Young family ‘stranded in Mallorca’ amid daughter’s passport riddle | Travel News | Travel


Gemma McKeown and her partner John Neely are on vacation with their children in Mallorca and say they have had a great time so far. However, the family shared their distress after their 12-year-old daughter’s passport disappeared while checking in for their flight home.

Without a passport, their daughter was unable to board the plane and the family was forced to split up so some could return home. Meanwhile, Gemma and John stayed with their daughter, hoping to get her the documents she needed.

Since then, the family said they had difficulty getting the emergency travel document they needed from the British Embassy and it could take up to eight weeks.

Speaking to Belfast Live, Gemma said: “We don’t know what happened to my daughter’s passport, we all got through airport check-in with no problem and then it suddenly disappeared.

“Because we didn’t have it, my daughter couldn’t get on the plane, so we decided that John and I would stay with her and her son while my other daughter went home with her grandparents, so at least she wasn’t stuck We waited for hours at the airport hoping the passport would be handed over but it never was then we contacted the embassy to see what we would be able to TO DO.

“Luckily we had one more night left in our villa so we were able to go back for the night but all our luggage and bags were gone with the plane back to Belfast so we only have what we servings and we lacked vital medicines that we need.

“It wasn’t until Monday that we were able to speak to someone at the embassy who told us it could take up to eight weeks before the emergency travel document could be processed and that our application was in a queue.

“After that we checked with the Irish Embassy to see what they could do and were shocked to find that if my daughter had an Irish passport we would have had a document that day.

“Now we are waiting for an interview with someone in the hope that we can sort this out as soon as possible and go home this week.”

Gemma said the ordeal ruined their trip and she couldn’t understand why it was so difficult to get someone to travel home in an emergency.

She continued: “It’s cost us around £2,500 extra to have to stay here for at least another week and it’s just been soul destroying. If it’s delayed much longer we don’t know what we’ll do. because we can’t afford to continue staying here.

“I understand that children’s travel documents are a bit more difficult to sort than others, but how come it takes so long in an emergency situation?

“Our local MP Stephen Farry has been very helpful in trying to put pressure on the Embassy and we are praying that we can get the Saturday flight home.

“I’m looking forward to getting home now much more than I ever was to going on vacation in the first place.”


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