Do I need a passport for domestic flights in the UK?

You have a trip coming up that includes a domestic flight within the borders of the UK, and you are not sure whether you need to have your passport with you or not. You also wonder whether there are other required documents that you need to submit at the airport in order to get on that flight successfully. If you are in such situation right now, this article is the perfect solution for you since its main focus will be to answer the question whether you really need your passport for domestic flights or not and will also give you information about the other mandatory requirements.

 

You need a digital photo code to apply for a UK passport online

For online and printout passport photo for any country, please click here

Do I need a passport for domestic flights in the UK?

Firstly, let’s give an answer to the most important question as to whether or not it is actually required to have your passport with you if you are only flying in the UK. The answer is that you technically don’t need your passport if you are solely flying only withing the UK, including Northern Ireland. However, we advise you, in case your passport is available and valid, to always have it with you since there are some airlines that require you to have a passport even if it a domestic flight. That’s why in order to avoid such situations and missing your flight for such ridiculous reasons, it is better to always have it with you.

Which airlines require a passport for domestic flights, and which do not?

Even if you technically do not have the obligation to have it with you, The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) states on their website: “You will need a current passport if you are travelling abroad and for many domestic flights withing the UK”.

That’s because whether they will require a passport or not is entirely up to each individual airline. For example, according to the official site of Ryanair, when travelling with them, they generally accept two forms of ID which are a valid passport or a valid National Identity Card. You should keep in mind that they do not accept a driver’s license or birth certificate for travel to any location.

However, we researched on this matter further and we found that in many cases of domestic flights with Ryanair despite their established requirement that is even written on their website, many people flew without having to use their passport as an identification.

Even if that’s the case, we still advise you to take your passport with you just to be on the safe side regardless of the fact whether you will have to submit it or not.

 Another airline with which you can travel domestically in the United Kingdom is British airways. According to their official website you do not require a passport to travel within the UK. Unlike Ryanair British airways accept more forms of ID, which are, as follows:

-         A valid passport;
-         A valid driving licence – could be either provisional or full;
-         A valid EU national identity card;
-         A valid armed forces identity card;
-         A valid police warrant card or badge

It is also regulated what form of identification must be given for children under the age of 16, which is different depending on whether they are traveling alone or they are travelling with an adult.

If children under the age of 16 are travelling with an adult, they do not need to show identification when travelling on domestic flights. The adult they are travelling with has to carry photographic identification and be able to confirm their identity.

If children aged 14 or 15 years are flying alone on domestic flights, they need to show identification.

What is more, if you are travelling with British Airways you should know that if you are a citizen of the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands or Isla of Man or you were born in these areas, you do not need a passport to travel between these destinations, but you still need to submit some form of photographic identification from the mentioned above. It could be a driving licence, valid police warrant card, etc. However, if you are not a citizen of the mentioned areas and you also were not born there, you are required to have a valid passport in order to travel between these destinations.

Another airline whose requirements regarding identification on domestic flights that we will analyze is Loganair. According to their requirements you need a government-issued photographic ID on all domestic flights when you are checking in luggage.

On their official website there is an exemplary listing of documents that are accepted when checking in Hold luggage and they are, as follows:

-         A valid passport – it is specifically stated here that you can use your expired passport but for a maximum of five years after expiry;
-         A valid photographic driving licence that can be both provisional or full;
-         Young Scot Card;
-         Bus pass

You need a digital photo code to apply for a UK passport online

For online and printout passport photo for any country, please click here

They also mention something that we believe you should be aware of even if you are travelling with another airline and it is to ensure that you still look like the photograph in the ID you are presenting since this might cause you any trouble when trying to identify yourself with a photograph that does not match the way you look now. There are cases in which people have had to get new passports due to such a change in the appearance that the drastic difference made it difficult for them to use their passport for identification.

Lastly, we are going to analyze the mandatory requirements of EasyJet since it is also a frequently used airline for domestic flights.

As with all other airlines, here a photographic ID is also required on all domestic flights. There is the same rule as in British airways according to which children under the age of 16 do not need to show ID on domestic flights and the adult that’s travelling with them must vouch for their identity.

Again, there is a sample list of examples of photographic ID that are accepted by the airline:

-         A valid passport – you can also use an expired passport up to a maximum of five years after expiry if you are travelling with EasyJet.
-         A valid photographic EU or Swiss national identity card;
-         A valid photographic driving licence that can be both provisional or full;
-         A valid armed forces identity card
-         A valid police warrant card or a bagde

As you can see, the documents that different airlines accept for photographic identification are pretty much the same in most of them, with some giving travelers more options and others having a much more limited list. The other thing we notice is that almost every document specifically states the requirement that it has to be valid in order to successfully identify you. Therefore, our advice to you is not to risk it and to always check in advance whether the relevant documents you are planning on using as an identification are still valid. And so we come to the next important question:

Can I use my expired passport as the needed photographic identification?

Тhe answer to this question cannot be concrete and indisputable. As you usually don’t need a passport for domestic flights, technically you might be able to use your expired one as a photographic identification if it contains your personal information and photo.

However, as we have already seen in the analysis of the requirements of the different airlines for each document that can be used for identification, the requirement to be valid was also placed, therefore you might not be able to successfully identify yourself with an expired passport. Since every airline company’s requirements are completely different, it is better if we use valid documents as photographic identification because otherwise we risk missing our flight.

In conclusion, we would like to say that the answer to this question varies according to the circumstances of each case – it depends on which airline you are traveling with and what their specific requirements are, as well as how old are you because the requirements for children under the age of 16 are less strict.

In the light of everything said so far, the best solution would be to carry with you at least one of the documents that the airline you are flying with accepts as identification, as well as a valid passport just in case, to avoid such unpleasant situations for sure and never miss a flight!

 

 

You need a digital photo code to apply for a UK passport online

For online and printout passport photo for any country, please click here