When I fly Porter Airlines from Newark Airport (EWR) in New Jersey to Toronto, I show my passport as ID at the checkin counter. Same for United from Newark to Toronto.

But when I fly American Airlines from Laguardia (LGA) I show my passport as ID at check in, but then at the gate, I am verify my passport again at the gate, which they enter into the computer. To the point that they will not let you board until you do.

Flying out of Toronto, Pearson (YYZ) or Billy Bishop (YTZ) I have to 'show' my passport but do not have to have them enter any data about me.

Why the difference in approach? Is this an airline specific thing, or an airport specific thing?

1 Answer 1


Probably more down to the terms and conditions of the tickets rather than any security/passport issues.

In the UK, if I fly British Airways (domestic or international), I may show passport/ID at the desk (if I haven't checked in via the web and already have boarding pass etc), I've never been asked after that.

If I travel on any of the UK budget airlines, I have to show passport/ID at the desk (even when checked in via the web, which they've charged me extra for), then at the gate, no boarding without the ID,

Difference? the budget airline ticket is non-transferable (so if I can't travel I can't sell it to someone else), so they check to make sure you aren't making any money back without involving them.

  • BA UK Domestic is special though - you can use your BAEC card as your ID!
    – Gagravarr
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 12:04
  • Yeah, but I don't remember even having to show id on BA doemstic, I've often gone with just the boarding pass on phone app and a bank card. Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 12:08
  • I do not think that is the case in the US. This was American Airlines. Not quite a budget airline. Whereas Porter is much closer to a budget airline, so my experience would be the opposite of what you suggest.
    – geoffc
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 14:35
  • I was only using the budget airline as an real world example, best to look at the T&Cs, I'd suggest that AA are stricter about transfer of the ticket. Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 14:38
  • 2
    Ticket terms & conditions have little to do with it. It is simply different ways to confirm travel documents for international travel. Some airlines check docs and record them at check in, other check and record at the time of boarding.
    – user13044
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 15:41

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