Air mail stickers

I am located in the USA. When I send a postcard overseas, I use a global stamp; however, I do not put any of the blue “air mail” stickers on my cards. I notice that people out of USA do put these on their cards when they send to USA. Is this necessary? Am I missing out on a vital step? When I take my postcards into post office with the global stamp affixed, they take it and say “you’re all set!” Thoughts or wisdom on this? Thanks!

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It not necessary to stick the “Air mail” sticker.


Just as a fun fact: for me it can be necessary, as in following the rules of the national mail company PostNL. This is the case when I send out international mail and use stamps which are meant for mail within the Netherlands. The stickers say “priority” nowadays.
Stamps for international mail often have a “priority” piece attached to them.
A photo from yesterday’s outgoing postcards as illustration.


If I’m not wrong, the official airmail stickers are not printed by the USPS anymore. All international mail sent from the US goes by air so there’s no need to use them. You might be able to find old airmail labels at post offices, a US member might be able to tell more.

I do get some mail from the US with airmail stickers. This was from last year.


As far as I heard, mail in some countries is treated “priority”, if the sticker is attached. All long distance mail from Germany (not the neighboring countries, I hope!) is by air mail, so it wouldn’t be necessary on a card from Germany.

So, I put the sticker on the card for any country which is not neighboring. Besides, it’s something nostalgic, reminding me of the days of aerograms (the letters made of very thin blue paper to absolutely minimize weight, used maybe more than 20 years ago).


I’m assuming mail is treated the same either way in Norway, but I have no idea. They still hand out the stickers at the post office, and I’ve never been told I don’t need them, but even if they did tell me that, I would still use them. I just think it looks good, and I’m into snail mail because of the nostalgia, so as long as I can get them I’ll use them.


Your postage adding up to 1.20 is fine. Air mail stickers hace been phased out. Some people still have them.

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In some countries there are two classes of mail for sending within the country. When you send mail to such a country and don’t use the airmail/priority sticker, your postcard is likely to end up in the slower of the two classes. So using the sticker might help to speed up the transport of postcards within the country of the receiver.


Do you know if they still have them at post offices but just don’t give them out? I think I’ll ask mine here in Kentucky for giggles.

I’ve been told that the stickers (or even just writing “PRIORITY”) does help the cards travel faster. Posten’s website also advises marking international mail this way.

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This is a priority sticker from the Austrian post
Letters and postcards are often faster delivered with the blue sticker.

Would someone like to get a landscape postcard with this sticker and a beautiful stamp?

Please let me know vie e-mail or message

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Sure! You can send one to me!

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Yes, you can send an e-Mail to me :grinning:

My mail:

Address removed by moderator. Please use PM for exchanging personal data. Thanks!

I notice that a lot of people ask senders to use “air mail” stickers. Can someone explain this? Does mail these days travel across continents in any way other than by air? I don’t know where I would even get these. I don’t believe the postal service offers them. Will the US Postal Service take my direction on what form of transport they use to get my postcard to its destination? I do understand that 100 years ago when planes were new, this might have been a “thing”. But now?

Any insights into this are much appreciated.

Basically, I think it’s to make sure it is handle the same the entire way to the recipient. In some countries air mail is more expensive, so without it they may send it by land instead.

I see. So the recipient needs me to instruct THEIR postal service how to treat my mail.

Next question: where do I get the stickers? Could I use stickers from another country? The USPS does not issue them.

I believe the USPS used to use airmail stickers 20 years ago, but not anymore. Here is a thread from 8-10 years ago with people discussing it: Does The USPS Offer Airmail Labels? - Page 2 - Stamp Community Forum

My friend received a strip of 2002 airmail stickers from the post office a couple months ago, but you probably wouldn’t be able to find them in most post offices these days since they don’t make them anymore :thinking:

An intended mail recipient in a foreign country wouldn’t be able to instruct their postal service how to treat their incoming mail. The mail would be delivered as a function of the type of postage that was placed on it in the country from which it was sent. And the U.S.P.S. no longer has an “air mail” classification, nor do they have a “special delivery” classification. Regular letter-size mail sent from the U.S. to another country is simply designated as “first class,” which, by definition, travels via air. You can buy air mail stickers in some stationery stores in the U.S. that can be placed on letters as purely decorative items.

Here’s just one example of many of a selection of airmail stickers available from Etsy. (This is a pack of sixty that costs $12.58).

I would prefer that my postcards be delivered by dog sled, pigeon, or horse but I guess if they want to send it by air that’s fine with me.