The team behind consumer advice website, Money Saving Expert have an issued important message to holidaymakers.
The Passport Office issued a warning to eager jet setters that if they need to renew their passport then they need to do so as soon as possible as they expect a ten-week processing time for applications.
While they say the majority of applications are processed within this time frame, Government minister Tom Pursglove warned that tens of thousands could be facing a longer waiting time.
Some people have been forced to cancel their holidays as their passport has not arrived in time and in MSE’s latest newsletter, they are urging travellers affected to check their rights.
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What can you claim from the travel provider?
The consumer advice experts point out that if you have to cancel your holiday due to your passport not arriving in time, you will not be able to get a refund from your travel provider or hotel.
However, they add that there might be an exception if you were “promised the right to cancel and get a refund while booking – for example, if you booked a fully-flexible flight or a cancellable hotel booking”.
They add: “Depending on when you booked, you may be covered by the firm’s pandemic-related flexibility policy – check your travel provider’s website and your original booking confirmation.”
The consumer champions advise that it is best to take whatever is offered to you, whether it is a change of dates or voucher.
They also add that while travel insurance covers loss of passport, they will unlikely cover a holiday if your passport hasn’t arrived in time. But ask anyway, explain the situation just to double check what you can claim.
You may be able to claim from Passport Office
The standard passport application does not have a guaranteed time frame, so if yours takes over 10 weeks, you are still not entitled to compensation.
However, if you paid for Fast Track, and it still took longer due to a delay or error by the Passport Office and you missed your trip – you may be able to claim compensation.
The Passport Office’s official guidance states: “A straight forward and non-questionable compensation claim is one where it is clear we:
- Made an error which has caused the customer extra expense.
- Have damaged or lost a customer’s document and we must replace it.
“A straight forward non-questionable guaranteed service level fail is one where we clearly failed the service level due to an error, omission or unnecessary delay.”
If you have tried those options but still need to travel call the passport advice line on 0300 222 0000.
You can see more information about passport issues and compensation from Money Saving Expert here.