"Passport chaos” headlines have dominated the media in the last couple of days and this will undoubtedly have caused a great deal of concern for many people due to go on holiday this summer. The run-up to the summer holidays is traditionally a very busy time for passport renewals, so we shouldn’t really be surprised by a large volume of applications. ABTA Members have told us that they have not seen an increase this year in the number of consumers contacting them to report passports not turning up in time, nor has ABTA’s own Consumer Helpline received an increase in this type of query, however it is clear from the political storm that has been created that there are concerns about a “backlog” in applications. ABTA has conducted over 30 radio and TV interviews on this subject offering a balanced view and, importantly, reiterating how important it is for consumers to check and renew their passports early. Information on Passports and Visas is of course something that every Member should provide to customers and ABTA has a Guidance note for Members to help ensure you’ve provided all of the relevant information. We also have some useful tips in the consumer zone of our website – Go Travel – that you can provide directly to your customers.
Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive