CROWDS were seen gathered outside Newport’s passport office on Monday morning, May 30, as delays continue to put people’s travel plans at risk.

With the summer half term now underway, many families now face the uncertainty of potentially cancelling their holidays, if they’re unable to get their passport in time.

One woman queueing, who did not want to be named, said the situation was “make or break” for her holiday.

“I’ve travelled down from Redditch,” she told the National's sister site the South Wales Argus.

“I’ve been calling for the last four weeks for updates on progress for our passports, but just can’t get through to anyone.

MORE NEWS:

“We’re supposed to be flying to Turkey on Thursday, so we’ve driven down here today – this is the panic. It really is make or break for our holiday.”

Another man was frustrated with the communication from the passport office.

“I applied about ten weeks ago,” he said.

“But just didn’t hear anything to I’ve emailed, written to them, and phoned them. At one point I got down to number two in the queue on the phone and they just terminated the call.

“What’s more frustrating is that they took our payment but there was no correspondence on how long it would take.

MORE NEWS:

“If they were operating as a business – they’d be fined for this. It’s disgusting.

“There’s 14 of us flying out to Mexico – we’ll just have to wait and see. We’ll wait as long as we have to.”

These frustrations come at a time of chaos for large parts of the travel industry.

Crowds gathered outside the passport office in Newport.Scenes at Cardiff airport last week.

There were frantic scenes at Cardiff and Bristol airports last week, as delays and cancellations forced passengers to wait as long as 48 hours for a flight.

Long queues of passengers outside the terminal at Bristol Airport were also reported this morning.

A Passport Office spokesperson said: “Since April 2021, we’ve clearly stated that people should allow up to 10 weeks when applying for their passport to factor in the increased demand, which has seen five million people delay their passport application due to the pandemic.

“The latest figures show that 90 per cent were completed within six weeks. But we cannot compromise security checks, and people should apply with plenty of time prior to travelling.”

If you value The National's journalism, help grow our team of reporters by becoming a subscriber.