Reading couple fear £5,000 dream holiday might be lost in passport delays crisis

WATCH: Mike Pearse went to meet Peter and Margaret at their home in Reading

A couple from Reading face losing thousands of pounds on a dream holiday because one of their new passports hasn't arrived.

Peter and Margaret Jael booked the Norwegian cruise to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in 2020. It got delayed but was eventually rescheduled for this month.

They sent away for their new passports in January but Peter's was lost, so they had to start the whole process again.

And their experience is by no means unique - new research shows delays in passport processing could cost more than a billion pounds in cancelled trips this summer.

Peter and Margaret Jael have been battling with the passport office for weeks Credit: ITV News Meridian

Peter said: "My wife and I had our 50th wedding to celebrate in November 2020. As part of our celebrations we decided to meet a long term ambition to go on a coastal cruise to see the fjords of Norway.

"We booked the trip in 2019 for May 2020 but unfortunately Covid came and we had to put back the cruise to 2021 and cancel any other celebrations for our golden wedding.

"Again in 2021 they postponed the cruise due to Covid to May 2022.

"During this time my wife was found to have cancer leading to major surgery and chemotherapy so this trip became of special importance for us.

The couple have booked a cruise in the Norwegian fjords

"By this time we had to renew our passports and electronically applied on 2 January 2022. My wife's had to go to Peterborough and mine to Liverpool. We both sent off our old passports using the post office track and sign for system and this showed they were both delivered on 6 January."

At the end of February, Margaret got her passport, but the office had lost Peter's old passport and he was told to report it lost and get a reference number. Since then he has been waiting for the reference number.

Today after ITV News Meridian filmed the couple, Peter got word that his passport is ready - but he has to drive to Peterborough to collect it.

Hopefully it has come in the nick of time. The couple fly on Thursday 12 May and need to give their travel agent the details by Thursday 5 May if they are to keep their £5,000 holiday.