Sunday, June 17, 2007

Advance passenger information: information for air travellers between the UK and Spain

This is very new and will affect many of us this year so it is important you are aware of it. At the moment it only affects you if you are going to Spain but it is to be brought in for the whole of Europe later this year!

Advance passenger information: information for air travellers between the UK and Spain

What is happening?

The Spanish Government have introduced new requirements meaning that air carriers have to provide certain personal information about all travellers on their aircraft to the Spanish authorities before the aircraft leaves the UK. This information is sometimes known as 'advance passenger information' ('API' or 'APIS' data)
When do the requirements come into force?

You can expect to be asked to provide this information any time. However, the full API regime will come into force from 19 June.
What information will be sent?

They will need the information contained on the photograph page of your passport - such as your full name, date and place of birth and passport number.
What will this information be used for?

The Spanish authorities will use the information for law enforcement purposes.
How will the data be collected?

The data will be collected either at the airport, when you check in, or in advance, usually when you make your booking. It will help to speed up the check in process if you provide your data before you arrive at the airport.
What if I have already made a booking?

Some carriers have made arrangements to collect your data in advance via a special web site. Please check with your carrier for full details. We strongly recommend you provide your API data on-line before you arrive at the airport, wherever possible. This will help to speed the check in process for you and other passengers.
Can I expect disruption at airports?

There may be some disruption at airports. If you are travelling to Spain, from the 19 June, you are advised to allow extra time to check in for your flight.

I am not a UK passport holder. Does this apply to me?

Yes. This will apply to all passengers leaving the UK and travelling to Spain, regardless of nationality.
I recently travelled from continental Europe to Spain and was not asked for this information. Why was that?

The requirement to provide API data does not apply to flights departing from countries within the Schengen free travel area. The countries within the Schengen free travel area are: Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Austria, Greece, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden.
What if I don't want to provide this information? Will I be allowed to travel?

Your air carrier is legally required to provide this information to the Spanish authorities. If you refuse to give this information the airline may refuse to allow you to travel.

More information can be found here

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