I suspect that the EasyJet website is not up to date (and I am sure they have a disclaimer that says they are not responsible if they do not show the correct information).
After a quick google I ended up on this page: France – Parental Authorization Required for Children Travelling out of the Country (which is not an official French government site - so again this may not be 100% accurate). This states in part:
Effective January 15, 2017, every minor child (under the age of
eighteen (18)) residing in France who travels without a person who has
parental authority will require an authorization to leave the country,
signed by the person with parental authority. Previously, this
authorization was not required.
I suspect that your mother-in-law is also not considered someone with
This site states that the requirements for travel are:
- a valid ID (passport or ID card for French or EU nationals)
- a visa where applicable
- a copy of the parent’s ID: valid passport or ID card (for French or EU nationals only) or residence permit
- the authorization form signed by the person with parental authority
The page I linked to has a link to the PDF version of the form that you as a parent are supposed to fill in and sign. This form is Cerfa N° 15646*01 and has the title
AUTORISATION DE SORTIE DU TERRITOIRE (AST) D’UN MINEUR NON ACCOMPAGNÉ
PAR UN TITULAIRE DE L’AUTORITÉ PARENTALE
and has the subtitle
article 371-6 du code civil; décret n° 2016-1483 du 2 novembre 2016
relatif à l’autorisation de sortie du territoire d’un mineur non
accompagné par un titulaire de l’autorité parentale ; arrêté du 13
Given that this all seems legitimate I would say that you really have no case for easyJet to compensate you. However I do understand why you are upset. Your Mother-in-law and your children really should not have gotten so far into the airport before being denied boarding.
OK, by searching for the cerfa number I found the official French page for it:
Autorisation de sortie de territoire (AST)
Which has in it:
L'enfant qui voyage à l'étranger sans être accompagné de l'un de ses
parents doit être muni des documents suivants :
- Pièce d’identité valide du mineur : carte d'identité ou passeport accompagné éventuellement d'un visa si le pays de destination l'exige
(à vérifier en consultant les fiches pays du site diplomatie.gouv.fr )
- Photocopie de la carte d'identité ou passeport du parent signataire Le titre doit être valide ou périmé depuis moins de 5 ans
- Original du formulaire cerfa n°15646*01 signé par l'un des parents titulaire de l'autorité parentale
From the comments below this question has become more nuanced than my understanding of the situation and I don't read French and IANAL (especially in France).
Sarah has pointed out that her children would have exited on the French side of the Geneva airport. I did a quick google and saw something that implied that only domestic French flights land there. This may imply that they were not leaving French territory.
Phoog has pointed out that the law seems to be based on the children's place of residence, and that if they reside in Geneva is it even applicable to them?
I think that the correct understanding of the laws and whether easyJet owes compensation will come down to some very nuanced arguments.
So I am no longer confident that my google skills alone suffice for this question.