Publication:

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - 2021-11-21

Data:

Now holidays are ruined by passport delay

Sarah Vine on Sunday

By Max Aitchison

THOUSANDS of people have had travel plans wrecked by lengthy delays hitting passport deliveries, the Mail on Sunday can reveal. Travellers have had to cancel holidays and miss family engagements because of ‘unacceptable’ failures by TNT Express, the courier firm used by the Passport Office to deliver new passports. The firm, a subsidiary of FedEx, has even lost passports and left customers waiting weeks for deliveries. One 30-year-old victim submitted her passport application on September 23 and had it approved and printed by the Passport Office on October 22. ‘Since then, I’ve been chasing up TNT night and day. It’s been like a fulltime job,’ she said. ‘But I’ve never been given a straight answer.’ On November 9, TNT finally told her they had lost the passport and she was told to re-apply at cost of £75.50. ‘I’m still no closer to getting my passport,’ she said. TNT were awarded a £77million contract by the Home Office in July 2019 which ends next summer. A TNT spokesperson apologised, adding: ‘We fully understand the importance of these shipments to our customers and are taking additional steps to provide timely delivery by adding additional resources to the operations in the UK.’

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