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I recently flew from the Netherlands to Italy. The outbound flight, done with Ryanair, I had to provide my document number when checking in, and also to show my document while boarding the plane.

On the inbound flight, done with Transavia, I could check in without providing any document detail, and also boarding was only done by checking the boarding pass.

Doesn't the second operator potentially allow to board also with fake identities? Is this really allowed?

  • Was your identity document checked at security and matched to your boarding pass? If so, then what you describe for Transavia is the same as for all domestic flights in the US. The airline doesn't really care who actually gets on the plane, so long as they are not on a no-fly list and the ticket was paid for. – Nate Eldredge Dec 4 '17 at 6:13
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Generally speaking, you will encounter three different checks.

  • By the police/immigration/customs at the departure airport. These are mostly for security reasons and to stamp passports on departure. The latter does not apply on domestic or intra-Schengen flights, but the former does.
  • By the police/immigration/customs at the arrival airport. This should be unnecessary on a domestic or intra-Schengen flight, unless there are "random" spot checks.
  • By the airline so they know their customer and comply with all relevant regulations. For international flights the airline might have to pay a fine if they bring an illegal immigrant, and getting that money back from the passenger could be a lengthy legal proceeding.

How the airline checks papers is down to company policy, not just the laws. Obviously the policy must comply with the laws, but there is room in there for different ways to meet and exceed the minimum standards.

Ryanair is known for high fees to change the name in a ticket, they couldn't collect them if they didn't check names.

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