Passport office staff say backlog of 500,000 applications will get worse, putting summer holidays at risk

BY JAMES ROBINSON FOR MAILONLINE

Britons say their holiday plans are in question due to ‘nightmare’ delays in receiving their new passports.

Families say they fear missing out on long-awaited trips because they haven’t yet received the important travel documents – despite applying months ago.

A family have revealed they have yet to receive a passport almost two months after ordering one – even after paying an extra £120 to ‘speed up’ their application.

Meanwhile, a wedding photographer said she was at risk of losing a £3,000 job in France because her passport hadn’t arrived – despite applying for one in September.

A family have told MailOnline how they risk losing £1,200 on holiday in Spain next month because they still do not have one of their passports.

Ellie Freeman, from Nottinghamshire, said her family (pictured) were still waiting for passports to travel to the Spanish coastal town of Tossa Del Mar next month.

Ellie Freeman, from Nottinghamshire, said her family were still waiting for passports to travel to the Spanish coastal town of Tossa Del Mar next month.

She and her partner Jordan ordered passports for themselves and their two children, one aged four and the other 9 months, in early March.

At the time, the Passport Office recommended a wait time of three to five weeks, meaning the couple had given themselves plenty of time.

They have since received three out of four passports, but are still waiting for their youngest child’s travel document.

Desperate to go on vacation, the couple say they shelled out an extra £100 to expedite the passport application in the hope of receiving it within a week.

But with days running out before their flight, they still haven’t received the travel document.

Hotel worker Ellie, 26, who also missed a trip to Corfu in May last year due to Covid restrictions, said: “It’s been an absolute nightmare.

And it is hope that makes the situation worse. I would rather they just say it won’t be here, because we have to make plans.

“I’ve seen people get there 48 hours before – which is good if it’s a weekend abroad, but it’s difficult if you have kids because there’s a lot of planning to do. “

Ellie’s partner Jordan, 27, who works in customer services, said the couple risked losing all their money due to passport delays – as they are not covered by travel insurance .

“We were left in limbo,” he said. “We did without a lot of extras to save just to go on a family vacation

‘If they had told us a few weeks ago we might have been able to make changes to our booking but so close to the travel date it is non-refundable. So we’re going to lose that £1,200 if we can’t go.

A photographer also told MailOnline how she risked losing £3,000 in sales due to the issue.

Kerri Cuthbert, who runs a photography business, Rockford Studio in Devon, said she ordered a new passport in September after her previous passport expired.

But she says she has yet to receive the travel document – forcing her to cancel a wedding job in Bordeaux in June.

She said: “It’s now almost May and I have to travel in June, and I’ve now had to let the bride and groom know at very short notice that they’ll have to look for a plan B.

‘It’s a huge loss to my already overdue post-lockdown business of almost £3,000, plus the time already spent planning with the client.

“I renewed my passport in September when it expired. At first they said it might be lost and I went back and forth trying to find out where it was.

“I only received a message three days ago that he had arrived. This will have a huge impact on me trying to revive my business after the pandemic.

Kerri Cuthbert

Kerri Cuthbert

Kerri Cuthbert (left and right), from Devon, said she ordered a new passport in September but has yet to receive it – forcing her to cancel a marriage job in Bordeaux in June

Another holiday hopeful also told MailOnline how he now stands to lose £1,800 due to delays in receiving his passport.

Kym Wylnp said she plans to take her daughter and four-year-old son to Spain next month.

The 62-year-old local worker delayed her daughter’s passport and without the document she cannot order a passport for her son.

“She needs the passport to order her son’s passport because she needs ID. We ordered them in January, so we thought they would be there at least in April. It was an absolute nightmare.

“We taught him (my grandson) little bits of Spanish and I paid for swimming lessons because there is a water park.

“He’s only four, so he’s had half his life disrupted by Covid, and this is the last chance to go on holiday outside of school terms. It would be a shame if he couldn’t go.

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