A FAMILY has warned other travellers to be aware of passport delays after their £3,000 trip to Disneyland turned into a nightmare.
Stuart McLean, his wife Claire and their two children were due to fly to Paris to celebrate their five-year-old daughter’s birthday but they were forced to cancel their five-day trip at the last minute.
Despite applying for the young girls’ passports months in advance, unexpected delays meant the family could no longer go on holiday.
Stuart said even though they applied for the documents back in February after being told to expect them in five to seven weeks, only one of the passports arrived.
The 35-year-old told Edinburgh Live: “We ordered both of our daughters passports at the same time and then had them verified by the same person at the same time.
“For some reason they accepted one and not the other because you can’t use the same person to verify twice, but we phoned up and they said it was fine and to apply again and they’d put a note on the file.
“It didn’t work again but we got someone different to verify and then it was sorted.
“One came within four weeks but there was no sign of the one for our two-year old.”
To make things worse, the couple later discovered EasyJet had cancelled their return flight.
Less than two weeks before heading off on May 10, the pair decided to cancel the five-day holiday to make sure they would get the £3,000 costs back.
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Stuart added: “My wife was in a Disney Facebook group and someone had posted saying EasyJet had cancelled a lot of flights so we had a look and realised our return flight had been cancelled but were given a full refund from them.
“At point, it was two weeks to go, we were looking at alternative return flights but Air France was a lot more expensive and we still hadn’t got anything from the passport and you can only get a refund from Disneyland if you cancel less than a week before.
“We had spent in total around £3,000 on the trip so we cancelled the full thing to make sure we got the money back.”
The parents are now planning to rebook the trip for October as the missing passport eventually arrived on the afternoon of May 10, when they were supposed to fly.
But they have warned others not be caught in the same situation they were.
The Passport Office has been inundated with applications as millions expired during the pandemic and foreign travel was off more-or-less the cards.
The Government has urged families not to book any holiday until they receive their new passport as they could be waiting much longer than the recommended five to six weeks.
Almost one million Brits could miss out on booked summer holidays due to passport processing delays, experts have warned.
People are urged to apply for documents at least 10 weeks in advance as demand recovers post-pandemic, with odds of a “successful and timely renewal” estimated at two to one.
Earlier this month, another family planning to head to Disneyland had their £5,000 trip ruined after they were sent the wrong passport.
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