A mother and her five children were prevented from boarding an easyJet flight to Israel because of a passport close to expiry — after the airline failed to make it clear they could not travel.
Rikki Bamberger was flying to Jerusalem to join her husband Mark, whose mother had just died. She was travelling with her children aged between two- and 12-years-old.
The day before departure from Manchester Airport, Mrs Bamburger informed easyJet that the passport of one the children had less than six months to run. Israel requires at least six months validity on passports. The airline did not make the position clear to Mrs Bamburger.
At the airport, easyJet’s check-in desk allowed the family to proceed to the boarding gate, but staff at the gate barred them from boarding the flight.
“I was treated horrendously,” said Mrs Bamberger. “The man at the gate said he wanted to escort me himself out of the airport. I was so shocked they wouldn’t let any of us on the plane.”
The family arranged a new passport, bought tickets with a rival airline and travelled the next day.
EasyJet has apologised to Mrs Bamberger but has not refunded the £2,000 she paid for the tickets.
A statement said: “Our customer relations team explained that there was an issue with validity and advised them to contact the Tel Aviv embassy for further assistance, however they [the customer relations team] were not clear that incorrect validity would result in the passenger being unable to travel and we would like to apologise for this.”
“We appreciate this was an inconvenience and have been in contact with the family to apologise.”
The Civil Aviation Authority said it would advise the family on whether they could claim compensation.
A spokesman said: “We constantly seek to remind airlines of their obligation to provide consistent information to passengers.”