Advance Passenger Information is a requirement of several countries around the world to tighten-up who travels to their country. Passengers are required to provide a variety of information if flying to:
The exact information required will vary depending on the country, but it will generally include:
Several UK based airlines, including Easyjet collect this information automatically if you book online. For other airlines, the information will need to be completed PRIOR to travel. When, for example, flying to the USA, you can often see passengers completing the long green visa waiver forms. With API (Advance Passenger Information) in place, you will need to provide the information before you get to the airport.
From 19th June 2007, airlines have had to provide Advance Passenger Information for flights to Spain from the UK, and since October 2005 UK airlines have had to provide the information to US authorities before flights depart.
Travellers flying to the USA now need to obtain an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) if travelling under the Visa Waver Program at least 72 hours before you depart.
The data is collected by the authorities of each country and used for law enforcement purposes. In the US, the information is checked against the FBI National Crime Information Centre to identify any wanted persons.
We strongly advise that in order to make your trip as problem free as possible, that you provide all information accurately and for all passengers in your party (infants are excluded).
If you refuse to provide the information, the airline may refuse you travel to the country - depending on which one it is. It is also extremely likely that even if the airline was to allow you to travel, that you would not gain access to the country at the other end.
Yes, there will be an element of disruption as people will either have forgotten to provide it, or expect to provide it at the airport - which will inevitably cause the check in process to be slower.