An Ontario woman says she’s devastated at the thought of being forced to cancel her family’s $35,000 trip due to delays acquiring passports for her two sons, especially after she followed all the rules.
Milton, Ont. resident Tammy Glendinning said the trip was gifted to her family in 2019 by her sons’ 84-year-old grandfather, who travelled the world after retiring from being a school principal.
“He said ‘I really want my only two grandchildren to do this trip, this amazing safari in Kenya, and I want them to do it while I’m still alive.'”
Then, COVID-19 hit and their trip was postponed.
Two years later, their dream of finally being able to go on a 14-day safari in Kenya has been plagued with concerns they’ll have to cancel because they mailed in their passport application instead of trying to cheat the system.
In April, Glendinning went to an office in Mississauga to get passports for her two teenage sons—aged 15 and 17—only to be told that unless she was travelling in 14 days, there was no point in lining up.
At the time, passport officers were being overwhelmed by customers whose applications were put in hold during the pandemic.
She said she was informed that, because her trip was months away, she should mail in her application and supporting documentation, including birth certificates.
Other than confirmation her credit card was charged at the end of May, Glendinning hasn’t heard from Service Canada and the trip is fast approaching.
The safari—with a base cost of about $35,000—is scheduled to start in less than three weeks on Aug. 9. Once the family gets the passports, Glendinning said they must also apply for a travel visa, which could take anywhere from two to 15 days depending on the embassy.
“It’s beyond frustrating,” she