Brits have been warned of potential holiday mayhem this festive season after the Passport Office courier service admitted to delivery issues.
Those waiting for a new passport have been told they could have a wait of up to 10-weeks for it to be processed, with many people facing further delays in receiving them.
The firm responsible for delivery, TNT, have been bombarded with complaints as arrival dates are continually pushed back.
The waiting time for new passports has almost tripled during the pandemic.
What have customers resorted to?
Some customers have driven from depot to depot to find their documents after booking flights abroad.
Calls to TNT’s customer service helpline often going unanswered, as reported by The Times, has caused hundreds of customers to set up a petition urging the government to look into the issue.
The petition reads: "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.”
Customers have been experiencing long delays despite passports being given the green light by civil servants.
"Unlike many other couriers, TNT do not seem to provide real time tracking, nor can you provide delivery instructions,” the petition added.
It highlights the “numerous failed delivery attempts” with other customers having their “delivery date continuously pushed back with no end in sight” and some having “their passport or application support documents lost by TNT.”
What’s been said?
The Passport Office has said it was working to establish the cause of the problem.
TNT was awarded a three-year contract worth £77million to deliver new and renewed passports back in 2019.
A backlog had been caused as a result of a surge in applications due to the easing of lockdown restrictions, according to a TNT spokesman.
He added: "We are taking additional steps to provide timely delivery by adding additional resources to the operations.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused."