Oliver Keynes, from Bristol, needed to send his passport to Trailfinders in order to complete a visa application for a forthcoming trip to India. He used the Special Delivery service, because he didn't want it to go astray, but when the firm received the envelope, the passport was no longer inside.
When Keynes approached the Royal Mail for compensation, they offered him six stamps.
The BBC reported that Keynes' trip was essentially ruined - cut from three weeks to nine days. He also had to pay for a replacement passport, and spend another £500 on a new flight out to India. He rejected the six stamps, and the Royal Mail agreed to cover the cost of a new passport instead. However, they said they wouldn't cover "unlimited liability for costs incurred" unless extra "consequential loss cover is also purchased at time of posting".
A spokesperson told the BBC: "We will in this instance reimburse Mr Keynes for the cost of his passport and postage costs. Royal Mail would like to apologise unreservedly to Mr Keynes for this incident and for the obvious inconvenience caused."
CarelessLosing a passport is a frustrating business - which can be time-consuming and expensive if you're about to travel or you lose your passport overseas. Keynes lost his despite being careful. However, there are plenty of other people whose tales of lost passports display decidedly less care.
The Identity and Passport service issued a list of unusual lost passports in 2011, which included one which had been in the pocket of a coat given to charity, another which had been put in the bin by the traveller's infant daughter, another which had accidentally been thrown into a fire, and a fourth which was destroyed by its owner's boyfriend when he was drunk. The individual added that the boyfriend was now her 'ex'.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in 2013 that they had come across cases where people had decided to store their passport in the freezer to hide it from burglars - unfortunately freezing tends to destroy passports. Meanwhile a survey by Skyscanner.net found that one in four cabin crew members have found a passport left on a plane.
In 2006 a man in Dubai had too much to drink on his flight into the country and lost his passport on his way home. He went to the police station to report the loss and was arrested for drinking. He was originally sentenced to two years in jail, but it was reduced to a fine instead.
There are, however, those who lose their passport through no fault of their own. The Passport Office quoted one person who asked for a replacement passport after she lost it when her taxi was attacked by gunmen when she was on the way to the airport in Brazil.