What is a Domestic Flight? Everything You Need to Know

There often seems to be confusion over whether a flight is still considered a domestic flight if it flies over an ocean or, if in flying between two airports in the same country, the flight overflies another country.

A domestic flight is regarded as being one that starts and ends in the same country, without any stops en-route in another country. If in doing so it needs to fly over another country or an ocean it is still considered a domestic flight.

Read on for more information on what is a domestic flight and for the domestic flights definition.

Are domestic flights short?

Well that depends on how large the country the domestic flight is taking place in is. In a small country a domestic flight can never be very long but in a larger country they can be.

A domestic flight example, in a large country like the US would be a direct flight between Miami and Hawaii which would take approximately 10 hours, so definitely not a short flight.

But equally a domestic flight can be very short. There is a domestic flight in the Scottish islands from one island to another that only takes one minute as it is less than 2 miles from airport to airport!

Can domestic flights overfly another country?

In some situations a flight would still be considered a domestic flight if in getting from its departure to its destination airport, both being in the same country, it overflies another country.

An example of this would be a flight from somewhere in the lower 48 States to Alaska as it would probably fly over Canada to get there, but it would still be classed as a domestic flight.

What is the difference between domestic and international flights?

A domestic flight flies between two airports both of which are within the same country and an international flight is one which leaves one country but lands in another country.

southwest airlines domestic flight

Are flights between the US and Canada considered domestic flights?

Although the US and Canada may be close neighbors any flights between the two will not be classed as domestic but as international. You will have to pass through immigration at some stage in the journey.

It will also be necessary to pass through Customs and declare any items that are required to the customs official..

Which country has the most domestic flights?

Unsurprisingly the US has the most scheduled domestic flights in the world. The FAA estimates that there are around 44,000 domestic flights each day in the US. Source: FAA – Air Traffic By Numbers

The US is a very large country with a huge volume of business travel between cities. In most areas of the US there are few viable alternatives to travel quickly from city to city if the distance is large.

In some other countries there are fast rail links that route from city center to center which can often be quicker than flying (largely because it eliminates the need to travel from a city center to an airport outside the city to catch the flight and then the same journey into the city center at the other end.

Which airline has the most domestic routes?

Although this can vary from time to time, currently American Airlines operates the most domestic routes in the US and has the largest share of the US domestic flight market. However United Airlines and Delta Air Lines are not far behind.

Do you need a passport for a domestic flight?

A passport is not necessary for a domestic flight within the US, although one may be required in some other countries.

In the US, all adults (18 and over) are required to show some form of valid photo identification in order to be allowed to fly on a domestic flight.

These can take the form of a driver’s license, passport (US or foreign), a permanent resident card, US Department of Defense IDs and some others.

For a full list see the Transport Security Agency’s guide – TSA Valid Identification

For the regulations regarding the documentation required for domestic flights in other countries check the relevant countries’ websites. One thing is for sure though a valid passport is always acceptable.

Do you go through customs on a domestic flight?

Since you are not leaving or entering another country on a domestic flight you do not have to go through customs (or immigration).

If you are on the domestic leg of an international flight then you will neeed to. For example if you are on a flight which goes from Washington to London, via New York.

Do you get food on a domestic flight?

Certainly you do get food on long flights. From Miami to Hawaii you would probably have at least two meals but on the one minute flight in the Scottish islands described above I think it is pretty unlikely, unless the cabin crew are extremely efficient and you are a champion fast food eater.

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