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  #1  
Old 02-20-2006, 04:55 PM
some white dude some white dude is offline
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I need to travel overseas, but my passport hasn't yet arrived

I'm in a bit of a pickle here. I had expedited my passport processing a couple of weeks ago so I could get it on time. I just checked its status on travel.state.gov, and it says it's set to ship via standard mail with an arrival date "on or around Feb. 26th" (my flight is on the 24th). However, I did NOT purchase standard shipping; I paid a few more dollars for overnight shipping, which would likely get my passport here on time. There has apparently been some kind of error on the part of the US Passport Agency. If they happen to ship my passport before I can get in contact with them to fix the problem, what are my options? Will the airline (Air France) be willing to place me on a later flight? Can I hold the Passport Agency accountable for any extra fees/expenses?

Most importantly (and more of a matter of opinion), am I screwed?

I'll be calling the Passport Agency first thing in the morning tomorrow, as they're not open on Presidents' Day.
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  #2  
Old 02-20-2006, 05:13 PM
scr4 scr4 is offline
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I imagine if you go in person to a Passport Agency office in a nearby large city (Detroit?), they can issue a passport within 24 hours. I've seen it done in Boston.
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  #3  
Old 02-20-2006, 05:14 PM
Cunctator Cunctator is offline
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If you don't have a valid passport I can't envisage any airline letting you on board the plane.
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  #4  
Old 02-20-2006, 05:16 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is online now
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You can have it rushed. A friend who was in a similar circumstance to your own did this; she had to sign a statement saying that she would return the other passport within X amount of time once she received it and agreed to pay a fine/possible jailtime if she didn't (she did), but she got her's w/i 24 hours.
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Old 02-20-2006, 06:01 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4
I imagine if you go in person to a Passport Agency office in a nearby large city (Detroit?), they can issue a passport within 24 hours. I've seen it done in Boston.
I actually did that in person at the Boston passport office, it worked fine, and it did not even cost all that much (about $125 IIRC). I don't think every major city has a direct passport expediting service at their passport office but there may be one within driving distance.

To the OP. If it doesn't come in time you simply can't go unless your destination is one of the ones that technically allows a birth certificate to enter. I doubt you are going to have much luck collecting damages from the U.S. government and I would switch to Plan B mode. Plan B is getting a passport in person directly from an office that does expediting or paying and expediting service several hundred dollars to do it for you.
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  #6  
Old 02-20-2006, 07:16 PM
some white dude some white dude is offline
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Right, I know I can't board the flight without the passport, but I'm just wondering if there are any alternatives. I didn't know that I might be able to pick one up within 24 hours, though, so that's uplifting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sampiro
A friend who was in a similar circumstance to your own did this; she had to sign a statement saying that she would return the other passport within X amount of time once she received it and agreed to pay a fine/possible jailtime if she didn't (she did), but she got her's w/i 24 hours.
So are you saying she had already applied for a passport, but then got another one within 24 hours, and then was obligated to return the passport she originally applied for by a certain date?
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  #7  
Old 02-20-2006, 08:29 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Just a warning. There is time to fix this (maybe) but you have to start executing now. That may mean packing up the car tonight and travelling to the nearest city with a passport expediting service at their passport office an staying there for the next two days. You could call the emergency numbers at agencies that specialize in this type of thing as well but that will cost you a small bundle. You might be able to do it if you start tonight but tomorrow may be too late. Things tend to get delayed and the 24 hour turnaround is the absolute ideal if you are waiting at the office when it opens with documents in hand to get things straightened out.
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  #8  
Old 02-20-2006, 09:43 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
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I have to warn you I don't think there is a processing office in Detroit. I believe your closest center is in Chicago (4 hour drive). Worth it to prevent a screwing, I'd say. Gas up the car and hit I-94.

By the way you MUST bring your tickets and other proof that you are leaving the country in the next few days or they will not bother helping you.

"The Chicago Passport Agency only serves customers who are traveling, or submitting their passports for foreign visas, within 14 days. To apply at the Agency, you must schedule an appointment by calling toll-free at 1-877-487-2778, 24 hours/day."
http://travel.state.gov/passport/abo...ncies_905.html

Stop browsing the internet and call the RIGHT NOW.
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2006, 10:55 PM
some white dude some white dude is offline
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Things are looking pretty grim. There are no appointments available until March 2nd. I'm pretty much running in panic mode right about now. Two possibilities remain: the agency will still be able to ship my passport overnight and thereby get it to me on time, or Air France will be willing to accomodate me at a later date without forcing me to buy an entirely new ticket. Tell me, do any of you know of airlines being this generous? I imagine at the very least I would have to pay several fees in order to get this done.
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2006, 01:07 AM
even sven even sven is online now
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You may have some travel insurance somewhere- it may be tacked on to a renter's insurance policy or to a credit card. That would help cover the cost of your ticket.

You may also get lucky. A lot of tickets have some flexibility to them. You may be able to change your date with little or no fee. When in doubt, keep talking. The airline industry has a lot of leeway with what they can grant to you, but they will always try to low-ball you first.
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  #11  
Old 02-21-2006, 08:19 AM
some white dude some white dude is offline
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Just came back to report some good news in case anyone is enthralled by my tale and needs some closure. I called passport services today, and the customer service rep told me that she sent an email instructing the magic passport fairies to finish mine up today and ship it overnight, meaning it ought to arrive either tomorrow or Thursday. In other words, life is still good.
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  #12  
Old 02-21-2006, 09:09 AM
Avarie537 Avarie537 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Team of Scientists
Just came back to report some good news in case anyone is enthralled by my tale and needs some closure. I called passport services today, and the customer service rep told me that she sent an email instructing the magic passport fairies to finish mine up today and ship it overnight, meaning it ought to arrive either tomorrow or Thursday. In other words, life is still good.
Congratulations! I'm glad to hear that you got this resolved. It's amazing what a polite phone call can do sometimes.
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  #13  
Old 02-21-2006, 09:29 AM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Team of Scientists
Just came back to report some good news in case anyone is enthralled by my tale and needs some closure. I called passport services today, and the customer service rep told me that she sent an email instructing the magic passport fairies to finish mine up today and ship it overnight, meaning it ought to arrive either tomorrow or Thursday. In other words, life is still good.
As an aside should things not come through:

Almost all Congressional offices have a process in place to assist consitituents in expediting passport processing and delivery. Many congressional websites have that as a specific link. If you don't get satisfaction give your rep a call and ask for constituent services.

http://www.house.gov
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