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THE CURSE OF THE MADELEINE MCCANN CASE - Airliner refused 16-yr-old British girl to board flight to Portugal without a letter from her parents

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THE CURSE OF THE MADELEINE MCCANN CASE - Airliner refused 16-yr-old British girl to board flight to Portugal without a letter from her parents

Post by Tony Bennett on 18.10.15 12:58

Yet one more adverse consequence of the reported disappearance of Madeleine McCann:

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SUNDAY MIRROR TODAY




'Madeleine McCann case' behind Jet2 decision to bar sixteen-year-old girl from flying to Portugal alone

A sixteen-year-old girl was told she couldn’t board a flight to Portugal alone "because of the Madeleine McCann case ".

Eilidh Strathie was all set to travel to Faro from Edinburgh to stay with her grandparents on the Algarve but was stopped at the gate by ground staff from Jet2.

 They said that Eilidh - who is old enough to get married, join the army and ride a motorbike - needed a letter of consent from her parents and details of who would be collecting her in Portugal.

Although the British airline "allows persons aged 14 or over to travel alone", staff said rules in Portugal have tightened up as a result of the high-profile McCann abduction case.

Maddy disappeared aged three from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in 2007.

Portuguese authorities came in for stinging criticism for their handling of the case.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/madeleine-mccann-case-behind-jet2-6654982#ICID=FB_mirror_main

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MAIL ON SUNDAY today




Teenager, 16, who was travelling on her own to Portugal is stopped from boarding a Jet2 flight 'because of the Madeleine McCann case' 

Eilidh Strathie was heading to Faro when she was stopped at the gate 

Jet2 ground staff at Edinburgh said she needed a letter from her parents

Revealed strict guidelines put in place 'after the Madeleine McCann case'

Jet2 website does not make clear a 16-year-old is still considered a minor 

Pic: Criticism: Portuguese authorities have tightened their travel rules after the Madeleine McCann case

Eilidh's parents were unable to email their consent in time to get her on the flight, and ended up having to come and bring their disappointed daughter home from Edinburgh airport.

Eilidh said: "My mum and dad took me to the airport and waited until I was through security.

"I went to the gate when boarding was called, but when I got to the desk the woman took me out of the queue and said I could not fly as I didn't have a letter giving my parents' consent and saying who was picking me up at the other end. It was really embarrassing."

Eilidh's mum, Corinna Strathie, was shocked when she got a call just 25 minutes before Eilidh's flight was due to leave.

Corinna, 42, said: "We'd left the airport by that time to go to work, and the Jet2 staff told us Eilidh would only be allowed to board if we quickly emailed our consent and the details of who she would be staying with.

"We tried desperately to send it, but the phone reception wasn't good and the emails simply wouldn't go through. It was heartbreaking and so frustrating."

Corinna added: "The staff, who were kind and helpful, explained that the reason Portugal is so strict is that the authorities there were criticised after the Madeleine McCann case.

"But this seems like a real overreaction to that."

Pic: Sorry: Jet2 apologised for Eilidh's "frustrating" experience and refunded

"It didn't even cross my mind that you wouldn't be able to fly alone at that age. You can get married and leave home, but you need a letter from your mum and dad to fly to Portugal.

"I was so angry. At no point when I was booking the flight online did it flag up that people need written consent to travel to Portugal at that age.

"I was told that the information was included in the FAQ section, but when I checked later it was not clear at all that you are considered a minor at 16."

The Foreign Office guidance on travelling to Portugal now states: "All minors entering or leaving Portugal must be in possession of a letter of parental consent if travelling with adults other than their parents or legal guardians."

A Jet2.com spokesperson said: "We're sorry Eilidh and her family had such a frustrating experience.

"Jet2.com follows the clear advice set out by the Portuguese authorities, which can also be seen on the Foreign Office travel advice website.

"We have to ask for the letter of consent and details of who is meeting someone of this age as it is possible the Portuguese passport control may deny them entry into the country without such documents. In that case the airline can also be subject to a large fine.

"However, we acknowledge our FAQs could have been clearer and will be taking steps to change them. We would also like to offer the family a refund of the cost of the flight Eilidh missed as a goodwill gesture."

A spokesman for the British Air Travel Association said: "We encourage parents of minors who will be travelling unaccompanied to check with their airline before travel.

"Travel advice is also available on the Foreign Office website."

Pic: Eilidh Strathie was heading to Faro when she was stopped at the gate by Jet2 staff

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3277804/Teenager-16-travelling-Portugal-stopped-boarding-Jet2-flight-Madeleine-McCann-case.html#ixzz3ounC7UOw

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OTHER REPORTS

A 16-year-old travelling alone to Portugal was prevented from boarding a Jet2 flight 'because of the Madeleine McCann case'.


Eilidh Strathie was heading to Faro on Tuesday when she was prevented from boarding the flight at Edinburgh at the very last minute.

To her shock, she was told she would not be allowed to board without a letter of consent from her parents - despite the fact she is old enough to marry and join the army.

According to Jet2 staff, they could not allow her to fly because Portugal had tightened its rules after criticism of its handling of the Madeleine McCann case.

The three-year-old disappeared without a trace from Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, in 2007.

The astonished teenager, who was due to spend a week with her friend and her friend's grandparents in a villa near Albufiera, had made it all the way to the gate before anyone raised the issue of Portugal's stricter guidelines to her.

Eilidh said: 'I went to the gate when boarding was called, but when I got to the desk the woman took me out of the queue and said I could not fly as I didn't have a letter giving my parents' consent and saying who was picking me up at the other end.

'It was really embarrassing.'

Eilidh and her parents had believed she would be alright to fly by herself as the Jet2 website saying it 'allows persons aged 14 or over to travel alone'.

The website fails to make clear that Portugal put stricter requirements in place in the wake of the Madeleine McCann case, which meant 16-year-old Eilidh was still considered a minor and couldn't fly without a letter of consent from her parents, as well as details of who would collect her at Faro.

The country considers anyone under 18 a minor.

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Re: THE CURSE OF THE MADELEINE MCCANN CASE - Airliner refused 16-yr-old British girl to board flight to Portugal without a letter from her parents

Post by MRNOODLES on 18.10.15 15:29

It's bl**dy ridiculous on numerous levels.
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Re: THE CURSE OF THE MADELEINE MCCANN CASE - Airliner refused 16-yr-old British girl to board flight to Portugal without a letter from her parents

Post by Onager on 18.10.15 16:53

In August 2007, we arrived at Faro airport for a two week holiday. In addition to our three children our 16 year old son's friend, also 16 was with us. We were held at the airport for about an hour for not having written permission for him to be with us. At the time, I asked if it was as a consequence of what had happened three months earlier, and we were told no... the requirement had been in place for some time. 

The authorities actually let us continue after trying, but failing to contact the boy's parents by phone. A case of common sense I thought at the time.

On our return (in 2007) I spoke to the well-known high street travel agency we booked through, who apologised for not advising us of the requirement beforehand... the impression I had was no one in the travel agency office were aware of the requirement, which suggests it could have, as the report states, have been a new (2007) requirement... or, given the high profile nature of the McCann case, any such edict would've been well publicised at the time.

My own view... at the time it made sense, given he was seen as being a minor, and I'm probably still of the same opinion.

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Re: THE CURSE OF THE MADELEINE MCCANN CASE - Airliner refused 16-yr-old British girl to board flight to Portugal without a letter from her parents

Post by snook on 18.10.15 22:35

Well they certainly aren't ensuring staff & passengers are on the lookout for Madeleine.  I was at Faro airport in July. Not one age progressed poster.
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Re: THE CURSE OF THE MADELEINE MCCANN CASE - Airliner refused 16-yr-old British girl to board flight to Portugal without a letter from her parents

Post by Joss on 19.10.15 3:03

(Quote snipped from TB's post)

They said that Eilidh - who is old enough to get married, join the army and ride a motorbike - needed a letter of consent from her parents and details of who would be collecting her in Portugal.


In regard to this quote in what country can a 16 year old get married or join the army? Where i live you have to be at least 18 years old. A sixteen year old is not legally classified as an adult, they are a teenager. I just think as per the article they are covering all bases in case something should happen for which they might be held accountable for. I agree if she is not classified as "adult" yet, then they are within their rights to have adult consent by her parents or guardians to fly to another country.
I do think using the Madeleine McCann card is unecessary though because it should be just a matter of normal protocol for a non adult to have permission from the adults to do that. And i agree she is a Minor in the legal sense.

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Re: THE CURSE OF THE MADELEINE MCCANN CASE - Airliner refused 16-yr-old British girl to board flight to Portugal without a letter from her parents

Post by Rogue-a-Tory on 19.10.15 9:14

@Onager wrote:In August 2007, we arrived at Faro airport for a two week holiday. In addition to our three children our 16 year old son's friend, also 16 was with us. We were held at the airport for about an hour for not having written permission for him to be with us. At the time, I asked if it was as a consequence of what had happened three months earlier, and we were told no... the requirement had been in place for some time. 

The authorities actually let us continue after trying, but failing to contact the boy's parents by phone. A case of common sense I thought at the time.

On our return (in 2007) I spoke to the well-known high street travel agency we booked through, who apologised for not advising us of the requirement beforehand... the impression I had was no one in the travel agency office were aware of the requirement, which suggests it could have, as the report states, have been a new (2007) requirement... or, given the high profile nature of the McCann case, any such edict would've been well publicised at the time.

My own view... at the time it made sense, given he was seen as being a minor, and I'm probably still of the same opinion.
Something not dissimilar happened to us at immigration when returning from the EU with our daughter's 15 yo friend travelling with us. My comment was that should we have possessed a letter, how would HM border protection force know whether it was a genuine article? The other nonsense in the case of Portugal being that it cannot stop anyone from 25other Schengen countries crossing its borders, so a policy that only protects UK & Ireland citizens then

BTW does Schengen make a total nonsense of KM's repetitive whinge that the Portuguese authorities should have immediately road-blocked all roads  to Spain during the night of 3 May 2007?
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Re: THE CURSE OF THE MADELEINE MCCANN CASE - Airliner refused 16-yr-old British girl to board flight to Portugal without a letter from her parents

Post by sammyc on 19.10.15 22:36

In 2003 I went to the Algarve with a few people and one family in the group had a step-child (16 years old) obviously with a different surname. At Passport Control that family spent at least half an hour trying to explain the situation that the mother had re-married but her child had it's father's surname and not the step-father's surname. The officials were constantly checking the passports, looking at the family resemblances, asking the step-child questions, repeating the questions to the parents etc.

It was a bit of a tense time as most of us had been allowed in but this particular family had to wait for the officials to be convinced for them to be allowed to continue with their holiday- but everyone agreed how it was all for the best interests and concerns for the child and was rightfully questioned until proved satisfactory for Passport Control.  So this is nothing new IMO.
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Re: THE CURSE OF THE MADELEINE MCCANN CASE - Airliner refused 16-yr-old British girl to board flight to Portugal without a letter from her parents

Post by jean-pierre.t50 on 21.10.15 8:01

@Joss wrote:(Quote snipped from TB's post)

They said that Eilidh - who is old enough to get married, join the army and ride a motorbike - needed a letter of consent from her parents and details of who would be collecting her in Portugal.


In regard to this quote in what country can a 16 year old get married or join the army? Where i live you have to be at least 18 years old. A sixteen year old is not legally classified as an adult, they are a teenager. I just think as per the article they are covering all bases in case something should happen for which they might be held accountable for. I agree if she is not classified as "adult" yet, then they are within their rights to have adult consent by her parents or guardians to fly to another country.
I do think using the Madeleine McCann card is unecessary though because it should be just a matter of normal protocol for a non adult to have permission from the adults to do that. And i agree she is a Minor in the legal sense.

In quite a few countries across Europe the minimum age to get married is 16.A few are lower.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/spain-raises-minimum-marriage-age-16-how-it-compares-rest-europe-1498933

The Portuguese rule about minors requiring a letter existed before the McCann case.

Perhaps the moral of this is don't take the word of the red tops as gospel.

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