Family holiday ruined after taking covid test 15 minutes too early

Family’s easyJet holiday ‘wrecked’ when airline made crucial boarding mistake. image: EasyJet media

A mother and son were turned away from their easyJet flight to Split, Croatia, and spent the day at Luton airport.

A mother and son spent the day at Luton airport after easyJet would not let them take their flight to Split, Croatia. Their error was that their lateral flow test was out of date, with Croatia demanding the test be taken 48 hours before departure, not arrival.

Staff turned the pair away, which meant they lost a day of their holiday, the money spent on the Covid tests and also needed to pay for new flights and an overnight hotel before their flight the next day,


The mother and son, who do not want to be named, had travelled from Norfolk to Luton in the small hours of the morning to make their 6:40am flight to Split.

Croatia demands that arrivals from the UK present a negative Covid test even if they have had the vaccination. The easiest test is the rapid antigen (lateral flow) test, which is quick and cheap.

EasyJet states a 48-hour time limit on its guide online, however, it does not specify whether that is for when the flight departs or arrives.

The airline’s online Covid hub only states: “Time window: Not older than 48 hours.”

It has been clarified by the authorities in Croatia, however, that the test must be taken within 48 hours of arrival.

The pair took the test at 8:55am on Monday morning, which is within 48 hours of departure. However, their flight was arriving to Split at 9:10am, which exceeds the window by 15 minutes.

The father has his test at a later time than the mother and son, he continued with the journey to Croatia so as to not cause any more financial loss, according to The Independent.

A family member said: “I’ve travelled to Split myself recently and they only check before you fly.

“At the Croatia border, they don’t ask for the documents.

“I know that doesn’t make a difference – it’s just a very stressful situation.”

A spokesperson for easyJet said: “We know that flying is currently different to how many of our customers are used to travelling, which is why we are alerting customers to the importance of checking current local travel requirements ahead of their flight via email and on via our Covid help hub, where they can also find access to government website links and the most up-to-date travel information.

“Unfortunately, as these passengers were unable to provide test results in line with the criteria required by the Croatian authorities, they were unable to travel on this occasion.”

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