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Passport fiasco to rob me of my dream holiday
8:00am Tuesday 24th June 2014 in Echo News
A TEENAGER could miss out on a dream £1,200 holidaywith her boyfriend after falling victim to the passport crisis.
Lillie Atalay, 17, of Great Gregorie, Basildon, is due to fly out to Egypt with boyfriend Dylan Samuels and his family on July 3 – but she is still waiting for the passport she first applied for at the end of April.
She paid £81.25 for the check and send service and expected to receive a new passport within six weeks, but there have been problems and she has spent 15 hours on the phone over the past week trying to sort it out.
The passport office is currently facing unprecedented demand with 480,000 applications, compared to 150,000 at this time last year.
Lillie said: “I’m really panicking.
If we have to cancel, I’m going to lose a lot of money. I only have a part-time job, so it has taken me a long time to save.”
Three weeks after applying for the new passport, she was sent a letter inviting her to an interview at the Peterborough passport office, but this was cancelled after another two weeks because staff realised she had not put the name of her father, who she has never met, on the application.
Lillie managed to get hold of a copy of her birth certificate and sent off a second application at the beginning of this month.
However, it is now looking increasingly unlikely she will be able to jet off next Thursday, which would have been her first holiday abroad since she was four.
She added: “It took them nearly six weeks to even tell me I had missed something off my application, and I expected to have my passport by then.”
The holiday, to the popular resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, is meant to be a big family reunion for Dylan and his family, before his brother emigrates to Australia.
Dylan, also 17, has vowed not to go if his girlfriend cannot join him. He added: “It’s looking increasingly unlikely she’s going to get her passport.
“In the three years we’ve been together, I’ve never seen Lillie go through something that has given her and myself a near mental breakdown from the stress.
“She and everyone else affected deserves so much better than this.”
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