Gran busts into tears as family jet off on Ryanair flight without her

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A gran was left in tears at the airport, as her family jetted off to Portugal without her, when her passport fell foul of new Brexit legislation which prevented her from travelling.

Michelle Hawken's family were forced to leave her behind at the gate when airport staff told her her passport was no longer valid, despite it having three months until its expiry.

The Cornwall resident had been looking forward to a sunny getaway to Portugal along with other two adults and two children in her party, however, she was stopped from boarding the plane with airline staff saying her passport expired because it was issued ten years ago on May 15, 2012.

Nicky, another adult in the holiday party, explained: “When we arrived at check-in having just told the grandchildren at arrival they were coming as well, we were told one granny was not able to fly.

"We had already checked with all regulations and all was ok, such as gov.uk, passports and the airport, etc."

She added: "We asked why when we could have gone with any other airline and come home with Ryanair and, as you can imagine, there were lots of tears and upset.

"We have heard several cases of this happening but we had two grandchildren involved and everyone was so upset."

Nicky said: “It’s awful. We always go away as friends and this was meant to be special as a surprise to the grandchildren. We packed their suitcases in secret and everything.

"They thought they were coming to the airport to wave us off. We’re all devastated and can’t understand how this happened and why nothing flagged up when we checked-in in advance.”

A Ryanair spokesman issued a statement which said: "This passenger was correctly refused travel at Cornwall Airport Newquay on 26 April last as her passport did not meet the entry requirements for travel to the EU (Portugal)."

Passport rules when travelling to Europe have been tightened since Brexit, British passport holders are now no longer treated as EU members and therefore they need to refer to the issue date and not expiry date.

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