Travelling This Christmas? Avoid Delays With Fast Track
If you're one of the thousands of people thinking of booking a holiday or planning to travel over the Christmas period, there is plenty to think about before you go. The Christmas period is one of the busiest times of the year for all forms of transport, but with flights getting cheaper and quicker more people are choosing to jet off somewhere nice during this festive period.
The Passport Office will always try to ensure all passports are received within the stated time frame. However, with the huge increase in applications there are some delays that can not be helped when using the postal service.
I Have Already Booked My Travel
Booking early can cut your travel expenses by nearly a third, so being organised well ahead of time can ensure you avoid all the stress and confusion of last minute booking.
As we are all aware booking travel plans over any holiday period is obviously going to increase cost and congestion at airports, roads and stations. And passport application waiting times are no exception.
So if you have already booked your travel and your passport is in good condition and is valid for the date of travel then that's great news. If your going somewhere a bit different or new this year check out the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Website for all the latest travel advice and guidelines. All the travel information you need to keep you and your family safe whilst travelling this Christmas.
If you need to make any changes to your passport, your current passport has been lost, stolen or damaged or even a first time passport you still have time to get your passport back before Christmas.
I haven't booked my travel
Ensuring you have a valid passport before you book any travel plans is essential, but we all know things don't always pan out that way. Lost and damaged passports are extremely common just before a trip, another common problem is suddenly realising your passport ran out six months ago or you don't have enough time left on your passport for the country you are travelling to (this usually only effects travel outside of Europe).
We always recommend that you have your passport before you book your holiday; this is the only way we can guarantee you won't have to loose out due to application delays. Urgent passport appointments are available if you are planning to travel in the next few weeks.
I Need A Passport Urgently
If you are due to travel in the next 4 weeks we highly recommend using either the 1 Week Fast Track Service or even the 1 Day Premium Service. Both of these services are available for people wishing to renew an old, damaged or lost passport, as well as those people wishing to make name or address changes to their passport. If you require a first time adult or child passport you are only able to use the 1 Week Fast Track Service.
Booking an Urgent Appointment
To make an urgent passport appointment simply use our online booking service to get an appointment day and time that suits you. Please be aware that you must have a completed application, 2 photos that adhere to the guidelines within the booklet and any and all supporting documents you need, you may incur delays if your documentation is not in order.
Avoid the Post Office Check & Send Service
The Post Office does offer a check and send service, which should have a normal turn around of about 3-4 weeks. However, during all of the major booking periods like Easter, Summer Holidays and especially the Christmas period their turn around time is hugely increased due to delays caused by festive postal items, this can cause the average waiting time for your passport to be as long as 7-8 weeks.
This obviously isn't of any use if you have already booked your travel or wish to travel in the next 4 weeks. Using the Fast Track Services options almost guarantees you piece of mind with your passport.
More and more people are choosing to avoid using the Post Office Check & Send Service and process their Passport Applications either on-line or via fast-track services to avoid any delays. Many people assume that The Post Office have more knowledge than the average person when it comes to Passports, but this may not be the case. Generally the staff are not trained directly by HM Passport Office but by other Post Office staff and will only use the same guidance booklet that is included with the paper application form. This along with the fact that the Check & Send Service is only part of a varied job role, the staff are often only providing guidance to the best of their ability and are by no means experts on the application process.
Whether you're travelling within the UK to visit friends and family this Christmas or you're choosing to get away and travel abroad, this is the time of year to enjoy yourselves and enjoy your family, so don't let passport waiting times or the delays in postal services catch you out this year.
Need more information?
Talk to the Passport Office team
Lines open 9am-5:30pm
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