Travel with Katie Butler: Allow up to 10 weeks for your passport to be processed

How is it August already? The main school holidays are in full swing and we have been super busy at Total Travel; checking our customers in online, giving out tickets, printing out boarding passes and of course making last minute bookings for those looking to get away this summer.
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Katie Butler writes: I have worked in high street travel agencies since leaving school and can honestly say I have never known a summer quite like it! The demand to travel overseas is as high as ever and we have customers travelling every day. It seems like everyone is making up for lost time.

Thankfully the UK airports seem to be gradually improving, just in time for the holiday rush.

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However, the advice from Manchester Airport still remains to arrive three hours before your flight.

PASSPORT APPLICATION: Allow up to 10 weeks (AdobeStock)PASSPORT APPLICATION: Allow up to 10 weeks (AdobeStock)
PASSPORT APPLICATION: Allow up to 10 weeks (AdobeStock)

Arriving too early means you may end up being in front of passengers who have flights departing before you and of course this then means that the airport is dealing with higher passenger numbers, many of which do not need to be there just yet, and this adds to the congestion at security etc.

The airport this week revealed that 92 per cent of passengers in July passed through security in under 30 minutes, a huge improvement on previous months. Manchester Airport also says it has recruited over 600 staff since the start of the year to ensure it can operate the planned schedules for this summer.

Our weekly calls and feedback from our customers does seem to reflect the above. Let’s hope it gets better and better going forward.

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Has there been any changes to Covid entry requirements in the last week?

Most countries remain settled in relation to Covid-19 entry requirements, with many destinations, particularly the main European hot-spots, remaining restriction free regardless of vaccine status and despite the increase in infection across Europe.

In fact, this week the FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) updated its travel advice for France to finally confirm an end to ALL Covid-19 related restrictions. So from August 1, arrivals no longer need to show proof of vaccination, and there is no need to fill out any forms prior to arrival.

There will also be no need to take a Covid test before arrival. Great news for those travelling to the country and of course the many families due to travel to Disneyland Paris.

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I need to renew my passport, are renewals still taking a long time?

Although the situation does appear to be improving, the current advice on the Government website is to allow up to 10 weeks for your passport to be processed. Of course, it could be returned much quicker than this but there are no guarantees.

We would not advise you to book a late deal/last minute holiday if you are relying on your passport coming back in time.

From a booking perspective we are certainly on the right track to getting back to some form of normality, which is amazing. July was our top month for departures with Turkey, the Canaries and the Balearics retaining the top spots.