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All questions below are for flights between Schengen countries.

  1. At the gate, will I need to show my ID, for most flights?

  2. What can I show to the airline other than my passport as ID? e.g non-EU national identity card, some kind of QR code or app, photocopy of my passport

  3. If my passport needs a visa to enter Schengen area, is the airline need to check if I have this visa (or residence permit)? Reminding again that this is a flight from one Schengen country to another

  4. If I have a residence permit card of a Schengen country, can I show that to the airline instead of my passport, for most flights?


This question is not for flights between Schengen countries but I thought I should ask here instead of making a new post.

  1. While entering/leaving Schengen area, can I use residence permit card of a Schengen country instead of passport? For both border agents and airline.
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    I use often the driving license. Official documents (so also the residence permits) with photo and not easy to tamper may be accepted for identification (so the IATA style documents, not some foreign country "simple laminated paper"). Personally I find it is mostly a carrier line policy (but random check are done), to block reselling of tickets. Note: security checks, and random Schengen checks may have stricter requirements. Apr 21, 2023 at 8:33
  • 1
    There are "no one size fits all" rules for this. It depends a lot on the airline, countries involved and the mood of the day of the agents. Having a passport (with proper Visa if required) is by far the safest option followed by a Schengen national ID card, and Schengen national drivers license.
    – Hilmar
    Apr 21, 2023 at 11:26
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    @Hilmar Not just a Schengen ID card, other EU ID cards also work. I have had no trouble with my Irish card.
    – badjohn
    Apr 21, 2023 at 12:40
  • Related: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/54014/…
    – JonathanReez
    Apr 22, 2023 at 18:05
  • Most airlines have policies on ID and travel documents displayed on their websites. You're supposed to mention in your question what research you have done or tried to do. (This may not answer all your questions but will provide a lot of help.)
    – Stuart F
    Apr 27, 2023 at 13:01

3 Answers 3

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  1. For Ryanair, easyJet and WIZZ flights (and perhaps others such as Transavia) there's always an ID check. Otherwise, it depends on the country: at Spanish airports it's required even for domestic flights, but in Scandinavia, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland no ID is needed for domestic/Schengen flights unless dropping a bag or travelling on a youth ticket (notably relevant for SAS flights)

  2. For Ryanair, easyJet and WIZZ flights (except domestic), it has to be a passport for non-EU/Schengen citizens

  3. Ryanair requires non-EU/Schengen/British citizens to undergo a visa check. This has at least in the past also applied to Schengen flights, but I'm told that's been corrected.

  4. Bound to vary between countries and handling agents. For Ryanair, easyJet and WIZZ flights, won't work (except for domestic flights)

  5. Nope, you need a passport.

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  • For 1, I don't think your list is exhaustive or that it depends only on the (departure) country's requirements. For example, I am pretty sure I have had to show ID on Transavia flights from the Netherlands.
    – Relaxed
    Apr 25, 2023 at 18:25
  • @Relaxed Edited
    – Crazydre
    Apr 27, 2023 at 11:19
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At the gate, will I need to show my ID, for most flights?

Hard to say, as it depends on the airline and possibly the country. My own experience is mostly in Western Europe with both legacy and low-cost carriers and I would say there is more often an ID check on than not, especially with low-cost carriers.

What can I show to the airline other than my passport as ID? e.g non-EU national identity card, some kind of QR code or app, photocopy of my passport

If they do ask, it becomes difficult for them to accept random documents. In particular, a copy of a passport with a vaguely resembling photo is often used by people staying illegally. I don't remember ever witnessing someone trying that in air transport (it's more common in busses) but it seems more likely to attract attention than solve your problem.

If my passport needs a visa to enter Schengen area, is the airline need to check if I have this visa (or residence permit)? Reminding again that this is a flight from one Schengen country to another

I don't think they really need to do it and most do not. It's been a very long time since I flew with them but Ryanair reportedly does check your visa status as well.

As @jcaron pointed out, police checks are also possible for different reasons and in that case you status is very likely to be challenged (although even that isn't systematic: I once witnessed two police officers checking every passengers right out of the door of a plane looking for someone who had been reported for taking her kid out of the country during a custody dispute; they just scanned the names on the passports spending absolutely no time on citizenship, visa, status, etc. until they found the person they were looking for).

If I have a residence permit card of a Schengen country, can I show that to the airline instead of my passport, for most flights?

Even harder to judge but it seems very risky.


While entering/leaving Schengen area, can I use residence permit card of a Schengen country instead of passport? For both border agents and airline.

Legally you may not, you need the residence card and the passport. The Schengen Borders code is explicit about that and airlines are unlikely to take chances.

It may actually be easier at the border, especially if you have a residence country from the country you are trying to enter (and not from another Schengen country). In some countries, a local residence permit is enough for all official purposes and border guards do have means to find out more about your status. There are also countries where this is explicitly forbidden and a passport is always required but I am not sure you would necessarily be removed. It sounds risky in any case.

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    "Even harder to judge but it seems very risky": I can report from very recent experience (this morning) that EasyJet does not accept a Swiss carte de légitimation ("CdL") for a flight from the French sector of the Geneva airport (which necessarily has as its destination a French airport). For those reading this who do not know, a CdL is analogous to a residence permit, issued to diplomats and people with similar privileges and immunities. In this case the CdL reported the bearer's EU nationality, but we didn't press the point; instead we showed a passport.
    – phoog
    Apr 22, 2023 at 15:29
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    What's more, the refusal to accept the document was clearly not because of unfamiliarity. The agent, upon presentation of the card, said "that's a carte de légitimation; I need a passport or a national ID card."
    – phoog
    Apr 22, 2023 at 15:38
  • @phoog Sounds like an error by the staff. If curious, you could email [email protected] with a copy of the card and ask if the staff were right to reject it for a French domestic flight. It's not like such mess-ups never happen; I can more than testify to that (see travel.stackexchange.com/questions/179783/…)
    – Crazydre
    Apr 23, 2023 at 0:12
  • @Crazydre perhaps an error, not things seem a little confused (see service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F591) -- they don't say whether "titre de séjour" must be French or Schengen (and I'm sure a Canadian residence document isn't accepted!); they mention that a driver's license must be French but only if you give the traveler's nationality as non-French. The law is even less specific (search for "passeport" at legifrance.gouv.fr/loda/article_lc/LEGIARTI000038228365). At this point I'm not inclined to follow up. But I will post an answer to my recent question.
    – phoog
    Apr 23, 2023 at 15:57
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  1. Not for all flights, but you may be required to show ID for some. Rules vary by country and by airline. See also below for temporarily reintroduced border checks.

  2. Policies on what is acceptable vary by country and/or airline. If something is required at all, of course.

  3. Ryanair is known to require a “document check” from all passengers with non EU/EEA passports even for internal Schengen flights. Most other airlines don’t care. For flights to countries which have reestablished temporary checks, checks may be performed at the gate before departure and/or upon arrival at destination. It happened to me several times flying from Greece to France for instance.

  4. That is probably acceptable, but again it may vary by country and by airline.

Note that there are different possible purposes for document checks:

  • immigration status checks: these will happen if there is a temporary reintroduction of checks at at given border, if there is a random spot check, or if the airline is Ryanair. You will need to prove your ID and immigration status with official documents.
  • Security checks: in this case your immigration status doesn’t matter, you just need to prove you are the person who booked the flight.
  • Airline checks to avoid the resale of non-refundable tickets: again, immigration status doesn’t matter, you just need to prove you are the person whose name is on the boarding pass.

For the last two, what kind of ID is accepted or not may vary a lot. Your best is to check the airline’s website which should tell you what ID they require/accept.

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  • Fixed typo. At the gate I’ve seen it done by an agent for the airline. On arrival by the local border police.
    – jcaron
    Apr 21, 2023 at 7:52
  • "That is probably acceptable, but again it may vary by country and by airline": a Swiss carte de légitimation (which counts as a residence permit for some purposes, including for crossing the external Schengen border) was refused this morning at the gate in Geneva airport's French sector for an EasyJet flight to Bordeaux. For more information see my comment under Relaxed's answer. I've heard that driver's licenses are acceptable for domestic German flights, so they might also accept a residence permit from another Schengen country.
    – phoog
    Apr 22, 2023 at 15:37

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