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US Passport / Expedited passport delay!

1 United States Review updated:

I request a passport for my baby on April 18/2007 and they told me, i was going to received the passport on 05/29/2007, my trip was on 06/04/2007, and i didn't get the passport until a week later of my trip. Besides that in order for my to change the date of my trip i have to pay $500.00 and is not fair because it was not my fault, i paid the extra money to get it sooner and anyway it didn't happen.

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Fr
  19th of Jun, 2007
0 Votes
US Passport - Expedited passport delay
United States

I applied for a expedited passport a couple of months back. Still no passport. Is this another way that the government is trying to annoy us. I know that they had an idea of the number of travelers that leave the country, yet they didn't have the workforce in place to start issuing passports. Such an inefficient process.

Sl
  24th of Jun, 2007
0 Votes

Just wanted to share some tips on getting though to the passport office that I learned from others on this complaint board and my own experience. We just got my daughter's passport after filing in March for our June trip to Europe. We got it in time for the trip because I did several things: (1) called the passport office daily and ( 2) got my congressional representative involved. My senators were no help-- they had lots of other people to deal with first who were leaving sooner than us. My congressman's office called me every other day with an update. End result: call your senators and congressman for help and go with whichever one will help you the most.

In calling the passport office, I found getting through in th afternoon ( like 5:30 EST) best. In the morning, most of the time the system was down. You do need to give them a date that is earlier than your actual departure date in order to get any action and to get it in time for your trip. The date you give them has to be within 14 days of when you call. Dial the 1-877 number, when it starts with the tape, push 1, wait for the start of the next general message & push 3. If you get the "due to the high volume" tape, push 3 before it ends. You will get a message saying it did not understand the command-- push 3 again. This will usually but you into the line for calls on hold. You may get a message that then cuts you off-- if this happens, hang up and go thru this process again until you are just on hold ( sometimes there is blank air when you are on hold, sometimes there is music, sometimes there are other little messages). By doing this, I was able to get through in a half hour at the longest. One time I even got the person who handles inquiries from members of Congress.

Once you get thru and talk to someone, you cannot be assured that the passport has been sent unless they give you a fed ex or other tracking number. Ask for one!! They are sending all passports now by fed ex or express mail at no cost because of this mess. with the fed ex number, you can then track it yourself. Ours came two days after I got the fed ex number.

Di
  15th of Jul, 2007
0 Votes

I had to change my flight and all my family (4 of us) because my babies passport is still in process... it was supposed to take 2-3 weeks and it's been 4 weeks and still no passport.. I've called about 7 times and all i heard is call tomorrow to check the status, there is nothing we can do. We do not know ho to help... blah blah blah.. i had to cancel and gonna have to pay to change ALL our tickets. Plus we are not gonna be able to assist to a very important family member wedding and everyone had schedule vacation during our stay to see our babies and visit us. We still don't know an estimated date for my baby's passport to arrive, from ALL the millions of passports they've done they can't tell in average how long would it take for and expedite passport to arrive. Every one in the customer service passport agency had a different story. Two days before our trip Heather said the passport was almost done and they were gonna ship it next day. I called next day and Natasha told me that the passport was still in process and should be done that day, next day... nothing i had to cancel... Why they said it would take 2-3 weeks and THEY ARE STILL saying it's taking 2-3 weeks... If i knew it would take longer i just would schedule my flight later and could save all this stress and headaches, the money, and about 6-8 hrs of trying to reach the appointment line, and the agent to talk to..

Di
  15th of Jul, 2007
0 Votes

I found this tips on the delay on US passports complaint.. check it out (I'm gonna try them on Monday):

Just started calling today 14 days before a month long trip to Europe. I have included all tips so that it may help others.

National Passport Center 1-877-487-2778

Passport status requests 1-606-526-7600

Washington passport desk at 202-647-7948.

US Consular Task Force (WATCH DOG) 202-647-7948

US Department of State phone directory unclassified
http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/82073.pdf

The following is a list of the abbreviations you will see next to the employees name in the directory. Assuming you know where it’s being processed look for the following. Once you have found someone make sure you have your passport locater number, name, DOB, SS# ready.

CA/PPT…………………………………………………….Office of Passport Services
CA/PPT/BN…………………………………………………..Boston Passport Agency
CA/PPT/CG………………………….……………………..Chicago Passport Agency
CA/PPT/HH……………………..…………………………Honolulu Passport Agency
CA/PPT/HN……………………………….………………..Houston Passport Agency
CA/PPT/LA………………………………………….…Los Angeles Passport Agency
CA/PPT/MM…………………………………………….……..Miami Passport Agency
CA/PPT/No…………………………………...……….New Orleans Passport Agency
CA/PPT/NPC……..……………………National Passport Center, Portsmouth, NH
CA/PPT/NY……….……………………….………………New York Passport Agency
CA/PPT/PA…………………….………………………Philadelphia Passport Agency
CA/PPT/SE……….………………….……………………….Seattle Passport Agency
CA/PPT/SF……………………..……………………San Francisco Passport Agency
CA/PPT/SIA…………………………………………….……Special Issuance Agency
CA/PPT/SM……………………….……………………….Stamford Passport Agency
CA/PPT/WN……...…………………………………….Washington Passport Agency

EMAIL THE FOLLOWING AND ASK FOR A CONGRESSIONAL REFERRAL AND GO TO A PASSPORT CENTER IF YOUR GETTING TO CLOSE AND DON'T THINK YOUR GOING TO GET IT ALTHOUGH THE TASK FORCE IS VERY EFFECTIVE.

Email your congressman at http://www.house.gov/

Email your Senator http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Just for fun call
Maura Harty. Her line is 202-647-9576.

Update: 25th of June.
Update: Just read this last night on the state travel site:

We have finished processing your passport, and it has been mailed to you.

You requested delivery by regular mail. Passport Agencies use Priority Mail. This means you should receive your passport on or about 06/30/2007.

That would be 4 days before my trip... We will see..

Update: June 26th
Final update!!!

Just called the talk force and they gave me a fed ex tracking number that says the following:

Jun 26, 2007 8:10 am
On FedEx vehicle for delivery

AND RECEIVED!!!
How happy am i!!! Wooohooo

I have renewed faith in our system!!! With deepest sorrows for all of you who haven't received your passports in time for your trip. And to those who are panicking use the task force at 202-647-7948. Ask for Jamie or Dave they are great!!! Thank you all.

Ma
  11th of Sep, 2007
0 Votes

I, together with my children, became citizens of United States by virtue of Naturalization last year. All five members of my family here missed travel to the Philippines to attend my Mother’s 75th birthday. We planned this celebration 5 months before her birthday. My frustration started when we applied for US Passports. It was April 29, 2007, when we went to the Post Office to get started. We paid expedited fee to get the passports within 2 to 3 weeks, that was according to the Department of State’s website and authorized Passport Agencies.

If that was true, then we could have gotten our passports one month prior to our travel date of June 29, 2007. My husband and stepson got their passport within 14 days of application.

As a requirement, I submitted the certified copy of my son’s birth certificate, which was the copy I submitted to INS 10 years ago. Two weeks after the application, someone from Norwalk Connecticut Passport Agency, Patricia, called me questioning the birth certificate I submitted. She also requested for new photos, which were mailed via over-night service the next day. Receipt of which was confirmed by her through a courtesy call.

Going back to the birth certificate, she concluded that it was a photocopy even though the National Statistics Office in the Philippines stamped it. I told her that my daughter, who is now twenty years old and also applying for Passport possesses a certified copy of birth certificate, which was stamped just like my son’s birth certificate. She instructed me to mail it and then she would let this case go.
That was probably May 14, 2007.

Since our expedited application took more than five weeks, I checked the application online.
Online status showed, “Your application is now under processed. You requested for routine application.” Therefore, my application went from expedited to routine. That was the first error there.

I was nerve-wracked. I needed to speak to someone at the Call Center immediately

However, if you would like to speak to a Call Center Customer Representative, the requirement is that you should be leaving within 14 days. If you need to make an automated appointment to Norwalk Passport Agency, your travel date should be within 14 days.

I waited and call on the day when it was exactly 14 days prior to my travel date.
When I made the automated appointment, the only day and time available was 3 days before my travel date. I was getting nervous already. I made the appointment to see someone at the Norwalk Passport Agency and started calling the Call Centers from June 15, 2007.

Every day, for two weeks, I called and spoke to different Customer Service Reps.
What were amazing were the different versions of the status of my application. I must have called 17 times during that 14- day window before you can speak to a Rep requirement. I was so delighted when in one of my several persistent calls, I spoke to a gentleman and told me our passports are ready to be mailed out. His exact words were, “I had goose bumps looking at the status.” I did not quite get what he meant by that. He added that I should call after two days to check again. After two days, 10 days before our departure, I called again with excitement to check. To my dismay, the lady on the other line told me that our passports were still under processed and that we were missing photos.

I told her about what the man told me two days ago and that the matter about the photos has long been resolved. She advised me to make an appointment with the Norwalk Passport Agency, which I already did. Before hanging up, adding to my already frustrated spirit, she told me that generally, it takes 10 to 12 weeks to get the passports. My argument that I paid for expedited service really did not matter anymore.

In June 25, 2007, a woman from Norwalk Passport Agency called me in the morning. She advised me to go the East Hampton Probate court, which is the nearest authorized Passport Agency, or to a Post Office to apply. She said, “Just tell whoever is going to take the application that you are bringing the form personally after filling out to Norwalk.”

Suddenly, I began to ask if these people at the Agency knew what they were talking about.
Did this woman check their system first before calling me? Did she know that we already applied five weeks ago and paid for expedited service?

June 26, 2007, my twenty-year old daughter took a day off from her work to join us for that hard-to-get appointment schedule with Norwalk Passport Agency. It was the much awaited and anticipated date. The last iota of hope for my son, my daughter and myself.

We arrived at Norwalk at 1:30PM. Our appointment was at 2PM.
The Agency watch person stopped us at the door but we were ushered in quickly after knowing that we have a 2PM appointment. I filled out a piece of paper with the information requested. It also required proof if you paid for expedited service. I was happy that I printed the canceled checks from the bank.

At 2:20, I asked the man in uniform watching over the people packed in approximately 30x30 square feet room if passports will be issued on the same day. According to him, passport pick-up time is 3PM. Worriedly, I told him that we have been waiting for almost an hour. I saw people who came after us were called in first. He assured us that our names would be called soon. He asked for my last name and headed towards the window in front of us. The woman at the window told him that someone was working on it.

Fifteen more minutes lapsed, 25 minutes before pick up time, I was relieved when a woman approached an empty window and called our last name. The smile on my face suddenly vanished when she could not do anything at that time. She emphasized that she has been e-mailing Manila for two months now. I did not know whom she was e-mailing. In her own words, “You know how Manila is.” The buck was passed on to Manila, whichever office she was dealing with

Before we left, my husband asked her if our application was processed through expedited service because we were just wondering why the Call Center and online status check website showed that our application went through routine service. She pointed at the paper she was holding. “It showed here you paid for expedited service,” she replied. Was this a case of error, omission or lie?

Combining ignorance with incompetence, she advised us to go to INS to get our Green Passports stamped. “You can still travel with that,” she added. Her name was Miss Figueroa.

Out of desperation, my daughter and I went the next day, June 27, 2007, to INS in Hartford, Connecticut. I requested the INS Officer to stamp my Green Passport. With a seemingly surprised look, she asked for our permanent resident cards. I told her that they were taken away when we were sworn in as Citizens of the US. She could not believe what she heard because we did not have business there anymore. We need Blue or US passports to travel. We should have known that. We tried out of desperation and frustration.

We left the INS building. My daughter and I were walking as if the whole world was on our shoulder. Our feet were heavy as we dragged them towards the parking area.

I called my husband and told him what happened. As soon as I got home, I went online and checked on the Philippines’ National Statistics Office website.

My thought was perhaps it would help if I could send the NSO direct contact information to the Passport Agency Call Center.

That was if Norwalk Passport Agency was trying to prove the veracity of the birth certificates. So I called the Call Center again on that same day and gave the person I talked to the link to the website where they can e-mail the person from NSO to verify the information.

My husband and I also sought the help of the offices of Senator Christopher Dodd and State Representative Joe Courtney.

A woman named Anita from Joe Courtney’s office tried hard to contact Norwalk and speed up the processing of our passports. Nevertheless, to no avail.
Two days are what we have.

Curiosity pushed me to chat again with the Call Center. I already memorized the numbers to press to bypass the recording. Press#1 for English; followed by #1 again if you are traveling within 14 days; then press# 0 for operator. Then, I was transferred to a live person. I told her about the whole story from the very beginning. She told me that I should have pressed #3 instead of #1 when prompted. I argued that I have been pressing the same series of numbers every time I called Call Center.

Anyway, she still transferred me to another Customer Service Rep. The man on the other line explained to me that the change in the telephone system was made because of the misinformation that other Reps were giving out to the public. In short, if you have applied and it was taking more than the promised date, then you are required to press #3 to get to a more competent person. Well, he talked as if he was more competent than the others were. At least, there was understanding and compassion to his tone. I was not sure if he helped at all. But I was happy by the way he handled my frustration. A woman I spoke with earlier that day even blamed for not marking my application form as expedited, which was the job of whoever was taking the applications at the Post Office.

Our travel date came. There was no sign of passports at the mailbox. We missed our trip. We have to pay cancellation of $287 per ticket. Multiply that by five. We lost almost $1500 of hard-earned money.

If you missed your trip, as in our case, and still would like to contact the Call Center to follow-up, the Rep will ask you what your travel date is.

I called the Center again in July. Because our travel date already elapsed, I could not give the Rep a travel date, which was the first question a Rep would ask. However, I made sure that I emphasized to her that we already missed the trip and that we were still waiting for the passports so we can book a flight soon. The Rep quizzically asked,” So you don’t have any travel date yet?”

Did these Customer Service Reps receive their degrees in the “Art of Aggravating People?
Did they think that people would book flights again after missing their trips without the Passports? Did the travel date really matter? Not at all.

And by the way, Call Center should change the message recording immediately.
It should eliminate the recording where it says, “If you are not traveling within 14 days, don’t worry. We hired staff to make sure you don’t miss your trip.”

It should say, “If you have not received your passports yet and it was taking longer than the expected, you really have to worry.” Because you may get not it on time.

It should also eliminate the promise of delivery within 2 to 3 weeks for expedited service and 10 to 12 weeks for routine service.

My son can travel with his Green Passport. My daughter and I could have traveled with Green Passports if we did not become Citizens of United States last year.

I was holding and looking at my Philippine passport as I was writing this. After all this mess, who would argue with me if I say, “Green is better than Blue.”

Me
  8th of Jan, 2009
+1 Votes

Hi All –

I work with a law firm that filed a class action lawsuit against the U.S. State Department for the passport problems in 2007.

The suit represents everyone who submitted the $60 expedite fee for a rush passport and didn’t receive their passport within 21 days or a refund. Anyone who’s experienced problems since 2001 can join. It’s worth checking out.

You can learn more about the case at the firm’s Web site – www.hbsslaw.com/passport.

Lo
  12th of Jun, 2013
0 Votes

It seems that they will just take the money and forget the passport, I paid for expedited because the woman in costumer service said i could get right away just pay 60 + overnight fees they will overnight it for me. I did it paid them and waited, i was told it is in process, but how long, and now, probably, I will lost the round ticket for my daughter, My flight is 3 day from now and the passport according to them is still in process, I will probably leave without her because INS did not issue the expedited order that according to them is 24 hours service.

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