Another passport question!

Apr 19th, 2003, 02:56 AM
  #1  
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Another passport question!

I did a search first and didn't find this, probably because it's very dumb, haha! But this is my first international trip and I'm going to ask!

Flying from the southern US to Chicago, where I catch a plane for Heathrow. Will I have to show my passport in Chicago, and specifically, where? I hope it's just at the gate because we only have about a 1-hour layover before the connecting flight. I just want to be sure you don't have to go to some appointed place for this. Thank you!
Harrie is offline  
Apr 19th, 2003, 03:17 AM
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You'll only be showing it at the gate, as part of the boarding process. Have a great trip!
Flyboy is offline  
Apr 19th, 2003, 03:30 AM
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Harrie: I think when you check in at your southern city you will have to show your passport. You will probably check your luggage straight through and they will want to be sure your papers are in order. Again in ORD you will show your passport at the gate before boarding. Bon Voyage!
bajaflash is offline  
Apr 19th, 2003, 03:31 AM
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mj
 
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Harrie,
No, there's no special place you have to go to show your passport.

Your passport is required at the airline checkin counter where the boarding pass to Heathrow is issued.

Can also be used as ID for TSA Security checkpoints.

mj is offline  
Apr 19th, 2003, 03:33 AM
  #5  
mj
 
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oops, right, and the boarding for London flight.
mj is offline  
Apr 19th, 2003, 03:35 AM
  #6  
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Wow, that was quick! Thank you, folks. Now I know what to expect...like the answer, too!
Harrie is offline  
Apr 19th, 2003, 08:12 AM
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As I understand it, airline personnel in the USA are required to make sure that you have a valid passport before checking your luggage and/or issuing a borarding pass. I think that makes sense. If you get on the airplane without one, you will probably not be allowed to enter the nation where the flight lands. Then you become a problem for the airline. What do they do with you? You are in no man's land for sure.

I have had to show my passport as many as 3 times just to get on the aircraft.
Once when I checked my luggage, once going through security, and once again at the gate prior to actual boarding.
I have flown home from Germany twice and security there in this post 9/11 world was very strict.

Even if you are not flying internationally, some form of ID is checked frequently in the USA. I know I am always checked when boarding, or at least that is my recollection of the situation.

Look at it this way. You want to get to your destination in one piece. If showing your passport will help, then pull it out and show it when asked by a uniformed airline employee.

I would not show it to anyone in a rail station however except possibly a uniformed police officer or border patrol agent. In Western Europe there is no need to show a passport except when you cross the Swiss border.
I know last year I fully expected to show my passport when I arrived in Helsinki from Munich. No! Not required. It was like landing in Chicago coming from Atlanta.
bob_brown is offline  
Apr 19th, 2003, 08:24 AM
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Harrie: I just scanned this thread briefly, so hope I am not duplicating. Your passport question has been thoroughly answered, but I don't think anyone mentioned one other piece of photo ID. We usually take our driver's licenses and sometimes we are asked to see them and sometimes not, but we prefer to have them with us just in case.

Best wishes on your first trip abroad. You are about to have some wonderful experiences!
Giovanna is offline  
Apr 19th, 2003, 08:28 AM
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On a recent flight to Italy, in addition to showing my passport in all the aforementioned places, we had to have our passports *scanned* by Lufthansa reps at the GATE (they would subsequently stamp our boarding passes attesting to that fact). I fly internationally several times a year, and that's the first time I've encountered something like that (is that a new procedure?). In fact, most people waiting to board were also unaware of that fact--immediately after the boarding call announcement came, the flight attendant at the gate informed everyone that anyone without a stamped boarding pass would be denied boarding (It would have made more sense if they shared that info PRIOR to boarding call, but that would have been so unlike Lufthansa...). The entire crowd then stampeded in order to find those two agents who were doing the scanning/stamping.
sansdieu is offline  
Apr 19th, 2003, 09:50 AM
  #10  
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Thoroughness makes me feel more comfortable, so thanks for the latest replies. I'm going to Germany as well as England and will be interested to compare the security, as Bob, not only you have said it's very strict there but I've also read that elsewhere.

I will definitely have another photo ID, and will not show it at railroad stations unless it seems appropriate (didn't realize that!). I almost had a Lufthansa flight, had found a good one but ended up with a travel agent.

Thanks for the good wishes, folks. I will be sure to come back here and post my adventures.

Oh PS: I sure hope I get mine stamped everywhere; I'm gonna ask them to! I fully understand why apparently it's not done everywhere anymore, I mean after all, you have to go through what you have to go through to get one, can't travel without it, so why on earth don't they stamp them?? I don't get that, hehe.........
Harrie is offline  
Apr 19th, 2003, 09:54 AM
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Others are correct. When you board in Memphis (for example), the airline wants to check your passport to make sure that you won't be deported from the UK because you forgot your passport.

The security checkpoints at the airport and also at the international terminal in Chicago want to see some kind of ID. In Chicago, they might want to see your passport.

After you go to the gate, it is possible, but not likely that US Treasury agents will arrest you if you are carrying more than $10,000 but don't declare it. This is extremely rare. I read about it once in the newspaper.

On the plane, they will give you a landing card. There are just a few basic questions like name and date of birth. The only one that trips up some people is the UK form asks for your hotel address in the UK.
Hiroshi is offline  
Apr 19th, 2003, 09:55 AM
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The British stamp your passport so you don't even have to ask. The Americans will stamp American passports if you ask.
Hiroshi is offline  
Apr 19th, 2003, 10:12 AM
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Got my hotel address in my book now. Thanks, Hiroshi, for the info! Oh...I can only wish I'd have $10,000 with me, LOL.
Harrie is offline  
Apr 19th, 2003, 10:33 AM
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Personally (and not meaning to give you more to lose sleep over!) I'd be more worried about my luggage (assuming you check it) making a 1 hour connection. You might inquire when you first check-in about it. I have sometimes had mine marked with an 'expedited service' red tag by various airlines when a tight connection was involved. Have fun! Happy travels!
suze is offline  
Apr 19th, 2003, 10:46 AM
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I'll do that, Suze! Can't hurt and might help! Thanks!
Harrie is offline  
Apr 19th, 2003, 02:17 PM
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Harrie--I'm glad you asked this question. We are traveling in May, and I was just thinking about where and when we have to show our passports. Do we have to show them when we land in Italy and go through any kind of "customs" there??
janier is offline  
Apr 19th, 2003, 02:51 PM
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Bootman4U
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Asking if the luggage will get there is useless because you ALWAYS get the same answer "yes." The one thing I would keep handy is the passport and perhaps a second photo ID although the passport usually suffices IN foreign countries because they know what THAT looks like and they have less of an idea what a phony drivers license would look like.
"handy" above is defined as IN A MONEY BELT or other safe place.
 
Apr 19th, 2003, 02:53 PM
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Yes, you will again have to clear customs for entry into Italy and again show your passport.
Giovanna is offline  
Apr 19th, 2003, 03:01 PM
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Harrie, this is a suggestion: make a copy of the photo/information page of your passport. Carry the copy in a seperate location from your passport. That way if your passport is lost while you are traveling, you will have all the information you need to apply to the US Embassy for a replacement.
x_x_x is offline  
Apr 19th, 2003, 03:02 PM
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For Janier - We arrived in Rome via Air Malaysia from Australia and Kuala Lumpur, and we followed a large number of Asian people through customs where the customs officers did the usual things of checking passports carefully, etc, but when it came to us (caucasians), they didn't even glance at us or our passports and just waved us through without stamping anything! The only stamps in our passports were to and from Austalia!
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