Some UK tourists are missing holidays and losing cash as their passports arrive weeks later than expected.
Recent reviews of Passportwaitingtime.co.uktracked consumer wait times during application submission, revealing customer frustration with often inconsistent wait times for new passports.
One user’s review, posted on Wednesday, said she waited over 12 weeks for two of her family’s passports to be renewed.
“Registered for renewal for my two kids on January 17th and still in processing,” one user wrote on Wednesday.
“I called weekly last month because we booked the holiday for April 19. I submitted four applications in January and received two of them. The two that I received arrived within a few weeks, so I don’t understand why it took so long.
“It was the most stressful time. We are currently looking at losing £2,400 as we cannot change holiday and insurance will not cover this.”
On Monday, Abi Tierney – general manager of the HM Passport Office – warned that travelers had applied too late, urging holidaymakers to apply just before the summer break.
The typical waiting time for a new passport is five weeks – as stated on the government website – unless it is a first-time adult passport, in which case the average wait time is six weeks.
However, the passport office also recommends that travelers allow up to 10 weeks for any delays, with a disclaimer, “Standard online application processing times can be rapidly changing”.
Another vacationer wrote of their surprise that it took almost two months to receive their child’s first passport. They say they have rerouted their flight for an important trip three times, and still have to get their MPs involved and get their own passports.
“Despite the fact that passports are urgently needed so that my son and I can hitchhike my partner to finally see his son, the process cannot be sped up,” the angry parent wrote on passportwaitingtime.co.uk.
“I had to change flights three times because I naively thought six weeks was enough time to get a passport. I even had to collect it from the local TNT warehouse.”
A third traveler who applied for a passport on February 25 said it took them more than six weeks to arrive, resulting in them being lost on holiday.
“Takes longer than the Post Office (check and send) says. Plus, I don’t think I’ve ever been given a tracking number! That made it pretty frustrating and we missed our vacation,” they commented on Monday.
Another user who rated the process as “stressful” commented: “I’m just happy because I hope that I won’t have to deal with this mess for another 10 years.”
Passportwaitingtime.co.uk founder Andy Anderson says the site is getting record traffic every day – more than 30,000 pageviews – suggesting to him that a large number of people are signing up for the season this spring and many of them are worried. Waiting time is longer than usual.
“There seems to be some delay at the moment and I think it’s the inconsistency that has let people down,” he said. The Independent.
“Some people received their passports within 15 days, while some had to wait longer and missed their holidays due to this.
“Just to add to the mix, from the feedback we’ve received, TNT seems to have failed quite badly and in some cases it took more than a week to deliver passports once they were with us. ”
A note on TNT’s website says: “Please wait a few business days (Monday to Friday) from receiving notification from the HM Passport Office before attempting to track the shipment. yours.
“We are experiencing higher-than-expected demand for our delivery service. As a result, delivery may take longer than usual. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.”
The Independent approached TNT for comment.
A Home Office spokesman said: “Due to Covid-19, more than five million people have delayed applying for a UK passport throughout 2020 and 2021.. To prepare for the need to return to international travel, as of April 2021, we have recommended that people allow up to ten weeks when applying for a passport. This is still the case.
“We are dealing with record demand and in March 2022 we processed over a million new passport applications, 13% higher than the previous record in March 2019.
“We urge those who need a new passport to apply immediately. We also provide emergency services for applicants who need a passport urgently.
“Our dedicated staff is working tirelessly to ensure that passport applications are processed as quickly as possible.”