Travel Question: Do I need to provide my personal data before checking in at the airport?

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Holiday companies make it sound as though providing your API well ahead of schedule is essential
Holiday companies make it sound as though providing your API well ahead of schedule is essential

Q We booked an all-inclusive holiday with a leading tour operator and are booked to fly out on 25 June. The firm offers no way of inputting API details online. Our booking reference for this simply does not work. I have phoned, emailed and tweeted and the company won’t give us any advice. With less than a week before we fly, have you got any advice for us?

Sarah B

A Advance passenger information (API) is personal data – name, gender, date of birth, passport details – about every passenger on a particular flight, which is sent to the destination country to let them know who is on their way. I have my doubts about whether most countries do anything at all with the information – except in the case of the United States, which demands data in advance so it can be checked against terrorist “watch lists”. This can even apply to passengers whose planes will fly over US airspace, for example en route to Canada or Mexico.

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