East Lancs family's Africa trip in jeopardy

Tegan, dad Bernard, Faith and Danielle

Tegan, dad Bernard, Faith and Danielle

First published in News

A FATHER could miss out on a dream family trip to Africa – because his passport hasn’t arrived.

Zambian-born Bernard Fennell, 30, and Danielle Macintosh, 26, are due to fly to the African country tonight with daughters one-year-old Faith, and five-year-old Tegan.

Danielle, who lives with her partner and children in Aitken Street, Accrington, has never owned a passport or been on an aeroplane before, and neither have the couple’s children.

They applied for their passports as a family on March 4, using the ‘check and send’ service at the Post Office.

Danielle’s passport came within two weeks, and their children’s followed soon after, but Bernard’s had still not arrived yesterday.

Now the couple fear that Danielle will have to make the 20-hour trip – which involves changing planes – alone with their two small children.

Danielle said: “It’s causing us a lot of heartache, as we were hoping to fly all together as a family.

“I'm having to fly on my own to Africa with our two daughters alone.

“My partner is a British citizen and this matter is causing us a lot of stress.

“This is the first holiday we have ever been on and were very excited about it, but unfortunately our happiness has been shattered and after spending an obscene amount on flights this trip is turning out to be an upsetting one.

“Bernard works seven days a week and was really looking forward to teaching our eldest daughter a few things about Africa and showing her animals the Victoria Falls.”

Tyre fitter Bernard said he had had several phone calls with the Passport Office but he was unsure why his passport was delayed.

He said: “I was born in Zambia, and I was hoping to take my children back there to show them where I was born, and where their grandmother is from, and it’s all been ruined.

“We’ve been planning this trip since the beginning of the year.

“Danielle is going to have to do this all by herself, we’re going to lose all the money unless someone travels.”

A Passport Office spokesman said: “We will not issue a passport until all checks have been satisfactorily completed.

“Customers are advised not to book any travel until they have received their new passport.”

Comments (15)

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12:42pm Fri 11 Apr 14

PK Bailey says...

Why book until you have passports!
Why book until you have passports! PK Bailey
  • Score: 33

12:50pm Fri 11 Apr 14

LoobyLou369 says...

Not quite sure why this is news??!!

And i thought it would be common sense, not to book a holiday unless you had passports???

And if you have been planning it since the beginning of the year, why not sort your passport out then, and not in March
Not quite sure why this is news??!! And i thought it would be common sense, not to book a holiday unless you had passports??? And if you have been planning it since the beginning of the year, why not sort your passport out then, and not in March LoobyLou369
  • Score: 43

1:17pm Fri 11 Apr 14

chammy says...

Do you call this news?
Do you call this news? chammy
  • Score: 19

1:19pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Bat E Karen says...

They warn about leaving plenty of time for your passport to arrive, especially at busy times of the year (like now).
They warn about leaving plenty of time for your passport to arrive, especially at busy times of the year (like now). Bat E Karen
  • Score: 23

1:33pm Fri 11 Apr 14

CeeBee85 says...

Not sure why they would think anyone would be interested in their tale of woe? Their own fault - they should have been better prepared. They're probably hoping to cast the passport office in a bad light but it's backfired.
Not sure why they would think anyone would be interested in their tale of woe? Their own fault - they should have been better prepared. They're probably hoping to cast the passport office in a bad light but it's backfired. CeeBee85
  • Score: 27

3:36pm Fri 11 Apr 14

patriotno1 says...

next time stay in zambia,problem solved.
next time stay in zambia,problem solved. patriotno1
  • Score: 9

9:53pm Fri 11 Apr 14

rggraham1947 says...

You're all missing the point; this government department is the most inefficient and inept organisation I have ever encountered. And no, it's not news, it happens all the time as I can testify. It should be contracted out to Amazon or Vistaprint then we'd get our passports in a tenth of the time and at a fraction of the price.
You're all missing the point; this government department is the most inefficient and inept organisation I have ever encountered. And no, it's not news, it happens all the time as I can testify. It should be contracted out to Amazon or Vistaprint then we'd get our passports in a tenth of the time and at a fraction of the price. rggraham1947
  • Score: -15

9:56pm Fri 11 Apr 14

2 for 5p ridesagain says...

Bet you thought running to the local rag would speed up your application. What a fool you must feel. :-)
Bet you thought running to the local rag would speed up your application. What a fool you must feel. :-) 2 for 5p ridesagain
  • Score: 12

11:32pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Twirlinrhombus says...

Doesn't the guidelines say around 6 weeks for a first passport and that's for normal times, not in the middle of the Easter rush. We go on holiday in October and I've just sent my daughters passport off for renewal now.

Next time don't leave it til the last minute. Can hardly blame the passport office x
Doesn't the guidelines say around 6 weeks for a first passport and that's for normal times, not in the middle of the Easter rush. We go on holiday in October and I've just sent my daughters passport off for renewal now. Next time don't leave it til the last minute. Can hardly blame the passport office x Twirlinrhombus
  • Score: 9

7:32am Sat 12 Apr 14

alan7554 says...

What a tosser,it clearly says on the passport form DO NOT BOOK YOUR HOLIDAYS UNTIL YOUR PASSPORT ARRIVES,and if he posted it on 4th March it takes between 4-6 weeks to come back which would be between 4th April ---18th April and i he needed it so quickly why not jump on a bus or train and go to the passport offie in LIVERPOOL in person. Lucky you don't live here in Thailand you have to send it by courier yourself and it costs over 150 pounds. Total waste of newspaper space
What a tosser,it clearly says on the passport form DO NOT BOOK YOUR HOLIDAYS UNTIL YOUR PASSPORT ARRIVES,and if he posted it on 4th March it takes between 4-6 weeks to come back which would be between 4th April ---18th April and i he needed it so quickly why not jump on a bus or train and go to the passport offie in LIVERPOOL in person. Lucky you don't live here in Thailand you have to send it by courier yourself and it costs over 150 pounds. Total waste of newspaper space alan7554
  • Score: 11

10:44am Sat 12 Apr 14

rggraham1947 says...

alan7554 wrote:
What a tosser,it clearly says on the passport form DO NOT BOOK YOUR HOLIDAYS UNTIL YOUR PASSPORT ARRIVES,and if he posted it on 4th March it takes between 4-6 weeks to come back which would be between 4th April ---18th April and i he needed it so quickly why not jump on a bus or train and go to the passport offie in LIVERPOOL in person. Lucky you don't live here in Thailand you have to send it by courier yourself and it costs over 150 pounds. Total waste of newspaper space
Then like me, you should know better than most that the passport office charge an extortionate price for an appalling service. Do you really think a 6 week turnaround for something as vital as a passport is acceptable? It's an absolute disgrace and shouldn't be tolerated in a "so-called" civilised country!
[quote][p][bold]alan7554[/bold] wrote: What a tosser,it clearly says on the passport form DO NOT BOOK YOUR HOLIDAYS UNTIL YOUR PASSPORT ARRIVES,and if he posted it on 4th March it takes between 4-6 weeks to come back which would be between 4th April ---18th April and i he needed it so quickly why not jump on a bus or train and go to the passport offie in LIVERPOOL in person. Lucky you don't live here in Thailand you have to send it by courier yourself and it costs over 150 pounds. Total waste of newspaper space[/p][/quote]Then like me, you should know better than most that the passport office charge an extortionate price for an appalling service. Do you really think a 6 week turnaround for something as vital as a passport is acceptable? It's an absolute disgrace and shouldn't be tolerated in a "so-called" civilised country! rggraham1947
  • Score: -11

11:32am Sat 12 Apr 14

CeeBee85 says...

rggraham1947 wrote:
alan7554 wrote:
What a tosser,it clearly says on the passport form DO NOT BOOK YOUR HOLIDAYS UNTIL YOUR PASSPORT ARRIVES,and if he posted it on 4th March it takes between 4-6 weeks to come back which would be between 4th April ---18th April and i he needed it so quickly why not jump on a bus or train and go to the passport offie in LIVERPOOL in person. Lucky you don't live here in Thailand you have to send it by courier yourself and it costs over 150 pounds. Total waste of newspaper space
Then like me, you should know better than most that the passport office charge an extortionate price for an appalling service. Do you really think a 6 week turnaround for something as vital as a passport is acceptable? It's an absolute disgrace and shouldn't be tolerated in a "so-called" civilised country!
I think it's acceptable when it's a question of national security you moron. There is obviously a problem with his application hence why the other family members' have come back but not his.
[quote][p][bold]rggraham1947[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]alan7554[/bold] wrote: What a tosser,it clearly says on the passport form DO NOT BOOK YOUR HOLIDAYS UNTIL YOUR PASSPORT ARRIVES,and if he posted it on 4th March it takes between 4-6 weeks to come back which would be between 4th April ---18th April and i he needed it so quickly why not jump on a bus or train and go to the passport offie in LIVERPOOL in person. Lucky you don't live here in Thailand you have to send it by courier yourself and it costs over 150 pounds. Total waste of newspaper space[/p][/quote]Then like me, you should know better than most that the passport office charge an extortionate price for an appalling service. Do you really think a 6 week turnaround for something as vital as a passport is acceptable? It's an absolute disgrace and shouldn't be tolerated in a "so-called" civilised country![/p][/quote]I think it's acceptable when it's a question of national security you moron. There is obviously a problem with his application hence why the other family members' have come back but not his. CeeBee85
  • Score: 12

9:41am Sun 13 Apr 14

rggraham1947 says...

CeeBee85 wrote:
rggraham1947 wrote:
alan7554 wrote: What a tosser,it clearly says on the passport form DO NOT BOOK YOUR HOLIDAYS UNTIL YOUR PASSPORT ARRIVES,and if he posted it on 4th March it takes between 4-6 weeks to come back which would be between 4th April ---18th April and i he needed it so quickly why not jump on a bus or train and go to the passport offie in LIVERPOOL in person. Lucky you don't live here in Thailand you have to send it by courier yourself and it costs over 150 pounds. Total waste of newspaper space
Then like me, you should know better than most that the passport office charge an extortionate price for an appalling service. Do you really think a 6 week turnaround for something as vital as a passport is acceptable? It's an absolute disgrace and shouldn't be tolerated in a "so-called" civilised country!
I think it's acceptable when it's a question of national security you moron. There is obviously a problem with his application hence why the other family members' have come back but not his.
It's got nothing to do with "national security", it's just incompetence. And there's no need for abusive language.
[quote][p][bold]CeeBee85[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]rggraham1947[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]alan7554[/bold] wrote: What a tosser,it clearly says on the passport form DO NOT BOOK YOUR HOLIDAYS UNTIL YOUR PASSPORT ARRIVES,and if he posted it on 4th March it takes between 4-6 weeks to come back which would be between 4th April ---18th April and i he needed it so quickly why not jump on a bus or train and go to the passport offie in LIVERPOOL in person. Lucky you don't live here in Thailand you have to send it by courier yourself and it costs over 150 pounds. Total waste of newspaper space[/p][/quote]Then like me, you should know better than most that the passport office charge an extortionate price for an appalling service. Do you really think a 6 week turnaround for something as vital as a passport is acceptable? It's an absolute disgrace and shouldn't be tolerated in a "so-called" civilised country![/p][/quote]I think it's acceptable when it's a question of national security you moron. There is obviously a problem with his application hence why the other family members' have come back but not his.[/p][/quote]It's got nothing to do with "national security", it's just incompetence. And there's no need for abusive language. rggraham1947
  • Score: -5

6:59pm Sun 13 Apr 14

CeeBee85 says...

rggraham1947 wrote:
CeeBee85 wrote:
rggraham1947 wrote:
alan7554 wrote: What a tosser,it clearly says on the passport form DO NOT BOOK YOUR HOLIDAYS UNTIL YOUR PASSPORT ARRIVES,and if he posted it on 4th March it takes between 4-6 weeks to come back which would be between 4th April ---18th April and i he needed it so quickly why not jump on a bus or train and go to the passport offie in LIVERPOOL in person. Lucky you don't live here in Thailand you have to send it by courier yourself and it costs over 150 pounds. Total waste of newspaper space
Then like me, you should know better than most that the passport office charge an extortionate price for an appalling service. Do you really think a 6 week turnaround for something as vital as a passport is acceptable? It's an absolute disgrace and shouldn't be tolerated in a "so-called" civilised country!
I think it's acceptable when it's a question of national security you moron. There is obviously a problem with his application hence why the other family members' have come back but not his.
It's got nothing to do with "national security", it's just incompetence. And there's no need for abusive language.
How can you be sure it's down to incompetence?

"A Passport Office spokesman said: “We will not issue a passport until all checks have been satisfactorily completed.

“Customers are advised not to book any travel until they have received their new passport.”

It sounds to me like there is a discrepancy with his application.
[quote][p][bold]rggraham1947[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CeeBee85[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]rggraham1947[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]alan7554[/bold] wrote: What a tosser,it clearly says on the passport form DO NOT BOOK YOUR HOLIDAYS UNTIL YOUR PASSPORT ARRIVES,and if he posted it on 4th March it takes between 4-6 weeks to come back which would be between 4th April ---18th April and i he needed it so quickly why not jump on a bus or train and go to the passport offie in LIVERPOOL in person. Lucky you don't live here in Thailand you have to send it by courier yourself and it costs over 150 pounds. Total waste of newspaper space[/p][/quote]Then like me, you should know better than most that the passport office charge an extortionate price for an appalling service. Do you really think a 6 week turnaround for something as vital as a passport is acceptable? It's an absolute disgrace and shouldn't be tolerated in a "so-called" civilised country![/p][/quote]I think it's acceptable when it's a question of national security you moron. There is obviously a problem with his application hence why the other family members' have come back but not his.[/p][/quote]It's got nothing to do with "national security", it's just incompetence. And there's no need for abusive language.[/p][/quote]How can you be sure it's down to incompetence? "A Passport Office spokesman said: “We will not issue a passport until all checks have been satisfactorily completed. “Customers are advised not to book any travel until they have received their new passport.” It sounds to me like there is a discrepancy with his application. CeeBee85
  • Score: 5

1:26am Fri 18 Apr 14

DoggydogNo1 says...

Well done the passport office! No sympathy for the family wot so ever! Weather is gonna be nice away so ya can watch born free and imagine being there!
Well done the passport office! No sympathy for the family wot so ever! Weather is gonna be nice away so ya can watch born free and imagine being there! DoggydogNo1
  • Score: 3

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