Woman quizzed by police after trying to use Northern Ireland banknote at English airport
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Woman quizzed by police after trying to use Northern Ireland banknote at English airport

A WOMAN has said she thought she was going to be arrested after trying to pay for goods at Birmingham Airport using a Northern Ireland banknote.

The woman says she had to explain herself to security staff and police after trying to pay her bill at the airport’s All Bar One restaurant.

The restaurant has apologised, saying they didn’t call police but that officers who were in the restaurant at the time were just checking everything was OK.

According to Belfast Live, the woman told staff the £10 note was legal tender as it had ‘sterling’ printed on it, but they said they only accepted plastic notes and called security.

She said she thought she was going to be arrested, adding that being quizzed by police and security for trying to pay with a Northern Ireland note was a “terrible experience”.

She said the situation was only resolved when a security manager told the restaurant to accept the note and the airport would vouch for its validly.

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A spokesperson for All Bar One said: “We would like to make clear though that this was very much a misunderstanding on behalf of the team member and they didn’t mean to cause any offence.

“We would like to apologise for any offence caused to the guest. This was a misunderstanding which was soon rectified.”

In 2015, BBC Radio Ulster presenter Stephen Nolan experienced a similar situation at Manchester Airport.

While Northern Ireland banknotes are in sterling and are backed by ring-fenced assets, they are not considered legal tender anywhere in Britain, including Northern Ireland, according to the Association of Commercial Banknote Issuers.

While most retailers in England will accept the notes, they are under no obligation to do so.