By Tom Whitehead
The details of millions of British airline passengers will be stored for up to five years under EU plans to tackle terrorism.
Information including names, addresses, credit card details and travel partners will be collated.
The database will store what a passenger ate, where they sat and whether they were flying on to another destination.
The same data could be handed over to any other EU country in which the plane lands. That would include British tourists on package tours to Spain or travellers going to parts of Eastern Europe.
The new policy, once approved, means immigration and police authorities will be handed a variety of additional data including a passenger’s phone number and how they paid for their ticket, such as credit card details and billing addresses.
The information can also be shared with other countries if it helps solve or prevent a crime or terrorist attack.
But critics attacked the Government for signing up to a diktat that could see details of Britons handed around Europe without proper parliamentary scrutiny.
Britain currently collects the data on a passenger’s passport, such as name, date of birth, country of birth and gender.
Under the new EU wide power, airlines will be forced to hand over all the other information they collect — at least 19 extra pieces of data.
It will be stored for up to five years. Details will be made anonymous after 30 days but approved individuals can read the information for crime or security purposes. The draft directive initially applied to flights in and out of Europe.
Stephen Booth, research director of Open Europe, said: ‘Despite their tough rhetoric in opposition, Conservative ministers have handed over crime and justice powers to Brussels at an alarming rate.”