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Travel in Europe without passport?

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Travel in Europe without passport?

Old 21st May 2011, 21:38
  #21 (permalink)  
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There is a slight difference between the former Iron Curtain countries, which positively did not want anybody leaving (unless of retirement age) and would shoot to kill anybody attempting so, and the others referred to.

Sure the USA keeps tabs on people coming and going, nowadays, because half the developing world would like to go and live there given half a chance. The USA however also suffers from the immigration people being mostly ex McD idiots, delaying me for a few hours due to an expired (2006) M1 visa because a school I was going to train at (CRM) refused to advise them that I never did train there.

Actually you could leave SA easily enough, on a holiday for example. Many people left SA to avoid military service.

In Europe or the USA, there is no apparent reason for exit Customs or Immigration and, as I say, your passport is rarely looked at in Europe except at H24-police airports.
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Old 21st May 2011, 22:05
  #22 (permalink)  

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I have only used my passport a couple of times when I went to Australia, within the EU I always use my national ID card and so far, after all these years I never had a single problem using it.
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Old 22nd May 2011, 01:27
  #23 (permalink)  
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I must say my experience of US immigration is not great either. I had to wait in line for almost two hours at JFK just to pass through immigration when I was last there; while in the queue a number of Spanish speakers (I was coming from Argentina) tried to ask the woman who was marshaling the queue something in Spanish, she replied that this was the USA and that they should try and learn English... Quite ironic considering the friendly image of US immigration personal being played over and over again on the TV screens in the hall we were in...

When I was coming to the US to do my FAA IR in 2008 entering at Miami at first the guy refused to believe my I-20 form was the original, he kept claiming that it was a copy, despite it obviously not being. Eventually some sort of supervisor came who agreed that yes it was an original. I had no problem with this as such but the guy who dealt with me was incredibly off hand and made no attempt to be polite or appear helpful.

I love the US a lot (my girlfriend is American) but the immigration desk is the first contact with authority when one enters the country and the first impression a visitor gets of it...too often recently it has been a bad one...which is a shame.
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Old 22nd May 2011, 05:52
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You know this as fact or just a wild ass over exaggeration on your part?
I know it as a fact.

What might you have expected them to have done under the circumstances?
Given that this was 2008, I would have expected the US Immigration officials to use their brains and understand that a 2006 visa is no longer relevant. I suggested they go to faa.gov where they can see I trained and completed my training at a different 141 school, but they told me they have no internet access
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Old 22nd May 2011, 15:52
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If anyone checks (rare) you need a passport. I once spent two days in France while working on the Channel Tunnel construction and only realised I'd forgotten my passport on the ferry coming back. A Channel Tunnel site pass got me back into the UK :-)
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Old 22nd May 2011, 19:56
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I would have expected the US Immigration officials to use their brains
Officials never use their brains. They apply procedures. I really believed you intelligent enough to be aware.
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Old 22nd May 2011, 21:34
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As a PPL flying an european registered aircraft I have never had problems entering exiting countries in Europe, East Europe and Turkey. I always carry my national identity card and passport but often I have entered/exited countries just using my AOPA Air Crew card.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 06:41
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I've never had a problem either (travelling by GA) but have had to show the passport in quite a lot of places, as described.

Luggage is something else. At many places, one ends up in the airline passenger queue as the only option. The x-ray people have to go through the motions but have to let it go, whatever they see in the backpack in the way of sharp tools, etc. You get accompanied by some staff member, having used the words "private pilot" several times. The only place where I actually had stuff confiscated was Norwich airport where they confiscated my toothpaste, and the b*stards even had a big laugh about it. Even at Tirana, where I got considerable hassle, they didn't do that.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 07:32
  #29 (permalink)  
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To the original OP's question.

No it is not a very wise idea.

You can fly quite happily around europe for days with out ever being asked to produce it. And even get back into the UK without border control turning up.

But if you do require to produce it and you don't have it all hell will occur and in some countries France for example they will put you in jail until everything is sorted out. Also some countries Holland for example if you don't have it on you walking around the streets you will get an on the spot fine of something like 100 euros, driving license doesn't cut the mustard either.

Saying that though even if you don't have a passport some countries will allow you to enter as long as they know about it prior to you arriving. The Dutch seem quite cool about this. An elderly pax on a charter (2 day wedding) didn't have a passport we phoned them and faxed through some docs and when arriving they issue her a letter. Getting back in the UK though was more of an issue but one of the pax had contacts, which I wasn't happy about because if they do take exception to you bring someone in without a passport the PIC is liable for 2k fine.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 11:40
  #30 (permalink)  
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Interesting thread; here’s my two-penneth. I’ve spent 50 plus years in aviation in various different capacities and, for the latter 30+, amassed a lot of international travel as a passenger on commercial flights, on a GD as crew sometimes on pretty long ferry flights and also as a coordinator on large aircraft VIP flights and a load master on private cargo flights. A lot of my travel has been to what may be considered ‘difficult’ locations. I’ve certainly experienced some challenging moments but always avoided being thrown in the pokey. Here is my advice ...

Don’t look towards the bottom of the list to see what might be acceptable. As a start, if you are going to be involved in aviation and likely to travel (for business or recreation), get a passport and keep it valid, never mind those you tell you it should not be necessary, DO IT. Keep all other ancillary ID’s and similar documents valid and available (the more the merrier). Always maintain a creative mind; my status as ‘crew’ on a ferry/delivery flight was once questioned but the matter quickly resolved by production of an FAA Aircraft Dispatchers Licence (mostly I suspect due to it looking very similar to an FAA Pilots Licence). Always remain calm and polite. In simple terms BE PREPARED and do not pay too much attention to what the minimum requirements are, aim high; overkill is better in the long run. Enjoy your travels; I wish I was young again

Last edited by Q-RTF-X; 23rd May 2011 at 12:13.
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