A few days ago I was due to travel home to my wonderful family from the UK to Lanzarote. However, any hopes I had were dashed when an airline employee refused to allow me to board my plane on the grounds that I did not have a negative Covid test.

I am exempt under Spanish regulations from providing a negative test for the simple reason that I've just spent nearly six weeks on a ship, been tested several times and cannot reasonably have a test 72 hours before travelling.

Last time home it was fine: very smooth and I was tested on arrival in Lanzarote. They were polite and respectful. This time, the police were called, but not because I was in any way aggressive or loud; I was calm and collected.

So to help save lives I've now had to travel on a bus, a train and London Underground to get from Luton to Heathrow, submit to a test costing 79 quid and await another flight to Madrid. Then it's a packed minibus to and from hotel in Madrid and on to Lanzarote the following day. If I was in any way afraid of this virus I'd be catatonic with fear now.

I had plenty of time in Heathrow so I found an Iberia airline manager and discussed the Spanish regulations with him. He was perplexed and told me that indeed I was exempt and there would be no issue from them.

I think airlines need to educate their staff.

Capt Paul Kersey

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