Call for an instant quote
0345 90 80 161
Open Mon to Fri 09:00 - 17:30 | Sat 09:00 - 16:00 (GMT)
10 June 2014 10:04
Half a million people face ruined summer holidays as a result of the passport backlog.
A backlog of passport applications is threatening to cause chaos for thousands of holidaymakers this summer.
Half a million people are currently waiting for new documents, according to some estimates, and it is feared the total could swell even more in the coming months as travellers look to soak up the rays in sunnier climes.
Reports even suggest that staff from outside the Passport Office have been drafted in to help deal with the escalating issue as applications are taking as long as two months to process in the most extreme cases.
Hundreds of holidaymakers have already missed out on pre-booked trips overseas after their passports failed to arrive before they were due to depart, leaving them out of pocket to the tune of hundreds of pounds.
Travel insurance can protect against cancellation and curtailment, so make sure you take out adequate cover when booking holidays.
The passport problems are understood to be most serious for those applying for children's passports, but Paul Pugh, the chief executive of the Passport Office, has strongly denied claims of a backlog.
He declared that more than 97% of straightforward passport renewal and child applications are being processed within the three-week target turnaround time, while more than 99% of straightforward applications are being processed within four weeks.
This is despite a period of "exceptional early summer demand" due to the improving economy and a rise in holiday bookings.
Mike Jones, from the Public and Commercial Services Union, recently wrote to Mr Pugh to demand urgent negotiations regarding pay and conditions for workers after reports emerged that staff are being forced to "paper over the cracks" of a passport backlog by working overtime.
Unions claim officials only acted when the backlog reached 350,000, by which time it was too late to make a significant impact.
28 April 2017
Holidaymakers will be able to jet off to eight new destinations from Belfast next summer, following the expansion of a budget airline.
27 April 2017
The port city of Liverpool is to be the starting point of the biggest round the world ocean race.
26 April 2017
Nearly three-quarters of patients diagnosed with cancer in A&E had previously seen their GP with related symptoms, according to research.
25 April 2017
Researchers recently suggested cycling could reduce the risk of cancer - and now a campaign has launched urging people to get on two wheels.
22 April 2017
The flag for Britain will be flown on a global scale at the forthcoming Clipper Round the World Race.
21 April 2017
Want to lower your risk of suffering cancer or heart disease? Then get on your bike.
20 April 2017
Researchers have made a significant breakthrough in understanding the way in which breast cancer grows and spreads.
19 April 2017
Budget airline easyJet has apologised over an incident in which two passengers were ordered to leave an overbooked flight.
14 April 2017
Holidays have topped the priority lists of people approaching retirement, with close to two thirds (64%) aiming to go on more trips once they leave the world of work behind.
13 April 2017
A major bank has outlined plans to become more "dementia-friendly".
12 April 2017
Restrictions should be put in place to curb the drinking of alcohol before early-morning flights, a House of Lords committee has suggested.
11 April 2017
Drivers heading to airports and ferry ports this bank holiday weekend have been told to expect heavy traffic.