<p>Since Brexit, the UK has issued the Global Health Insurance Card (Ghic) that provides the same cover, but there is no need to replace an Ehic if it is still within date</p>

Since Brexit, the UK has issued the Global Health Insurance Card (Ghic) that provides the same cover, but there is no need to replace an Ehic if it is still within date

EasyJet apologises after falsely telling passengers: ‘Your Ehic card is worthless’

Exclusive: ‘We would like to apologise for any confusion or inconvenience caused by the previous information provided’ says Britain's biggest budget airline

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Wednesday 04 May 2022 12:20
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Britain’s biggest budget airline has been providing bizarre and inaccurate information to passengers about entitlement to free medical treatment.

An easyJet passenger contacted The Independent after he communicated with the airline ahead of a forthcoming trip to Thessaloniki in Greece.

He was sent what appeared to be a standard document, including a warning to British travellers, saying: “The European Health Insurance Card (Ehic) will not be considered valid from 1 January 2021.”

The assertion is completely wrong. All Ehics issued to British travellers continue to be valid for the provision of urgent medical care anywhere in the European Union until the card’s expiry date.

Since Brexit, the UK has issued the Global Health Insurance Card (Ghic) that provides the same cover, but there is no need to replace an Ehic if it is still within date.

To determine if passengers require visas or other forms of documentation for their trip, easyJet uses a system called TravelDoc.

A spokesperson for easyJet said: “It collects information from various official sources including government agencies and is widely used and recognised by many airlines.

“It is also used by our customer service team to help advise customers on requirements for travel and is where the information provided to this customer was shared from.

“We asked TravelDoc to review the information relating to the Ehic expiry date, which has since been updated. We would like to apologise for any confusion or inconvenience caused by the previous information provided.”

For British travellers, the Ghic has the same effect as the Ehic within the EU, providing urgent treatment in a public hospital on the same basis as local people.

British travellers benefited from free or very low-cost medical treatment in Europe since the UK joined the then EEC in 1973.

In an emergency, a British citizen resident in the UK is entitled to free treatment even without an Ehic or Ghic.

The EU says: “If the need arises, you will still receive the treatment necessary to enable you to continue your holiday without having to return home for treatment.”

The message supplied by the easyJet passenger travelling to Thessaloniki also said: “Passports issued by the United Kingdom are not accepted for entry if they are valid for more than 10 years in total.”

Were this statement correct – which it is not – then millions of travellers who obtained British passports before September 2018 would not be able to travel with easyJet.

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