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Italian passport holder forced to provide secondary ID [Norwegian from CPH to LGW]

Italian passport holder forced to provide secondary ID [Norwegian from CPH to LGW]

Old Feb 6, 17, 9:05 am
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Italian passport holder forced to provide secondary ID [Norwegian from CPH to LGW]

Just travelling with my partner on Norwegian from CPH to LGW, and upon entering the gate area with her Italian passport she was asked to provide secondary ID. Gate agent told her this is a requirement for Italian passport holders due to frequently fraudulent Italian passports. This is after passport control, at boarding, using an Italian RFID passport.

The gate agent said she would not be able to fly if she could not provide alternate ID such as a drivers licence. For a brief moment she resisted as she had no alternative ID. They finally accepted her bank card as proof after the gate agent carefully verified the name on both documents. The photograph in the passport was never questioned.

Is this legal? I told the gate agent that she can't deny an EU national from travelling to another EU country using a valid EU member state issued travel document. The agent however insisted that she can and would deny her boarding.
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Old Feb 6, 17, 1:55 pm
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This situation is ridiculous. She wouldn't have been able to get to the airport's non-Schengen area from the airport's Schengen area and do what the airline agent mentioned unless at least one of two things happened: the passport control officials or machines failed to prevent her from crossing the airport's Schengen border; or there was an ID or passport swap inside the non-Schengen area of the airport. It seems the latter situation is what has the airline agent being uptight.

If it were me and if I could afford to be denied boarding, I would call their bluff and document what they said and did along with making sure to have evidence that they denied me transport while I clearly had possession of my valid passport.
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Old Feb 6, 17, 2:13 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
This situation is ridiculous....
If it were me and if I could afford to be denied boarding, I would call their bluff and document what they said and did along with making sure to have evidence that they denied me transport while I clearly had possession of my valid passport.
I agree. I tried to push her to stand her ground, but she got a little scared by the intimidation of the gate agent who said she would not be flying without providing alternative ID. The agent said this was standard for all Italian passport holders. I told the gate agent that such a policy is discriminatory against the nationals of another EU member state and not legal. She checked with the other gate agent (who appeared to be her senior or supervisor) and the other agent confirmed that she must verify an alternative ID.

Once we were onboard, there was another passenger who was similarly hassled for alternative ID by yet a third gate agent who entered the aircraft once boarding was complete. I didn't catch that passengers nationality.

I am inclined to report this to the EU's SOLVIT, and file an official complaint with Norwegian and the European Commission. I'm wondering if this is a UK policy that's being communicated to the airlines (I have noted other harassment at the UK border of Italian citizens, and especially ID card holders) or if it's a few gate-agents who have been misinformed of some policy.
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Old Feb 6, 17, 2:56 pm
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At WAW, I've seen passport control hassle US citizens with US passports traveling to the US for no other reason than the persons were "brown" or "black" Americans. There too they ask for secondary ID from time to time, but mostly of ethnic minorities.

At AMS last year, the airline security contractors asking questions were pestering a US citizen returning to the US with a US passport to show Danish ID despite Danish ID not being legal for the person to procure. Apparently some people can't put together the fact that sometimes people fly out of airports on tickets that don't originate in their country of citizenship and/or residence.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 2:12 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
At WAW, I've seen passport control hassle US citizens with US passports traveling to the US for no other reason than the persons were "brown" or "black" Americans. There too they ask for secondary ID from time to time, but mostly of ethnic minorities.

At AMS last year, the airline security contractors asking questions were pestering a US citizen returning to the US with a US passport to show Danish ID despite Danish ID not being legal for the person to procure. Apparently some people can't put together the fact that sometimes people fly out of airports on tickets that don't originate in their country of citizenship and/or residence.
I don't understand what these airlines or security contractors hope to achieve. Do they think they will catch someone using a passport fraudulently? At best, such a fraudster could always deny that they have alternative ID on them. Only a stupid one would offer up ID that doesn't match.

And in any case, a person travelling with only a passport who is unable to provide alternative ID could claim EU 261 compensation of 600€ for involuntarily denied boarding. And such a person would probably have a legitimate case against the airline of unfair discrimination and rights infringement.

This is yet another case of security theatre in an attempt to protect the airlines from fines for carrying inadmissible passengers, but one that is illegal under EU law as it discriminates against all citizens of a particular EU country.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 8:08 am
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That's ridiculous. I wonder if this is a regular occurrence or if this is something particular to one airport.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 10:11 am
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Originally Posted by oaken View Post
That's ridiculous. I wonder if this is a regular occurrence or if this is something particular to one airport.
It's rather routine and I've encountered this across many airports and across countries. More frequently my travel party members when dealing with US airlines' contractors than anywhere else beside WAW.

Fortunately it's not very common, as carrying too many forms of ID while traveling is not necessarily a smart security measure.

Last edited by GUWonder; Feb 7, 17 at 10:31 am
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Old Feb 8, 17, 9:37 am
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Regardless, this is sort of discrimination against certain EU nationals is illegal within the EU, and it further appears to be systemic (my partner was told: "all Italian passport holders must present alternative ID") and possibly an illegal policy of Norwegian Airlines.

Besides complaining to Norwegian Airlines, any other avenues we should try? I have thought of writing to the Italian embassy, and the EU's SOLVIT, but before we try those, are there other regulators or institutions that we should consider notifying?
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Old Feb 11, 17, 9:14 am
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Seems more like a UK policy perhaps?
We need more Italian passport holders to give their experiences here
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Old Feb 11, 17, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by cdn1 View Post
Seems more like a UK policy perhaps?
We need more Italian passport holders to give their experiences here
It's more an issue of either airline rep/contractor or airline than anything else.

Real U.K. passports can be fraudulently acquired in Italy, and some of those may be even loaded well enough that they work at the epassport gates at LHR. Make of this what you wish: http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...-security.html

Real Italian passports too wouldn't surprise me.
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Old Feb 11, 17, 1:17 pm
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In 2014, after a stay in the Maldives, we were flying MLE-SIN-ICN-YVR, the first two legs on Cathay Pacific and the final leg on Air Canada.

The Cathay Pacific gate agent demanded proof that we two US passport holders were admissible to Canada. Argument got us nowhere. After talking about NEXUS, we pulled out our NEXUS cards and that satisfied her, even though I doubt she even knew what NEXUS was, other than what we'd told her.

Without those as our talismans, I'm not sure what would have happened.
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Old Feb 11, 17, 8:25 pm
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Italian passports are usually the cheapest western EU ones when it comes to fake IDs (I can also add the Austrian and Greek to the list). They are used by North African/Middle Eastern people smugglers due to the ethnic resemblance between Italians (southern half, especially) and those people. There's even no need to alter the photo for some cases.
*One of the Iranians who boarded MH370 to get from Malaysia to Germany successfully used an altered Italian passport.

Naples is also the European stronghold of counterfeit IDs and money, so extra scrutiny is always in effect once links with Naples are found.

And last but not least I think in all fairness that Italy needs to step up its game regarding IDs, it is laughable to still issue paper national IDs with a photo glued on it in 2017 in most municipalities. No wonder why UK border folks grill Italians using their IDs to get into Britain.
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Old Feb 19, 17, 2:18 pm
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did the Italian woman have very Mediterranean features or dark hair?

If so, it does not surprise me. Other than Italy having Refugees from North Africa coming to their shores: Nordics often assume anyone with dark hair as North African or Middle Eastern.
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Old Feb 20, 17, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by FateSucks View Post
did the Italian woman have very Mediterranean features or dark hair?
Yes, but I don't think it matters. One other passenger was also targeted. The language they used seemed to suggest that it's systemic discrimination of all Italian nationals. We are looking at our options for escalating this or pursuing a case.
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Old Feb 21, 17, 7:45 am
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Originally Posted by pilot007 View Post
Gate agent told her this is a requirement for Italian passport holders due to frequently fraudulent Italian passports.
A general rule against Italian passports is of course wrong and illegal.

But if an airline suspects a passport of being fake then shouldn't they be within their rights to ask for further ID?

I believe it's possible to be airside in CPH without going through a Schengen or other EU border (although I think one would have to go through security) so the passenger having passed through Danish passport control is neither here nor there.

However I hope the passenger gets satisfactory resolution and that other Italians are no longer hassled in such a manner.
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