Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > TravelBuzz
Reload this Page >

Is the Passport Obsolete?

Is the Passport Obsolete?

Old Jun 13, 20, 7:09 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 567
Is the Passport Obsolete?

I am looking at my passport and not seeing any stamps except from a couple of trips....Nothing from England, or crossing into the States from Mexico, or that exotic vacation last year. Or the other boondoggle.
I used to be proud of all my stamps in my travel-crumpled book... now in this era of electronica and Global Entry I miss having lots of "tattoos" in my passport.
The thing suddenly feels like a 19th century relic. How am I gonna impress any ladies with my world travel log?
yandosan is offline  
Old Jun 13, 20, 9:56 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: ZOA, SFO, HKG
Programs: UA 1K 0.9MM, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, Hertz PC, SBux Gold, TSA Pre✓
Posts: 11,803
The passport has 2 purposes - visa and entry stamps. As many countries go digital, many no longer stamp the passports. Yet, you can still ask for one. Because the U.S. Passport can enjoy visa-free travel within many countries, so you don't need to apply for visa in many instances.

The inside pages are not obsolete, but represents technology advancement and global acceptance of the U.S. Passport.

Originally Posted by yandosan View Post
The thing suddenly feels like a 19th century relic. How am I gonna impress any ladies with my world travel log?
Seriously - Renounce the U.S. citizenship and join countries that has a low number of visa-free travel countries, like China (Mainland). If you ever observe a Chinese Passport, you will discover a frequent traveler have many pages used for visa purpose.
garykung is offline  
Old Jun 13, 20, 10:25 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: San Francisco
Programs: GM on VX, UA, AA, HA, AS, SY; Budget Fastbreak
Posts: 7,665
Plus the passport is useful id when you’re inbetween drivers licenses!
gaobest is offline  
Old Jun 14, 20, 4:06 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 580
Originally Posted by garykung View Post
Seriously - Renounce the U.S. citizenship and join countries that has a low number of visa-free travel countries, like China (Mainland). If you ever observe a Chinese Passport, you will discover a frequent traveler have many pages used for visa purpose.
I'd also like to add that assuming we go all digital, not many countries would open up databases for other countries to query and probe. Beyond the basic privacy issues, think about what "bad actors" could correlate with information they could get just from tracking passports...
StuckInYYZ is offline  
Old Jun 14, 20, 4:16 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 265
Originally Posted by garykung View Post
The passport has 2 purposes - visa and entry stamps. As many countries go digital, many no longer stamp the passports. Yet, you can still ask for one. Because the U.S. Passport can enjoy visa-free travel within many countries, so you don't need to apply for visa in many instances.

The inside pages are not obsolete, but represents technology advancement and global acceptance of the U.S. Passport.
On my last trip to Frankfurt, I noticed a man having an animated conversation in Arabic pulling other papers which appeared to be hotel reservations. The agent had his arms crossed not saying a word. I handed my passport to the agent next gate over, He looked at my passport and asked "first trip to Germany". I responded "no, just renewed my passport", His response after stamping my passport, "welcome and enjoy".

Now land crossings into Canada are becoming a pain since I am quizzed about firearms, knifes and where I will be staying.
TGarza is offline  
Old Jun 16, 20, 6:04 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: London, England
Programs: BA Exec
Posts: 67
Well mine's a UK passport and I still manage to fil the 48 page versioin in less than 10 years. Partly because these stick-in visas always take a full page, Examples include Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Turkmenistan, India, Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan, (one of thost 'stan countries is now visa free I think) and I have to keep my old passport because that has my USA visa in it (that's what happens if you have the audacity to go to Iran!)
mhrb likes this.
Redheadpeter is offline  
Old Jun 16, 20, 9:27 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 55
Passport Stamps

I flew to Bahrain on business for two days in 2005. Barhrain isn't a terrorist country but from then on, until my passport expired, I had questions from TSA, Security Screeners, Customs Agents, etc... about why I had a stamp from a "Middle Eastern Country." I'm fine without the stamp collection.
MitchR is offline  
Old Jun 16, 20, 10:24 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Central Colorado
Programs: Delta, United, American, Norwegian, Southwest
Posts: 128
Some countries won't stamp your passport even on request. And sometimes I go through the machine and then forget to ask for a stamp. Major regret that I never got a stamp for New Zealand
NotSoFrequentColorado is offline  
Old Jun 16, 20, 10:44 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: DEN
Programs: UA Platinum 0.6MM (trying to get to 1MM!)
Posts: 969
Originally Posted by NotSoFrequentColorado View Post
...sometimes I go through the machine and then forget to ask for a stamp...
Where do you ask for a stamp when going through the automated portals where the machine scans your passport and your face? I've always just assumed stamps were becoming a thing of the past. Do I just need to find someone to ask?
mpiotrow is offline  
Old Jun 17, 20, 12:34 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: SAN, BOS
Programs: AS MVPG, Hilton Diamond, Bonvoy Plat,
Posts: 536
This seems incredibly Euro/Western centric. My passport is full of entry and exit stamps entering and exit countries in Asia and Latin America
TravelingZoomer is offline  
Old Jun 17, 20, 1:43 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: DAY
Programs: UA 1K 1MM; Marriott LT Plat Premier (+AMB); Amex MR; Chase UR; Hertz PC; Global Entry
Posts: 7,640
Passport is not obsolete, though as noted the stamp/documentation process is being revised in a growing number of countries.

Lack of passport stamps is a bummer if you ever have to fill out a background packet. They always want to know all countries visited with dates.
I have a tab on my mileage tracking spreadsheet to document international entries / exits in case I ever need to fill one out again, as flipping through passport pages is no longer accurate.
GUWonder, mmff and Brewspar like this.
goodeats21 is online now  
Old Jun 17, 20, 10:08 am
  #12  
nrr
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: jfk area
Programs: AA platinum; 2MM AA, Delta Diamond, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 9,065
I fly to Switzerland from USA several times a year, on entering and exiting Zurich they always stamp my pp.*
Global Entry used to require the insertion of your pp, but with the newer GE terminals, which use facial recognition, you don't need a pp--except in JFK, besides handing the agent your GE slip, very often they want to see a pp.
*a pet peeve: Swiss citizens can apply for GE, yet US citizens have no route to being able to use the "automated" entry terminals on arrival in Zurich.
nrr is offline  
Old Jun 19, 20, 5:21 pm
  #13  
Moderator, Amtrak
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: EWR :rolleyes:
Programs: AS MVP, AA Plat, DL Gold, UA Silver, IHG Spire, Marriott Titanium, Hertz PC
Posts: 5,108
I still am often in total awe that we have a global passport system.

Every time I am standing in line to clear immigration anywhere I am always amazed that we have a truly global system that is totally standardized. The biggest variation of course seems to be the color the issuing country has decided to use for the outside, and if the visa pages have any background printed on them.

I am not crazy about the stamps, but I do enjoy when someone with a countries passport I have never seen the inside of doesn't mind letting me flip trough theirs.

It is always amazing to me that regardless of government bureaucracy and global disagreements those little books are universally accepted as the tool for entry and exit for every country on Earth. In some cases you just need to have a different sticker placed inside.

I typically fill up an extra pages US passport every ~3 years with all the stamps and visas. I certainly notice you do get treated differently at immigration when you hand them a well worn passport with lots of pages full versus handing them a "fresh one". I often miss my well worn one just for that reason.
worldiswide and strickerj like this.
Long Train Runnin is offline  
Old Jul 1, 20, 12:35 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Tokyo
Programs: Bonvoy LT Titanium ANA Plat
Posts: 224
Originally Posted by gaobest View Post
Plus the passport is useful id when you’re inbetween drivers licenses!
Plus a drivers licence is not a valid ID in some places
BRITINJAPAN4 is offline  
Old Jul 1, 20, 9:38 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 265
Originally Posted by Redheadpeter View Post
Well mine's a UK passport and I still manage to fil the 48 page versioin in less than 10 years. Partly because these stick-in visas always take a full page, Examples include Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Turkmenistan, India, Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan, (one of thost 'stan countries is now visa free I think) and I have to keep my old passport because that has my USA visa in it (that's what happens if you have the audacity to go to Iran!)
US citizens are allowed to have 2 passports upon special request which I have had for work travel. This has saved me from explaining my visits to some Arab countries and Israel.
TGarza is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: