As a UK citizen, do you need a passport to fly from London Gatwick to Edinburgh with easyJet or British Airways? And also will this be the same at other airports?

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    easyjet.com/en/help/boarding-and-flying/…, britishairways.com/en-us/information/passports-visas-and-api. See "domestic flights". Short answer: you need photo ID, but it doesn't have to be a passport. – Nate Eldredge Oct 15 at 14:48
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    @Nate Eldredge, I've read these but I'm not sure if you'll need a passport to get through Gatwicks security even though BA and easyJet don't require it – Tuomas Laakkonen Oct 15 at 14:49
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    A guy I know flew from Stanstead to Scotland a few years ago and security wanted some photo ID. The only photo ID he had was for the village social club and that was accepted! I would suggest you take at least something that can prove who you are as it could save any delays. – Bonzo Oct 15 at 18:20
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    Why would you ever need a passport to fly within your own country? Why would it be different from, say, travel by buss? I have never heard of any country that requires a passport for a domestic flight. All you (might) need is some form of valid ID. – Daniele Testa Oct 16 at 15:31
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    Are you asking if there are internal immigration checks on internal flights within the UK? Or just what type of photo ID (less than a passport) is acceptable for internal flights in the UK? – smci Oct 16 at 20:32
up vote 25 down vote accepted

The short answer is no, and this answer provides good references with more details.

In answer to the supplementary question that you raised in the comments section, airport security do not require any ID, so they will not be asking for a passport either.

In the case of Gatwick, if your flight isn't leaving the UK, they will take your picture as you enter security, and check this before you reach the gate to prevent an immigration scam that became quite prevalent a few years ago.

I can't find a reference to this online, but this is from extensive personal experience. I would have added this as a comment, but apparently my reputation hasn't preceded me :)

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    It's good you didn't put this as a comment, as it is definitely an answer! – Kat Oct 15 at 21:10
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    I'm interested in reading about that immigration scam. Would you be able to provide a link describing it? – ymbirtt Oct 16 at 7:38
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    @ymbirtt it sounds like the scam would be that an accomplice goes through security, while airside meets up with the person who wants to circumvent immigration, and hands over the boarding pass for the internal flight then exits the airport. The scammer goes directly to the internal flight - no need to pass through passport control - and exits at the destination without checks because they got off an internal flight. – Aaron F Oct 16 at 11:30
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    One small thing: please don't write "the previous answer" but, instead, provide a link to the answer you're talking about. The order of the answers depends on how many votes they get and on users' preferences, so the only way to find out what "the previous answer" means is to check the timestamp of every answer that's been posted (now there are three). – David Richerby Oct 16 at 14:21
  • You're quite right - corrected :) – Richard Day Oct 16 at 15:17

Domestic flights

Some airlines accept photo driving licences and other forms of ID for domestic flights, but many don’t so check your airlines website when you book your flights. If you turn up with the wrong type of ID you will not be able to fly and you are unlikely to get your money back.

Source: UK Civil Aviation Authority

British Airways

If you are flying solely within the UK, including Northern Ireland, you do not need a passport but we advise that you carry photographic identification with you when travelling, such as your passport or driving licence. This may be requested at certain points in your journey. Children under the age of 16 years do not require identification to travel within the UK.

Source

easyJet doesn't require it either.

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    In theory, due to the Common Travel Area, you don't need a passport to travel to the Republic of Ireland either. In practice, the photo ID restrictions imposed by airlines, and changes to the border checks in the last couple of years mean that travelling without one would be much more of a hassle. – exterrestris Oct 15 at 19:34
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    You don’t need a passport to travel to Ireland if you’re a citizen of the UK or of Ireland. Of course, a passport is the only way to prove this.... – Mike Scott Oct 15 at 19:36
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    @MikeScott So you need a passport to prove that you don't need a passport? Nice Catch-22! – Barmar Oct 15 at 19:52
  • @Barmar That wasn't always the case and there's one exception today. – user71659 Oct 15 at 21:05
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    Actually you don't need a passport to travel between the UK and Ireland, I often use my driving licence or company Id card. – Ian Turton Oct 16 at 18:22

As an EU citizen I once tried to travel intra-UK with only my UK driving license, which the check-in clerk did not want to accept at first (they told me that a driving license is only valid if I'm a UK citizen), and it took around 10-15 minutes of arguing, showing them their website on approved IDs, and them calling up their manager so they could finally accept it.

While this does show that you don't need a passport, please note that it did delay the check-in process, meaning if you're in a hurry it might still be beneficial to provide a passport, especially if you're not a UK citizen.

At Luton airport a few years ago a police officer stopped me and asked to see my passport. I said "I don't think I need it", he said "yes you do", but when I mentioned I was flying to Glasgow he let me pass. (Why exactly there were police stopping random people is something I don't know, nor what good it does if anyone can just say they are going to take a domestic flight.)

As it happens I did have my passport with me just in case...

  • "Why exactly there were police stopping random people is something I don't know" = internal immigration check (for illegal immigrants, visa overstays, trafficking, stolen/forged passport etc. It's not just at recognized entry points on the border. – smci Oct 17 at 0:27
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    Thank you for arguing the point rather than just doing the easy thing. Sadly, everything seems to be tightening up- fingerprinting of most foreigners at the border in South Africa and China now, for example. – Spehro Pefhany Oct 17 at 3:18
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    @smci well yes, but if anyone can dodge the check by saying they are taking an internal flight... – Ed Avis Oct 17 at 7:45
  • @Ed Avis: I suspect the police might ask anyway, if they specifically had reason to believe the person was illegal (e.g. expired or forged passport, expired visa, unable to speak English, evidence of criminal activity). – smci Oct 17 at 8:53

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