McDonald’s locations in Austria will start doubling as mini-embassies for American tourists.
Normally, when someone loses their passport while traveling, stopping by McDonald’s should be the last thing on their mind. Starting May 15, however, that’s exactly what they should do (if they’re American and they’re in Austria).
The US Embassy in Vienna made the announcement on Facebook. It was accompanied by a photo of United States Ambassador to Austria, Trevor Traina, signing the agreement with Isabelle Kuster, Austria’s McDonald’s chief, over a cup of McCafe coffee.
The post reads “American citizens traveling in Austria who find themselves in distress and without a way to contact the US Embassy can enter — as of Wednesday, May 15, 2019 — any McDonald’s in Austria and staff will assist them in making contact with the US Embassy for consular services (e.g. report a lost or stolen passport, or seek travel assistance).”
In a statement obtained by Independent.co.uk, McDonald’s spokesperson Wilhelm Baldia said, “We were approached with the request by the US Consulate. Firstly, because of the brand’s great fame among Americans and secondly, because there are a lot of branches in Austria.”
Employees at the restaurant will be trained to help Americans in contacting the embassy. They will not be performing any major consular services, as tourists will still need to visit an actual embassy or consulate to have a new passport issued.
If a tourist needs some fresh french fries while they make their phone call, however, McDonald’s will be able to help out with that.
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