Holiday ‘fiasco’ after pensioner without photo ID denied entry to Jersey

Iris Butler, 81, a resident of Alnwick, had shelled out nearly £1,000 for a coach holiday organised by Travelsure. However, she claims that the travel agency failed to inform her about the necessity of having photographic identification to visit the island. A member of staff boarded the coach at Poole ferry terminal to conduct ID checks, and Iris realised she had left her driving license behind at home.

Iris then undertook the 388 mile journey back to Alnwick alongside eight other passengers who also lacked identification. Frustrated, she said: “They are saying we have already had two days of holiday, I would say we have had two days of hell, never mind holiday.”

Iris continued: “There are eight other people besides me who are affected. We all booked through Travelsure to go to Jersey. There is nothing in the 2023 brochure to say you needed a photo ID to get access to Jersey.

“There is nothing on our invoices or anything we received from them to say that.”

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After staying overnight in Southampton, the coach group travelled to Poole on Monday to catch the ferry.

Iris said: “Someone from the craft came to talk to us and there were two people at the very front of the bus who immediately said I haven’t ID. So immediately the problem became aware at that point and the lady said you need ID. We were told to look for ID, bus pass, driving licence or passport.

“I stupidly hadn’t transferred my driving licence to my new purse which is what a couple of other ladies had done. They had tried to lighten their load and not transferred everything over. They were asked if they’d take a photograph of our ID but at the end of the day they said no, they wouldn’t accept a photograph.

“They then went on to ask if anyone could access our premises. I couldn’t because I have no family and live in a retirement block of flats and I said sorry I can’t.

“The idea was if we couldn’t transport one of the IDs to Travelsure they’d send an overnight courier and possibly get us on the next day ferry but that wasn’t suitable.”

While the passengers were offered alternative holiday options, the group unanimously chose to return home. Iris said she hadn’t considered consulting the Jersey website for additional travel information.

She added: “Some knew about it because they had been on the Jersey site. I hadn’t been on the Jersey site. It was a right fiasco.

“Personally I’m quite an intelligent person and I hadn’t thought to look on the site. I stupidly didn’t put my driving licence in my purse.

“If it has happened to us, it could happen to other people travelling to Jersey on their own.”

In response to the incident, a spokeswoman for Travelsure said the passengers would receive a full refund for their holiday.

She said: “We booked our Jersey tour through a wholesaler and we were not advised by the wholesaler/ferry company on their travel documents of the requirement to carry photographic ID. We had already provided the company with the full names and dates of birth of the passengers travelling.

“On the day the ferry company would have accepted any form of ID including a bus pass, library card or driving licence but unfortunately nine passengers on board the coach were not carrying any form of ID with them on holiday. The ferry company would not accept emailed versions of the ID.”

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The spokeswoman said alternative options, such as a holiday in Bournemouth or transportation back home, were proposed but ultimately declined by the passengers.

She added: “A letter has also been sent out this morning to the nine passengers involved containing an explanation and full refund for monies paid.

“As a company we are extremely upset by the events which occurred and will be following this up with our wholesaler.

“All travel documents for future holidays have been amended advising passengers to take photographic ID with them when travelling on holiday. All European holidays also state the need to carry a passport.”

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