Brits face holiday mayhem this Christmas after the Passport Office’s courier service admitted there could be delivery issues.
Winter getaways could be at risk after a deluge in post-Covid applications and delays in receiving travel documents.
Applicants have already been warned they may face waits of up to 10 weeks for their new passports to be processed.
But even after passports have been given the green light by civil servants, many people face further delays in receiving them.
TNT, the firm responsible for delivery the permits, has been hit with with complaints over arrival dates frequently being pushed back.
Some desperate punters have even driven from depot to depot to try and find their documents after booking flights abroad.
And calls to TNT’s customer service helpline also often go unanswered for hours, according to The Times.
The issue has created frustration among hundreds of customers – who have set up a petition calling for a probe into the issue.
It reads: “In recent months thousands of us have experienced significant delays in getting our passports delivered.
“Many have had to cancel their travel plans as a result and lost out on hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
“Unlike many other couriers, TNT do not seem to provide real time tracking, nor can you provide delivery instructions.
“People have experienced numerous failed delivery attempts, others have had their delivery date continuously pushed back with no end in sight.
“Some have even had their passport or application supporting documents lost by TNT.”
The petition urges the Government to look into the deal and ask why the firm’s apparent failures have not been looked into.
TNT, owned by FedEx, was awarded a three-year contract worth £77million to deliver new and renewed passports in 2019.
In some cases the Passport Office is turning to alternative postal companies such as Royal Mail, according to reports.
A TNT spokesman said a backlog had been caused as a result of a surge in applications due to lockdown restrictions easing.
He added: “We are taking additional steps to provide timely delivery by adding additional resources to the operations. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
The Passport Office said it was working to establish the root of the problem.
It comes after The Sun revealed how Brits with a new blue passport are being warned to check it before travelling, due to new rules in place.