Travel "I am freaking out": Passport backlog frustrates travelers

03:46  24 july  2021
03:46  24 july  2021 Source:   cbsnews.com

Hawai‘i Launches Vaccine Passport for State’s Inter-Island Travelers

  Hawai‘i Launches Vaccine Passport for State’s Inter-Island Travelers The new program could be expanded to mainland travelers sometime this summer.On May 7, Hawai‘i Governor David Ige signed an order that gives island residents the option to upload their travel information and vaccination data to the Safe Travels online platform. The order goes into effect on May 11. Since last year, Hawai‘i residents and visitors have been required to provide negative COVID test results procured within 72 hours of departure in order to fly between the Hawai‘ian Islands without having to quarantine.

Answer 1 of 5: Hello TripAdvisor community, I need to be talked down from the ledge because I am freaking out . I am using a visa service agency (that I will not name until this is over, at which point I will leave a negative review) to get my Russian single-entry It took 13 calendar days. I'll never know if it was always going to take that long, or if my frantic calls to the visa agency lit a fire under their butts. But needless to say I am relieved that I have my passport and visa in my hands 13 days before my departure date!

We travel in 4 weeks. I am freaking out ! The passport agency is of little help and I honestly believe I would have never heard from the passport agency without me pestering them. If anyone cares, her passport finally arrived today! After my last post my US Representative contacted me back. I did have to resend her application. That took until this week to "process" and then the passport agency told me it would be an additional 3 weeks before it would be ready, but I could pay an additional to expedite it.

Scammers forced the State Department to temporarily shut down its online bookings for urgent appointments for passports, adding to the frustration of many travelers who are already experiencing long wait times amid a huge backlog in passport applications.

a circuit board: Close-Up Of Man Holding Passport © Greg Blomberg / EyeEm Close-Up Of Man Holding Passport

Third-party actors used bots to book all available online appointments, the State Department said. Scammers then sold the appointments for as high as $3,000 to applicants with urgent travel needs.

Americans who are set to travel in the coming months but don't have a renewed passport yet may be out of luck.

Travel safety: Top-rated passport holders

  Travel safety: Top-rated passport holders A passport holder can help you keep your passport, vaccine card and other essentials in one place when you travel.Hundreds of countries are now either fully open to U.S. travelers or are open with some restrictions, which means that many antsy Americans are booking both domestic and international flights and preparing to take long-overdue vacations. This time around, you will likely need to bring your vaccination card with you — and while there are plenty of vaccination card holders out there that will keep it safe, you can also invest in a passport holder to keep all of your belongings in one place.

Note that renewing your passport will cause any travel visas you have to be nullified, so plan your trips accordingly! Passport Agency Expedite: Up to 8 business days. Note that while you don’t have to renew your passport at any specific time ( i .e. before or after it expires), you should be cognizant of the time it will take for renewal when planning your trips. See the Renewal Tips section for more information or if you’re specifically interested in information related to expedited passports , see our Guide to Expedited U.S. Passport Applications.

It's been 2 months now and I am freaking out dunno what to do , will it get better? Can someone help please and advise me what should I do next ? There are one of two things you can do. You can learn to live with it, or you can be like me, who is doing as much research as he can to figure out a way of reversing the damage. Trust me dude I get it, and it majorly sucks I've been dealing with it for 2 or 3 years now.

Video: Passport Processing Taking Over 4 Months, AAA Says Apply Early To Secure Your Trip (CBS Baltimore)

"I am freaking out," said Kelsey Renken. "I call every day to try and get an answer to get the same runaround that, 'Oh, we can only push a week before you travel.' A week before you travel is kind of cutting it very close!"

Renken and her husband Heston applied for passports in May but only one has arrived. Their nonrefundable flight to Mexico leaves in two weeks. In the last two years, the couple suffered the heartbreaking loss of a stillborn and two miscarriages.

"We just need to take to get a break, get a mental reset, celebrate our anniversary," Renken said.

Renken said $3,000 will have gone down the drain if the passport doesn't arrive before their trip.

The State Department acknowledges it has a staffing issue and it is scrambling to complete an extraordinary backlog of passport applications. The current wait time for a passport is up to 18 weeks.

"During the pandemic, they sent their people home and right now we're over 1.6 million passports in backlog that they can't process," CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg said.

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This is interesting!