MORE than a thousand passports were lost by couriers last year alone, in another blow for British holidaymakers.

New figures have revealed a whopping 1,196 passports were lost in the first half of 2021, after 4.8million applications.

This is compared to just 519 lost in 2020, with 3.9 million applications, along with 437 in 2019 and 422 in 2018, of which there were approximately 6.7million applications.

The figures, revealed by Daily Mirror, show that the number of misplaced or lost passports have doubled in the past year.

The passports are delivered by TNT, owned by FedEx, which was awarded a three-year contract worth £77million to deliver new and renewed passports in 2019.

Brits have been complaining on Twitter too – one person wrote: "After 11 weeks, I have been advised by the Liverpool office to report as lost. However, the lost/stolen passport system is down. Due to fly 28th May. It's laughable."

A mum added: "They sent my son's passport with the wrong DOB. I returned it recorded delivery to Durham, whereupon they lost it and didn’t know how to fix it. After about 40 hours of phone calls I ended up reporting it lost and reapplying."

General secretary of the Prospect union Mike Clancy said it was causing "huge uncertainty" already for families with holidays booked.

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He added: "Now we find out that the privatised delivery service is losing passports at a record rate too."

However, a Passport Office spokesperson said it was "less than 0.04 per cent" that were lost, adding that "many of those items have been subsequently recovered".

They also said: "Once reported, passports are cancelled on the system immediately in order to mitigate against the risk of misuse and we continue to work with our delivery partner to develop measures to reduce the number of losses overall."

Passport applications are expected to hit a record high this year of 9.5million, after many expired during the pandemic.

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But families have had to cancel their holidays abroad due to the huge delays in applications in recent weeks.

And it's not just passports getting lost – a family's £5,000 trip to Disneyland Paris was ruined after they were sent the wrong passport.

The government is advising Brits to leave at least 10 weeks for new passports to arrive – meaning you may miss your summer holiday if you haven't already applied.

A whopping four and a half million Brits could put their holidays on the line if their passport isn’t valid by the time they go away.

There are also new passport rules that holidaymakers have been warned could affect their holiday, with families already turned away at the airport.

The new rules require Brits to have at least three months left on their passport to travel to the EU.

A second rule no longer allows passports to be more than 10 years old – previous rules allowed them to be up to 10 years and nine months.

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Last month, a woman was kicked off her flight to Tenerife due to the confusing passport rules.

Another woman lost her £2,600 dream holiday due to a similar passport mistake.

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