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Just done the ESTAs

UK
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342 posts
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Just done the ESTAs

I've just done our ESTA applications. Both were accepted.

I really don't know what all the fuss is about - it is exactly the same as the green form we used to have to fill in when on a plane approaching the US. Except that now they charge for it, and will only return $4 out of the $14 (each) if application is refused. It's a money making exercise!!

I don't understand why anyone would pay anyone else to fill in this very simple form. It takes a tenth of the time compared with filling in the form to get a photo-ID driving license.

They didn't even want to know our home address, or our flight number, OR dates of travel and duration of stay. Just the carrier and first address in USA.

Melbourne, Australia
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for Sydney, Bargain Travel, Food and Travel
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1. Re: Just done the ESTAs

You should be glad that you didn't use your last travel agent to do it for you. She may have charged you triple - and then get refunded $4

UK
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2. Re: Just done the ESTAs

I don't understand why anyone would pay anyone else to fill in this very simple form.

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Because they google it and up comes an official looking form that they think is the real thing.

Or, because without looking to see if it IS difficult, they assume it WILL be , so pay someone else.

Edited: 1:11 pm, January 17, 2014
Erith, Kent
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for Mijas, Sitio de Calahonda
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3. Re: Just done the ESTAs

Same goes for the EHIC card for healthcare in Europe! The number of posts I've seen on other sites where people say they've paid £15 - £20 for them when they are free if you go through the proper NHS or direct.gov website. Some people are too quick to click and get someone else to sort it and then end up paying for it.

UK
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4. Re: Just done the ESTAs

KVE, I'd love to reply to that, but it would be off-topic ;-)

joe, it's a piece of cake. All they want is name, date of birth, and nearly all your passport details. (Not even all of them.) Where you're starting from and where you're entering the USA plus first line of address of first hotel/place. That's IT! No dates of travel required. If you want to offer up British Airways, that's up to you and not mandatory - they don't want to know the date or flight number.

Thinking about it, there's even less information required than on the previous green paper form; on that you had to give your flight number IIRC.

Also, it's valid for two years. The green form was valid for one trip in+out only, and you had to be really sure to return the green bit you're left with upon departure, or they thought you were still in the States illegally.

They don't even ask about speeding tickets, which I thought maybe they would, but maybe that was an urban myth.

UK
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342 posts
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5. Re: Just done the ESTAs

There is one thing to warn people about on this ESTA lark:

make sure you print out the final notification, or write down the very long and intricate reference number. They don't email it to you.

Hants, UK
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6. Re: Just done the ESTAs

You don't need the number it's embeded into your passport on screen, but you can take it for peace of mind if you want to.

Bournemouth, United...
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7. Re: Just done the ESTAs

take a hard copy with you !! a few years ago we had a problem at BA bagin check at Heathrow T5 as we didn' take a copy with us, most unlike me, and our details did not come up on screen and we were told we hadn't applied for an ESTA !!! eventually it was sorted, but that's the last thing you need at the start of your long awaited trip !!

Edited: 4:22 pm, January 17, 2014
Leeds, United...
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for Leeds, Bradford
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8. Re: Just done the ESTAs

I too travel with all relevant paperwork on my trip. I always print off a copy of my ESTA just in case there are any issues.

UK
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9. Re: Just done the ESTAs

joe, it's a piece of cake.

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I know that StripedShirt I was just answering your question as to why people pay for someone else to do it.

Berkshire, England
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10. Re: Just done the ESTAs

StripedShirt, they don't want a lot of holiday details on the ESTA as that info is collected on the API (Advance Passenger Information) that the airlines have to have before anyone can fly to the USA. Next time you go to the USA on the same ESTA, you do not have to do anything to it at all as it is not mandatory to fill out any flight/hotel info.