After two years of travel restrictions and testing, we we are hearing reports of big delays to UK passport renewals from the HM Passport Office. So this article is about what you need to know about UK Passport renewals when travelling to Spain on holiday.
As Covid-19 travel restrictions lift around the world, demand for travel has increased. And with this, travellers are experiencing massive delays in getting their UK passports renewed.
Unless the HM Passport Office provides extra resources, many visitors to Mallorca this summer will miss out on their summer holiday altogether
UPDATED 26 FEBRUARY 2023
Table of Contents
The UK Passport backlog
Posted in the Mallorca Under the Sun Facebook Group this week (May 2022), a member wrote that she was still waiting for her passport to be renewed from February.
The following was written as a comment on a post:
“…We are due to leave for Muro on Sunday for ten days. Family of five. Booked with EasyJet. Ordered kids passports back in February and we still don’t have them. Can’t change to fast track as they are already in process. We are absolutely gutted. Will pack bags this week in the hope but we are set to lose all our money as easyJet won’t let us move the date….”
There has been much confusion about the rules of entering the EU with a UK passport. Some airlines have been reported denying passengers from boarding with passports showing under 6 months’ validity which should never have happened.
Is your UK passport valid?
The rules for travelling to Spain with a UK passport are as follows:
The Issue Date must be under 10 years on the day of entry to Spain.
The Expiry Date must show at least 3 months on the day of intended departure from Spain.
So make sure you have your return ticket to show at the airport before you travel and on entering Spain.
This is the link you need to check on the HM Passport Office website about this. See the section on “Passport Validity”.
Passport Waiting Times
According to the independent website passportwaitingtime.co.uk , which collects data online from travellers who have recently renewed their passports, the average waiting time for an adult passport renewal are 25 days and 26 days for a child.
If you are waiting for a first adult passport then expect to wait for 40 days and a first child’s passport will take 38 days to process (times taken on passportwaitingtime.co.uk on 5 May 2022).
When to renew your UK passport and how
My advice is not to book your holiday until you have your passport renewed and in your possession.
With long waiting times, I cannot find travel insurance that will cover you and ensure your money back on a holiday booked if you are forced to cancel should your passport not arrive in time.
I would also recommend avoiding renewing your passport unless it is absolutely necessary. Because applying for an unnecessary renewal will clog up the system even further.
If possible, wait for the summer season to pass and for demand to reduce.
If you do need to apply for a passport, you can do so here . If you need your passport urgently then chose the Online Premium or Fast Track service.
But please make sure you apply plenty of time before your trip.
What to do if you are waiting for your UK passport?
Did you know you can track your passport whether you applied online, at a post office or fill in the paper form?
This link will take you to the HM Passport Office website to help you track the progress of your passport.
Also check out the Advice and Complaints page on their website too here.
I´ve also been reading online that travellers are going directly to the passport offices. Whatever tactic you use, good luck!
What are your rights if you are wrongly denied travel
Quite sadly, it has been reported in the news that travellers with less than six months have been denied boarding by some of the major airlines such as easyJet and Ryanair.
Just as with the Covid-19 restrictions, there has been confusion about who can travel and when. and passengers have been wrongly turned away by airport staff.
If you are short on time on your passport but are still able to travel, then save this link to your phone and “screenshot” the contents of the information. This indicates the rules laid out on the official UK Government website with regard to passport validity entering Spain.
The most important rule is that your passport is under 10 years old from the date of issue before entering the EU.
If you are still denied boarding and are in possession of a valid passport and taking a flight to Spain from the UK then do go ahead and claim compensation from the airline here. For Easyjet you can fill in this form. For Ryanair, you can check this link here.
I am keen to hear about your experience of renewing your passport. If you have been wrongly denied boarding or are still waiting for your passport after an unreasonable period of time, then do contact me here.
What the UK Ambassador to Spain has to say
When I was out with the Majorca Daily Bulletin this week at the Hotel Son Vida, I was asked to film an interview with the British Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliot.
At the end of the interview, I asked the ambassador what the Government were doing about delays in renewing passports. You can see his response in the video below this article.
Do I need a visa to enter Spain on holiday?
Please refer to this article here about whether you need to apply for a tourist visa as well as when the new ETIAS visa will be launched.
Find out too about tourist tax in Mallorca here.
Watch Big Delays to UK Passport Renewals – Travelling to Mallorca on Youtube here:
Finally, your travel plans are your responsibility so please check the information with the UK HM Passport Office before you travel. Any information provided in this article is for guidance only.
Don’t forget you can support my channel for free by booking your Mallorca ticket to attractions and experiences here. I will receive a small commission on each booking.