What is Schengen?

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Do you think of yourself as a seasoned traveller? Yet many of us have never heard of the term Schengen Zone and what it means when travelling through EU airports.

What is the Schengen Agreement?

Schengen_city_limit_signIn 1985 an agreement was signed enabling the free movement of citizens in the countries within the European Union.  It was signed in Schengen, a small village in Luxembourg.

Schengen entitles every EU citizen to move freely within its borders, without being subject to checks.

Twenty-two of the twenty-eight EU member states participate in the Schengen Area. This may be particularly evident at the airport where EU passport holders are able to move through terminals without the need to pass through passport checks.

If you are travelling from one-member state to another in the Schengen zone, you will generally be able to access any of the other member states without going through passport control checkpoints again.

Schengen Countries

Schengen_Area_participation.svgThe countries within the Schengen zone are:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The UK and ROI are not in a Schengen area as they still have border controls.

Schengen Zone Airport Lounges

If you are booking an airport lounge there are likely to be designated areas for Schengen and non-Schengen flights.

The status of a lounge will be made clear when booking online.   You will therefore need to ensure you book the correct one for your designated airport.

If you are flying from one Schengen country to another Schengen country you must book a Schengen lounge.

However if you are flying to the UK or another non-Schengen country from an airport in a Schengen country, (listed above), you must choose a non-Schengen lounge or one that allows non-Schengen passengers. There are some Schengen lounges at smaller airports, Rhodes for example, that can be used by non-Schengen passengers, but this means you have to allow additional time to reach the departure gate, whilst passing through Passport Control and hand baggage check after leaving the lounge.

If you are unsure or have any questions please contact us or use our live chat facility.

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