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End of ID/BP cross-check at boarding in France for AF flights, starting May 15th

End of ID/BP cross-check at boarding in France for AF flights, starting May 15th

Old May 13, 12, 7:46 am
  #31  
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
Now, the rules become more transparent and whether people are in favour or against, make it clear what difference Schengen makes - If you fly within Schengen: (1) you do not need to show id unless the airline tells you they want you to for commercial reasons (but in which case they need to inform you clearly), (2) you do not need to reclear security when you have a connection if the terminal is equipped with a dedicated ex-Schengen transfer channel, which most large and medium sized airports within the area now have (3) conditions for passengers from/to non-Schengen countries do not change.
On security, this is NOT a Schengen issue, but an EU/EEA-wide one: if you boarded at an airport deemed safe, which includes, in principle (save particularly exceptions to be made where a problem exists in a given location), pretty much all commercial EU airports whether within Schengen or not, there is no requirement for re-clearing security.

The problem, however, is that relatively few airports have set up traffic routes to allow for passengers from non-Schengen EU/EEA airports to be segregated from other non-EEA passengers and therefore de facto force the former to go through security again. The same is true in reverse in, eg., LHR (and other UK airports) which forces non-domestic EU-originating passengers to go through security again even though they should not have to simply because there is no segregation between EU and other countries in passenger traffic routes at LHR.
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Old May 17, 12, 5:35 am
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Took an AF flight this morning out of CDG, no ID control at gate, but neither at security. So, theoretically, anybody could have travelled with my BP (OLCI, no checked bags)
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Old May 17, 12, 7:34 am
  #33  
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Good.
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Old May 17, 12, 8:37 am
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
Good.
I don't think this is good. For our security this is a real bay news if now every criminal can fly with Air France if there are no ID-Checks at all.
Also everyone can now sell tickets on eBay.
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Old May 17, 12, 10:03 am
  #35  
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Tickets won't be able to be sold any more than they can be now; tickets are non-transferable, and any such tickets listed on Ebay could, as they would be right now, taken down.

I fail to see why "criminals" are of any relevance here. As long as a person is not barred from flying, or is not supposed to be in jail somewhere, are they not allowed to travel freely around the Schengen Zone (whether by air or surface) just like any other European citizen?
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Old May 17, 12, 10:06 am
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They still at all times may ask you for an ID. I doubt anybody would risk having to buy a new ticket on the spot, just to save a few bucks and get a ticket off eBay
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Old May 17, 12, 4:22 pm
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This is absolutely fantastic news. One more unnecessary control gone away. FOr those who ask what the benefits are:
  • For passengers: less hassle when boarding and faster boarding. If implemented properly (like other European airlines already do it) there can be turnstyles at the gates where people merely scan the bar code on their BP and walk through. No more need for human intervention, for fiddling with ID in hand/poecket, no more lengthy matching
  • For airlines: shorter boarding times = shorter turnaround times. Maybe we'll even see priority boarding for domestic flights in France which despite long turnaround times so far has not existed because of mystical "operational reasons"
  • For airlines: less staff needed, which is a cost saving potential

Other elements like "someone else can take my ticket" can be neglected. If you lose your BP you can - with your ID - prove that you are the person supposed to travel and get a new BP, this way also uncovering the person who took your place/seat. Also "reselling of tickets" seems not to be an issue. There are other airlines that do not require ID check when boarding, they do not have that problem. And the "criminals" argument lacks any foundation and is, excuse my French, silly. If a criminal that is not supposed to fly uses his real name he will be identified by computers who match his name against a no fly list. If he uses a false name then he gets through anyway. If need be he could also fake an ID. Also, the people checking the ID - usually airline-own or airline-paid staff - cannot do anything. They only check name on BP vs name on ID. Without having a list who is a criminal or not anyone gets through. And should they by chance find a notorious criminal without looking him up in a database - e.g. a pax presenting ticket and ID on the name of Osama Bin Laden - then there's not a lot they can do. They have no rights to arrest that person for instance.

Thus, as I have been arguing since years, these controls are silly, unnecessary and a hassle for no real benefit. Glad to see common sense has finally taken over.

Also, just wanted to confirm earlier posts who make a difference between no need to show ID at country borders within Schengen (because there are no more fix border posts) and the need to show an ID to show who you are. The border controls were to check not only who you are but whether your papers allowed you to enter the other country. The ID checks at boarding are to check whether you are the person whose name is written on the BP.

Airport security is yet another thing: the entire EU as well as non EU countries that are part of Schengen (e.g. Norway, Switzerland) as well as in some cases the USA are considered "clean", and transfers between these countries can happen without further security control. But that has NOTHING to do with ID checks or border control. In theory one could transfer in GVA from a flight from London to a flight to ROme without security check. But there would be a border control because GVA would be the entry point into the Schengen area.

As a matter of fact the majority of European hub airports are laid out in a way that allows for transfers between clean countries without further security checks:

CPH - yes
all German airports with the exception of Berlin - yes
all Swiss airports - yes
all Austrian airports - yes
Madrid - yes
Barcelona - yes
Lisboa - yes
Milan - I think so
Prague - yes
Brussels - yes
AMS - only between Schengen flights AFAIK
Some terminals at CDG (e.g. 2D, 2F - but what about 2E e.g. for a flight arriving from the UK?)
London LHR T5

Notable exceptions:

London LHR other terminals and between terminals
Paris CDG T1 - the geniuses at ADP laid the airport out in a way that does not make it possible with the exception of transfers within Satellite 7
AMS - for transfers from clean countries to non-Schengen countries, but only as long as there is no centralized security control which I understand will happen soon
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Old May 17, 12, 5:15 pm
  #38  
 
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End of ID/BP cross-check at boarding in France for AF flights, starting May 15th

What is the chance we'll see autogates like Lufthansa?
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Old May 17, 12, 6:03 pm
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
And the "criminals" argument lacks any foundation and is, excuse my French, silly.
No, it's not silly.
My English is not the best, but I try my best so you maybe can understand me:
Look: If someone does a crime and then tries to leave the country by plane, a simple ID-Check would stop the criminal from flying away because the Name of the passenger would be on a ban-list which also can be updatet automaticly. This can all done by autogates.
Without an ID-Check its only easier for criminals to travel, because now they can buy tickets with a fantasy name.

"less hassle when boarding and faster boarding"
It only takes a sec to show your ID. You have to show you BP anyway. In Germany the ID has a chip in it (and I think in France too), so a computer can do the ID check.

In Germany in every Supermarket you have to show your ID if you look young and want to buy alc. or cigaretts. Even if your are on a train with a month-card you have to show your ID.
So it should be no real problem to show your ID on an Airport.

Wouldnt it be nicer, if you can travel only with your ID-card and without a BP!
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Old May 18, 12, 6:50 am
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Kölner View Post
Look: If someone does a crime and then tries to leave the country by plane, a simple ID-Check would stop the criminal from flying away because the Name of the passenger would be on a ban-list which also can be updatet automaticly.
With all due respect, if someone does a crime and tries to escape by air, I think they will just get on the first flights that they can, days if not months before any police force would confirm a criminal's identity, update listings and arrange for people not to be able to fly off. If someone does something really bad, his/her identity is confirmed, and it is suspected that the person will try to flee, there is still absolutely nothing preventing police forces from creating an alert, sending it to police forces in border areas, stations, ports, and airports, diffuse the person's photos and characteristics and hope for an arrest. Indeed, I can confirm that French airports are still full of police personnel and I suspect that many criminals would choose some other less conspicuous escape route. European police forces do not rely on airlines to do their jobs, gate agents are undoubtedly not trained to spot fake ids which the criminals you mention would undoubtedly use in recent years to travel on fake identity, and I genuinely think that the change makes absolutely no difference in that particular respect.

You are absolutely right that there are many occasions in life when one is asked to show id, and many others when one has to go through security. Everything is possible in theory. In some countries you have to pass security to enter bus or train stations or even shopping malls, which undoubtedly lowers the likeliness of terrorist attacks in these places, in others, policemen can ask random passer by's on the street to show their id which undoubtedly results in some 'wanted' people being spotted and arrested or illegal immigrants being found, in others you also need to show id when you leave individual cities which presumably prevent wanted people from disappearing and becoming much harder to find.

There is no limit to what can be proposed in the name of security, but ultimately, public forces need to arbitrate based on a number of criteria including efficiency, marginal benefits of each additional measure, the right of people to live as normal and undisrupted a life as possible, cost, etc. My personal perception is that removing this particular control is an improvement and very much goes in the right direction. I am yet to hear many people who think that US airports are dangerously insecure yet both security and id checks for domestic flights are much laxer than what we have in Europe.

Last edited by orbitmic; May 18, 12 at 12:15 pm Reason: I had written that gate agents are not equiped to detect fake ideas instead of fake ids which surely is a cute typo ;)
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Old May 18, 12, 8:01 am
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by Kölner View Post
No, it's not silly.
My English is not the best, but I try my best so you maybe can understand me:
Look: If someone does a crime and then tries to leave the country by plane, a simple ID-Check would stop the criminal from flying away because the Name of the passenger would be on a ban-list which also can be updatet automaticly. This can all done by autogates.
Without an ID-Check its only easier for criminals to travel, because now they can buy tickets with a fantasy name.
Checking IDs at boarding does about as much to security as putting your toothpaste or your less-than-100ml-portion of Nutella in a transparent plastic bag and put it on the Xray separately.

Let's work logic for the criminals and see which ones you can really capture with that medthod. Let's assume someone has committed a crime and has not already fled the country before being identified and all databases updated (which already eliminates many criminals).
  • Let's assume he wants to leave the country by plane. As soon as he makes a booking under his real name a computerised non-fly list would identify him and he could not fly.
  • Let's assume his not caught by the no fly list and wants to leave the country to a non-Schengen country. In that case he needs to go through passport control which is done by border police. There he can either i) be stupid and use his real ID and real name on the ticket -> border police will detain him ii) be stupid and use his real ID and a ticket with a false name -> border police can detain him iii) be a committed criminal and get a fake ID and also use that fake name on the ticket -> border police may spot the fake and detain him. Thus, 80% of those cases would be identified by the border police, either because of the name match on the real ID or because of the fake ID
  • Let's assume he made it through the no fly list and through border police. He then goes to the gate, where he has to show his ID and ticket. Again, i) real name on ID and real name on BP -> there's no way gate agents can tell he's a criminal -> happy flight ii) fake name on ID and fake name on BP -> there's no way the gate agent can tell a fake ID -> happy flight
  • Let's assume he wants to flee to a Schengen country. Easy, take a car and drive across the border, there is no border police and no ID check. However, this being Schengen he can just as well be detained there.
  • If he still wants to leave the country by plane: i) use real name -> no fly list, or making it past that see above, he'll be facing gate agents that can neither identify him nor can they detain him (they could downgrade him or lose his luggage ) or ii) use fake name -> same story, gate agents don't know and couldn't do anything anyway.

What this logic shows is that the way to capture criminals is not to have their ID checked against their boarding pass by people who have no way of telling who is a criminal and even if they could tell would be powerless to act. Criminals must be identified, hunted and detained by institutions and people that have the skills and rights to do so. Airlines neither have the skills nor the right to do that. Conclusion: checking IDs at boarding is senseless.

Originally Posted by Kölner View Post
"less hassle when boarding and faster boarding"
It only takes a sec to show your ID.
??? Taking passport out of your briefcase/pocket, giving it to the gate agent, who may have to open the passport, find the right page, then will look in your passport for the name to match (not all countries' passports are laid out the same way), then look for the matching name on the BP... 5-10 seconds. Even if it was 5 seconds. Take a planeload of 120 passengers. 5 seconds * 120 passengers = 10 minutes lost. 10 minutes more on the ground for a plane is a lot of money.

Originally Posted by Kölner View Post
You have to show you BP anyway.
Not sure what you mean by "anyway". You do realise that BP and ID are two distinct physical objects? So showing one does not necessarily entail showing the other in the same movement. If by "anyway" you mean "you have to stop at the gate agent anyway" then, also the argument doesn't hold. Either there are automatic self-boarding gates or there is a gate agent, who would merely hold your BP under the scanner at the boarding gate. Thus it's either no stop at all at the gate agent or a much faster operation.

Originally Posted by Kölner View Post
In Germany the ID has a chip in it (and I think in France too), so a computer can do the ID check.
Because of certain events in 20th century history not everybody in Europe has a German ID. Nor a French for that matter. Take a big hub airport like CDG and any flight has passengers from France, the destination country, USA, Japan, some African countries, Brazil, any other European country, China - you name it!

Originally Posted by Kölner View Post
In Germany in every Supermarket you have to show your ID if you look young and want to buy alc. or cigaretts.
Err, yes, and in other countries as well. But what has that got to do with flying? You mean the analogy is that only certain people are entitled to certain products, such as cigarettes or a certain airfare? Two big differences, one in objective, the other one practical. Objective: checking ID for buying cigarettes is to prevent under age people from smoking (let's not discuss if this method works or not), whereas in the case of flying the objective can only be commercial by the airline to prevent people from selling their ticket to someone else. Practical: once the age check is done for cigarettes the "prevention" is over. For tickets there is little chance for a grey market. For it to happen on a large scale it would be widely known and could then easily be stopped. Or it happens on a much smaller scale, but no "broker" would take the risk to buy tickets and only have a small under-cover market to which he can sell them. If it happens within a family or similar this is really very small scale and frankly, if I was the airline I wouldn't care if I fill my plane with daddy or son, the hypothetical loss is much smaller than the non-hypothetical money it costs me to check IDs and to have longer turnaround times.

Originally Posted by Kölner View Post
Even if your are on a train with a month-card you have to show your ID.
It is not because one idiotic solution exists than other idiocies are justified. Train operators would just need to put pictures on their cards, end of story.

Originally Posted by Kölner View Post
So it should be no real problem to show your ID on an Airport.
We may differ on what a "problem" is but since there are zero benefits but huge costs for airlines and it's a hassle for passengers there's no reason to keep it.

Originally Posted by Kölner View Post
Wouldnt it be nicer, if you can travel only with your ID-card and without a BP!
Yes. But the world has moved in that direction anyway, where your smartphone more and more becomes a holder of ID for all sorts of commercial and non-commercial interaction. Having the BP on your smartphone already brings things down to a one-device solution.

EDIT: just read orbitmics's post. Absolutely concur with what he writes.
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Old May 18, 12, 8:08 am
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Kölner View Post
Look: If someone does a crime and then tries to leave the country by plane, a simple ID-Check would stop the criminal from flying away because the Name of the passenger would be on a ban-list which also can be updatet automaticly. This can all done by autogates.
Without an ID-Check its only easier for criminals to travel, because now they can buy tickets with a fantasy name.
The humble Air France cabin attendant/gate agent has far more pressing worries than policing Europe's skies. Like making sure that the passenger has boarded the correct aircraft, and that the passenger's ID matches with the name on the boarding pass (even if that last task has now been removed).

Air France staff are not, and should never be, the last (or only?) line of defence in apprehending fleeing criminals. To suggest that boarding ID checks are a vital security feature, and should be retained for their usefulness in detaining fleeing criminals, is either naive or laughable.

As suggested above, if the criminal is "fleeing" to another Schengen jurisdiction (which isn't really fleeing at all) then they could just board a train, where ID is never required, or live up to their reputation by stealing a car and driving over a national border. If they do try to leave Schengen, well they will have to submit themselves to passport control (I believe this to be true at most exit ports, anyway).

But the hardened criminal will always be able to slip away unnoticed - whether by land crossing, or piloting a small craft (whether by air or by sea) to an unpoliced entry point in an non-EU country, from where they can make good their escape, foiling Air France and Interpol in the process!!!!

Last edited by irishguy28; May 18, 12 at 8:17 am
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Old May 18, 12, 11:08 am
  #43  
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Originally Posted by JOUY31 View Post
Loosely translated:

effective May 15th, cross-check of boarding pass and ID documents when boarding the plane will be discontinued at French airports, for all AF operated flights, including those operated for Air France by Regional, Brit Air, Cityjet and Airlinair.
So today the 18th, I flew FSC-ORY : business as usual : ID check at check-in and at boarding...
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Old May 18, 12, 12:13 pm
  #44  
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
EDIT: just read orbitmics's post. Absolutely concur with what he writes.
And vice versa
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Old May 18, 12, 2:05 pm
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Kölner View Post
I don't think this is good. For our security this is a real bay news if now every criminal can fly with Air France if there are no ID-Checks at all.
Also everyone can now sell tickets on eBay.
Remember that AF is not the first one doing that now.

Lufthansa has been doing this for ages.
Same as AirBerlin.

And others too...

I think the risk of people buying their tickets on eBay is relatively low. Not only because you can't trust your seller to only sell his ticket once... The beauty of eTix.
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