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Passport Canada Joins the Flat World!

March 17, 2009

Just like most teachers, I love March Break but I am far too impoverished to afford to go anywhere.  So, I thought, what a great opportunity to at least renew my passport just in case I can afford to go somewhere sometime in the near future.

Anyhow, like any good disciple of the Flat World, I Googled Canada&Passport&Tips to see what would come up.  I came across a discussion forum that mentioned an online application for a passport.  I proceeded to find this online passport application and filled it out.  Fortunately, I already had an E-Pass which is required to complete the application.

The entire process reminded me of Tom Friedman’s Southwest Airlines analogy,  from his book  The World is Flat, where he describes his frustration (and amazement) when he purchased a ticket via the E-Ticket process only to find that he was assigned a B-seat.  Apparently, the A’s had printed their own bar-coded tickets at home.

My situation was similar to that of the A’s at Southwest.  My application printed out with a bar code and I could hardly wait to see if what I had read was true.  When my wife and I arrived at the passport office on a busy Monday morning, we waited 10 minutes to get to the pre-screening clerk.  The clerk gave us both C-tickets and we were called up within 10 minutes.  There were literally more than a hundred people there and we just by-passed them all.  The looks on some of their faces were priceless to say the least.  The whole thing took 30 minutes…from parking the car to getting in the car to leave!

As I was writing this, I noticed that Passport Canada is changing their online application over to a new system.  For those of you who intend to apply soon, make sure your application has a bar code at the top or you will be waiting a while.

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