Passport crisis: holidaymakers urged to act now to avoid getaway misery by Peterborough’s Sunny Heart Travel


The call comes from the boss of Sunny Heart Travel in Peterborough after receiving a series of calls about the crisis surrounding passport renewal delays.

Now, Steve Bentzen, managing director of Sunny Heart Travel, says vacationers who need to update their passports should submit renewal applications immediately to avoid any heartache from a potential getaway cancellation.

It is estimated that there is a backlog of around five million passport renewals at UK passport offices, including its office in Northminster, Peterborough, as staff failed to meet the target of 10 weeks to process each renewal request.

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Former Thomas Cook IT Program Manager Steve Bentzen is Managing Director and former Thomas Cook IT Project Manager Jemma Sharman is Sunny Heart Travel‘s Chief Information Officer.

A number of MPs called the backlog a ‘mess’ and blamed it on Passport Office officials caught off guard by the nationwide rise in demand for overseas holidays amid Covid pandemic regulations -19 banning foreign travel have been lifted and Brexit travel rules have gradually come into force. Obligate

Mr Bentzen, who set up Sunny Heart Travel with former Thomas Cook colleague Jemma Sharman, chief information officer last year. said: ‘We have had a number of calls about passport issues.

“We are therefore advising all of our summer holiday bookings to apply for passport renewals now.

He said: “Our advice is to use the expedited service which has been successful so far, and we have not had to deal with any cancellations so far.

Mr Bentzen added: ‘If anyone who is booked with us has any concerns please call us on 0345 222 0459.

“The sooner we start looking at options, the better.”

Mr Bentzen said customers’ favorite destinations are currently Turkey, Spain and long haul destinations like Thailand, where customers are spending more of their holiday budget on something special after the Covid health crisis. -19.

The Sunny Heart Travel company name and logo are a nod to the famous heart logo used by former holiday giant Thomas Cook, which employed around 1,000 people at its Lynch Wood headquarters before collapse 12 months ago.

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