Hayley Kingsland applied for 11-year-old Finn’s new passport on April 13 because she was told at the end of March processing times were about five weeks – but now she fears the wait will be longer
Image: Hayley Kingsland)
A mum fears her son will miss out on a dream holiday to Disneyland because his passport may not be processed in time.
Hayley Kingsland, 37, applied for 11-year-old Finn’s new passport on April 13 because she was told at the end of March processing times were about five weeks.
Their trip to Disneyland Paris is planned for May 31, which would leave them plenty of time.
But Hayley fears she will have to cancel the trip as the Home Office is now warning Brits to allow for up to 10 weeks to get their documents back.
She and her partner, of Medway in Kent, risk being out of pocket thousands of pounds because their travel and hotel are already booked.
Hayley says her son has been asking her to measure him over the past few years to see if he would be tall enough to ride the Indiana Jones rollercoaster – and now he is the required height.
Hayley told Metro.co.uk: “When we said we were going to go he was absolutely over the moon.
“And now, to potentially have to now say to him we’re not going, is going to break his heart.”
Finn’s previous passport expired in 2020 but because of Covid travel restrictions, they didn’t renew it.
The mum says the news about passport delays is making her nervous as they’ve spent £2,000 on the trip.
She added: “It’s not like we can just straightaway book and go another time.”
She also claims that people who miss trips because they didn’t get their passports processed should get compensation.
The mum added getting an appointment for a fast track passport is also difficult and they are in-person so require travel.
She added: “I’m losing sleep over this already.”
She continued: “Everyone’s been through so much in the last couple of years – we should be allowed to enjoy it and use this time now.”
The typical processing time is now no longer shown on the passport website as people are warned instead to leave up to 10 weeks, although many applications are processed quicker.
An HM Passport Office spokesperson told The Mirror: “Since April 2021, we have been advising people to allow up to ten weeks when applying for their British passport as more than 5 million people delayed applying due to the pandemic.
“We urge people who need a new passport to apply for one as soon as possible, with the vast majority of all passport applications being dealt with well within 10 weeks.
“To deal with this demand, we have increased staff numbers by 500 since April 2021. This has helped us to handle more applications than ever before, with more than one million passport applications processed in March 2022.”
People with an urgent need for a passport, such as to attend a funeral abroad, can call the government’s passport advice line.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.