Need help in Austria? US tells Americans to go to McDonald's

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By Alastair Jamieson
"I'll have a McPassport, please."
"I'll have a McPassport, please."

Americans who lose their passport while in Austria have a new place to seek help from Wednesday: their nearest McDonalds.

The fast-food chain’s 194 local branches in the country will act as contact points for distressed US citizens trying to get help from their embassy.

Anyone asking for help in McDonald’s will be connected to a 24-hour hotline to reach their representative.

The move came at the request of US consular officials, McDonald's spokesman Wilhelm Baldia told local news site, Kurier.

"Firstly, because of the brand's great reputation among Americans, and secondly, because there are relatively many branches in Austria,” he said.

Baldia said the restaurants could not provide any emergency services, nor would the golden arches become US territory as is usually the case with foreign embassies.

The burger chain tie-up does not replace any consular staff or services.

“This partnership is only one extra way for Americans to connect to the embassy when they are in an emergency situation,” the embassy explained on its Facebook page. “Our embassy is fully staffed and ready to assist American citizens in need."

Its page shows Isabelle Kuster, Managing Director of McDonald's in Austria, shaking hands with U.S. Ambassador Trevor Traina, a former tech entrepreneur and Republican Party donor from San Francisco who was appointed in 2018 by President Donald Trump.

Info from the Consular Section: New partnership with McDonald's Austria to help U.S. citizens in need - Ambassador...

Publiée par U.S. Embassy Vienna sur Vendredi 10 mai 2019