Guidance

Passenger travel to the EU by air, rail or sea after Brexit

What you may need to do to travel to or in the EU and EEA after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.

What may change for UK citizens travelling as passengers to the EU after the UK leaves the EU

UK citizens planning a trip to the EU and EEA before 29 March 2019 do not need to take action. In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019, some things may change for passengers travelling to and within the EU and EEA.

Stay informed

Some of these requirements may change depending on the terms that the UK leaves the EU. Bookmark and revisit this web page or sign up for email alerts to stay up to date.

Flying to the EU from the UK

From 29 March 2019, if there is no EU Exit deal, flights should continue as today. Both the UK and EU want flights to continue without any disruption. There will be no impact to direct flights to non-EU countries.

Before you leave for the airport, check online for the latest travel information and scheduled services from your airline.

Aviation security for passengers

From 29 March 2019, if there is no EU Exit deal, most passengers will not experience any difference in aviation security screening. The UK will continue to apply robust aviation security measures and prioritise passenger safety and security.

The European Commission has proposed measures to avoid extra security screening of passengers from the UK when transferring to onward flights at EU airports.

Air passenger rights

For air passengers on a flight departing the UK, the same passenger rights as apply today will continue to apply after the UK leaves the EU. For EU registered airlines, EU law will continue to apply in respect of flights to and from the EU.

Passengers should take out appropriate travel insurance, check and understand the terms and conditions of their booking, and check with their airline and insurance provider if they have any questions.

Air Travel Organiser’s Licensing (ATOL)

ATOL is a consumer protection scheme for air holidays and flight, managed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The scheme protects you from losing money or being stranded abroad when a travel firm collapses.

When you make a holiday booking that includes a flight, make sure the travel firm has a licence. You will be issued an ATOL certificate when you book an air holiday or flight. Take this with when you travel.

You are not protected by ATOL if you:

  • just buy a scheduled flight and receive an airline ticket or other airline confirmation within 24 hours of payment
  • you book direct and pay an airline direct

More about ATOL.

Private and general aviation

After 29 March 2019, private UK-issued pilot licences will remain valid for use on UK-registered aircraft. Private UK-issued pilot licences will continue to be recognised by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

More about EU Exit and private pilots.

Travelling by Eurostar to the EU from the UK

From 29 March 2019, if there is no EU Exit deal, your rights as a rail passenger using either domestic or cross-border rail services will remain unchanged. Passengers on cross-border rail services will continue to be protected by the EU regulation on rail passengers’ rights, which will be brought into UK law.

Passengers should take out appropriate travel insurance, check and understand the terms and conditions of their booking, and check with Eurostar and their insurance provider if they have any questions.

Before you leave for the station, check online for the latest Eurostar travel information.

Travelling by Eurotunnel to the EU from the UK

From 29 March 2019, if there is no EU Exit deal, your rights as a passenger using Eurotunnel’s cross-border shuttle services will remain unchanged. Passengers can continue to use Eurotunnel’s existing complaints procedure.

Passengers should take out appropriate travel insurance, check and understand the terms and conditions of their booking, and check with Eurotunnel and their insurance provider if they have any questions.

Before you leave for the station, check online for the latest Eurotunnel travel information.

Travelling by bus or coach to the EU from the UK

From 29 March 2019, if there is no EU Exit deal, passengers on cross-border bus and coach services will continue to be protected by the EU regulation on bus and coach passengers’ rights, which will be brought into UK law.

Passengers should take out appropriate travel insurance, check and understand the terms and conditions of their booking, and check with their operator and insurance provider if they have any questions.

Travelling by sea to the EU from the UK

From 29 March 2019, if there is no EU Exit deal, most passengers travelling to the EU by sea should not experience any difference to their journey.

Ferry passengers

From 29 March 2019, if there is no EU Exit deal, passengers on ferry services will continue to be protected by the EU regulation on passengers’ rights, which will be brought into UK law.

Passengers should take out appropriate travel insurance, check and understand the terms and conditions of their booking, and check with their operator and insurance provider if they have any questions.

Before you leave for the port, check online for the latest travel information and scheduled services from your ferry operator.

Cruising

From 29 March 2019, if there is no EU Exit deal, cruise operations will continue on the same basis as today. Passengers who embark on a cruise at a UK port will continue to be protected by the EU regulation on maritime passengers’ rights, which will be brought into UK law.

Passengers should take out appropriate travel insurance, check and understand the terms and conditions of their booking, and check with their cruise line and insurance provider if they have any questions.

Before you leave for your cruise, check online for the latest travel information and information from your cruise operator.

Passenger consumer rights

From 29 March 2019, if there is no EU Exit deal, your consumer rights in regards to travelling would remain largely unchanged.

See also

Published 20 December 2018