Couple boycott TUI after £1,800 Benidorm dream crushed at airport check-in desk

Travel company TUI has been slammed after a couple who had splashed an eye-watering £1,800 on a package holiday were denied their 10-break because their passports were too old.

Penny and Dug Priestly were hoping to jet off to Benidorm in Spain from East Midlands Airport last month.

But their dreams were crushed when check-in staff denied them from doing so because of UK passport validity rules.

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The couple's passport expires in February 2024 – leaving them just nine months left on it.

This also means that the date of issue was more than 10 years before their departure date, which several EU countries, and some outside of the union such as the United Kingdom, do not allow.

But the most heartbreaking moment for the couple came when they were told that they could have gone on holiday if they had gone just a few weeks before, as the 10-year mark was hit on May 13.

Speaking to Nottinghamshire Live, Penny, 59, said: “We just turned up and were waiting an hour in the queue, I think we were about fourth from last and the girl on the checkout said to the other girl, can you check those dates?

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“She checked and said no they can't fly. Then a bloke came over, a supervisor or something, and he said our only alternative is to go to Jet2 and ask them if we can fly.

“They said if we had gone on Saturday we would have been alright.

“We will always use Jet2 now or Ryanair, or even easyJet – they could fly us as well.”

Although TUI has apologised to the couple, they also reiterated that it was the Penny and Dug who were at fault as their passports “did not meet the required government passport guidelines”.

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They also advised customers to “check their passports” before booking any flights so that they do not fall foul of the well-publicised rules either.

The couple said they ended up paying an extra £860 to go on holiday to Benidorm at a later date with rival airline Jet2.

The couple said they were not able to be refunded the cost of the TUI flights or transfers as these were sold as a package.

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