A KEIGHLEY couple fear their planned £2,000 honeymoon could be wrecked because a passport they applied for four months ago has still not arrived.
Nursing home worker Charlie Croft, 21, of Broomhill, who is due to marry Joseph Thorpe on Saturday (July 19) has not received her passport, despite many phone calls to find out why her application has stalled.
She and her fiancé are booked to fly to Majorca for a one-week holiday honeymoon on Tuesday next week. (July 22)
Mr Thorpe, 20, who works as a gardener, said nobody at the Passport Office had been prepared to help deal with the problem. "We've been passed from pillar to post, at one point they even put us through to someone who said he couldn't help us because he was based in Ireland!
"It's just beyond a joke. Charlie is distraught, she thinks she's not going to have her honeymoon. We've already got enough stress as it with preparing for the wedding."
The couple sent off their application for the passport at the same time as a separate request for a passport for their 15-month-old daughter, Macie.
Mr Thorpe said they had originally been told the process would only take about six weeks, so they assumed they were applying plenty of time in advance of their holiday.
Instead, although Macie's new passport arrived one and a half months ago, there was no word on Miss Croft's application.
When the couple called the Passport Office on July 5 they were told that Charlie would need to make an appointment to attend an interview.
Mr Thorpe said: "We asked if this appointment could be within two weeks, and we were told 'no chance'.
"The money for Macie's new passport and Charlie's was taken from us three months ago – Charlie's cost £78. If they've taken the money off us why haven't they sorted it out?
"We've been calling the office back, but all that happens is we're passed from one department to another and get given different excuses.
"When they called Charlie back they told her that they now can't find her application, and that they don't keep applications for longer than 90 days."
In recent weeks the Passport Office has been at the centre of a storm of criticism, after people across the UK reported long delays in its handling of applications.
Government ministers have apologised for the delays, saying applications are at a 12-year high, but unions have blamed the backlogs on staff cuts over the past four years.
Responding to Miss Croft and Mr Thorpe, a Passport Office spokesman said: "The process can take longer if the application has been filled out incorrectly. We are in contact with this customer.
"As a general rule we advise that customers should not book travel until their passport has been issued."