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Monthly News Bulletin
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Back to 2003 News Archive

NO PASSPORT - NO (UK) FLIGHT

KOREAN War veteran Willie Allison was refused a flight to London to a 50th anniversary reunion on Monday - because he did not have a passport.

Seventy-years-old Willie, who lives at 28 Trades Court, Stranraer, armed with an official invitation from Clarence House, was on his way to meet Prince Charles at St James' Palace.

But he only got as far as the Ryanair check-in desk at Prestwick Airport. Willie's bus pass complete with picture and his palace invitation embossed with the Prince of Wales feathers was not considered enough identification.

So they would not let him on the plane. Blasted Willie:

"I did not need a passport when they sent me to Korea as a 19-year-old".

It was only last week that Willie, a regular attender at Black Watch reunions in Perth, was asked if he would like to attend the reception hosted for Korean veterans by the regiment's new Colonel in Chief, Prince Charles.

And since he was asked to take identification - a driving licence or utility bill - he took his phone bill. But what would have been good enough for palace security failed to impress the Ryanair check-in staff.

Although Ryanair make it clear in their conditions that some form of identification is necessary, a driving licence with picture, passport or international student card, Willie did not read that far down. He got as far as the opening paragraph that said all passengers must present valid photo-identification at check in and thought his bus pass would suffice.

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