The Young family from Redding are due to fly out to Menorca tomorrow – the first time dad Peter, mum Kirsty and children Amelia (5) and Ivy (2) would have been abroad together.
However, there have been problems getting hold of a passport for Ivy – despite the family applying for the travel document on January 22.
Kirsty said: “Peter, Amelia and I got our passports at the end of February. We were all renewals, but Ivy was getting her first passport. We were told to wait until two weeks before we were due to travel to fast track the application by paying £73 on top of the £49.50 we had already paid.
"We did that and heard nothing back so I phoned up and was actually told the fast track request had not been made. We now have a receipt of the fast track, but we haven’t paid for it yet – it’s still just a request, they can still refuse it.”
The family are all packed in preparation for their holiday – which they are going on with Kirsty’s parents – and are waiting on any sign Ivy’s passport is on its way.
Speaking on Tuesday this week, Kirsty said: “If we don’t get it by Thursday, I’m going to the passport office and I’m basically not leaving until I get it. They have all the information they need, including Ivy’s birth certificate.”
The Youngs do have a plan in place, if the worst does happen and Ivy does not receive her passport in time, that will allow at least some family members to enjoy their holiday.
"Peter and I did rock paper scissors,” said Kirsty. “He agreed to stay and look after Ivy if she didn’t get her passport. Maybe they can get a cheap flight out on Monday and join us then if the passport arrives.
"We have paid for the holiday and it will be money lost if they are not there.”
According to the Passport Office there is no backlog in passport processing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – however, it is now seeing “unprecedented demand”.
A Home Office representative stated officials have been asked to look into Ivy’s application.
A HM Passport Office spokesperson said: “Since April 2021, we’ve clearly stated that people should allow up to ten weeks when applying for their passport to factor in the increased demand, which has seen 5 people million people delay their passport application due to the pandemic.
“The overwhelming majority of applications are completed within 10 weeks, with the latest figures showing 90 per cent were completed within six weeks. But we cannot compromise security checks and people should apply with plenty of time prior to travelling.”
“We anticipate 9.5 million British passport applications will be made this year and in March 2022 alone, HMPO processed more than one million new passport applications, the highest output on record.”
According to the Passport Office, it has increased staff numbers by 500 since April 2021 and is in the process of recruiting another 700. It states there are now over 4000 staff in passport production roles.