Ryanair admits error on Glasgow Prestwick flight as staff refuse to let child with valid passport board

Ryanair has apologized for refusing entry to an 11-year-old child onto a flight from Glasgow Prestwick Airport to Tenerife, despite his passport being in date.

Ryley McGuckin was set to fly to the Spanish island on Monday with his mum Natasha Gray, her partner Chris Bell, and younger brother Barry, seven.

However, he was stopped at the boarding gate by Ryanair staff who stopped him from getting on the plane despite his passport not being due to expire until September 28 this year.

The family had been reassured by the airline ahead of the flight that it would still be valid.

They were the second family to be hit by this issue on the flight from Glasgow Prestwick, after Motherwell teenager Zak Schoneville, 15, was also unable to board the flightdespite his passport not expiring for five months.

Read more: Ryanair Glasgow Prestwick flight stops another boy, 11, from boarding despite valid passport

Ryley’s mum’s partner, Chris Bell, told Glasgow Live: “We came home, all the way back to where we live in Falkirk and then drove to Edinburgh Airport where the staff were more than happy to help and we booked our flight there and then. So luckily we did get on holiday.

“It’s totally put us off flying with Ryanair again. We had two extremely upset children in Prestwick Airport – both the seven and 11-year-old were crying their eyes out, thinking the holiday was ruined.”

Ryanair has now confirmed to Glasgow Live that staff were mistaken and “that this passport was not valid for travel as they wrongly believed that a child’s passport must be no more than five years old on the date of travel”.



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In a statement they said: “Our Immigration Dept. have now clarified this case with the EU Commission and we now accept that our handling agents at Glasgow Prestwick Airport wrongly believed that this child’s passport was not valid for travel as they wrongly believed that a child’s passport must be no more than 5 years old on the date of travel, whereas in fact, all UK nationals traveling to the EU, regardless of age, must meet the same entry requirements for travel to the EU, which are:

“1. Passports must be issued within 10 years of the date of arrival into the EU.

“2. The passport must be valid for at least three months from the return date of travel from the EU, unless the passenger has a Schengen issued Residence Permit or a Schengen long term Visa.”

The family, who made it to Tenerife after flying from Edinburgh Airport with Jet2, will be given a full refund and offered travel vouchers as compensation.

Ryanair continued: “In light of this clear error on our part, we have written to his family and given them a full refund of GBP £ 313.79 cost of their unused flights and as a gesture of goodwill we have also given them a travel voucher for another £ 315 which we hope they will use to book more Ryanair flights for the family in the very near future.

“We apologise sincerely for the error we made in this case and we have updated our briefing notes to all our airport handling agents to ensure this error does not recur.”

Despite the compensation, Chris has said that Ryanair’s offer is “not good enough”.

He said: “For us, it’s not really good enough. We had to pay more for a flight to get out here from Edinburgh as well. A £ 315 voucher only covers the flight to get here as well.

“This could have been dealt with on Monday. I accept they have held their hands up, but it feels like it’s only because they were caught out.

“It’s even just about the money, it’s the distress it caused to an 11-year-old and seven-year-old boy.”

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