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to want to just cry with frustration in the middle of work...

(42 Posts)

..we are supposed to be going to Florida for DS dream holiday next Friday, and my DS and DH passports have been in the system since May being processed. We only sent them for renewal as they didn't have 6 months left after our planned return from Florida.

As we live out of the UK we have to go through an international line that as well as the price of the call charges us 72p per minute.

My husband was supposed to chase this up weeks ago as he sent them off, when he was a SAHD, he keeps saying he's phoning and yet never has an update. I called today and there is no record of their passports in the system! They haven't taken any payment for the passports and no one can tell me what the f*ck is going on.

I am close to tears in the office, I can't concentrate on anything, I feel totally sick, I've probably wasted £3000 and my DH is being so blase about it all I want to kick his teeth in. He just had to do this one thing and he's fucked it up.....

I can't get emergency documents from the Embassy as you still need a US Visa and that takes weeks to arrange according the US embassy, plus the only appointment I can get at the US embassy is on the day we are meant to be flying.

Someone say something comforting and not too judgey, I know AIBU etc but I just want to bloody cry and I really do, I've been looking forward to this holiday for so long.....

YANBU. I'd want to cry too. Do you have travel insurance or is there a way that they will let you postpone the holiday and not lose much/all of the money?

My brother and his family had to postpone a disneyland trip because of a tornado one year and it all was sorted out quite easily.

I hope you can get something sorted out.

stealthsquiggle Mon 19-Sep-11 11:38:55

If these are UK passports, why do you still need a visa - online visa waiver, surely (or doesn't that work with emergency documents?)

I've been looking into it, and unless I feign sickness I doubt there's anything I can do to recover the money this close. I'll lose 90% of the holiday as I've paid in full with less than 15 days to go.

I can't think of anyone esle to call, UK embassy, US embassy, Paris UK embassy, UK passport office. Everyone is so vague, the query has been "escalated".

I just need ot find a way of calming down before going home to my husband tonight, as I know I am so angry and bitter I'll say something I'll really regret tonight.

Emergy documents from the UK have to be accompanied by a Visa as they aren't Biometric documents apparently. sad

stealthsquiggle Mon 19-Sep-11 11:41:42

Ah - that would explain it.

Could it be done if DH were to go to the UK and turn up at a passport office? That would be cheaper than losing the holiday?

I'd thought of that too stealth, get emergency documents from this Embassy, fly to London and do a one day express at Petty France, but they told me in the UK passport office that they won't process it as their original passports are "in the system". This is the same "system" that the people in Paris mysteriously can't find the applications in......

eurochick Mon 19-Sep-11 11:50:03

I think this is one of those situations where keeping on at them might be effective.

They say it has been escalated so when can you expect a call with an update? If they didn't say, call them back and ask. Keep pushing. Don't shout or lose your temper, but be very firm that you expect answers and some sort of solution (even if it does mean you all trooping to London to deal with it in person). Just keep pushing.

Oh and tell your husband he is a twonk!

chocolatine Mon 19-Sep-11 12:14:06

What a stressful situation!

Are you sure that your husband definitely sent them off in May? I'm just wondering because

- normally it should take 4 weeks maximum (and mine was quicker than that), so if they were really sent in May there has been a big problem somewhere. Did he use registered post? If not they might have been stolen in the mail (not exactly unheard of here in France....) I'd contact the embassy again and say that you really need to know if at least they were received, because if not they'd need to be reported as stolen asap. And if they were reported as stolen that may allow things to move quicker (though not sure if it would be of any use for the visa?) If he did use registered mail, you have proof that the embassy got them and so leverage to get quick action.

- as of August 18th the Paris embassy just do the processing and the passports are printed in the UK - a change on the previous system. If by any chance he actually didn't get round to it until August, that might, possibly be a reason why there is a glitch in the system which means they're not showing up (just an idea).
Not sure if that's very useful, but do keep on at them and really hope you get it sorted.

IrmaMuthafucker Mon 19-Sep-11 12:20:25

I have nothing constructive to say other than I would cry too and YANBU.

Keep phoning. Stay calm, be firm and use all your flattery to make them believe they can help you.

cookcleanerchaufferetc Mon 19-Sep-11 12:22:53

For what it is worth once you have the passports yuou can get a via online immediately - subject to no issues eg criminal convictions etc. This is the ESTA, costs £14 per person for 2 years.

Suggest you go down to British Embassy to see someone face to face to get help as it also means you theoretically can't leave France.

Also suggest you kick your dh up the arse!

thekidsmom Mon 19-Sep-11 12:24:09

Let me suggest another website where they know EVERYTHING about these kind of problems - its a UK florida holiday site. Post in the chat section and you'll get some instant good advice:

The problem is we don't live in France we live in another country and the passports are all sent to France to be processed through the Embassy there. Then they go back to the UK (even though no one in the regular UK passport processing office could tell me where and when this happens ffs) then they are sent back to France and checked, and then sent back to DH and DS.

My husband thinks he has the receipt for the registered post to be able to track the items. Even so, it doesn't look achievable, any emergency documents must be accompanied by a US visa which I would have to go to my local US embassy for, they only have an appointment on the day we planned to fly, so even with emergency travel documents we can't get a visa in time.

The problem isn't helped by everyone telling em they'll call me back the next day, then taking 2 or 3 days which, before you know it, is the end of another week and bringing us closer to the departure date.

Or I have to go on my own, so as not to waste at least 1/3 of the money. sad

I am very grateful for all your support and suggestions though guys, even though I well up every time I read something new....

carabos Mon 19-Sep-11 13:29:04

I know this is hard, but your husband has caused this problem by not staying on top of what is a very important task, so step away and make him sort it out. Make it quite clear to him that you are going on holiday NO MATTER WHAT and its up to him to resolve the issue for himself and your DS. You'll be amazed at what happens next.....wink.

thanks thekidsmom I am waiting to be accepted by the moderators and then I will try posting there.

whoneedssleepanyway Mon 19-Sep-11 13:32:47

maybe I am being thick but are the passport office saying they can't find the documents?

in which case could you apply for completely new passports, on the basis the existing ones are lost and can you get an appointment to go and get the passport done on the same day (you used to be able to do this) it does cost a small fortune but would be worth it.

this may be stupid advice....

SootySweepandSue Mon 19-Sep-11 13:33:29

Not sure about specifics but I was allowed to fly back into the UK and on an internal US flight without a passport. I was interviewed in a private room at the airport over the phone to the UK Embassy. So you can travel without them in some cases. Do you have a scan of your pps anywhere?

There must be a situation whereby if a passport is lost or in a fire that people can still travel?

carabos if it was just him, tbh I wouldn't be blinking an eye, I'd be packing my DS's trunks and beachballs with gay abandon. But he has f*cked this up for DS and I think it will take a lot for me to ever forgive him if we can't get there. I will have to tell my DS next week that he can't go. It's making me cry just thinking about it.

I won't be able to pay for a holiday like this for quite some time. Plus I am off to Germany for 3 days at the end of the week so will not be able to chase this up constantly for the rest of the week.

When we got married abroad his divorce certificate didn't come through until 9am the morning we left, and his birth certificate - he found in the shed at 2am the night before.

I really should have paid more attention earlier, shouldn't I?

whoneedssleepanyway Mon 19-Sep-11 13:33:32

realise your DH wouldn't be able to go if he doesn't have a passport but could you go and do this for him and your DC...

whoneedssleep I totally agree with you, but if only I could get one straight answer out of anyone who gave a toss it might save a semblance of my sanity. If one more person tells me they will get back to me, I'll scream.

I think I'm going to tell him to make the appointment anyway, get the emergency travel documents and we just fly to Gatwick and see what happens. If we can't go, we'll get an Easyjet flight back home, or I'll take DH down to Brighton and drown him.

whoneedssleepanyway Mon 19-Sep-11 13:38:38

Binfull - I find crying on the phone sometimes helps in these situations...I remember trying to get an emergency appointment at the paediatric clinic for DD2's reflux and was being told 3 month wait etc, the moment I started sobbing down the phone they told me I could have an appointment next week.

SootySweepandSue Mon 19-Sep-11 13:45:08

Worst case turn up at airport and say your passport was stolen yesterday/last night. Bring lots of other ID.

whoneedssleepanyway Mon 19-Sep-11 13:46:51

Sooty does that work - really they will let you fly? My mum left her handbag in a taxi on the way to the airport and she couldn't fly and had to sort out all her documents before she could and she was supposed to be moving to Greece that day.

It would just make it all a bit hopeful for DS though, turning up at an airport and then being turned away, utterly heartbreaking for him.

Plus we have to fly back to the UK for the flight out, so it'd be a double lie.

stealthsquiggle Mon 19-Sep-11 13:55:34

Don't just turn up. No way will they let you fly to the US without a passport - for the simple reason that if immigration turn you away, the airline has to bring you back again.

Talk to the holiday company and see if you can defer the holiday (clearly you have no legal right to, but if you throw yourself on their mercy and cry you never know..), keep talking to the passport agency and the embassy, but don't just turn up - it won't work.

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