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Travelers Could Have Plans Derailed By Passport Delays


Travelers needing passports are facing significant delays that may hinder plans for those looking to fly. AAA says now is the time to start the process to get one before its too late.

With the influx of new travelers due to travel restrictions being lifted, the wait for a passport has gone from a month to three or four. Chris Bartlett is the district director of retail operations for AAA. He says passport requests on top of a worker shortage are causing the delays.

"It has definitely put a wrinkle in a lot of people's plans," Bartlett said. "They've been looking to go for quite some time and if they're not aware of their status, it can really catch them off-guard."

Bartlett says it's not just because of an influx of new travelers, but old travelers rebooking their canceled vacations due to COVID-19.

"People have been pent up, they've saved a lot of money, they've been told they couldn't travel, and now they're doing everything possible to travel and go different places," Bartlett said.

AAA recommends checking passport statuses of everyone you plan to travel with and make sure your return date is six months before your passport expires.

The State Department says passport applications are taking more than four months and "expedited" service may only shorten the wait to three months, compared to a typical wait of four to five weeks.