however as an alternative of clicking between on-line journey brokers I counsel you speak to a good human journey agent within the UK. They may be capable to entry good offers and speak via the choices – which may embrace a stopover in, say, Singapore alongside the best way.

Lacking flight

Q: Our flight was cancelled final Tuesday with none communication. I used to be solely conscious if this when logging into easyJet to test in and put together boarding passes and so on. the 2 various flights had been a day earlier than, at the same time or later that day. We purposely paid additional for the flight chosen as we had been travelling with a one yr previous. We chosen the sooner flight, and arrived to our vacation spot a day early. Can I declare the resort keep for the additional night time below compensation? Easyjet state on their web site that resort stays and different prices will not be payable upon arrival on the vacation spot. Is journey insurance coverage affected in a case like, if you’re arrival date is previous to what was scheduled and booked with the insurer- fortunately it was not wanted. Thanks upfront


A:  As easyJet ought to have advised you, it seems to owe you at the very least £220 in money compensation for the cancellation. It’s also possible to search to retrieve the additional prices, however the legislation right here is cloudier.

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