Travel warning for Brits as leaked memo shows passport chaos will get WORSE this summer

PASSPORT chaos is only set to get WORSE this summer, a leaked memo has revealed.

Holidaymakers trying to jet off on holidays will face more disruption as the Passport Office are struggling to work through half a million applications because of slow IT systems.

Holidaymakers are facing chaos as the Passport Office works through renewal applications


Holidaymakers are facing chaos as the Passport Office works through renewal applicationsCredit: Alamy

The Passport Office’s systems aren’t “fit for purpose” and staff are struggling to make through the 500,000 applications currently sitting in a backlog.

“Creaking” IT systems have caused havoc for holidaying Brits – who have been forced to wait weeks for their renewed passports.

Appointments can’t be booked online, and many Brits have reported not receiving their new passport after 10 weeks of waiting.

And now leaked messages obtained by The Times show that this is only the “beginning of a very lengthy scenario.”

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Digital systems to help people get new passports were “rolled out too quickly” and now staff have to use old, slower methods – adding to the backlog.

Pressure on the Passport Office is only set to become “heavier” as more Brits apply for new passports in the coming months.

Staff working through applications said they were being treated like “peasants” while ministers and managers “fail to defend” them.

And the processing system was described as “deeply flawed and half-working” as the Home Office said the current number of applications waiting to be processed was half a million.

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A Passport Office spokesman said 250,000 passport applications were completed each week and the “overwhelming majority” were turned around within ten weeks. 

Staff also accused Teleperformance – who run the passport advice line – of giving customers “misleading advice” and creating more public anger.

This comes amid months of chaos in the travel industry as the number of travellers creep up back to pre-pandemic levels.

Brits keen to go on holidays this year have faced passport delays and airport havoc amid staffing issues in the struggling industry.

One family had to cancel their £3,000 trip to Disneyland because of the passport renewal delays.

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.

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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.

Another family said they applied for their children’s passports back in January 2022 – and still haven’t got them back.