Checked the online status of my passport this morning and bam, it has been overnighted. We got it on 4/5. Oh yeah, this is good. Some lessons learned from this experience:
- Our government is completely a reaction factory, no forward thinking or proactive thought comes from the bureaucratic mess in Washington.
- The State Department bureau of consumer affairs has handled the overload pretty well in my opinion. They did a good job of explaining the problem and what the public should be aware of by reporting to the media and via their website. I never had a big problem getting thru to the passport centers via phone, 3 or 4 tries by 10:00 am and I was thru with a ~10 minute hold time.
- Some passport reps are more helpful then others. On 3/27 a gentleman informed me that the State Department had waived the expedition fee and gave me the scope how to get my passport early. Other reps were….kindly not so helpful.
- Congressman’s aides aren’t the sharpest & with a little leg work you can find more info then they can. Jean Schmidt’s aid gave no real help, besides tracking my passport was in New Orleans. They need to talk to the rep above on how things work.
- Florida, Texas, Alabama, & the cruise lines will benefit for a long time because of the changes in passport requirements. For a family of 4, passports will run $400, some people are going to bark at that and take their vacations in the US instead. College spring breakers are normally last minute planners so they won’t have time to get it them. If I was in the Mexican tourist industry I’d be ponying up the dollars to lobbyist to get a “smart” drivers license that was cheaper then a passport and more distributed, that is what Canada wants too.