Subscriber OnlyPricewatch

Ryanair’s passport rules leave UK-bound passenger - and its staff - confused

Pricewatch: For how long does your passport have to be valid if you are travelling to the UK with Ryanair?

“Could you look into an issue for me relating to the requirements for a passport on Ryanair flights,” begins a mail from a reader called Phil. “I know you’ve run articles on this previously but this issue seems to have stumped even Ryanair who have given contradictory and wrong advice. As things stand, I’m just going to avoid the issue by flying with Aer Lingus since I have no confidence that Ryanair has a clear policy.”

So, what exactly is Phil talking about?

“The issue relates to travelling from Ireland to the UK on an Irish passport that is due to expire soon but will be valid for the entire trip. This is obviously fine from an immigration point of view given the Common Travel Area so the question is purely about Ryanair company policy,” he says.

He points to the airline’s terms and conditions and one clause in particular which reads: “For travel outside the EEA (European Economic Area), the passport must be valid for the period of the intended stay except for the below countries.”


The countries referred to are Jordan, Turkey, Montenegro and Bosnia.

“Given that this is quite complex, I first contacted the Ryanair chat help who told me that I needed three months validity. Then they told me to check with the UK embassy. Then they said that as long as the passport was valid then I would be fine.”

Phil decided to try their phone line but the agent was again uncertain “firstly telling me that I needed three months validity, then agreeing that this seemed not to be the case and consulted his manager who said that I should contact the UK government and refused to discuss it any further.”

Phil says it is “baffling to me how such a straightforward question cannot be answered by Ryanair. To be clear, I’m not asking about immigration law, this is purely a question of company policy. If Ryanair as an institution does not know its own policies, then how can customers be expected to? If you have any way to get an unambiguous answer from Ryanair about their policy on this that would be great.”

We can see why this would be a concern for Phil – or indeed anyone else who might be travelling to the UK on a passport that is close to expiring. The last thing anyone needs is be worried about whether their documentation will be accepted as they attempt to board a plane.

So we contacted the airline in search of clarification. Within hours we had found what we were looking for in the form of a statement from Ryanair.

“We looked into this issue and our policy on flights to the UK is that as long as the passport is valid (ie in date), it will be accepted for travel to and from the UK.

“We accept however that section 2.1.1 of our T&Cs is unclear on this issue.

“We will therefore update our T&Cs document next week to specifically include a reference to valid ID on flights to the UK to state: Ryanair requires all passengers travelling into the UK to have a valid (ie in date) passport for their arrival and departure dates, to and from, the UK (the UK Authorities do not require a minimum of 3 months passport validity), so as long as the passenger passport is in date for both the arrival date into the UK, and the later departure date from the UK, it will be accepted as valid for travel on Ryanair flights into the UK.

“We hope this will eliminate any confusion for passengers and for our own customer assistance people caused by our existing T&Cs doc, which doesn’t specifically mention the UK. Please pass on our apologies to this passenger for any confusion in this case.”