(hat-tip Andrew Watson)
Some organisations aren’t accepting the new UK ID card and thereby ruining Christmas.
A couple’s Christmas break was ruined after the husband was told he could not use his ID card to catch a ferry.
Norman Eastwood, 64, had been assured the new Government document was valid for travel within Europe.
That is in fact what the IPS website says: “this card can be used for travel within the EU/EEA and Switzerland”.
But when he arrived at Hull for a trip to Rotterdam, P&O told him they had no knowledge of the cards, only available in the North West. …
One man had to cancel a Christmas cross-Channel break when P&O told him he could not use his ID card. And another said he was ‘treated like an illegal immigrant’ by airport staff who had no idea what his ID card was.
Bricklayer Norman Eastwood, who was one of the first people to get a card, said he was fuming when P&O staff at Hull refused to let him on the ferry to Rotterdam without a passport.
Meanwhile student Cyrus Nayeri, from Denton, said he was treated like a criminal by staff at airline German Wings when he showed them his ID card.
Cyrus, 18, who was travelling from Stansted to Bonn on an educational trip, was taken into a side room and told he could not fly.
He said: “It was like they thought I was trying to use a fake document.
“I was one of the biggest supporters of the scheme but now I definitely wouldn’t recommend them to anyone.”
When Mr Nayeri complained, airline staff eventually phoned British government officials – and let him on the plane at the last minute.
But a German Wings spokesman later confirmed the company would NOT be accepting the ID cards in future, until they are recognised by the German Federal Police.
Some 1,736 people in Greater Manchester have bought the £30 cards after the Home Office promised they could be used to travel in Europe.
But customer service staff at nine major travel companies – including British Airways, Eurostar and BMI baby – told M.E.N reporters posing as customers that the cards could NOT be used instead of passports.
Eight of the nine companies later issued statements saying staff had given the wrong advice – and that the cards COULD be used after all. But Eurostar remained unsure. A spokesman said: “We are unable to confirm whether the ID cards are valid on Eurostar at this time.”
Meanwhile two major German airlines said they would not accept the cards until they had been officially recognised by the German federal authorities.
A P&O spokesman said: “We weren’t aware of the trial of these ID cards. The Home Office did not communicate this scheme to us. UK Borders Agency at Hull told us they weren’t aware of the trial either.”
I’m not sure there is a ‘trial’, as such – ID cards “can be used for travel within the EU/EEA and Switzerland”.
In a statement, the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) said it remained confident that the majority of travellers will have no problems using ID cards as an alternative to passports.
The National Identity Card is a valid document for travel and is as good as a passport in Europe.
We expect all carriers in the UK to accept National Identity Cards for travel as a legal duty and we are confident that the vast majority of travellers will have no problems using their Identity Card as a travel document.
The majority? Best take your passport instead…