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Events meet passport demand, raise revenue

Postal worker watches customer fill out form
Retail Associate Joe Matthews helps student Dunkeach Buchanan II complete an application at a recent passport fair on Howard University’s Washington, DC, campus.

Post Offices throughout the nation are raising revenue for USPS by hosting passport fairs in their communities.

The Stafford, VA, Post Office held a spring break fair that allowed customers to apply for passports without children missing school or parents taking time off from work.

“Being able to offer [customers] passports on a Saturday during spring break is a great opportunity for me to connect with them and show them our appreciation,” said Acting Postmaster Clarence Mays.

Other fairs are being held off postal property, including a recent event on Howard University’s Washington, DC, campus.

“I didn’t know the process of getting a passport,” said Dunkeach Buchanan II, a student. “Having the Postal Service on campus was very helpful.”

Passports are an important part of the Postal Service’s business. Post Offices accepted more than 6.5 million passport applications during the previous fiscal year, generating $164.9 million in revenue.

This year, the springtime passport fairs are giving USPS an opportunity to tout its Retail Customer Appointment Scheduler, a new tool that allows travelers to schedule passport appointments online.

During a recent fair at the Indianapolis Post Office’s Nora Branch, a boy who is younger than 16 was unable to process his application because both of his parents weren’t present, so Retail Associate Latasha Williams suggested the family go online to arrange a time when the adults could be present.

“The passport scheduler only takes a few seconds for our customers, is very easy to use, and eliminates the wait,” said Greater Indiana District Marketing Manager Kim Pickett. “The key to remember is that it’s all about the customer experience.”

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