Missed holidays payouts probe urged

A senior Labour politician is calling on the Government to look into the issue of compensation for people who missed holidays as a result of lengthy delays in processing their passports.
 
  • BEST QUALITY AVAILABLEUndated handout photo of boxes of passport applications which are being piled up, taken by a member of staff, who wants to remain anonymous, in a second-floor room in an office in Liverpool which is normally used for meetings and induction sessions.
    Last updated: 15 June 2014, 11:50 BST

    A senior Labour politician is calling on the Government to look into the issue of compensation for people who missed holidays as a result of lengthy delays in processing their passports.

    Shadow Immigration Minister David Hanson has said he will be tabling parliamentary questions tomorrow about what the Coalition is doing to discuss the situation with insurance companies for those with travel policies.

    He told the Murnaghan programme on Sky News: "I want to explore this week - and I will be tabling parliamentary questions tomorrow - what the Government are doing to discuss with insurance companies for people who have taken out travel insurance. But it is a real issue."

    The Financial Ombudsman, which deals with disputes between consumers and financial companies, has said it may ask an insurer to pay the claim for a cancelled holiday as long as the policyholder had "done all they reasonably could to chase the passport application" and had "put in their passport application in far in advance of the deadlines laid down by the passport office".

    In a statement last week it said: "If they (the holidaymaker) were still unable to travel due to the delays, then we would be looking for the insurer to act in the spirit of the insurance policy."

    On Thursday, Home Secretary Theresa May announced that fast-track processing fees for passport applicants who need to travel abroad urgently would be dropped amid growing anger at the build-up of delays.

    In an emergency Commons statement, Mrs May insisted the Government was doing all it could to deal with the backlog of more than 30,000 applications which had not been dealt with within the normal three-week deadline.

    Last updated: 15 June 2014, 11:50 BST

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