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McDonald’s branches in Austria start doubling as mini-embassies for the American tourists.
Normally, if someone loses their passport while traveling, stop by McDonald’s must be the last thing on their head. From May 15, however, that is exactly what they should do (if they are American and they are in Austria).
The AMERICAN Embassy in Vienna, made the announcement on Facebook. It was accompanied by a photo of the United States Ambassador in Austria, Trevor Traina, the signing of the agreement with Isabelle Kuster, Austria McDonald’s chief, with a cup of McCafe coffee.
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The post reads “Us citizens traveling in Austria who are in need and without a way to contact the AMERICAN Embassy can carry – from Wednesday, 15 May 2019 – a McDonald’s in Austria and staff will assist them in making contact with the AMERICAN Embassy for consular services (e.g. report a lost or stolen passport, or seek travel assistance).”
In a statement obtained by the Independent.co.united kingdom, McDonald’s spokesman Wilhelm Baldia said: “We were approached with the request of the AMERICAN Consulate. First, because the brand well-known among the Americans, and secondly, because there are many branches in Austria.”
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Employees at the restaurant are trained to help the Americans to contact the embassy. They will not perform any major consular services, such as tourists will still need to visit an actual embassy or consulate for a new passport has been issued. As a tourist some fresh fries while they make their phone call, however, McDonald’s will be able to help with that.