June 3

Passport update


As might be expected, our daughter-in-law’s passport arrived a couple of days ago, right in the middle of their trip to Mexico.
MD called FedEx to see if we could get it to her on Saturday so she would have it for the trip home today (Sunday). FedEx told MD that they could only guarantee delivery by next Wednesday (so much for their promise of overnight anywhere), so the DIL elected not to take the chance. She figured that if the passport got delivered after they had left, there would be a huge possibility that it would never find its way back to her in Dallas.
We faxed a copy of the new passport to her in Puerto Vallarta. They come home this afternoon, so we’ll see what happens when she tries to get through Mexican passport control and U.S. passport control and customs with a copy (and her driver’s license, certified copy of her birth certificate, etc.). I’ll head to the airport to pick them up at about 6:30 today with her passport in hand in case they call and I have to bring it in. I’ll post as to what happens after they’re home or sent back to Mexico or jailed or whatever the case may be so that others can plan accordingly.
It took a little over seven weeks for her to get her passport, for which she had paid for expedited service that allegedly would get it to her in two weeks. After four weeks she contacted Kay Baily Hutchison’s (one of the U.S. Senators from Texas) office for help. I don’t know if the seven plus weeks that it took to get the passport is standard now or if there was intervention on the part of KBH to help expedite the process. Some commenters have reported 11 plus week waits.
As to the comments, I’m behind in getting them out of the moderation queue because I’ve been gone for a couple of days. I flew to Austin on Friday to meet by buddy Jim Hickman (a frequent commenter to this blog) for 18 holes of golf on Friday and 36 on Saturday. We played Colovista, which is a nicely laid out course, but has greens made of Bermuda grass, which were like putting on velcro (for me, at least, since I’m not used to them). By the time I got back last night the sun, the heat, and the humidity had taken their toll, so about all I could muster up the gumption to do was to scroll through the 376 spams that had stacked up, rescue the two comments trapped there, move them to the moderation queue, and hit the sack. As soon as I publish this post, I’ll deal with the comments in moderation.
I’m happy to report that all flights went smoothly. I flew Southwest Airlines both ways, and it went without a hitch. Southwest, which I’ve flown often, is a superb airline in terms of customer service and on-time arrival. SW employees are uniformly polite and professional and helpful, unlike the trolls at U.S. Air, née America West Airline (aka America’s Worst Airline). The only grip I have with Southwest is their cattle-call like boarding. I much prefer assigned seats.
The Austin airport is grand. It’s beautiful and even the TSA agents (at least the ones with whom I interacted) are nice. It’s great to be back in the South where, in general, people are much friendlier and more polite. Since the TSA agents are recruited from the local populace, it would make sense that they, too, would be more polite. They were helpful and even joked with me because in the process of shedding myself of my cellphone, pocket change, and other metal objects, I forgot my money clip. The TSA jerks at the Santa Barbara airport, which is a dinky little airport, are way too full of themselves. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of them smile. And what’s worse is that they are ever vigilant for all sorts of things that make it through every other TSA screener in America. I don’t think I’ve ever had a guest who has come to Santa Barbara make it out without having to forfeit some small object that has made it through all the other airports they went through to get to SB.
I guess there have to be flaws even in paradise.

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  1. I am supposed to travel in 9 days, applied 12 weeks ago and here I am trying to get through on the phone.
    Hi Jiri–
    Read some of the other comments.  You may be able to go somewhere in your state and get your passport the same day.
    Good luck.

  2. I guess we’re much more anal retentive than others on this blog. We’re traveling to Jamaica at the end of June so we applied for passports in January. They arrived in March. Now I need to remember where I put them 🙂

  3. I lost my state photo ID right before a trip to Alaska (that would include one day in Canada). I couldn’t get it replaced before I left. I went into panic mode, applied for a passport with expidited service and had it in 3 days. Expidited cost a ton more money, but it was worth it to have a photo ID for my trip.
    Hi Victoria–
    This wasn’t recently, was it?

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