19

It seems that pretty much every airline requires at least one form of government identification for flights, even if it's a local flight within a single country.

Does any airline in the world form an exception to that rule? I was recently surprised to learn that some airlines still allow smoking on-board, so I'm sure there are also exceptions to the documents policy.

  • 2
    Comments on the first answer to travel.stackexchange.com/questions/26100/… suggest it's possible with one of the biggest airline of the world, right in the middle of Europe, in a country with one of the most fastidious bureaucracy in the world so the requirement might not be as strong or general as it would seem at first. – Relaxed Aug 9 '14 at 16:22
  • Do you mean asking ID for buying tickets or for boarding? – Vince Aug 10 '14 at 7:29
  • 2
    Mainly for boarding since pretty much every company lets you buy tickets online nowadays. – JonathanReez Aug 10 '14 at 7:35
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+50

I fly frequently on domestic flights in New Zealand (both Air New Zealand and Jetstar), and don't recall the last time I was asked to show identification.

For Air New Zealand, from Domestic Check-in:

Please remember to carry proof of identity with you as you may be required to present this at check-in. A driver's licence, passport, Airpoints or Koru card, credit card, birth certificate or Community Services Card are all suitable forms of identification.

and for Jetstar domestic:

It’s worth noting that all passengers, including children and infants travelling with an adult, need to provide current and approved identification. We may ask to view this ID if necessary.

So it appears that there is a requirement to carry ID, but in practice the airline is not required to verify it.

In my experience the strict requirement for ID on domestic flights seems to be an American thing.

  • Does Air New Zealand or Jetstar officially allow travel without an ID, similar to buses and trains? – JonathanReez Aug 11 '14 at 7:42
  • @JonathanReez: Seems not; I've updated my answer with references. – Greg Hewgill Aug 11 '14 at 7:48
  • Credit cards generally don't have a photo printed on them, so I would accept this answer as long as nobody comes up with a more relaxed policy. – JonathanReez Aug 11 '14 at 8:42
  • 1
    Came here to say this - you can totally buy a flight online, and use the app to check in and even have a digital boarding pass. At no point last few times that I used them was I asked to show identification. However, as you've pointed out - they may still ask you for it. – Mark Mayo Aug 18 '14 at 16:16
  • Air New Zealand wins this question since only a credit card is officially needed :) – JonathanReez Aug 19 '14 at 9:30
19

Yes, I have experienced this quite a few times on intra-Schengen flights.

As said in the link from the comments Lufthansa probably is the most prominent case due to the extreme amount of automation, but I have flown with a number of airlines and from/to a number of airports and can tell you it depends on the airport/airline combination.

Routes I have flown within the last two years without having passports checked (note that routes listed are strictly one-way, I will list return flights separately if they were without checks):

PSA-CPH Norwegian, BCN-PSA Vueling, PSA-BUD Ryanair, STR-FLR Meridiana/Air Berlin

Note that I have been checked on other routes/return legs on Vueling, Ryanair, Meridiana - and I can't judge in the case of Norwegian.

Thus the answer to your question is - yes, some airlines, on some routes do, but passport checks are still very much the norm, even within the Schengen area.

For the US specifically, the Transportation Safety Authority website states:

Adult passengers 18 and over must show valid identification at the airport checkpoint in order to travel.

And has a list of acceptable forms of ID which includes obvious things like passports and residence permits, but also drivers license and some traveler cards - full list here.

13

In the UK, I have travelled a few times with Loganair - Scotland's regional airline. Not once was I asked for an ID, not even when I purchased the tickets in person at the airport in Kirkwall. Note, of course, that their island hopper planes sit 9 passengers and don't even have a dedicated cockpit, so the pilot simply sits in the front row of the plane. Maybe security isn't really their biggest problem.

It's one of these aircraft:

enter image description here

  • Does Logan Air officially allow travel without an ID, similar to buses and trains? – JonathanReez Aug 16 '14 at 20:06
  • @JonathanReez the group managing the airports in the scottish highlands and island - i.e. those logan air operates mostly - definitely recommends having a photo ID with you in their security and check-in guide. – greyshade Aug 19 '14 at 7:33
  • Aleks - corrected a few minor mistakes in your post. Loganair is not Orkney only, and the BN Islander is a 9 passenger plane, not a 6. – Rory Alsop Dec 21 '16 at 9:24
7

If flying with British Airways (BA) domestically within the UK, you can use your British Airways Executive Club card as ID. (BAEC = the BA frequent flier program). If you're not a member of the BA Executive Club, you have to show some form of photo ID.

I believe that BA still suggest you carry some photo ID with you when doing this, eg in case of being asked by police, but you can (and I have) flown with them domestically just using your loyalty card as ID.

Virgin Australia recommend that you take government ID with your when flying within Australia, but were happy to accept my Virgin Atlantic frequent flier card as proof of identity. Like the BAEC card, neither has any photos or anything like that on it.

  • "If you're not a member of the BA Executive Club, you have to show some form of photo ID.". Pedantically, that's not true. I am a FF flyer with another OneWorld airline (American), and I don't show ID domestically in the UK with BA either. But I didn't think that was a frequent flyer thing anyway - I thought it was just a UK-wide thing. – Andrew Ferrier Dec 24 '14 at 21:16
  • The website doesn't say anything about accepting other OneWorld cards, but it's possible that unofficially they extend the same courtesy to other OW card holders too – Gagravarr Dec 25 '14 at 0:34
7

I have taken six domestic flights during my latest trip to Japan with three different airlines and wasn't asked for my passport (or any other ID) for any of them. It may be related to the fact that Japan does not issue national ID cards as some other countries do (the closest thing is a driving license, but it is expensive and troublesome to get). The airlines don't state this as a requirements on their websites either (see ANA, JAL).

(However, all foreigners in Japan are required by law to carry ID at all times—passports for tourists and residence cards for long-term residents.)

  • +1 for some new information " It may be related to the fact that Japan does not issue national ID cards as some other countries do" interesting! – Burhan Khalid Dec 23 '14 at 4:42
  • If Japanese airlines put it somewhere in clear text that you don't have to carry an ID on the flight, I'll definite accept your answer instead :) – JonathanReez Dec 23 '14 at 10:25
  • With My Number coming in this year (2015), that may change... However currently for both JAL and ANA you only need your reservation code or a copy of your ticket (which contains the code). There is no requirement for any other form of ID. When purchasing your ticket however, JAL states "Upon such issuance, a passenger shall inform Carrier of his/her name, age, sex and contact information". These rules can be found in the rules of carriage for JAL or ANA – The Wandering Coder Jan 25 '16 at 7:36

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