Dad treated like ‘animal’ as he queued for 24 hours to renew son’s passport
A North Staffordshire dad has told how he was ‘treated like an animal’ as he queued for 24 hours to renew his diabetic son’s passport. Phil Corns had made the journey from his home in Newcastle-under-Lyme to Liverpool Passport Office at 8pm on Tuesday (May 31) after finishing a 12-hour shift. The 41-year-old was due to work another 12 hours after having been awake for at least 36 hours.
Phil and his wife Jayne, 46, had previously travelled up the M6 twice before only to leave Liverpool empty handed. The couple booked a holiday to Egypt with their two sons Archer, nine, and Billy, seven. It was their first family trip since Billy was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
: Stokies forced to go home without luggage in Manchester Airport ‘pandemonium’ Both parents lamented the passport office for its “lack of compassion” and “incompetence”. Phil told the ECHO: “There is no interest, no compassion, no human element [from the staff].
I have been told not to sit down on a chair. We are being treated like animals. A woman even bribed me with GBP40 to push in front of me.
“I’m desperate, tired and emotional. When I phoned up originally and requested an upgrade, they said it would take 48 hours. It’s been more than two weeks.”
Jayne spotted her boys had fewer than six months’ validity on their passports eight weeks before their trip away. Egypt is one of several countries which require tourists to have at least 182 days left on their official documents. The mother of three sent off applications for Archer and Billy to Hemel Hempstead and Bootle respectively.
Although Archer’s passport came back swiftly Billy’s application was lost in “cyberspace”. Jayne Corns, 46, told the ECHO: “I’m frustrated and stressed out. It’s a huge mess…
There is no consistency, no updates and no information being given to people. “They need to throw some overtime at it. I just feel very let down, they’re changing the way they do it everyday.
We have had to take time off to wait in the queue. We want people to benefit from our experience… we want to raise this profile.” Officials have continued to prioritise different groups of people every day, making it more difficult to get an appointment, according to Jayne.
She said the fast-track system on Friday prioritised those holiday-goers who had flights within 48 hours. But officials changed their stance on Saturday and allowed those people who queued up the day before, irrespective of their departure date, to be dealt with first. Jayne added that after days of frustration Billy finally managed to get a passport on Tuesday evening.
With demand at an all time high Britons are being urged to allow up to ten weeks to apply for a new passport.
The surge in applications has put millions of people’s holiday plans in chaos.