Once you have received your ESTA approval, it will remain valid for a two-year time period. If you are departing for the US close to your ESTA expiry and the airline you are flying with goes on strike, how will that affect you?
This article will explain how delays that are beyond your control will affect the validity of your ESTA application.
How Does an Airline Strike Affect my ESTA?
If there is a lot of time between the date of your ESTA expiry and your scheduled date of departure, an airline strike will not affect your ESTA validity at all.
However, if your ESTA expiry is just around the corner, and your flight to the US gets canceled, you will have to apply for a new ESTA. Even though this occurrence is through no fault of your own, you are still required to reapply and pay the full ESTA fee.
Due to this reason, it is recommended that whenever you plan a trip to the US, you must check the validity of your ESTA at that time. It should be valid for a considerable period of time to prevent such last-minute occurrences from taking place.
How Does a US Government Shutdown Affect my ESTA?
Whenever a US government shutdown occurs, essential departments continue to function as before. The US Customs and Border Protection department is an essential department of the United States and it will continue its operations without being affected. Hence, your ESTA validity will not get affected by a US government shutdown.
Technical Website Problems
The CBP usually updates the official ESTA website frequently. While the website is updating or undergoing maintenance, it is temporarily unavailable for users. This process might take up to 10 hours.
Typically, website maintenance work is performed at midnight on Saturdays. During this outage, the website is unavailable for any sort of work.
If your flight is due soon, and you haven’t applied for ESTA yet, the only option you are left with is to delay your plans. Once the website is functional again, submit your application. The safest approach is to wait for the approval and then purchase your tickets.
If your ESTA approval is approaching its expiry, the safest option is to apply for a new ESTA, which you can use for your upcoming trip. If the expiry is too close to your date of departure, any flight delays or cancelations will affect you adversely. Subsequently, your ESTA might expire before your rescheduled flight.
Although CBP recommends that you apply for ESTA at least 72 hours before your trip, ideally, you must do so as soon as you plan your trip. In this manner, any glitches or website outages will not disturb your travel plans.