After long wait times, a B.C. woman found it faster to fly to Edmonton to renew her passport

A B.C. woman found a unique way to get her passport and avoid long lineups at Service Canada offices in the province.

She hopped a flight to Edmonton.

Whitney, who did not want her last name used due to privacy concerns, told Global News she had been trying to get an appointment in B.C. for weeks to renew her passport.

But there were no appointments in Vancouver, Surrey or Victoria.

Read more: B.C. family says passport renewal delays ended up costing them $3,000

“I went on to Flair to find a cheap flight, and I was able to patch a flight together,” she said.

“So I left from Abbotsford and then when I came back from Edmonton, I flew into YVR.”

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She documented her journey on TikTok and her video has received thousands of views.

Whitney said the Edmonton passport office was busy but it only took about two-and-a-half hours to get her passport.

She spent about $400 to do so, which included her flights.

“I don’t really think it was extreme because I didn’t camp out at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. the night before,” she said.

“But I had to do what I had to do.”

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Hundreds of people have spent days and nights lining up outside Service Canada passport offices recently, desperate to get a passport in time for travelling.

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In late May, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government is taking action to clear the backlog of passport applications that is happening across Canada.

“As of about December or January, we started the hiring process for new passport officers,” Trudeau said.

“We hired on 500 new passport office workers because we knew that with the economy starting to open up, with COVID starting to be in the rearview mirror, or at least getting into a manageable phase, more people would want to travel.”

Read more: Surrey RCMP officers called when tensions rise outside Service Canada passport office

Wait times at passport offices are also posted online but there is no way of knowing when services will return to pre-pandemic levels.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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