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My 85 year old mother is scheduled to fly to FL next week and I just found out she does not have a current photo ID ( she does have an expired driver's license with a photo on it). After doing some research on the internet, it looks like there is no law requiring photo ID, even by the TSA ( they may require special screening if you don't present it), and a number of people have successfully flown without providing any photo ID, or in some cases, no ID whatsoever. The TSA has told the Ninth Circuit in two separate cases (John Gilmore & Daniel Kuualoha Aukai) that airport policy was to let people enter security areas without identification. Although Spirit's contract of carriage states "A passenger who refuses to produce identification upon request shall not be boarded," it does not specify photo ID. I'm just wondering if any of you have had any "real world" experience with Spirit in this regard.

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No ID = No flight

They check your ID at multiple spots at airports and its required. If it wasn't, then ANYONE could fly.

Talk to somebody senior at the airport management, not the airline since the security staff is managed by the airport. There have been several cases where people have been allowed to board after going through the secondary screening when they did not have the right id.

Read this thread on Flyertalk and also the linked article.

Bozo007,

Thanks for the Link - appreciate it.

LittleNicky,

Is your experience specifically with Spirit? Otherwise, your "No ID = No flight" has no basis in reality based on the research I've already done and the link provided by Bozo007.

I have personally has experience with children including teenagers flying Spirit without photo ID, even as a group with no adult (and no unaccompanied minor fee/procedure, because the oldest was over 12). I think you should call them or go out to the airport ahead of time....When they did not have photo ID, Spirit took the Photo ID of an adult and gave out "Gate Passes" to go through security.

I recently have flown with an expired drivers license. I didn't realize that it had expired on my birthday and flew a week later. Not one person at the airport said a thing about the license. (I flew Spirit, Detroit to Ft. Lauderdale)

I would be pretty damn sure that if you brought grandma's old license, as long as it looked the same it anyone else's from that state(not 40 years expired), you would not have an issue.

Thanks for the replies. I emailed Spirit and they were very responsive, which based on previous experiences with airlines, I did not expect. Bottom line is that although the original email was somewhat contradictory about the photo and incorrect about the legal requirement, it looks like she is OK without a photo ID. Below is the pertinent parts of the email:


You understand me perfectly. Have a great day.

Sincerely,

Heather

Heather,

Thank you for your prompt response. Based on your response, I am concluding
she will be OK with her current Driverís license without a photo and a
second form of ID such as a credit card. Please confirm that my
understanding is correct

Thank You.

April 30, 2007


Dear ,

Thank you for your correspondence regarding the ID requirements. For domestic travel, all customers are required by law to show proper identification which must be issued by a government authority (local, state, or federal) and include a photo of the individual (i.e. driverís license). The ID presented must be valid and not expired. A passenger who cannot produce identification may be denied boarding.

The following are acceptable forms of ID that can be used alone:

∑A valid driverís license with photo
∑State ID card
∑Valid passport
∑Military ID

-OR-
Two (2) forms of ID must be presented Ė one government issued, and one additional form of identification:

Examples of government issued:

∑Driverís license without a photo
∑Voterís registration card
∑Social Security card
∑Birth Certificate

Acceptable form of ID to accompany the above ID:

∑Library card
∑Insurance card with passengerís name
∑Medicaid/Medicare card
∑Credit card
∑School/University ID

I hope this information helps.

Sincerely,

Heather
Corporate Consumer Relations
Spirit Airlines

If Spirit is letting people through without checking id, I'd be very hesitant to fly with them.

jswede4722 said: If Spirit is letting people through without checking id, I'd be very hesitant to fly with them.

Based on my research, it's not just Spirit, most other airlines have similar policies. If you don't have ID when you check in with your airline, they will usually mark your boarding pass with a red "SSSS." The TSA does not require IDs either, but if you don't have one and your boarding pass is marked "SSSS," you may be subject to a more thorough inspection at the TSA checkpoints.

jswede4722 said: If Spirit is letting people through without checking id, I'd be very hesitant to fly with them.
With secondary screening, there are really no issues.

>>>Based on my research, it's not just Spirit, most other airlines have similar policies. If you don't have ID when you check in with your airline, they will usually mark your boarding pass with a red "SSSS." The TSA does not require IDs either, but if you don't have one and your boarding pass is marked "SSSS," you may be subject to a more thorough inspection at the TSA checkpoints.

Every time I have gone with kids on a gate pass, I and they have gotten extra attention in the search process.

I don't know whose rule it is, whether it is the airlines, FAA, TSA, etc, but there is no way around the ID thing. You will be allowed to fly, but you will get checked in with an SSSS.

Indiana said: You will be allowed to fly, but you will get checked in with an SSSS.
As far the OP is concerned, that's good enough.

rooms222 said:

Every time I have gone with kids on a gate pass, I and they have gotten extra attention in the search process.


My 3 year old had that happen at Logan a few years ago. He rode lap but we weren't going back that way. We got him a seat. We all were pulled over and thoroughly searched.

LittleNicky said: No ID = No flight

They check your ID at multiple spots at airports and its required. If it wasn't, then ANYONE could fly.


Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

ID is not a requirement to proceed through the security checkpoint. If you do not have ID (or refuse to show it, as I do), you will be subject to a secondary screening (SSSS - where they pat you down, swab your bags & stuff for explosive residue, etc).

Demanding ID has never really been about security. It is to make the masses feel safer without any actual security benefits. The real use has always been revenue protection for their airline (making sure the person who the ticket was issued for is the one using it). All of the 9/11 hijackers had identification, so there's a case in point of it not helping security to require ID.

The biggest hurdle to overcome is with the airline. It seems as though the OP has resolved it to their satisfaction with Spirit. ALL airlines will often let you fly without ID. If you check-in using a kiosk and print your boarding passes or check-in online at home, you never have an interaction with the airline agents for them to require ID. At some airports, the ID checkers will not select you for secondary but instead send you to the airline to have your boarding pass stamped SSSS (Midway, for example). Others simply write SSSS on it and send you through for a secondary without any airline interaction (Nashville, etc).

Anyone who tells you that ID is a strict requirement to get through security is FULL OF IT. ID is a loose requirement to actually get on the airplane (since the airline controls that) but the TSA cannot require that you show ID.

skibum43:

I'm glad Spirit got back to you with information and (it seems)
that your grandmother will be able to fly; though, it may be a
bit more of a hassle (i.e. extra screenings, etc.).

However, I have to wonder, since your grandmother isn't flying
until next week, why don't you go to the DMV and get a state ID
card issued for her (from what it sounds like, she doesn't drive,
so a state issued ID would suffice)?

I'm not trying to sound ignorant or anything; but, wouldn't it
be best to ASSURE she won't be denied boarding by just getting
the state ID card for her? And, perhaps expedite your boarding
as much as possible, without any required "SSSS" screenings?

Either way, I hope she has a safe flight.


[edit: punctuation]

ShadowedBlade said: skibum43:


However, I have to wonder, since your grandmother isn't flying
until next week, why don't you go to the DMV and get a state ID
card issued for her (from what it sounds like, she doesn't drive,
so a state issued ID would suffice)?



Since she is travelling with my sister, I left that up to them if they want to go that route and they may. Unfortunately, this is NJ, and trying to get something done at a DMV office at the beginning of the month is not easy unless you want to camp out for a day.



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