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Examples where I expect I don't need a passport:

  • Isle of Mann
  • Guernsey, Jersey, other Channel Islands

Examples where I'm not so sure:

  • Gibraltar
  • Falkland Islands

Example where I expect you do need a passport:

  • Cayman

Is there any general rule of thumb I can apply, or do I have to look up each case separately?

  • 1
    Outside the Common Travel Area (first group plus Britian and Ireland), would be a general rule. – Mark Johnson Dec 7 '19 at 12:45
  • 2
    Are you asking for immigration purposes? Some airlines do impose additional requirements and may require you to have a passport to get onto the plane, even if you don't need one to enter the destination. – skifans Dec 7 '19 at 19:27
  • 1
    @skifans Not for immigration purposes. – Stewart Dec 8 '19 at 12:11
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    You probably want to reword this to: "Do airlines require me to show a British passport to travel to..." and "...do they generally inspect it?" – smci Dec 9 '19 at 1:05
19

For the British islands (Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, etc), you are supposed to carry ID but it is not usually checked. There is no formal border control when arriving from or going to the UK. It's like a domestic flight. I usually bring a driving licence in my wallet in case anyone asks, but I've never been asked for it.

Gibraltar has formal entrance controls; a passport or EU ID card is required. Arriving by land you would need such credentials to exit Spain; arriving by air you can get mixed up with passengers from Morocco; there's no segregation. Note that civilian flights to Gibraltar are often diverted to Málaga, so you might need appropriate credentials to enter Spain: Spain refuses to allow the use of its airspace for flights to/from Gibraltar, and the prevailing winds means the ideal landing involves flying over Spanish territory. So instead the landing involves holding steady against a sudden blast of cross wind as you come out of the wind shadow of the Rock, and then a few seconds later executing a very sharp 90 degree turn as you align with the runway. If you miss the turn you won't be aligned with the runway and you'll have to reject the landing and go around, which involves circling the Rock again. It's quite challenging, most pilots will give it two attempts before flying to Málaga instead.

Falkland Islands and other overseas territories are similar, but don't accept ID cards.

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    I'm not sure the bit "Spain refuses to allow the use of its airspace for flights to/from Gibraltar," is up-to-date. I do not doubt it was true many years ago, but check the route of this flight: flightstats.com/v2/flight-tracker/U2/… – Quora Feans Dec 8 '19 at 1:44
  • It might be the case that military aircraft are banned though. – Quora Feans Dec 8 '19 at 1:52
  • @IainHolder That flight path was due to a French ATC Strike on the 7th Dec. If you look at the flight on the 3rd (same link as you sent), it flies completely over Spain. – David Wheatley Dec 8 '19 at 20:26

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