TUI has issued an important warning to holidaymakers about changes to passport rules ahead of the busy summer season.
The travel provider sent out an email to all customers with a holiday booked this year urging travellers to check the date on their passport well in advance of flying.
What passport requirements do travellers need to meet?
TUI warned that several non-EU countries require at least six months’ validity left on passports on the date of arrival in the destination.
Meanwhile, the UK’s departure from the European Union means that more countries now require UK passports to have months left on them to be allowed entry.
Under Schengen area rules, it is a requirement for passports to be no more than 10 years old when entering an EU country and it must be valid for at least three months after the day you are due to travel home.
Those who are travelling to an EU country are urged to check the date of issue on their passport, as well as the expiry date, ahead of going abroad.
Holidaymakers can see the latest travel advice for their destination country on the UK Foreign Office website before travelling to ensure their documents meet the relevant criteria.
The warning comes after a teenager was refused boarding on a Ryanair flight despite their passport meeting EU rules.
How long does it take to get a new passport?
Travellers who need to renew their passport are advised to do this as soon as possible as there are currently long processing delays, with the Home Office warning that passport renewals could take up to ten weeks.
If you are planning a trip abroad this summer you can apply for a new passport online via the government website.
You will need a digital photo, credit or debit card and your current passport, and will need to pay £75.50 for the renewal.
You can also renew your passport via a paper application from your local Post Office, or by using the Post Office Check and Send service, although this takes longer than applying online. It is also £9.50 cheaper to apply online than by post.
If you need a passport urgently, it is possible to fast track your passport application. You will need to book an appointment at the passport office appointment and pay online. Appointments can be made up to three weeks in advance.
If you use the Online Premium service, you will get your new passport at your appointment, which lasts up to 30 minutes. It costs £177 (or £187 for a 50 page frequent traveller passport) for this option, and it can only be used to renew an adult passport that was issued after 31 December 2001.
The 1 week Fast Track service will deliver your passport to your home within one week of our appointment.
This service can be used to renew an adult or child passport, change a name on a passport, make changes to personal details, replace a lost, stolen or damaged passport, or to apply for a first child passport.
This service costs £142 for an adult passport (or £152 for a 50 page frequent traveller passport), or £122 for a child passport (or £132 for a 50 page frequent traveller passport).
If you cannot use the online services you can book an appointment and pay over the phone by calling the Passport Adviceline on 0300 222 0000.