Martin Lewis on how to ask for compensation after woman loses £2,600 due to passport delay

Martin Lewis slams 'systemic failings' at the passport office

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Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert, warned holidaymakers risk losing the holiday money they have already paid if they’re not prepared.

A caller explained during ITV’s This Morning she was going to lose £2,600 due to a passport delay.

The Home Office is currently experiencing major delays due to staff shortages and a surge in post-Covid travel.

The family were due to go on holiday today but they are experiencing a three-month delay in getting their passports.

The viewer asked how they could get compensation.

Answering the caller’s questions, Martin Lewis said “it is difficult” but there are certain things travellers can do to try and get their money back.

Martin explained: “It is very difficult and I haven’t really got an answer, but let me talk you through it.

“The first thing to say is with your holiday company did you have any cancellation rights?

“If you don’t I’m afraid you have no rights with the holiday company.

“It’s a bit like you’ve entered a tennis tournament and you’ve not got a racket – you’ve still entered it, it’s not their fault.

“I’m afraid it’s the same with the holiday firm and no passport.”

However, Martin suggested what holidaymakers can do: “You have no legal right, but I would always call them up and speak to them really politely to see if they can do anything.

“Can they change the date, give you some form of cancellation or can they give you vouchers?

“Remembering that you have no right, anything they offer you is better than nothing.

“So they might be nice and say we will give you vouchers so then you say ‘thank you very much’.”

He continued: “You can call your travel insurance and I would call your travel insurance. But, many travel insurers won’t cover this. But call them and just see.

“After that, there really isn’t very much left. If you paid for a fast track passport from the passport office, there is a chance you’d be owed compensation from it in certain circumstances.

“I doubt it will cover your whole holiday but if you paid for it to be extradited to get a quick passport, you might be entitled to little bits of cash.”

Martin said acting early and cancelling the holiday may be the best thing to do.

He explained: “My final suggestion would be if you paid a small deposit and it looks like the holiday isn’t happening and you have no other options then just cancel it.

“Take the hit on the deposit and don’t pay the rest if you think you’re not likely to go because of the passport delays.”

The Home Office is currently advising travellers to allow 10 weeks to receive their passport if they’re applying from the UK.

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