Lonely Planet Writer

You'll soon need photo ID to fly domestically in Australia

Australian airports plan to beef up their security on domestic flights with the introduction of new measures, including checking photo ID before passengers can board a domestic flight, as part of the government’s plans to enhance security.

Security to be tightened at Audtralian domestic airports
Darwin Airport, Northern Australia. Photo by Elise Derwin/Getty Images

Australia-based airlines carry millions of passengers on domestic flights each year, but with the introduction of electronic ticketing, many travellers avoid interacting with staff members who would request photo identification. It is still possible to book a domestic flight online in Australia, print a boarding pass, drop your baggage and board the plane without having to prove who you are.

Airlines like Qantas and Jetstar tell passengers to carry photo ID but to save time at check-in and boarding they don’t always ask to see it.  The change would bring Australia into line with other countries including the USA. The government said it was “not unreasonable” to be asked to show personal identification at airports.

Australia to beef up security at domestic airports
Passengers boarding a Qantas flight at Kalgoorlie Airport in Western Australia. Afr Picture by ANDREW QUILTY. Photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images

The Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull said the government was “working through it very carefully” because of the costs and disruption that could result from the checks. A former senior Australian Federal Police officer, Chris Douglas, has previously campaigned for this blind spot in Australia’s security get fixed. “No one should be allowed to travel on a flight unless they have been identified,” he said. “I think even the public would expect if you’re boarding a flight in this day and age you should have had to prove your identity first.”