DEPERATE holidaymakers are being railed after an elaborate ruse was used to avoid passport delays.
However, experts in travel have warned Brits this tactic will not work. Instead, it is putting more pressure on HM Passport Office.
People are now booking cheap one-way flights in an attempt to get past the long wait for legal documents.
Travellers who are not careful have discovered a loophole that allows them to submit their applications. “upgrade”Their request will be given high priority
By stumping up an extra £102, Brits receive much quicker consideration if they can prove they need a passport within a fortnight.
However, after being bombarded repeatedly by applicants claiming that they were going on a last minute holiday, The Passport Office have “getting wise to it.”
Andy Anderson, founder and director of Passport Waiting Time, shared his thoughts with the Mail on Sunday: “It’s something I have definitely seen people doing.
“The Passport Office have started to ask for information about when people booked the flight as they’re getting wise to it.
“But there’s still so much inconsistency – it [the ruse] is working for some people but not for others.”
The holiday rush post-Covid has left many employees with a large backlog. They are also facing staff shortages.
For most in-person appointments, the agency has a waiting period of up to 20 Days for premium and emergency fast-track services.
Standard applications are not allowed to be updated once the process is underway. However, they will allow exceptions for Brits who can show that they are traveling within two weeks.
The applicants who bag an “upgrade”You will then be transferred to the premium one day service.
They will then need to make an appointment in person to get their passport. This reduces the wait time by up to 10 weeks.
This has caused a strong demand for face to face visits at The Passport Office, which has further disrupted their booking system.
Those who have paid premium services from the beginning are being bumped even further back.
Mr Anderson continued: “There just aren’t enough appointments and people are really struggling to book them.
“Even if your application is approved for an upgrade, it may not be possible to schedule an appointment to obtain your passport.
“I think we could definitely see worse to come, especially with the approach of the school holidays.”
Even holidaymakers are sharing their “shared” vacations. “hack”After beating the queue, you can share your experience on social media.
One member wrote: “My tip is if you can’t take the stress and anxiety of waiting 48 hours until your actual holiday then book a cheap flight (I found one for £18 to Dublin) and email upgrade team.”
Another added: “On Saturday I purchased a one-way ticket to Ibiza with Ryan Air for £16.99 to fly on 17th July, as we intend to fly around 25th July… this obviously worked as we got an email to say it had been approved.
“I would say, if you applied over six weeks ago (and definitely more than ten weeks ago) and you fly in over two weeks, book a cheap flight to anywhere within the next two weeks to use as your flight date.”
According to The Passport Office, approximately 250,000 applications were processed per week by staff. 98.5 percent of these applications are completed within ten working weeks.