Can you imagine spending $5000 for a passport renewal? A New Zealand man recently did just that, after he discovered at the last minute that he would need his passport replaced to attend the World Cup in South Africa. According to the New Zealand Herald, Dave Barrett was about to board a plane to fly from Auckland to Johannesburg when officials noticed he didn’t have any clean pages in the back of his passport book. So, they told him he couldn’t board the flight.
Apparently, if you are a British citizen living in New Zealand, getting a passport renewal is a long process. Mr. Barrett was told that he would have to wait at least a month for a new passport, by which time the games would be over. So, he decided to fly from New Zealand to England to get a same-day passport renewal, and then fly to South Africa.
He told the New Zealand Herald:
“I thought about going to Hong Kong, but in the end I decided that the best thing to do was to cancel my original flight and go to London for a new passport…It was a long and expensive trip, yes. The new ticket cost me the equivalent of $5000, but I had no option,” he said.
Fortunately, he was able to get his passport renewed in London to attend the World Cup. Although I personally can’t imagine paying an extra 5 grand for the privilege of hearing those obnoxious vuvuzela horns in person, I’m glad Mr. Barrett’s story has a happy ending.
Fortunately, Americans don’t have to get a passport renewal when they run out of pages. As long as your passport is valid, you can simply add pages to the back. If you’re overseas, you can stop by a US Embassy or consulate. If you’re in the US, you’ll have to send it off- see “How to Get New Pages For Your Passport” for details.
If you need it in a hurry, you can either make an appointment at a Regional Passport Agency office or use a private passport expediting service, neither of which will cost you $5,000. In fact, RushMyPassport will personally deliver your application for extra pages to the Department of State for processing times as low as 24 hours.