How US-bound travelers can save money
Monday 06 September 2010
From September 8, US authorities will enforce a $14 (€10.86) charge on passengers applying for the ESTA authorization - meaning that if you're planning to travel to the US at any point soon, it's best to apply before then.
ESTA (the Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is a mandatory online procedure for US-bound passengers from 36 Visa Waiver Program countries, which includes most European states, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Brunei and Singapore.
Historically, the process was free, but from September 8, 2010 there will be a charge payable only by credit/debit card.
Passengers can apply without fixed travel plans and the ESTA is valid for two years, so if there's a chance you could travel to the US, it's worth applying before September 8.
It's recommended that travelers obtain their ESTA online three days before departure and although that date isn't mandatory, airlines will not check in passengers without one (there are special terminals in many airports).
Visitors should apply for the ESTA at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov, ensuring they have entered their exact passport number and the country which issued the passport.
Further information on the ESTA is available from travel agents, airlines and the website.
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