Surge in UK passport applications causing delays, threatening holiday cancellations

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Holiday makers are being forced to cancel plans after waiting times for new passports triple.

Passport Office courier service, TNT, has admitted to delivery issues with the potential to cause holiday mayhem this festive season.

Those waiting for a new passport have been told they could have a wait of up to 10-weeks for it to be processed, before facing further delays in receiving them.

The courier, a FedEx subsidiary, has been bombarded with complaints as arrival dates are continually pushed back.

The waiting time for new passports has almost tripled during the pandemic.

Passport delays petition

Some customers have driven from depot to depot to find their documents after booking flights abroad

With calls to TNT’s customer service helpline often going unanswered, as reported by The Times, hundreds of customers set up a petition urging the government to look into the issue.

The petition reads: “In recent months thousands of us have experienced significant delays in getting our passports delivered.

“Many have had to cancel their travel plans as a result and lost out on hundreds or even thousands of pounds.

Customers have been experiencing long delays despite passports being given the green light by civil servants.

“Unlike many other couriers, TNT do not seem to provide real time tracking, nor can you provide delivery instructions,” the petition added.

It highlights the “numerous failed delivery attempts” with other customers having their “delivery date continuously pushed back with no end in sight” and some having “their passport or application support documents lost by TNT.”

TNT taking “additional steps” towards timely passport delivery

The Passport Office has said it was working to establish the cause of the problem.

TNT was awarded a three-year contract worth £77million to deliver new and renewed passports back in 2019.

A backlog had been caused as a result of a surge in applications due to the easing of lockdown restrictions, according to a TNT spokesman.

He added: “We are taking additional steps to provide timely delivery by adding additional resources to the operations.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

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