So I am traveling from one EU/Schengen country to another EU/Schengen country, and today I "checked in" and got my boarding card. I didn't specify my passport details anywhere, and I am so confused, because I seem to remember having to do that previously. I asked the agents of the flight company "KLM Royal Dutch Airlines" on chat, but they weren't able to answer me. I will go ahead and call them as well to see if I can get an answer to this question.

Is this normal? Maybe there is a difference between continental flights, and EU/Schengen flights?

  • 2
    API (Advance Passenger Information) requirements are defined in a patchwork of directives and regulations, and national implementation varies. It should only be needed if passenger will cross border control, and it shouldn’t be needed for internal Schengen flights. But details vary a lot. This should change with the introduction of ETIAS and the EES… whenever those finally get implemented.
    – jcaron
    May 21, 2023 at 10:12
  • 1
    Remember, you can walk across the internal border and nobody will ask for documents unless there is a spot check.
    – o.m.
    May 21, 2023 at 13:22

1 Answer 1


The main goal of the Schengen area is to abolish immigration controls and make it feel like a interior flight, you legally don't need to have your ID checked (you may still be required to have an ID/Passport depending on the country though)

Any person, irrespective of nationality, can travel between Schengen countries without going through border checks. However, national authorities can carry out police checks at borders between these countries and in border areas.

from the EU

Now, 99.99% of airlines will require a piece of ID to let you board, but again, this is not legally required and mostly to check name correspondance with the ticket. Ryanair though is famous for doing visa checks for non-EU/EEA/CH nationals

  • 2
    Sounds like you must be flying almost exclusively those few airlines requiring ID for your stats to come out at 99.99%. In my quite substantial experience with Schengen flights, ID-checking airlines are a minority (they're mostly low-cost carriers: Ryanair, easyJet, and a couple former flag carriers that have gone fully low-cost). Sometimes it's also a policy of the departure airport: for example VIE at one point used to check ID even for airlines that normally never do. I don't think I have ever had my ID checked for a KLM flight specifically.
    – TooTea
    May 21, 2023 at 12:24
  • @TooTea I travel on LCC mostly, but even on full-service, I get my ID checked. Last on ITA from Italy to France May 21, 2023 at 15:26
  • @NicolasFormichella Many airports are so far automated (both bag drop and at the gate) so that you don't interact with anyone from the airline, who could have checked your id, before you are actually aboard the aircraft. May 21, 2023 at 21:39

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