How I got a new passport in 12 hours after airline barred me from my flight | The Sun

A BEST man was denied boarding for a flight to Poland for his best friend's stag do because his passport was three days out of date.

However, he was able to renew the document in less than 12 hours and make it to the party, despite turning up to the passport office without any paperwork, or an appointment on the day.

James Crane, 35, from Colchester, had been planning his best mate's stag do for months, a three-night trip to Krakow, involving a "fancy" steak dinner, bar crawl, shooting range, vodka tasting, VIP night club and boat party.

But he was told he could not board the plane at Stansted Airport because of EU rules.

The electrician, known as Crano to friends and family, was not aware the rules had changed since Brexit and that travelling to the EU on a UK passport that was issued more than 10 years ago is not permitted.

Rather than giving up and missing the party, Crano turned up to the passport office in Peterborough without an appointment and "nothing to lose" the next morning to argue his case.

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He was issued a new passport the same day after convincing security to let him in despite not having booked an appointment for that day and only having a passport photo in his pocket.

Renewing a UK passport usually takes around 10 weeks according to the Government's website or people can pay £193.50 for the Online Premium Service.

However, those people still have to book an appointment for, at the earliest, "two days from when you apply".

James, who said he was "in it to win it", immediately booked a last minute flight to Krakow for £480 and went straight to the night club to surprise his best friend Ben French, 35, who did not think he was going to make it.

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He said: "I keep getting messages saying how did you do it?

“You look online and everyone is saying it’s impossible to just turn up and get a passport. But my wife Daisy nudged me a little bit to just try it.

“She said, ‘You’ve got the gift of the gab, what have you got to lose?'”

The group of 10 arrived at Stansted Airport for three days of shenanigans in Poland’s second largest city to celebrate Ben getting married.

James thought one of the boys was playing a prank on him when he was asked to “please stand aside” after handing over his passport and ticket just before boarding. He was then told his passport was out of date.

James protested that his passport did not expire for another nine months, on February 28, 2024.

He continued: “Because we left the EU and Brexit, the new rule is your passport can’t be more than 10 years old."

With no other option, James waved goodbye to his mates and started frantically calling the passport office while waiting for his father to come and collect him.

With no emergency appointments available, James was ready to give up but his wife suggested he drive to the passport office in Peterborough first thing in the morning and “give it a go”.

After arriving at 6am, James started “blabbing to the bouncers” to try and convinced them to let him in with out an appointment.

He said he thought it was “game over” until he mentioned being turned away at the airport and was suddenly waved through.

Eventually, at 4pm after paying the premium £193.50 fee, he finally received his brand new, valid passport, and started hunting for a flight to Poland, which didn't come cheap.

He said: “I found one at 9 o’clock for about £130 but when I went to press the button it said tickets sold out – you couldn’t make this up.

“There was one at 8 o’clock from Stansted for £480 which is a lot of money but I’m in it now."

James touched down in Krakow a few hours later and headed out to meet the rest of the stag party, who were celebrating at a nightclub.

He added: “It was a good laugh talking about this in the best man speech. You can’t get a better best mate can you?”

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Meanwhile, this person's holiday was ruined because of her passport error.

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