Woman slams Home Office after passport delay forces her to cancel trip

NO GO: Meggie Crane, who had to cancel her holiday after her passport was delayed due to the current backlog

NO GO: Meggie Crane, who had to cancel her holiday after her passport was delayed due to the current backlog

First published in News by

A WEYMOUTH woman has slammed the Home Office after delays in receiving her new passport meant she was forced to cancel a trip to see her partner’s ill father.

Meggie Crane, from Hardwick Street in Weymouth, was due to fly with her partner Giles Heaman to the south of France on Sunday to see his father Roger, who is suffering from declining eyesight and will soon be blind.

Miss Crane applied to renew her passport on May 28 using the online renewal system, five weeks before she was due to fly out, and she has still not received her passport despite contacting the Passport Office every day during the last week.

Now, Miss Crane has lost £240 after having to cancel her flights and has stayed at home as Mr Heaman carried on to visit his father.

Her Majesty’s Passport Office is currently facing a huge backlog of 508,000 passport applications that have not been processed, and new measures have been introduced to try and deal with the problem.

Home Secretary Theresa May was forced to make an apology in the House of Commons over the backlog and said that extra staff had been introduced to deal with the problem, after the Passport Office was dealing with its highest demand for over 12 years.

Theresa May also added those who had not received their passports after three weeks would receive travel documents free of charge if they had to travel within a week, but this was not applied to Miss Crane.

Miss Crane told the Echo she had phoned the passport office every day since June 27 to try and sort the issue out. She offered to travel to the Newport or Liverpool branches of the Home Office, where passport applications are dealt with, to get her passport but was told her application was being dealt with in the Belfast Office.

She was then told there was an issue with her photograph so sent the office a new one by recorded delivery, and she phoned them again after they had received the new photo.

After facing another delay and being told by customer services that they would phone her back, she asked to speak to the manager and was told her problem was ‘irrelevant’ and the customer service operator refused to put her through to a manager.

Miss Crane said: “The whole situation is ridiculous. The announcement from Theresa May, the home secretary, doesn’t mean anything if they are not actually going to sort it out.

“I rang the office every day for the past week trying to get this sorted. When I phoned them again on the Friday and was told the issue was irrelevant. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to fly, so cancelled my tickets.”

Miss Crane has now lodged two complaints following the delays and for how she was treated by the customer service line.

Miss Crane added: “I have been left in limbo. I don’t know when I’m going to get my passport, I can’t make any plans to go and see Giles’ father, there has been no communication at all from them.

“It’s more than a holiday, it means more than that and they did not appreciate it. I am so disappointed.

“I feel massively let down.”

A spokesman for the Home Office said: “We will be contacting the customer regarding the urgent processing of their appafter lication.

“It can take longer to process a passport if more information is required, or if the application has been filled out incorrectly.”

Comments (16)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:48am Wed 9 Jul 14

elloello1980 says...

“It can take longer to process a passport if more information is required, or if the application has been filled out incorrectly.”
“It can take longer to process a passport if more information is required, or if the application has been filled out incorrectly.” elloello1980
  • Score: 16

11:38am Wed 9 Jul 14

mr commonsense says...

Miss Crane, sadly you have no excuse. People must always be aware that their passports need to be renewed at some stage. A rule of thumb in the aviation industry is to apply 3 months before the expiry date. A passport is a living thing that could be required at the drop of a hat and therefore we should be aware of renewal dates. It is a shame for you.
Miss Crane, sadly you have no excuse. People must always be aware that their passports need to be renewed at some stage. A rule of thumb in the aviation industry is to apply 3 months before the expiry date. A passport is a living thing that could be required at the drop of a hat and therefore we should be aware of renewal dates. It is a shame for you. mr commonsense
  • Score: 22

12:19pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Mango man says...

So in summary, this woman left it relatively late to apply for her passport and then sent an inappropriate photograph which has probably ultimately cost her the trip. Always keep at least 9-12 months on your passport so that these things can be negated and take some personal responsibility for your own short comings
So in summary, this woman left it relatively late to apply for her passport and then sent an inappropriate photograph which has probably ultimately cost her the trip. Always keep at least 9-12 months on your passport so that these things can be negated and take some personal responsibility for your own short comings Mango man
  • Score: 24

12:23pm Wed 9 Jul 14

elloello1980 says...

elloello1980 wrote:
“It can take longer to process a passport if more information is required, or if the application has been filled out incorrectly.”
To add to this, for the interest of the one who disliked my comment...

The post office offer a cheap service to check your application.

Yes, there is a large backlog, but you'd have still had the app rejected.

Phoning the office daily will takes people away from other calls, thus resulting in further delays for yourself and others.
[quote][p][bold]elloello1980[/bold] wrote: “It can take longer to process a passport if more information is required, or if the application has been filled out incorrectly.”[/p][/quote]To add to this, for the interest of the one who disliked my comment... The post office offer a cheap service to check your application. Yes, there is a large backlog, but you'd have still had the app rejected. Phoning the office daily will takes people away from other calls, thus resulting in further delays for yourself and others. elloello1980
  • Score: 15

12:26pm Wed 9 Jul 14

burgerboy says...

Maybe if you had sent the correct photo in the first place you would not have had a problem,
You sound like the type that gets it wrong but has to put the blame on others...s*it happens but get over it.............
Maybe if you had sent the correct photo in the first place you would not have had a problem, You sound like the type that gets it wrong but has to put the blame on others...s*it happens but get over it............. burgerboy
  • Score: 19

1:07pm Wed 9 Jul 14

JamesYoung says...

elloello1980 wrote:
elloello1980 wrote:
“It can take longer to process a passport if more information is required, or if the application has been filled out incorrectly.”
To add to this, for the interest of the one who disliked my comment...

The post office offer a cheap service to check your application.

Yes, there is a large backlog, but you'd have still had the app rejected.

Phoning the office daily will takes people away from other calls, thus resulting in further delays for yourself and others.
Which is surely the crux of the matter.
Even with no backlog, chances are she still would have missed out.
[quote][p][bold]elloello1980[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]elloello1980[/bold] wrote: “It can take longer to process a passport if more information is required, or if the application has been filled out incorrectly.”[/p][/quote]To add to this, for the interest of the one who disliked my comment... The post office offer a cheap service to check your application. Yes, there is a large backlog, but you'd have still had the app rejected. Phoning the office daily will takes people away from other calls, thus resulting in further delays for yourself and others.[/p][/quote]Which is surely the crux of the matter. Even with no backlog, chances are she still would have missed out. JamesYoung
  • Score: 15

1:30pm Wed 9 Jul 14

BackWhereIBelong says...

If you have a valid passport in your hand when booking flights/holidays there should be no problem. You wouldn't drive a car without passing your test or getting insurance first, would you, (well maybe some would, but that's another matter). Conclusion is, get your paper work in order first, SIMPLES!!!
If you have a valid passport in your hand when booking flights/holidays there should be no problem. You wouldn't drive a car without passing your test or getting insurance first, would you, (well maybe some would, but that's another matter). Conclusion is, get your paper work in order first, SIMPLES!!! BackWhereIBelong
  • Score: 24

1:48pm Wed 9 Jul 14

westbaywonder says...

I can see this woman on the phone to the DVLA
"Hurry up, my car is packed with luggage and full of fuel,where is my tax disc, your going to ruin my picnic"
Love it when the (24/7, 2times, amazing!!) modern generation have to wait.
I can see this woman on the phone to the DVLA "Hurry up, my car is packed with luggage and full of fuel,where is my tax disc, your going to ruin my picnic" Love it when the (24/7, 2times, amazing!!) modern generation have to wait. westbaywonder
  • Score: 12

2:44pm Wed 9 Jul 14

elloello1980 says...

JamesYoung wrote:
elloello1980 wrote:
elloello1980 wrote:
“It can take longer to process a passport if more information is required, or if the application has been filled out incorrectly.”
To add to this, for the interest of the one who disliked my comment...

The post office offer a cheap service to check your application.

Yes, there is a large backlog, but you'd have still had the app rejected.

Phoning the office daily will takes people away from other calls, thus resulting in further delays for yourself and others.
Which is surely the crux of the matter.
Even with no backlog, chances are she still would have missed out.
yes, totally. Very strict process, and rightfully so.

Has been a while since I went to Newport, but that is what I did when I paid extra for the fast track service.

But I suppose it's very easy to question a process, when you, yourself, are to blame...
[quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]elloello1980[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]elloello1980[/bold] wrote: “It can take longer to process a passport if more information is required, or if the application has been filled out incorrectly.”[/p][/quote]To add to this, for the interest of the one who disliked my comment... The post office offer a cheap service to check your application. Yes, there is a large backlog, but you'd have still had the app rejected. Phoning the office daily will takes people away from other calls, thus resulting in further delays for yourself and others.[/p][/quote]Which is surely the crux of the matter. Even with no backlog, chances are she still would have missed out.[/p][/quote]yes, totally. Very strict process, and rightfully so. Has been a while since I went to Newport, but that is what I did when I paid extra for the fast track service. But I suppose it's very easy to question a process, when you, yourself, are to blame... elloello1980
  • Score: 11

4:28pm Wed 9 Jul 14

leo210856 says...

Alas the comments above were always going to be made based on the story.
It is a pity that the young lady missed her trip but the guidance from the passport office has always been don't make travel arrangements without a valid passport
The Echo, as usual, shows just what a terrible paper it has become in that It tries to tie a serious issue at the passport office, with an incident that , as others have said, happened because the documentation that was sent was incorrect.
Alas the comments above were always going to be made based on the story. It is a pity that the young lady missed her trip but the guidance from the passport office has always been don't make travel arrangements without a valid passport The Echo, as usual, shows just what a terrible paper it has become in that It tries to tie a serious issue at the passport office, with an incident that , as others have said, happened because the documentation that was sent was incorrect. leo210856
  • Score: 19

7:04pm Wed 9 Jul 14

topsy2 says...

I agree with the comments about passports being a living document. I've held a passport for over 40 years and in all the time I've held one I have always ensured it has been renewed well in advance of expiry. Passports can be renewed up to nine months in advance and if renewed early, the period of time remaining on the old passport, is added on to the new one (up to nine months). Personally, I will never understand how anyone would purposely let their passport expire. I accept that some people do forget and I also know some use the excuse that they could not afford to renew their passport prior to expiry. I also accept that some people rarely use their passport. I do feel some sympathy with the lady in the story and her story aside, anyone these days who takes any Government department turnaround times as a given, might just be a little naive.
I agree with the comments about passports being a living document. I've held a passport for over 40 years and in all the time I've held one I have always ensured it has been renewed well in advance of expiry. Passports can be renewed up to nine months in advance and if renewed early, the period of time remaining on the old passport, is added on to the new one (up to nine months). Personally, I will never understand how anyone would purposely let their passport expire. I accept that some people do forget and I also know some use the excuse that they could not afford to renew their passport prior to expiry. I also accept that some people rarely use their passport. I do feel some sympathy with the lady in the story and her story aside, anyone these days who takes any Government department turnaround times as a given, might just be a little naive. topsy2
  • Score: 8

9:16pm Wed 9 Jul 14

every user name was taken says...

topsy2 wrote:
I agree with the comments about passports being a living document. I've held a passport for over 40 years and in all the time I've held one I have always ensured it has been renewed well in advance of expiry. Passports can be renewed up to nine months in advance and if renewed early, the period of time remaining on the old passport, is added on to the new one (up to nine months). Personally, I will never understand how anyone would purposely let their passport expire. I accept that some people do forget and I also know some use the excuse that they could not afford to renew their passport prior to expiry. I also accept that some people rarely use their passport. I do feel some sympathy with the lady in the story and her story aside, anyone these days who takes any Government department turnaround times as a given, might just be a little naive.
I suggest you put the passport down, you hand must be numb after 40 years of holding it.
[quote][p][bold]topsy2[/bold] wrote: I agree with the comments about passports being a living document. I've held a passport for over 40 years and in all the time I've held one I have always ensured it has been renewed well in advance of expiry. Passports can be renewed up to nine months in advance and if renewed early, the period of time remaining on the old passport, is added on to the new one (up to nine months). Personally, I will never understand how anyone would purposely let their passport expire. I accept that some people do forget and I also know some use the excuse that they could not afford to renew their passport prior to expiry. I also accept that some people rarely use their passport. I do feel some sympathy with the lady in the story and her story aside, anyone these days who takes any Government department turnaround times as a given, might just be a little naive.[/p][/quote]I suggest you put the passport down, you hand must be numb after 40 years of holding it. every user name was taken
  • Score: 11

11:27am Thu 10 Jul 14

elloello1980 says...

I've just noticed the flight was with Ryanair, probably only lost a tenner then
I've just noticed the flight was with Ryanair, probably only lost a tenner then elloello1980
  • Score: 5

11:37pm Thu 10 Jul 14

Saddler says...

westbaywonder wrote:
I can see this woman on the phone to the DVLA
"Hurry up, my car is packed with luggage and full of fuel,where is my tax disc, your going to ruin my picnic"
Love it when the (24/7, 2times, amazing!!) modern generation have to wait.
I think we are not going to have tax discs in the very near future.
[quote][p][bold]westbaywonder[/bold] wrote: I can see this woman on the phone to the DVLA "Hurry up, my car is packed with luggage and full of fuel,where is my tax disc, your going to ruin my picnic" Love it when the (24/7, 2times, amazing!!) modern generation have to wait.[/p][/quote]I think we are not going to have tax discs in the very near future. Saddler
  • Score: -5

9:41am Sat 12 Jul 14

westbaywonder says...

Goodbye Toulouse.
The Stranglers 1977.
Goodbye Toulouse. The Stranglers 1977. westbaywonder
  • Score: -1

10:35am Tue 15 Jul 14

7drawers says...

On-line renewal.. Does she mean she filled in a form on-line that is then printed out and sent to you to sign and I guess add photos to. You then send that to the passport office... Requiring 2 payments...
Just use the post office check and send.. Much cheaper
On-line renewal.. Does she mean she filled in a form on-line that is then printed out and sent to you to sign and I guess add photos to. You then send that to the passport office... Requiring 2 payments... Just use the post office check and send.. Much cheaper 7drawers
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree