Before departure it’s important to consider what travel documents you need for travel including your ticket, valid passport, forms of photo identification and more.
You need a valid airline ticket to travel on any domestic or international flight. If you’re travelling on an electronic ticket (e-ticket), you’ll be issued with an itinerary receipt that you should carry with you at all times.
All passengers need a valid passport for international travel, regardless of the destination, but as some countries require at least six months validity remaining on the passport, you should check with the consulates of all the countries you’re planning to visit prior to your departure, as you may be refused entry if you don’t comply.
Important things to know before you go:
- Visit the IATA Travel Centre to check the passport validity requirements of your destination
- When you depart from Australia you need to present your passport, boarding pass and completed passenger departure card to Customs
- When you arrive in Australia you need to present your passport and a completed passenger arrival card to Customs
- If you need to apply for or renew an Australian passport visit Passports Australia for more details.
Machine readable passports
Some countries now require customers to be travelling with a machine readable passport. It has been confirmed that South Africa, India and Colombia are imposing this requirement, among other countries.
You should check with the embassy of the country you are travelling to for their specific passport requirements. Non-compliance can result in denied boarding.
Forms of identification
Domestic flights within Australia
If you’re travelling on a domestic flight within Australia, you’ll need to carry the following items with you:
- photo identification such as a driver’s licence, passport or social security card; or
- your ticket booking reference (printed on your e-ticket itinerary receipt); or
- your Frequent Flyer membership card, Airline Club membership card; or
- the credit card used to purchase the ticket.
Domestic flights within Australia departing from an international terminal
Domestic flights departing from an international terminal are flights between Australian capital cities that connect to or from a International service.
If you’re travelling on a domestic flight departing from an international terminal, and are 18 years of age or over, you’ll be asked to produce photo identification (ID) that includes your full name at check-in.
Important points to remember when travelling domestically on an international flight include:
- Your booking name must match the ID you’re using.
- Check-in is at the International terminal of the city you’re departing from and International check-in times apply.
- Airport Customer Service Agents will check your ID and attach a ‘D’ (Domestic) sticker to your boarding pass.
- You must keep your boarding pass and present it at Customs clearance points at the commencement and conclusion of your domestic trip. This is required to comply with the Migration regulations administered by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).
Find out more about domestic passengers travelling on international flights at Australian Customs and Border Protection ServicesOpens external site in a new window.
Acceptable forms of ID include:
- a valid passport (non-Australian customers must show a passport as ID);
- a valid Driver’s Licence issued under a law of the Commonwealth of Australia or an Australian State or Territory;
- a document issued by the Commonwealth of Australia, or a State or Territory of Australia, or by an authority of the Commonwealth of Australia, that identifies the person;
- an Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC) issued by the operator of the aircraft, or the operator of an airport in Australia;
- an Australian university or TAFE photo identification card; or
- an Australian-issued APEC card.
Identification for customers under 18 years of age
Travelling with a parent or guardian:
Children under 18 years of age travelling with a parent or guardian can travel without an acceptable form of ID as long as the parent or guardian has an acceptable form of ID. A Customer Service Agent will endorse the child’s boarding pass with the details of the accompanying adult.
Children under 18 years of age travelling unaccompanied and without an acceptable form of ID can still travel. A Customer Service Agent will escort the child through International departure and arrivals channels.
Note that there are additional requirements for children under 12 years of age travelling unaccompanied. For information on domestic and international travel for unaccompanied minors visit children travelling alone.
Travelling as part of an organised school or community-based group:
Children must be accompanied by a school teacher or adult group leader holding a letter of authority which verifies that the adult has permission to escort the children. The accompanying adult will be responsible for the children at all times. The letter should contain the following information:
- purpose of the trip;
- full names and dates of birth of the accompanying adult(s);
- full names, dates of birth and sex of each children travelling.
For further information visit travelling with children and infants.
A visa is permission for a non-citizen to travel to or transit through a particular country. To find out if you need a visa for travel to a particular country, visit the IATA Travel Centre
Some travellers have special needs or concerns that require specific attention, particularly if air travel is involved. Older travellers, women who are pregnant or people with a chronic condition may be required to carry documentation of their medical requirements. Here are some tips to make sure you have everything covered.
Documentation: All travellers may wish to carry documentation stating basic health information such as blood type and allergies.
Pregnancy: Pregnant women may require a letter from their doctor or midwife stating their expected date of delivery, as international flight is not permitted after 36 weeks by most airlines (or after 32 weeks if you are expecting a multiple birth).
Medical conditions: If you have a medical condition that may require special attention during travel, you may need to provide your airline with a medical certificate. By making your airline aware of your needs, you will ensure your maximum comfort on your journey.
Pacemakers: People who have a pacemaker may be concerned about security checks as pacemakers may be affected by modern screening equipment. All travellers with a pacemaker should carry a letter from their doctor and advise the staff at the airport screening area.
Vaccination: Always carry your vaccination record with you, especially your vaccination certificate for yellow fever. This is required for entry to some overseas countries.
Travelling with medicines: If you require a prescription medicine, you should carry a supply with you (preferably in your hand luggage), along with a letter from your doctor certifying your need for the medicine and any other medical items that may be questioned by customs officials, such as syringes. Because of airline security, large quantities of liquids and sharp objects may have to remain in checked luggage. Make sure that any prescriptions you may need filled overseas are written as generic names: trade names can differ among countries. Where possible carry enough medicines to last the length of your trip as some may not be readily available in other countries.
MedicAlert: Recognisable identification such as a MedicAlert bracelet may be advisable for those with chronic conditions such as diabetes and for those with potentially dangerous allergies. These types of identification are internationally recognised and will ensure you are diagnosed and treated promptly, as well as overcoming any language difficulties in the event of an emergency.
Consult your doctor or healthcare professional if you have any queries about your health on holidays, or queries about documentation you may require.