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I'm an EU citizen soon travelling to the UK, and I just have one question regarding border controls at the UK.

My airline, British Airways, collects information about passport numbers of passengers and sends them to UK authorities. However, I have both an EU ID card and a regular passport. Both from the same country. So my question is, if I gave British Airways my ID card details, would I be able to use my regular passport to travel and enter the UK, or do I have to use the ID card?

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In my experience, the airline will verify your travel document before you board the plane, to make sure you have it. They will scan the document and (as far as I can tell) send those details to the destination authorities, even if you gave different document details when you checked in online or when you purchased the ticket.

If you nonetheless want to show a different document at the border, speaking generally, it's difficult to say whether that will cause a problem. But for an EU citizen entering an EU country, any problems should be only administrative in nature and should result only in a short delay at most, because the right of entry under EU law could not be curtailed only because of a document switch.

If you wish to minimize the possibility of delay, use the document that you used to board the flight when you clear immigration controls. Do not worry about whether it's the same document you used on an earlier leg, when you booked the ticket, or at any earlier point.

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  • When I fly to the UK with Ryanair or easyJet they scan my boarding pass but only visually inspect my passport. It's a British passport, but I haven't observed them treating Spanish ID cards any differently. Apr 2 '18 at 22:43
  • @PeterTaylor in my experience I have to show my passport before receiving a boarding pass, at which point they scan the passport which, I presume, is the source of the APIS data. However, my experience flying to the UK with easyjet was probably fifteen years ago, so I don't remember that level of detail, and I've never flown to the UK with Ryanair. Certainly when flying between the US and the EU, I've never been able to board without having my passport scanned by the airline.
    – phoog
    Apr 3 '18 at 2:10

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