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Delivery firm apologises for passport delays

A delivery company has apologised for the “inconvenience caused” after reports emerged of people facing long delays before receiving their passports.

The Times reported that “thousands of Christmas holidays could be at risk as the Passport Office courier service appears to be in meltdown”.

It said hundreds of people are complaining online every day about delays at TNT, which has an exclusive contract to deliver official travel documents.

 

A FedEx spokesperson told Travel Weekly: “As Covid-19 restrictions have continued to ease, HM passport applications have increased. This has resulted in a significant increase in the items to be delivered through our dedicated HMPO [Passport Office] network.

“For some customers, this has meant an extended delivery service from what would normally be a two-day service.

“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.

“We’re also working closely with HMPO to ensure recipients are informed of potential extended delivery times.

“We are also aware of some additional reported issues from customers related to missed deliveries and we continue to work closely with HMPO to resolve these.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

The BBC said that the Passport Office is taking 10 weeks to process passports because of a backlog that built up during the pandemic.

“But delays delivering the documents are adding weeks on top of this, according to complaints on Trustpilot and Twitter,” said the BBC.

An online petition has been set up, demanding an investigation into HMPO’s £77 million three-year contract with TNT, signed in 2019.

The petition says: “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.”

Picture by Brian A Jackson/Shutterstock

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