Britain’s trying to travel home to Spain on Saturday evening were refused from boarding the joint BA/Iberia flight from Heathrow to Madrid after airport staff told them their residency paperwork was not valid.
Brits living in Spain refused entry in post-Brexit travel row : A total of 9 passengers were refused travel from Heathrow, among them journalist Max Duncan, who was informed his paperwork was not valid even though both British and Spanish authorities have said that this is not the case. Both governments have stated that the old Foreign National Indentification (NIE) and the newly issued Foreign ID Card (TIE) can both still be used.
One lady that Mr Duncan spoke to, who wanted to remain anonymous, said “We’re going home. Spain is home”. She went on to say that both she and her husband were absolutely “gutted” that they were not being allowed to travel and that her husband was on vital medication that was running out. When questioned, another couple said that they had been told at check-in that their NIE green card was no longer valid, however when they contacted the British Embassy they were told that hundreds of people had called to complain about the same thing.
A message from the British Embassy in Madrid told Mr Duncan that it was valid and this “should not be happening”.
Officials said “The Spanish authorities have reconfirmed again this evening that the green residency document will be valid for travel to return to Spain as stated in our travel advice.”
Mr Duncan responded to the message, saying “Thank you @ukinspain for confirming the green card is valid, that Spain has reconfirmed this too and that this should not be happening.”
Another flight that had been affected was from London to Barcelona, with one disgruntled passenger taking to Twitter to say “My daughter and her partner affected. Been in Heathrow for 12 hours – refused travel initial BA flight to Barcelona then told could travel tonight so waited only to be refused as BA say passengers were returned from Barcelona.” There are around 300,000 British residents in Spain, although the number may be much higher as many live outside the Spanish system.
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