Thousands of British travellers may be banned from US flights

The US introduced the new measures last month

TENS of thousands of British travellers may be turned away from flights to the United States this summer due to a new rule, which has received little media attention.

Under previous regulations, anyone visiting the US from Visa Waiver program countries such as the UK had to register with the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA), in order to determine their eligibility to enter.

Now, anyone without a biometric passport is unable to travel to the country without a visa, even if they fulfil ESTA requirements, following measures introduced in April.


The new ‘ePassport’ was introduced in 2007, and contains an electronic chip with personal information, whereas the last old-style passports were issued the same year, with around 1.3 million still in use.

Reports of passengers being told that they are not allowed to travel are already emerging after the rule change was quietly introduced via the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act 2015.

The rule is also set to affect flyers from Malaga airport, following Norwegian’s recent announcement that they are to investigate direct long-haul flights to the US.



  1. Surely this is a non-story. You are required to have at least 6 months validity on your passport when travelling to US. The last non-biometric passports were issued prior to 4th October 2006 (not 2007 as stated). So anyone travelling to the US now should theoretically have less than 6 months left and should already have renewed their passport. There may be some exceptions who had unexpired time from their previous passports added to their then new new passport taking them beyond October 2016.

  2. after my last flight to see my son in florida i said ‘NEVER Again’ my son had got the ticket for me and I just had to print it.
    Something went wrong and when I got to Alicante I had to do a visa form- tip my head back as the machine was so high and I couldn’t see it as I had bi focals. Airport guy did it for me- nearly lost flight to Madrid – had to run to get it – going for a month so two suitcases.
    Coming back refused to take second suitcase at Miami had to pay 50$ and then another 60$ as over weight.
    Both flights cramped like sardines in a can – service and food disgusting. Never again – I could not now do ALL the walkways anyway


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