No ID? You can still fly
12/30/2006|12:58:00 PM|Travelmole

The general assumption is that losing your photo ID grounds you, correct?

But travel writer Laurie Berger found that is not the case.

"Much to my surprise, I recently boarded a flight to New York while my driver´s license stayed home," she said.

She found she had lost her license while checking in with a skycap. She had left it at home.

"The Transportation Security Administration doesn´t advertise it. And few travelers know about it. But it´s possible to fly domestically, even if your ID is lost, stolen, expired or forgotten. You´ll just have to through additional security," she wrote.

TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said:"Most people think if they don´t have ID we won´t let them fly. We recognize that travelers often have wallets stolen or lose their belongings in tsunamis in Thailand."

Although federal law requires passengers 18 and older to present a government-issued picture ID, TSA and the airlines will make exceptions for passengers who have become separated from their identification.

"But the extra inspection could add another hour to the curb-to-gate trip, making for some close calls during the holiday season. (I almost missed my plane.) And there´s no guarantee your trip will be hassle-free on the other end," wrote Ms Berger.

"As a ´selectee,´ or high-risk passenger, I embarked on a journey to the gate that got longer and grew more touchy feely," she wrote.

Although TSA won´t divulge actual numbers, the LAX screener assigned to the writer´s secondary once-over wagered that about one in 10 fliers shows up without credentials.