• British Airways will require passengers aged 16 and above to show ID for domestic flights starting in September 2023, but children under 16 are exempt.
  • This policy aligns British Airways with other airlines that already require ID for domestic flights.
  • EU countries like France, Spain, and Italy also require passengers to show ID for domestic flights.

British Airways will ask passengers aged 16 and above to show photographic identification, such as a passport, a driving license, or a valid EU national identity card, for domestic flights within the United Kingdom starting September 1, 2023.

The new policy adds that "children under the age of 16 do not need to show identification when traveling on domestic flights. The adult they are traveling with must travel with photographic identification and be able to confirm their identity."

Meanwhile, children aged 14 and 15 who are flying alone must show identification when traveling on domestic flights.

The British flag carrier presently does not require identification from passengers traveling within the UK and carrying only hand baggage. However, it is recommended that they have some form of identification with them.

Following suit

Unlike many other British-based airline rivals, such as easyJet or Jet2, which already require photographic identification for domestic flights, British Airways has been an exception for a while. The airline has avoided making it mandatory for customers to carry a driver's license or passport for trips within the UK, where authorities do not demand such documents.

British Airways aircraft taking off
Photo: Markus Mainka/Shutterstock

However, the reason British Airways decided to implement this rule is currently unknown because the British civil aviation regulator does not demand this rule to be implemented, according to a report by The Independent. Simple Flying has asked British Airways for a comment but did not receive a reply at the time of publication.

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The British flag carrier has a relatively extensive domestic route network. According to the airline's official webpage, the carrier is currently serving 23 domestic destinations within the United Kingdom from its London Heathrow (LHR) base.

The route network includes Aberdeen (ABZ), Belfast City (BHD), Benbecula (BEB), Cambridge (CBG), Edinburgh (EDI), Glasgow (GLA), Inverness (INV), Islay (ILY), Isle of Man (IOM), Jersey (JER), Kirkwall (KOI), Leeds Bradford (LBA), London City (LCY), London Gatwick (LGW), London Heathrow, London Stansted (STN), Manchester (MAN), Newcastle (NCL), Newquay (NQY), Norwich (NWI), Stornoway (SYY), Sumburgh (LSI), and Wick (WIC).

ID Policy in EU Countries

Traveling within the European Union countries is generally seamless. But naturally, to move within both the European Union and the Schengen area, travelers are required to show either an identity card or a passport.

Passengers waiting at the airport
Photo: EviJanku/Shutterstock

Nevertheless, in certain countries like France, where domestic flights operate within the nation, the situation differs from that in the UK. Passengers are expected to provide valid identification even when traveling domestically. Also, in Spain, where domestic flights operate within the country, passengers are expected to show their valid identification. Passengers flying domestically within Italy are also required to show their photographic identification.

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What are your thoughts on this new British Airways ID policy for domestic flights? Let us know in the comments section below.

Sources: The Independent, British Airways