Chinese passengers can now use only their ID cards when taking domestic flights at some airports, while previously they could use a passport to check in, according to a new rule. It remains unknown whether overseas passengers will also face any limitations on identification documents for check-in, state-run Global Times reported. The new security rule was introduced yesterday without notice at several airports. According to customer service employees at airports that have adopted the rule, including Shanghai Hongqiao and Guangzhou Baiyun international airports, the practice started on May 8 and is a result of new guidelines from the Civil Aviation Administration of China. Chinese passengers who take flights using passport numbers or transit in mainland cities are also required to check in with their ID cards for domestic flights. However, customer service employees at Shanghai Pudong and Beijing capital international airports said Chinese passengers could still travel on domestic flights with passports, as they had not received any orders to the contrary.
“We strongly suggest people carry their ID cards if they plan to travel with their passports because the new rule may come into effect soon,” a security officer at Shanghai Pudong International Airport said yesterday. The new rule has been questioned by many passengers, especially those who are living or studying overseas or transiting to overseas destinations via mainland cities. A student from Chengdu, Sichuan Province, told the Global Times that his ID card went missing when he was studying in Germany and now he has to take a direct flight or transfer from overseas cities, instead of transferring in other domestic cities as he used to do.
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“Many students, including me, usually leave our Chinese ID cards at home because they are no use in the US and we can board domestic flights in China with our passports,” said Li Ye, who is studying in New York.
“Many of my friends have decided to fly directly or stop over in foreign cities to bypass the new rule,” she said.
Some netizens noted that the new rule can prevent criminals from fleeing by flights, as many of them use fake passports to check out.