Schengen Zone vs. European Economic Area
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Jul 21, 2013 3:40 AM Last Post By: eurozhongguo
Jul 19, 2013 11:45 PM
Schengen Zone vs. European Economic AreaLP users who are EU/EEA citizens from outside the Schengen Zone (such as British and Irish pasport holders) may like to be aware that it is sometimes possible to encounter difficulties if your flight is to Paris or Amsterdam rather than the UK or Ireland. I once had trouble in China getting on a flight to Paris since they insisted that I must have an onward connection to the UK and would not give in. I ended up having to book an Easyjet flight to satisfy them even though I didn't actually take it.
Jul 20, 2013 12:38 AM
1What is your nationality?
Anyway, EU citizens have the right to travel and live indefinitely in any other EU country regardless of the Schengen Agreement, and airlines should know (and can easily check) that. If they don't, you should file a complaint with the airline as the agent you were dealing with clearly didn't do his work properly and you should get your money for that Easyjet ticket back.
Jul 20, 2013 1:21 AM
2There is a list of countries whose citizens can enter the Schengen area without need to apply for a visa in advance. A printout of that list should help in most situations.
British citizens certainly are free to enter the Schengen zone at any moment they please... after all, we have repeatedly invited them to join Schengen, the Euro and a few other modern comforts :-)
Jul 20, 2013 2:06 AM
Jul 20, 2013 11:18 PM
4I have a UK passport, but the airline staff seem to be intepreting the Schengen Zone as a stand-alone immigration area so that they were interpreting a UK national in much the same way as an American or a Singaporean, let's say. They seemed to think, as did all their supervisors too, that I had to prove that I would leave the Schengen Zone. As a result, I just booked a very cheap and short Easyjet flight since the alternative was to miss my flight which would have proved considerably more expensive.
I am sure that I can't be the onlyperson ever to have encountered this problem. There must be others.
If the flight had been taking off during normal working hours, i might have possibly been able to make them speak to the French Consulate (if I could find the number and if they answer telephone queries) so that they could have told the airline staff in no uncertain terms how wrong they were. However, consulates are not staffed at 10:30pm. They wouldn't take it from me and just insisted that I was a foreigner in the Schengen Zone.
I thought first of booking a foot passenger ticket on a Calais-Dover ferry, but I wasn't sure whether that would be sufficient since they probably wouldn't know where either place was. So, i went for the safe option - a flight. They even told me to carry the document with my passport, saying that French immigration will request it. They obviously had no idea about EU/EEA freedom of movement.
Jul 21, 2013 2:12 AM
Jul 21, 2013 3:37 AM
6It was in fact one of the Chinese ailrines. I did write a letter of complaint, but it was not answered. I don't usually use Chinese airlines for international flights and will be even less likely to do so in future. I was more or less the only non-Chinese passenger on board. So, I guess they don't have much experience with Europeans. They even printed out the Easyjet ticket for me in their office. They seemed to genuinely believe they were doing me a favour.
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