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anyone use the 2 to 3 week expedited passport renewal service for $150 lately?


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1 hour ago, compozer said:

Heading to Chicago early tomorrow morning for interview at passport office.   I will update later tonight.

 

Assuming she is going to the Chicago Passport Agency (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/get-fast/passport-agencies/chicago.html), that's a positive sign.  I think the passport agency can do everything right there in a matter of hours or less.  Hope all goes well tomorrow.

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Posted (edited)

The Passport website is currently saying expedited processing is taking up to 12 weeks (normally up to 6 weeks). Non-expedited 18 weeks (normally up to 12 weeks).

 

My cruise is 13 weeks away so I was concerned and ended up paying for the expedited service. When I went to USPS the gentleman at the post office said someone recently expedited theirs and received it in 5 1/2 weeks.

 

I mailed mine this past Monday. Today I signed in online on the Passport website to check the status of my application it's now in "processing" and is saying I should receive my passport within 6 weeks. 

 

So, it looks like the passport agency processing times are back to "normal" for expedited times.....not sure if non-expedited would be received within 12 weeks but I would assume so.

 

Status Of Your Regular Passport

Application Status: In Process

The U.S. Department of State has received your application for your passport book on 06/24/2021. We're now reviewing your application and supporting documents.

You requested expedited service when you applied, which we are currently processing in 4-6 weeks.

Your application locator number is XXXXXXX

Edited by kilkoyne
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57 minutes ago, kilkoyne said:

 

 

Status Of Your Regular Passport

Application Status: In Process

The U.S. Department of State has received your application for your passport book on 06/24/2021. We're now reviewing your application and supporting documents.

You requested expedited service when you applied, which we are currently processing in 4-6 weeks.

Your application locator number is XXXXXXX

Glad it is working out for you.   

 

She never received any message like yours and she requested updates.    Her message has said processing for three weeks now.   I am so thankful my congressman stepped in and got her an appointment when they have been booked solid.    Now if only  AMEX travel department would call back so we can change the flight before they sell out.  There still is a later flight to Atlanta so it should workout.   They are staying over in Atlanta and have a late morning flight to Belize.   

 

Thanks for all your help everyone.

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Just now, compozer said:

Glad it is working out for you.   

 

She never received any message like yours and she requested updates.    Her message has said processing for three weeks now.   I am so thankful my congressman stepped in and got her an appointment when they have been booked solid.    Now if only  AMEX travel department would call back so we can change the flight before they sell out.  There still is a later flight to Atlanta so it should workout.   They are staying over in Atlanta and have a late morning flight to Belize.   

 

Thanks for all your help everyone.

 

I also have much more time on my side. Glad your congressman was able to help. 🙂

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On 6/22/2021 at 11:50 PM, ldubs said:

I'll bet a lot of Cruise Critic members have checked expiration dates after reading your thread!

 

My Passport is OK, but now I wonder about my TSA Pre-check expiration date.  Need to check that letter that I received with the dates.  

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Here is the latest:    I was on hold for 4 hours and then 90 minutes talking to the AMEX rep this afternoon to change her flight to Chicago.  That way we would go directly to Ohare after getting her passport.  After another hour with the rep  which included two calls to Delta he told me the bad news.   The only way to change the flight would be to change all of her flights to one way flights.   And they cost more so it would be another $500.  No change fee - ha ha.  I decided not to go that route and am planning to try to make it back and get her on her 5pm flight.  I figured I needed a plan B and asked about early morning flights out of Milwaukee.   Yes - there is a 6:05am one that will get her in a hour before the Belize flight and it is in the same terminal - great.    So if she does not make the flight, we will take her with us down to our boat, celebrate my husbands birthday and I will get up in the middle of the night to get her to Milwaukee for the 6am flight.      All was good.   Celebrated with a couple glasses of wine.

UNTIL my son printed the boarding passes.   Only his was there.   Nothing for her under the confirmation number or her sky  miles number!!!!!!!   I received an email (after talking to the AMEX guy) addressed to both of them saying that they could check in.   So, who and when did her flights get canceled?     I have been on hold for 90 minutes with AMEX and plan to stay up until I get through.  I did call Delta but their wait was four hours.

 

I decided to book her new flights.   Three of the four seats were still available.  Hopefully I can get a refund for one set.    

 

After all of this, she darn well better have a passport in her hands when she walks out of the passport office.   And then, I wonder why my husband dislikes traveling.

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Compozer - As this story progresses and the deadline to make the flights gets closer and closer, I'm getting increasingly nervous on your behalf.  You are a wonderful person to take on all this for your son's girlfriend.  I hope they both realize that.  No doubt you too will need a vacation after tomorrow!

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7 hours ago, capriccio said:

Compozer - As this story progresses and the deadline to make the flights gets closer and closer, I'm getting increasingly nervous on your behalf.  You are a wonderful person to take on all this for your son's girlfriend.  I hope they both realize that.  No doubt you too will need a vacation after tomorrow!

Capriccio,   That is so nice of you to say.   She is a very special lady and we are very close.   We have had so many cruises canceled  - four for this November starting with the Pacific canceled from Tahiti to FLL ( none covid reason).  I was thinking of checking out a train trip across Canada this fall but then the Enchanted opened from FLL  this week.   Had a b2b TA from Rome on her canceled a moth ago.  Been to all of the ports many times but there is always something new to see so doing b2b.

 

One reason I am posting all this is that I hope to save  people some of the headaches I have gone through the past week.    Double check all  documents and call early if you need to contact your airline of travel agent.   And do not trust what people tell you - that damn postal worker.  

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I sent out for my son’s passport in April using the expedited service ($60). From the moment I dropped the paperwork at the local courthouse until the passport arrived in the mailbox, it was a little over 3 weeks.


Based on the ever increasing number of threads like this one, I think that I submitted the application just in time before a tsunami of new applications from travel hungry people hit the passport agencies all at once. Phew! 

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On 6/22/2021 at 9:46 AM, cruisemom42 said:

 

As I said above we are just at 4 weeks now and still processing. We are hoping it shows up in 6 weeks but we have longer so it's not a huge concern for us.

 

I hope it works out for her.

 

Update: We just received his passport today, so it took about 4 and a half weeks altogether, for those looking for current information on the expedited service speed. The new passport came in a USPS Priority Mail Express mailer; we have yet to receive the old passport book but assume it will follow.

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We did expedited service. It arrived 5 weeks to the day after the documents were received by the Department of State's Passport office.

We did us a Passport Agency to handle all our paperwork. Been using them for years, since before I retired in 2004. It's Peninsula Visa https://www.peninsulavisa.com/ 

We use them remotely. We sent our documents to them via UPS and they took care of everything.

IMHO, they're well worth the money as they walks stuff through and know what to look for. 

The one time I didn't use them 10 years ago, the State Department rejected my wife's picture. It was a hassle. 

Now, if I could just get DHS to allow us to update our Passport info online. I keep getting a "We were unable to verify your document" error from their website: https://ttp.dhs.gov/

And yes, I entered everything properly.

Peninsula Visa's folks report that others have been having that problem too. 

I've sent off trouble reports to the DHS and left a message with the SFO Enrollment Center.

Regards,
Bill

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On 6/25/2021 at 3:56 PM, cruisemom42 said:

we have yet to receive the old passport book but assume it will follow

 

Yes, that has been my experience when I have had to receive a new passport.  They never have arrived in the same mailing.  

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2 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Yes, that has been my experience when I have had to receive a new passport.  They never have arrived in the same mailing.  

They are not processed in the same location (at least in my experience).  My renewal was sent to Texas who then sent it to Tuscon for processing and my canceled passport was returned from New Orleans IIRC.

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Sorry this has taken so long to get around to update.

 

As I said, I booked her flights again with Delta.   Got same seats except on one leg.    Finally at 11pm I got through to AMEX - Delta said there was a five hour hold.    As soon as I filled the lady in, she said "her original flights and same seats were still there"   and said she needed to call Delta asap because, if their  computer found two bookings on the same flight, they would cancel both.  So I was on hold for another 45 minutes.   Meanwhile I printed off her boarding pass and itinerary.    Lady came back and said she was able to cancel the second booking.  Off to bed and up at 6am.

We took off for Chicago and thankfully she went to school in Chicago for three summers for her masters degree and was a fantastic navigator.    Foggy at first, then it cleared before heavy rains started - so many trucks and the spray was terrible but thank goodness most people slowed down some.   20 miles out of downtown, traffic was down to 25 mph.  I looked over at the other lane and it was stop and go and I had a bad feeling about heading home.  

She pointed out the building, we turned the corner and found a parking garage on the next corner - $15 sign in front.  It only took us 20 more minutes than our navigation's system ETA.    We walked to the front door and there were tons of people lined up.   Then she went up to the front door and asked if you had to wait if we had an appointment.    NO - so we got right in.  Went upstairs and got to a window right away.  But then we had to sit and wait to be called.   20 minutes later we were with the nicest gentleman.  He could not believe what she had gone through at the post office.  From them telling her to send copies and calling her three weeks later saying they had to be originals.   He said they never call you.  So they never sent her stuff in that time.    He looked her up and they sent her stuff in two weeks after she gave it to them and they still had not started processing it after 4 1/2 weeks.  For the past two weeks, their site said it was in processing.   He said that was good because he could get it through faster.   Then he told us to come back in two hours to pick it up.   With a big smile, I said " I know you can work some magic and get it done sooner".     Ok, if we could get out of the city without much traffic, we still should be able to get to the airport with a good hour to spare.    

Instead of going to a cafe, we decided just to go sit in the car.  After 20 minutes, her phone rang and it was a Chicago number - NO!!! now what was wrong.   But to our surprise, it was the guy.  He said "they are printing your passport and it should be done by the time you walk over here!"   

We go to pay the parking attendant and I hand him $15 and he says, "it is $28!!!"   I should have taken a picture of the $15 sign but we just wanted to get out of there.

Traffic was terrible for the first 30 minutes but our navigation system had us only 15 minutes behind and then it was smooth sailing.  We were going to go right to the airport and my husband was planning to take my son to the airport but we could get home 20 minutes before they were planning to leave.   So I pulled into the garage and my son loaded his luggage and thank goodness he took over driving for me.

They are in Belize now and having a great time.

As Flatbush Flyer said right away - using the post office was our first mistake.   The agent that helped us was so upset with the man at the post office that helped her that he was going to file a report about his mishandling of her passport application.   Everyone that we spoke to in the office had their congressman or senator's help in getting their appointment.

Thanks for all the support.

 

AND check your passports and send them in early!!!

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9 minutes ago, compozer said:

As I said, I booked her flights again with Delta.   Got same seats except on one leg.    Finally at 11pm I got through to AMEX - Delta said there was a five hour hold.    As soon as I filled the lady in, she said "her original flights and same seats were still there"   and said she needed to call Delta asap because, if their  computer found two bookings on the same flight, they would cancel both.  So I was on hold for another 45 minutes.   Meanwhile I printed off her boarding pass and itinerary.    Lady came back and said she was able to cancel the second booking. ..........

Glad it all worked out.

 

FWIW: In late February 2020 on Oceania Nautica, when we learned that (“out of an abundance of caution”) we were headed for Dubai rather than Singapore, rebooking flights became the day’s most popular activity. Of course, O was wonderful with free satellite calls for us DIY fliers.


While waiting for my turn, my chat with a line neighbor found that he was a retired Delta pilot. I asked if Delta would take good care of him for the rebook - to which he replied: “I most often use United for intercontinental routes.”  To my next query “why?” he answered: “Because when there’s situations like this, United answers the phone.”

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11 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

 

 

 

  To my next query “why?” he answered: “Because when there’s situations like this, United answers the phone.”

I am not found of United.   When we were returning from a liveaboard scuba diving trip in Cairo, two of our party had no issue with checking in at the airport.   They told us that our tickets were no good.   All five of us ordered them together.   No United counter and we were told to call United.   Made the international call only to have the agent that answered the phone say " Can you call back in a hour, all of our computers are down!!!"    That was not a good trip!

 

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5 minutes ago, compozer said:

I am not found of United.   When we were returning from a liveaboard scuba diving trip in Cairo, two of our party had no issue with checking in at the airport.   They told us that our tickets were no good.   All five of us ordered them together.   No United counter and we were told to call United.   Made the international call only to have the agent that answered the phone say " Can you call back in a hour, all of our computers are down!!!"    That was not a good trip!

 

If you flew out of Cairo, you could’ve gone to the Egypt Air counter (Star Alliance partner). At the very least, they could have contacted United for you and worked out the issue.

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25 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

While waiting for my turn, my chat with a line neighbor found that he was a retired Delta pilot. I asked if Delta would take good care of him for the rebook - to which he replied: “I most often use United for intercontinental routes.”  To my next query “why?” he answered: “Because when there’s situations like this, United answers the phone.”

 

I live in ATL, so a Delta hub. Often have few choices other than Delta. I have to say, though, that Delta has always "answered the phone" when I've been in need of help or assistance. They have been wonderful through many canceled trips during COVID.  I am a mid-level status member, so nothing meriting extra super-duper help, but I feel Delta does as well or better than most large carriers.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

If you flew out of Cairo, you could’ve gone to the Egypt Air counter (Star Alliance partner). At the very least, they could have contacted United for you and worked out the issue.

We tried everything - The United partner we were on for the first leg was Lufthansa and they could care less - no one really spoke English - finally a lady came over and translated but not much help.   In the past - we learn from all of our experiences!! 

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1 minute ago, compozer said:

We tried everything - The United partner we were on for the first leg was Lufthansa and they could care less - no one really spoke English - finally a lady came over and translated but not much help.   In the past - we learn from all of our experiences!! 

 

Ah, therein lies the problem!  haha.  Code share or not, I avoid Lufthansa.   I've had so many issues with them, I'm to the point if they are the only option I would seriously consider not going.   

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3 hours ago, compozer said:

They are in Belize now and having a great time.

 

What an experience your family has gone through!   I am glad that the problems got resolved and hope that they will continue to have a safe and good trip.  

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9 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

What an experience your family has gone through!   I am glad that the problems got resolved and hope that they will continue to have a safe and good trip.  

Thanks so much.   She is so excited.  She said she teared up when they stamped her passport at customs in Belize.   After her mom paassed from cancer in October and having covid an month and then breathing issues followed by GI problems from it for 9 months, two hospital stays and two surgeries, she deserves a wonderful trip.  That is why I did not give up.

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