Britons claim their vacation plans have been shattered by a series of delays when they apply for new passports.

Many families fear that they won’t be able to take long-awaited family vacations due to not receiving the necessary travel documents. This despite them ordering them months before.

One family today revealed how they are yet to receive a passport, even after shelling out an extra £100 to ‘fast track’ their application in order to secure the document in time for their holiday.

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Meanwhile, a wedding photographer today said she faced losing out on a £3,000 job in France because her passport has not arrived – despite her ordering it back in September. 

Officials today raised alarm about the delay, claiming that it was caused by an “unprecedented” demand for passports.

Officials estimate that 5 million Britons delayed renewing passports as a result of restrictions to the coronavirus. 

The EU’s post-Brexit travel rules have made matters more complicated by requiring that travelling Britons have at least three months of validity when they travel to EU member countries.

Britons now face a 10-week wait to get their passports, instead of the three-week turnaround.

Family members who have yet to get their passports, despite having ordered them many months prior, are facing chaos.

One family today told MailOnline how they face losing out on a £1,100 holiday to Spain next month because they are still without one of their passports.

Ellie Freeman, from Nottinghamshire, said her family (pictured) are still waiting on one passport in order to travel to the Spanish coastal town of Tossa Del Mar next month

Ellie Freeman from Nottinghamshire said that her family is still waiting for a passport to allow them to travel to Tossa de Mar, Spain next month.

Five million Britons delayed renewing their passports because of coronavirus restrictions

Coronavirus restrictions prevented five million Britons from renewing their passports in time.

Heathrow Airport Chief says that delays in processing passport application are “really disappointing”. 

According to Heathrow Airport’s boss, delays in the processing of passport applications is “really disappointing”.

John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of the company, stated to the PA news agency that it was “vital” for people to go on vacation this summer in the event the UK reinstates travel restrictions relating coronavirus.

Monday’s revelation showed that the Passport Office has a huge backlog.

Holland-Kaye explained that “normally the Passport Office processes passports very quickly. I find it really frustrating to hear about delays.

“If this isn’t resolved, then it will mean that the people cannot get away.”

We need to ensure that people have good holidays after two years of lockdown. Many of our customers have travel vouchers they have been saving for, trips they have planned all their lives and don’t know when they might be closed again.

“Making the most out of the summer is crucial.”

The House of Commons was informed about a woman who waited over five months for her new passport. Services were labelled “either very, really good or an absolute disaster”.

Stuart McDonald, spokesperson for the SNP Home Affairs, asked: “All of our constituents have to cancel holidays and miss funerals. They also need to rearrange visits. Even a 10-week target is routinely failing.

How can we prevent the predictable mess from becoming worse? Can we rest assured, the target of 10 weeks will not be extended as we move towards the summer?

Kevin Foster, Home Office Minister said that he did not intend to extend the standard.

We are currently processing passports within the time limit, however, we advise that people take action as this is an unprecedented demand. If people plan to travel in summer, we recommend they apply as soon as they can.

According to him, the Passport Office handled a quarter of a million requests last month, as compared to seven million in the year prior.

Simon Hoare, Conservative MP, described the backlog in a positive way. He said it was “unprecedented and true” but that it is “foreseeable, absolutely”.


Ellie Freeman of Nottinghamshire stated that her family still needs one passport to be able to travel to Spain’s coastal city Tossa De Mar next month.

Jordan, her partner, ordered passports at the beginning of March for herself and their children. One was four years old and one is nine months.

According to the Passport Office, the wait period was between 3 and 5 weeks. That meant the couple could give themselves ample time.

While they have received the passports for three of their four children, they are still waiting to receive the document for their youngest.

Desperate to go on holiday, the couple say they shelled out an extra £100 in order to ‘fast track’ the passport application with the hope of receiving it within a week.

They are now counting down the days until their flight and still have not received the travel document.

Ellie, 26, a hotel worker who was also unable to go to Corfu due to Covid restrictions in May 2013, said that it had been a nightmare.

“And it’s not the hope that makes it worse. It would be better if they said it wouldn’t happen, since we need to plan.

“I’ve seen some people get there’s 48-hours before. This is great if the weekend is abroad for a stag party, but difficult if your children are involved. It’s very time-consuming.

Jordan, Ellie’s 27-year-old partner in customer service, stated that the passport delays could lead to the couple losing their entire money, as it is not covered by travel insurance.

He said, “We have been left in limbo.” We’ve done without extras just so we could go on holiday together.

“If they’d told us weeks earlier, we may have been able make adjustments to our booking. However, this is so close to the departure date that it cannot be refunded. So we are going to lose that £1,200 if we can’t go.’

One photographer also told MailOnline how she faced losing £3,000 worth of business because of the issue.

Kerri Cuthbert of Rockford Studio in Devon is a photographer who ordered a passport renewal in September. Her previous passport had expired.

She claims she has not received the travel document yet, forcing her to cancel her job as a bridesmaid in Bordeaux in June.

She stated, “It’s almost May now, I’m due to travel June in June. And I’ve now had to tell the bride and groom that they’ll need to search for a plan A. 

‘It is a huge loss to my already suffering business post-lockdown, of nearly £3,000, along with the time already spent planning with the client. 

I renewed my passport last September, when it was expired. It was initially lost, and they told me that I would need to look for it.

I received an email three days back to confirm that the virus had been confirmed. I will be able to use this information to help me get my business back on track after the pandemic. 

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 is yet to receive the travel document - forcing her to cancel a wedding job in Bordeaux in June

Kerri Cuthbert is a Devon-based photographer who ordered a replacement passport after her old one expired in September. She claims she has not received the travel document yet, which forced her to cancel her June Bordeaux wedding.

Today, Kevin Foster, immigration minister, has warned that there is an ‘unprecedented’ demand for passports and this is placing severe stress on the system. 

According to The Times, MPs accused the Passport Office that it presided over an ‘absolute chaos’ where the target of processing passport applications within ten weeks was routinely broken. 

Although the Passport Office claims that this backlog is due to Britons delaying application during pandemic, MPs say the issue was entirely “foreseeable”. 

They also told stories about constituents who were lied to regarding the status of their applications. 

Some say that even after approval, they have had to wait months for their passports to be delivered – raising questions about the courier firm TNT which has a £77million contract to deliver documents. 

SNP home affairs spokesperson Stuart McDonald said, “All our constituents have to cancel holidays and miss funerals, arrange visits, with even the new ten week target being routinely failed. 

What can we do to stop this predictable disaster from becoming worse? Can we rest assured, that our ten week target won’t be extended as we get closer to the summer? 

Foster was the immigration minister. He said that he dealt with one million passport applications in one month. This is to be able to put it in perspective: We usually handle seven million applications per year. 

According to an HM Passport Office spokesperson, “We encourage people in need of a new passport immediately and offer immediate services for those who are more urgent.”

Britons now face more travel pains. Industry chiefs warn anyone planning to visit abroad this year, to be prepared for twelve months of misery due to the unprecedented shortage of staff at airlines. This is due to Covid self-isolation as well as mass layoffs that occurred during the pandemic.

Experts claimed that airlines are “just not able to deal with that demand due to lack of resources” and that the infamous ‘nightmare disruption’ – such as that seen during Easter where hundreds of flights were canceled by British Airways and easyJet– may last throughout the year.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds up one of the new passports on a flight to Newcastle Airport on the day the UK left the EU

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of Britain holds one the the newly created passports during a flight from London to Newcastle Airport the day after the UK left EU.

MPs have accused the Passport Office of presiding over an 'absolute shambles' with the ten-week target for processing passport applications being routinely breached

MPs accuse the Passport Office, claiming that it is in charge of an “absolute mess” with the deadline for passport application processing being abused by routinely breaking the 10-week mark

BA has cancelled hundreds of flights to US and Far East on selected routes until September. This will affect thousands of passengers after the airline had already cancelled over 1,000 flights in less than three weeks.

The affected routes include London to Berlin and Dublin, Geneva, Paris or Stockholm.   

Fears exist that another carrier could face similar problems after easyJet has cancelled many flights during Easter. 

Times Radio’s Grant Shapps stated that the demand for airlines was underestimated by Grant Shapps (transport secretary).

Kully Sandhu is the managing director at Aviation Recruitment Network. He told Express that it might take up to twelve months for staffing levels to return to pre-pandemic levels. Due to additional security measures and background checks, airport recruitment takes more time than for other roles.

“Routine recruitment campaigns were stopped during the pandemic. They have not been able to restart since international travel was restricted until recent times. 

“This means that the pipeline for recruitment was shut off, and must be rebuilt.

“Aviation is losing its appeal not just for returning passengers but for anyone who has never been in an airport setting before.”

George Morgan Greville, Red Savannah Luxury Travel’s chief executive, said that it was a “unfortunate perfect storm” and that airlines and airports were trying to recover from the pandemic.

“The tourism industry cannot be turned on or off, and it is going to take some time. 

“My personal feeling is that we won’t see a trouble-free summer, by any stretch. You will probably get many very angry people if the situation is worse than it seems.

Over Easter, BA and easyJet cancelled all flights to Europe and the US due to Covid absences, staff shortages and an increase in travel demand as restrictions were removed.

George Morgan-Grenville, chief executive of Red Savannah Luxury Travel

Kully Sandhu, managing director of Aviation Recruitment Network

Left, George Morgan-Grenville, chief executive of Red Savannah Luxury Travel. Right, Kully Sandhu, managing director of Aviation Recruitment Network. Both warn of more travel disruptions this year.

Industry experts also raised concerns about security and staff numbers. The 14-week time frame for vetting staff for employment is twice that of what it’s supposed to take. Experts also think that the loss of many thousands of employees who had been laid off in the aftermath of the pandemic was a factor. Many people have not returned to their jobs after they were found elsewhere.

In an initial message to employees, BA boss Sean Doyle stated that flight cancellations would occur until next month due partly to staff shortages.

Paul Charles of The PC Agency, a travel consulting firm, spoke out at the World Travel and Tourism Council summit in Manila, Philippines. He suggested that disruptions could be prolonged for many months.

He said that “Covid travel restrictions” have led to a loss of talent and job opportunities.

The Telegraph also heard from him: “In the short term you have Covid.” [absence]This is decreasing, however, the problem of not enough people in the workforce will continue to be an issue.

The ‘BA only recruits staff with security passes. Planners of the airline know that they have a maximum amount of candidates they are able to recruit. It must therefore reduce its frequency of recruiting based upon their expectations.

“It’s adjusting to give as much notice before it’s impossible that they have to cancel these flights anyway. This is in response to the concerns of their customers as well as Government ministers regarding lack of consumer notice.

More than 1140 flights were grounded from Heathrow to Gatwick and Manchester during the Easter holiday. British Airways and EasyJet cut 60 and 99 flights each in one day.