Worn Passport
Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Fun Facts About Passports: Hilton to Host Passport Booth at O’Hare International Airport

Although 131,841,062 United States passports were in circulation during the year 2016 — which is a record number, according to these statistics provided by the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the Department of State of the United States — approximately 59 percent of Americans still do not have a passport.

Fun Facts About Passports: Hilton to Host Passport Booth at O’Hare International Airport

Embarking on a campaign called the Hilton Passport Project in an effort to encourage those Americans who still do not have a valid passport to apply for one, Hilton will host a Passport Concierge Booth at the American Airlines terminal at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago this weekend in order to give travelers passing through a chance to easily apply for — or renew — their passports ahead of the the busy travel season and REAL ID enforcement for Illinois, as Illinois is one of the states which is currently under review for compliance for a renewed extension from the REAL ID enforcement of the Department of Homeland Security.

At the booth, attendees will be able to have their passport photographs taken; pick up relevant forms; and get help from experts from the Department of State of the United States in person to navigate through the process of applying for a passport — as well as also be able to engage with an interactive live stream experience of the global portfolio of hotel and resort properties of Hilton.

If you are interested in attending this event, here are the details — and all times are Central Daylight Time:

  • October 20, 2017: 10:00 in the morning through 6:00 in the evening
  • October 21, 2017: 11:00 in the morning through 5:00 in the afternoon
  • October 22, 2017: 11:00 in the morning through 5 in the afternoon

Now For the Fun Facts About Passports

Hilton conducted this study in August of 2017 of 1,000 travelers — which is filled with interesting and fun facts — to explore: could getting a passport be a key to happiness? What motivates people to get a passport? Are most passports being used? What does having a passport say about someone’s personality?

In addition to the statistics provided in the infographic below, the findings from the study revealed three key themes about American travelers today:

  • Having a passport is in fact good for you. 53 percent of Americans with passports are content with their lives versus 34 percent of those who do not yet have passports.
  • More opportunities now exist to use passports more often. Among respondents who have a passport — but have not traveled abroad within the past 12 months — 18 percent have never used their passports.
  • People are motivated to get out and unlock their world. Approximately 60 percent of Americans are motivated to travel abroad; and 27 percent already have plans in place to use their passports.
Passport fun facts
Source: Hilton.

According to people who traveled internationally recently:

  • They Gain a Lot by Seeing the World
    • 57 percent Opportunities they would not have otherwise
    • 52 percent A deeper understanding of the world at large
    • 37 percent New international friends
    • 37 percent Sense of accomplishment
    • 35 percent Opportunity to deepen a relationship with travel companion
    • 20 percent A potential romantic connection
  • Their Passports and Travel Experiences are An Extension of Their Identity
    • 69 percent Caught the “travel bug” from their first trip abroad
    • 62 percent Have a strong sense of “passport pride”
    • 44 percent Would think twice before dating or marrying someone without a passport
  • …So Naturally, They are Always Planning Their Next Adventure
    • 59 percent Have an international trip already planned
    • 75 percent Know exactly which country they want to visit next
    • 81 percent Keep a list of countries they want to visit


The cost to obtain for a new passport book is $110.00 for adults and $80.00 for children ages 15 and younger; and in either case, if you are applying for a new passport for the first time, you will also be required to pay an execution fee of $25.00. Even though having a valid passport is never a bad idea, those costs may be too high for people who otherwise would not travel outside of the United States to consider obtaining a passport — although passport cards are available for people who plan on traveling only to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda, as they are less expensive to obtain and smaller than a full-sized passport book.

Remember from this article which I wrote on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 that if you are a holder of a passport in need of additional space in your passport, you will need to renew your passports by mail using form DS-82. If you renew your passport from outside of the United States, you will automatically be issued a larger 52-page book. If you renew your passport within the United States, please indicate your preference for a 28-page or 52-page book by checking the appropriate box at the top of the form. The good news is that there is no fee difference for book sizes.

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

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