Prior to 1996, there was no requirement to present an ID to board a plane. The policy was put into place to show the government was “doing something” about the crash of TWA Flight 800.

When Did the Government Start Requiring IDs to Fly.. and Why Did They Do It?

Airlines long wanted to eliminate the secondary market in airline tickets, in order to enforce their revenue management strategies. If customers could buy and resell tickets, that makes it impossible for airlines to price discriminate between leisure travelers buying tickets far in advance and less price sensitive business travelers buying close to departure.

An airline can’t very well sell cheap early and expensive close-in if customers could buy those same tickets cheaply in advance and then resell them to other customers at a profit — while still undercutting an airline’s price — close to to departure.

As a result airlines have long wanted requirements for passengers to have to show ID in order to use airline tickets, in order to… Continue Reading