Agents take ESTA in their stride

Agents take ESTA in their stride

Agents using the new Electronic System for Travel Authorisation have said the new process is easy to use, despite reports of consumer complaints.

In a poll by Travel Weekly's sister online service Gazetteers.com,  622 agents said using the new system had been "easy" while 84 found it "difficult".

Under the new system, passengers are required to fill in an online form 72 hours before departure. After a six month grace period, this will replace the green form which passengers fill out mid-flight before landing in their destination.

Some reports in national newspapers had claimed consumers were finding the system inefficient and temperamental.

Meanwhile, the American Embassy is warning consumers not to pay third parties for ESTA registration. Some websites have been charging travellers fees of up to $50 for completing the online form.

A spokesman for the Embassy said: "They are capitalising on people's fears that they won't be able to complete the form. ESTA is a free service."

More than 30,000 travellers are currently registering with ESTA each day and 99.6% of those have been approved. All UK citizens planning to travel to the United States in the future are encouraged to apply now, even if they do not have specific travel plans.

 

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