A FAMILY from Edinburgh were told that Scotland "is not a country" by airport staff while they were travelling home.

Piotr Dziedzic, who has lived in Scotland since 2005, was travelling home from Portugal with his family when Ryanair staff at Lisbon Airport stopped them as they were unhappy with other paperwork regarding Covid testing.

The family, who are of Polish origin, were told that their paperwork did not apply despite their UK residency.

Dziedzic said that his eldest daughter tried to present information that states children under 18 do not have to do a Covid test before arrival, but only a day two test, which the family had proof of booking.

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The incident meant that the family missed their flight home and had to spend more than £550 on a flight to Birmingham instead.

Dziedzic told Birmingham Live: "After receiving this information, [the staff member] came back with printed rules for England (which are, of course, different to Scotland) and tried to argue that Scotland is not a country and we should follow English rules.

"Even a Google search to prove that Scotland is in fact a country was dismissed by them.

"It is incomprehensible we had to even argue this. Suddenly the initial problem that we are Polish wasn’t the cause of concern, but rather that we were following Scottish guidelines as opposed to English.

"Pointless excuse after excuse, as if looking to create a problem out of nothing.”

The family missed their flight home due to the incident and instead had to spend £550.96 on flights to Birmingham then travel 560 miles to get back to Edinburgh at their own expense.

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Ryanair apologised for the incident, stating: "Ryanair does not tolerate any form of racial prejudice; all of our customers are treated equally.

"Having addressed this matter with our Lisbon Airport handling agents, it has been verified that this passenger was incorrectly refused boarding due to the handling agents' misinterpretation of the travel requirements, believing that a pre-departure Covid-19 test was required for Mr. Dziedzic's daughter to board this flight.

"We sincerely apologise to these passengers, and our Lisbon Airport handling agents have agreed in this case to compensate Mr Dziedzic."