Warning: Long and complainy...
I just have to get this off my chest.
My husband is being sent to a conference in Toronto. I got a ticket to go along and we are making a short vacation of it. It will be the first time traveling without our kids since 1996!
As we are flying in, we needed to get passports. We've never traveled outside the country before except driving into Canada, for which passports aren't needed yet. We applied the first week in March and were told that it may take 10 weeks but if we hadn't heard anything within 2 weeks of our trip, we could call to expediate them.
We called 2 weeks prior to when we are supposed to leave (which was 10 weeks after we applied) to check on the status and were told that they would get them expediated and to call back if we hadn't recieved them in a couple days. We called back when we didn't recieve them and found they hadn't been sent out yet but said they would be and they had been flagged so we didn't have to call again. They were being sent. Yesterday, still no passports... I called yesterday morning, they were still being processed but they would be sent out that day for overnight mail. Great. Called again last night to make sure it had been done. Nope, sorry. Too late today, the place that sends things out is closed for the day. Called this morning. Was told they will be sent today, same day mail. Our plane leaves at 1045 a.m. tomorrow. I don't believe we will be on it.
Just getting through to the agency is a nightmare, they actually have so many calls that when you call, they have a recording that comes on that says something like "we have too many calls to process and cannot take your call, goodbye" and then hangs up on you! I found an internet site yesterday that had a tip about pressing 9-3-1 to keep from getting hung up on and being able to continue to hold.
We called our congressional representative's office, they are trying to help us. Apparently this isn't unusual at all. They gave us specific instructions to give to our post office so we can get our passports if they are sent in time for our trip. We'll pick them up at 8am on our way to the airport.
I keep kicking myself for believing it when they said they are being sent, don't worry, you'll get them. blah blah blah All that money spent on tickets, it makes me so angry. I wish I would have known how common it was to have problems like this, I would have not believed all the garbage I was being told and would have had my representative working on it when we were 2 weeks out. Apparently, that is the best way to ensure you get your passport in time.
I'm packing my bags today. If we get our passports; we'll be on a plane to Toronto tomorrow. If we don't, my husband and I are going to drive to Idaho because I've always wanted to see Coeur D'Alene, it looks beautiful.
Either way, I'm going on vacation and I'm going to enjoy it, darn it!