Watchdog concerned that Airline Carriers are Stopping some EU and EEA EFTA Citizens from Traveling

Business » TOURISM | July 25, 2022, Monday // 14:04
Bulgaria: Watchdog concerned that Airline Carriers are Stopping some EU and EEA EFTA Citizens from Traveling @Wikimedia Commons

Watchdog concerned that airline carriers are stopping some EU and EEA EFTA citizens from traveling

The Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA), which monitors the rights of EU and EEA EFTA citizens after the UK left the EU, has concerns that airline carriers are unnecessarily stopping some citizens from boarding flights.

It has written an open letter to all carriers to remind them of the Home Office’s guidance, around what documents citizens need to travel to the UK.

The letter follows complaints from citizens who were denied boarding flights after some airline carriers demanded proof of UK residency status under the European Settlement Scheme (EUSS), or refused to accept national identity cards as valid ID for travel.

Both these actions are contrary to the Home Office’s guidance which is in place and states:

Carriers are not currently required to check an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen’s immigration status, or their entitlement to travel on a national identity card, when deciding whether to bring them to the UK. They only need to check that they have a valid passport or national identity card.”

The guidance reflects the rights of EU and EEA EFTA citizens as protected by the Withdrawal Agreement(s) for EU and EEA EFTA citizens’ rights.

Pam Everett, IMA Director of Operational Delivery said:

"As the summer holidays start in earnest, we are concerned that incorrect procedures followed by airline carriers will cause unnecessary stress, even resulting in families missing their holiday."

"We hope this letter to carriers will remind them to ensure their staff are aware of the guidance from the Home Office in relation to citizens’ entitlement to travel."

"We will continue to monitor the situation and remain in close contact with the Home Office about the EUSS and rights of entry to the UK."

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