Why are passports checked at the check-in counter, Immigration and even at the gate?

  • I was wondering, why there are passport checks at the check-in counter, Immigration and even at the gate?

    For example, I was at Istanbul flying to either UK or US. There's a security check at the check-in counter asking a bunch of questions about my immigration status - even more than the Immigration officer at the border. Also, at the gate, there's also Security officer checking my immigration status and passport asking the same questions.

    I thought that would be the responsibility of an Immigration officer rather than some third party company?

    The thing I'm curious the most is they don't even know which countries this passport can go to with or without visa. They have to go back to the counter and check with the system which takes a long time. I was wondering why they hire these kind of companies to slow down the process?

    I think you would be hard pressed to find someone who can, off the top of their head, recite every country that can be visited by every passport out there. Of course they will have to look some of them up.

    "Ours not to reason why, ours but to do and die." Some things in life just don't make any sense.

  • Correct answer

    7 years ago

    Passports are your ID when traveling globally. Driver licenses and national IDs are not always accepted as a form of ID in many countries. As such everyone who needs to verify your identification will ask to see your passport.

    For flights to the USA, there is often several layers of security employed. The first is a security check before you reach the check in counter, with a number of questions regarding destination, what you might be carrying etc. They will check your passport.

    When you check in for the flight, the airline will need to document your identity (via your passport) and also if you have the proper visas or permissions to enter the country, as the airline will be fined if they knowingly board you without proper documents.

    Departing Immigration is only concerned about your visit to their country, they could care less if you are permitted to enter the next destination.

    At the gate, another layer of the US imposed security will again check your passport, boarding pass and sometimes even look through your carry on bags. They may also ask if you have the necessary documentation to enter the country. Why this last security check ... because you could give your boarding pass to someone else after you have checked in, someone who has less than desirable ideas in mind.

    And as I mentioned in my comment, it is impossible for any of these people to know all the rules for all the passports that might be presented. Too many rules and exceptions.

    You mean that immigration could NOT care less about your next destination...

    On departure, it's called emigration.

    @ChrisMelville Datapoint: The expression "could care less", while not Queen's English [tm], is very commonly used to mean "could not care less". potential ambiguity is almost always resolved by context - eg in this case the sense is entirely clear. NB: I'm neither condoning nor this "modern usage" - just noting it.

    @RussellMcMahon Very commonly used? "Could of" is also commonly used. That doesn't mean it should be encouraged,

    @ChrisMelville Prior to seeing your last comment I looked at Google NGrams for could and couldn't care less - with interesting results between UK & US English . See eg this

    @ChrisMelville re "Should be encouraged" -> As I said, ... neither / nor ... . | You may be surprised (or not) at how long "could of" has been in common usage. Here are NGrams for "could have done" & "I could of done" (the done being used to exclude more proper usage such ...

    @ChrisMelville ... as " ... I resolved to pull every thing to pieces that I could of the ship..." Robinson Crusoe shows that people have been "could of ing" without our encouragement auld lang syne :-).

    "Could care less" means *exactly the opposite* of "could not care less". You can Ngram all you like - but the fact remains that without a certain standard of logic, language becomes meaningless.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM