28 Apr

Helping people get ready to travel

For many holidaymakers, this summer will be their first time heading overseas since the start of the pandemic and since the UK left the EU. Together these present a unique set of considerations for customers.

With your help, we’re keen to help customers understand the importance of checking their passport will be valid for their travel dates and allowing plenty of time to renew if needed. 

I’m sure you will have seen the recent news reports of the possible 10-week wait times for passport applications and renewals, as the Passport Office gears up to renew the millions of passports that have expired since the start of the pandemic. 

Many other people also won’t be aware of the new validity rules for travel to the EU; namely that their passport can’t be more than 10 years old when entering the country and they need to have a least three months left on the day they depart. This means their passport may be due to expire earlier than they think, so it’s important to discuss passport validity with customers when they book.

These are also messages which we’re putting across in our social media and wider communications work.

Our Passports and Visas page has lots of helpful advice that you can share with your customers and, for social media, we’ve added a series of posts and an ABTA-designed asset to the Member Zone, where you’ll also find the latest social media toolkit from HM Passport Office. You may find it helpful to use these tools to support your organisation’s wider social media activity.

As ever, more information and advice to help holidaymakers travel this year can be found in our #ReadySteadyTravel hub, which includes a handy checklist and a blog on getting your COVID-19 documents in order.

Separately, we were very saddened to hear of the passing of former ABTA President, Jack Smith, this week. As well as being a hugely motivational speaker, a kind man and a highly regarded colleague, he was also one of the founders of the ABTA Benevolent Fund – now ABTA LifeLine – which has been such a vital support for so many colleagues in the industry across the years. He will be much missed.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive