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Scottish mum's passport nightmare as family forced to go on holiday without her

By Sian Traynor

A Midlothian mum has been left 'gutted' after passport delays meant her family were forced to go on holiday without her.

Kerry Morton, 41, had been due to head out of Edinburgh to Tenerife on May 2 for a week in the sun with her partner and one-year-old son.

Set to be her little boy's first holiday, and a treat for her birthday, the local mum had ordered passports for herself and her son on March 5.

READ MORE - Edinburgh family's dream £3,000 Disneyland trip in tatters after passport delay

However, what was supposed to be a special trip abroad was quickly ruined after delays with Kerry's passport meant her partner and son had to go without her.

Despite her son's coming within four weeks, Kerry had heard nothing about her own, with the 41-year-old spending almost two weeks trying to chase it's location.

Speaking to Edinburgh Live, Kerry said: "I applied for both mine and my son's passports on March 5, and since April 11 it said on the application that it was still processing.

"My son's and mine had both been sent to Liverpool but his came back within four weeks of us sending it off.

"It got to April 22, which was about two weeks before we were due to fly, so I had phoned up to see what was happening and they said I could get an upgrade to make sure it came in time. At that point they should have clarified to me that in order to get that I would have to email the upgrades team but they didn't."

Going back and forth between processing, upgrades and customer care teams, Kerry had spent days trying to get her passport to her in time.

Eventually told her documents had been sent to Belfast, the team informed Kerry the day before her flight that the passport wouldn't get to her in time.

With the family set to lose out on over £1,000 if they cancelled the holiday last minute, her partner and son were forced to go alone, leaving Kerry missing out.

She said: "By April 26 I phoned again and they said they would get back to me within 48 hours, of course I heard nothing and on April 28 I phoned customer care and was on hold for three hours before I even got through to someone.

Have you been affected by ongoing travel chaos or issues with passport delays? You can get in touch with us at news@edinburghlive.co.uk

"I feel like if things had been sorted properly when I phoned on the 22nd it would have been sorted, but the day before we were due to fly Belfast emailed to say they wouldn't be able to meet the travel date.

"I missed out on my son's first holiday and the treat that my partner had paid for for my birthday, they had to just go themselves as the travel agents wouldn't allow us to postpone it so we would have lost out on all of the money.

"I'm obviously gutted I missed my holiday but it's more the fact I've missed my son's first holiday, I've not been there for all of those memories.

"My partner wants to book something else for a few weeks time to have something but I'm frightened to do anything until I actually have my passport. It's been over 10 weeks now and it's still not here."

In response to Kerry's claims, a HM Passport Office spokesperson said:

“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 passports applications are 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.”

“The passport advice line is being delivered by Teleperformance which is in the process of recruiting additional staff to better service customer queries.”

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