A COUPLE were left devastated when their first international trip together was ruined after they were turned away at the gates.

Adam Robertson, 34, and Selina Bacon, 33, were stopped from boarding their flight from Bournemouth to Palma, Mallorca, due to a passport rule introduced after Brexit.

Trainee dental nurse Selina’s passport was 10 years and five days old, with nearly nine months until expiry.

Read more: Here are the 70 countries you need 6 months left on your passport to travel to

Self-employed businessman Adam said he had double-checked the rules and only found information saying a passport must be valid for at least three months to travel to the EU.

However, travellers' documents can't be more than 10 years old to travel to the region.

Bournemouth Echo: An aerial picture of Bournemouth Airport at Hurn on September 18, 2019. Picture by Stephen Bath

Having spent around £420 on flights, he said the couple from Wimborne were ‘upset, devastated and at a bit of a loss’ when they were turned away.

“Not half an hour before, we were sipping a glass of Pinot Grigio looking forward to our first international holiday,” he said.

“We were happy that we’d done as much checking as we could have done, and we were happy when we walked into the airport that day that there wasn’t going to be an issue.”

He criticised Ryanair for not flagging that there was an issue when they entered their passport details at booking or when checking-in on the day of the flight.

He said it ‘isn’t unreasonable’ to expect an email from the airline explaining the rules after booking.

“Had we been made aware there was an issue as soon as we’d booked, my partner and I would have made time, even if it meant travelling to the passport office ourselves,” he said.

“The first we heard there was an issue was when we were told on boarding.”

Adam and Selina want to raise awareness of the rule to make sure others don’t suffer.

They were able to enjoy a lovely break in the Cotswolds, visiting Oxford and Blenheim Palace instead.

Adam is now seeking a refund from Ryanair for the cost of the flight they were due to take on July 23.

A spokesperson for the firm said Selina was ‘correctly denied travel’ for not meeting the entry requirements.

“This passenger’s passport was issued on 18 July 2013 and is therefore no longer valid for travel to/from the EU after 18 July 2023 and was outside the 10-year validity period when this passenger attempted to travel on 23 July 2023,” they said.

“Ryanair requires each passenger to ensure that their passport is valid for travel on both the date of their outbound and return flight date.”

A spokesman for Bournemouth Airport said: "In our experience, these instances are not very common and we always advise passengers to check that their passport is valid for their destination. Our website warns them not to be caught out and where to go for travel advice."