You can’t go away without your passport, so ABTA is working with Her Majesty’s Passport Office this summer to encourage travellers not miss out on their holiday by leaving their passport applications to the last minute. They can also save time and money by ensuring they apply for a passport in plenty of time.
Remind your customers to check the expiry date on their passports before they travel, as they may not have used them since last summer. With peak holiday season fast approaching, the passport agency can see demand for new and replacement passports rise by more than three times, so customers are advised to allow at least three weeks for their passport to arrive, once documentation has been sent. For first time applicants, HM Passport Office advises to allow up to six weeks as they will need to undertake an interview. A last minute call to the Passport Office will mean they face up to £52 extra in cost for emergency counter services.
It’s also worth telling customers that they don’t have to wait for their passport to expire; the HM Passport Office will add on up to nine months unused validity onto a new passport. Many countries also require them to have six months' validity left on a passport on the date they are due to leave these countries, if they do not they could be refused entry. Although this is not an issue if when travelling in Europe, elsewhere in the world make sure to have this six months' validity.
For more information visit the HM Passport Office website.
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