A total of 31 Ryanair passengers were refused entry to their flight which was pre-booked to Malaga because they could not provide proof of residency.
This happened on Friday, which at the time was required by Spanish authorities which left passengers “in tears” and one person said he has lost £350 for his flight.
This took place last Friday at East Midlands Airport four days before Spain opened their borders to Brits.
Prior to Spain opening their borders on Monday it was a legal requirement by the Spanish authorities that no airline can allow passengers to board without a residency permit.
The British government has previously stated that Brits can travel to Spain for legal reasons and if they have a property that needs repairs, or is being sold, or to buy or rent a property, which has clearly caused more confusion.
The passenger who spoke anonymously said, “I was met [at the airport] by a woman who informed people they would not be travelling unless they had a Spanish passport, proof of an application for residency or a letter from the UK government saying the trip was essential.
“This led to anger, aggression and tears and three police officers had to oversee discussions. It was a truly shameful situation that caused great distress and large financial losses to some people.”
He said that he had a validated QR Codes from Spain Travel Health had a valid Covid vaccine certificate and was heading to Spain for an essential business trip as he owns property and had to deal with various issues out there.
He added, “How we can have a validated form from the Spanish Travel Health government site allowing our entry and then be told this isn’t sufficient?
“This was distressing for many people.
“Ryanair has all customers’ email addresses and telephone numbers so they could have contacted all passengers 24 hours prior to travelling, so this really is shameful and I hope it doesn’t happen to other UK travellers in the future.”
The Ryanair’s website did not state the travel requirements issued by the Spanish authorities at that time, or need a letter from the British government to prove the trip is for essential reasons, he said.
East Midlands Airport said the decision on Friday was taken by the firm’s handling agent.
A spokesman for the airport said, “On Friday, May 21, 31 passengers were refused boarding onto a flight to Malaga for not having a Spanish residency permit.
“The decision, taken by the airline’s handling agent, was in line with the requirements of the Spanish authorities at the time.
“We encourage anyone planning to travel overseas to familiarise themselves with what is required of both the destination country and the UK’s regulations prior to booking flights.”
Ryanair said in a statement, “Ryanair fully complies with government restrictions. A number of passengers on this flight from East Midlands to Malaga on Saturday, 22 May were denied boarding as they failed to meet the entry requirements for Spain in line with Spanish Govt regulation.
“Any passenger scheduled to travel anywhere on the Ryanair network receives an email prior to departure, advising them to check the travel advice with the relevant authorities in advance of their flight.”
At the time, British government foreign travel guidance stated, “Whilst the stay in UK restrictions are in place, you are only allowed to leave the UK from England if you have a reasonable excuse.
“This applies to holders of UK and non-UK passports.
“It is illegal to travel abroad without a reasonable excuse. Travel abroad for holidays is not permitted.”