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Old May 22nd 2009, 10:09 am   #46
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Default Re: Passport Delays

I am in similar pain of waiting for a passport - spending hours now trying to contact the embassy. I have plane tickets for travel 6.5 weeks after UPS said they received my application.
The nugget of information I did get for the chunk of money abtran took from me is that they will no longer be providing the service as of 29 May. Asked them who it would be, they would not tell me and that I had to check the website on that day for details.
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Old May 22nd 2009, 10:53 am   #47
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Default Re: Passport Delays

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Originally Posted by Catgirl View Post
OMG! Thanks TonyD
This is ridiculous. At the time we applied their website said 10 working days so we were crazy enough to go buy tickets x4 to London followed by another trip to visit family.
We also had tickets for london, my passport came a week after everyone else left, so l had to buy an extra oneway ticket that cost more than my original return. l also missed our sons birthday party that l had been aranging with the rest of the family for months, the worst part was he was only in london for one day after l arrived, then he had to go back to Japan, we are so mad that our complaints to the embasy are continuing now we are back .
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Old May 22nd 2009, 11:48 am   #48
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Default Re: Passport Delays

ok so what actaully is going on?? anyone have any idea wotsoever?

Reading all these posts about passport delays has everyones ran out as of april 2009. Seems everyone and their dog are applying just lately.

So Abtran are not so who is???
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Old May 22nd 2009, 12:50 pm   #49
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Default Re: Passport Delays

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Originally Posted by LAS View Post
I am in similar pain of waiting for a passport - spending hours now trying to contact the embassy. I have plane tickets for travel 6.5 weeks after UPS said they received my application.
The nugget of information I did get for the chunk of money abtran took from me is that they will no longer be providing the service as of 29 May. Asked them who it would be, they would not tell me and that I had to check the website on that day for details.
Oh that's good news about Abtran! I feircely complained about them in my letters to the Embassy - told them it was disgusting that we shoul be charged such incredible rates to talk to someone when the US Immigration service don't charge anything for foreign nationals to call their helpline!

As for me, after my fuss last week, my pasport arrived yesterday Looks nice!

Good luck everyone I hope you get yours soon as well! I am writing a thank you to Dean!
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Old May 22nd 2009, 1:59 pm   #50
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Oh that's good news about Abtran! I feircely complained about them in my letters to the Embassy - told them it was disgusting that we shoul be charged such incredible rates to talk to someone when the US Immigration service don't charge anything for foreign nationals to call their helpline!

As for me, after my fuss last week, my pasport arrived yesterday Looks nice!

Good luck everyone I hope you get yours soon as well! I am writing a thank you to Dean!
Worrying about this, I spent most of last night reading all sorts of forums on regarding this topic, I could not find Dean's info (might be sleep deprivation, I cannot shut this out of my mind) - but would really like to contact him to see if he can help me too. Could you forward this info to me? Thank you and safe travels!
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Old May 22nd 2009, 2:04 pm   #51
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Default Re: Passport Delays

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Worrying about this, I spent most of last night reading all sorts of forums on regarding this topic, I could not find Dean's info (might be sleep deprivation, I cannot shut this out of my mind) - but would really like to contact him to see if he can help me too. Could you forward this info to me? Thank you and safe travels!
He is the member in this forum called "British Consul"
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Old May 23rd 2009, 1:35 am   #52
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Originally Posted by Deedee13 View Post
ok so what actaully is going on?? anyone have any idea wotsoever?

Reading all these posts about passport delays has everyones ran out as of april 2009. Seems everyone and their dog are applying just lately.

So Abtran are not so who is???
We're just going through some changes at the moment and we've had a couple of issues with old IT interfacing with new IT. All British passport production in North and South America is being centralised at the Passport Production Centre in Washington, hence the large backlog.

The Passport Centre staff are prioritising applications, so all those travelling soon will receive their passports before the travel date. If you're travelling in 6 weeks I wouldn't worry too much just yet if you haven't received your passport. But if you're travelling in the next few days then either contact your local British Consulate or send me a PM and we'll try and provide you with a status update.

Abtran will be replaced by Careline on 1 June. I'll post more on that next week.

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Old May 23rd 2009, 3:49 pm   #53
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Default Re: Passport Delays

I have requested a refund from Abtran for the totally false & grossly misleading information they supplied me.
Let's hope the replacement is better.
Thanks for your great rescue work Dean !
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Old May 23rd 2009, 7:16 pm   #54
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Default Re: Passport Delays

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Originally Posted by British Consul View Post
We're just going through some changes at the moment and we've had a couple of issues with old IT interfacing with new IT. All British passport production in North and South America is being centralised at the Passport Production Centre in Washington, hence the large backlog.

The Passport Centre staff are prioritising applications, so all those travelling soon will receive their passports before the travel date. If you're travelling in 6 weeks I wouldn't worry too much just yet if you haven't received your passport. But if you're travelling in the next few days then either contact your local British Consulate or send me a PM and we'll try and provide you with a status update.

Abtran will be replaced by Careline on 1 June. I'll post more on that next week.

Dean
Dean, Thank you for the update and advice. It has been very helpful and I am starting to feel like my trip will be possible.
Abtran were just awful when I explained my travel situation and just said that there was nothing they could do and there was no way for them to guarantee when I would get my passport back in time. At this point (3 weeks into my application), I have ~4 weeks before travel (departing 19th June). However, I do need to get a visa, paying expedite fees this should take 4 days. Annoyingly the visa requirement is the reason for the renewal, my passport has not expired I just don't have any blank pages left, which I realised starting the visa application process. This brings me to another point in my discussion with Abtran, could I have my passport back and I would fly to the UK and do expedited processing there and wait until it was issued. Their answer to this was I could try but they had probably already cut the corners off my passport and so had probably already invalidated it, but they could not know that for sure and I would find out when it arrived.

Sorry, I did not intend this post to be another rant about Abtran (but figured it is good information for you to have). I will give my application another ~2 weeks to see if it arrives through the normal process and then do as you suggest if my passport has not arrived by then.
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Old May 26th 2009, 4:13 pm   #55
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Default Re: Passport Delays

Just realized that my passport expires in a week. I have tickets to go to the U.K. on June 27th. Do I have any chance of getting my renewel in time? Any help or advise would be greatly apreciated.
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Old May 26th 2009, 4:22 pm   #56
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Default Re: Passport Delays

UK will let you in anyway, then you can renew it there cheaper. Whether the airline will let you board is a different question.
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Old May 27th 2009, 10:27 pm   #57
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Default Re: Passport Delays

Urgh. This doesn't make me happy. I sent my stuff in the first week in March, and I was told 10 days. They took my money about a week or so later. Still no passport. It will be June next week. I've spent $60 calling Abtran who promised me the Embassy would call but never did. $30 of the $60 was spent listening to Waterloo Sunset while I waited for someone to answer the phone. Disgusting.

And I'm still waiting. I'm going to go into the Consul in Boston later this week. Reading on here, it seems to have got things moving along.
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Old May 28th 2009, 1:00 pm   #58
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Default Re: Passport Delays

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Originally Posted by TonyD View Post
I have requested a refund from Abtran for the totally false & grossly misleading information they supplied me.
Let's hope the replacement is better.
Thanks for your great rescue work Dean !
How did you get on with your refund request from Abtran's "information" line? They charged me $28.60, which is on my credit card due for payment next week. It really upsets me everytime I look at my statement, I am trying to decide whether to contest it through American Express ... the information was totally useless. Anyone tried this?
I would much rather give this money to a more worthy cause (maybe a charity of Dean's choice? He was the only help in this whole situation).
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Old May 28th 2009, 2:19 pm   #59
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Default Re: Passport Delays

After I wrote my letter to Abtran, they actually sent a kind reply. I gave them all the details of the call, who I spoke to, what was said etc etc. I told them that I had to wait $15.60 worth of minutes for someone to pick up (this was the only call that I actually documented). They told me to highlight the part of my credit card statement and they would look into it further, even hinting at a refund.
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Old May 28th 2009, 2:59 pm   #60
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Default Re: Passport Delays

Well really panicing now! Travel on Tuesday and no passport! Sent application in about 4 weeks ago, before the processing time changed. They haven't even hit my credit card yet! Made several calls to the consulate here in Houston but not getting any answers.
Only travelling to Canada but with new rules going into effect June 1st not sure if green card will suffice to get us in and out?
FYI- for all you expats in Buffalo- there will be about 1400 Scots in Niagra next week at the Falls hotel, pop on over for a drink, then again maybe 1400 Scots is a reason to stay away, LOL.
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