Airmail stickers

hi, i would like to ask a question about airmail stickers. I’ve been waiting for at least 40 days for an envelope from Australia. I recently found out that the sender did not use post office postage but used Australian stamps without the airmail sticker. can this be a reason for the delay?
thanks to those who answer me


No that shouldn’t be a problem. Australia Post isn’t giving out Airmail stickers anymore. All envelopes go Airmail anyway which is why they decided not to use them. So no I don’t think that’s the reason. I still like to use airmail stickers and fortunately my local post office gave me a huge pile.

I hope it arrives soon for you.


thanks for the clear answer, envelopes in Australia can only be sent from post offices even using normal postage stamps? Does the office clerk check the postage before accepting mail to be sent?

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Mail from Australia to Europe is still a bit slower than usual at the moment and they arrive in batches.


Mail from Australia takes a long time, especially now with the pandemic. Mail relies on airplanes flying & air traffic is still 40% below normal levels, so that’s a lot of mail not being able to move.

Most postal systems are slower as well with having to take COVID-19 precautions & dealing with significantly increased volumes from online shopping and now at this time of year extra holiday volumes.

Mail to Canada from Australia takes anywhere from 4 to 9 weeks and we’re halfway between Australia & Italy.

We just need to be patient with the delays in these systems.


yes i understand this, just was curious to know if airmail sticker change something or not

generally i noticed around 3 weeks for to reach Italy last times, for this i was surprised that didnt deliver after 40 days


Interesting. German Post also sends all letter mail (which includes postcards) by airmail only (or so they claim - delivery times of more than a month to Russia and mainland China prior to the COVID-19 pandemic make me wonder…), however German Post strongly suggests the use of the airmail/priority sticker on all foreign mail due to differences in the recipient countries. Many countries have different-speed domestic mail (fast post/slow post, A post/B post, priority/non-priority or whatever they may be called) with different postage rates. Cards without the airmail/priority sticker end up in the slow mail, and those with the airmail/priority go to the fast mail. Therefore the airmail sticker may reduce the delivery time by a week or more just by speeding it up inside the destination country. I’m not sure about Italy (I did see Italian stamps with attached priority label, but they were for international mail, so I can’t draw conclusions for Italian domestic mail), I know for sure that Belgium and Switzerland distinguish between slow and fast post. Germany, by the way, does only have one speed - once the mail reaches Germany and clears customs, it usually arrives at the addressee on the next day (though COVID-19 and also the additional Christmas mail currently can cause an additional day).

Bottom line: Unless you know for sure that your destination country only has fast mail, always use an airmail/priority sticker!

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That is interesting, I have always been told by the post that our local priority sticker is only valid for the domestic part and the mail companies in other countries do not pay any attention to it.

Our domestic mail has two speeds but the international only one since September 1st. I sent several cards without the priority sticker since the change was introduced and all were delivered in what I would consider normal-for-priority-during-covid time.

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Technically that is correct, but I know from personal experience that foreign postal administrations often do pay attention to these priority stickers. I think that mainly happens automatically by their sorting machines - if there’s a blue sticker, the item goes to the fast track, otherwise to the slow track. Recent example to Switzerland: For the sake of test, I mailed two letters to a friend in Switzerland, dropped at the same time into the same mailbox, one with the German airmail/priority sticker, the other without. The letter with the German airmail/priority sticker arrived within 3 days (actually 2 due to the weekend, I mailed them on a Friday and it arrived on Monday), the one without sticker arrived after 10 days. There is, of course, the possibility that something untoward happened to the letter without sticker (one item per group isn’t enough for statistical analysis), but the time difference of one week is quite significant…

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i would like to update, the envelope arrived today, with normal australian postage stamps and without airmail sticker. it was sent out on October 26th, so it took a month and a half compared to other times when shipping included the “airmail” sticker. with the adhesive the maximum time, for my experience, is 3 weeks.

You Go to a better Post Office than me…to me they always say there would be no need. And they don’t even give me Airmail stickers even when i buy stamps für 50€ or 80€…even when i say i would please Like some. I tried to explain that they have 1st class and 2nd class in other countries and i would Like my Mail to travel fast there too. She didn’t understand…once one Said i could come with my Mail and she puts The Airmail sticker on, but outside Europe only. I don’t want to stand in line again when i want to Mail my Mail…
Well, i think too Airmail stickers are good for most countries. (Even though i don’t want to think that The Mail people don’t know their job well)
Like explained by shugal it can be The other countries having differences and less plane capacity. i could imagine they might sort in some countries (with or without Airmail)

Some time ago I bought some coils of 100 airmail stickers from eBay. I don’t know if it is allowed to sell them as they are normally for free but I got so fed up with standing in line at the post office and discussing with the clerk just to get 5 stickers and beeing shooed out afterwards.

Prior to that I had used the priority stickers from Postallove.

I wasn’t quoting some post officer but the official communication of German Post (link downloads PDF brochure in German). “Leistungen und Preise” from 01-Jul-2020 (the thick brochure, not the thin short version) states on page 15 very clearly: “For a faster international delivery please always mark letters and postcards with the Prioryty sticker.” (screenshot below). Every post office must have at least one of these brochures for internal reference, so your reluctant clerk can check herself. :wink: Is she at a real post office, or is it inside a store? There store clerks with some additional training work, they often don’t know all the regulations.

Only 100 stickers per coil? Are these the old gummed (not self-adhesive) ones? If so, I’m interested. The current official self-adhesive stickers are on 250 sticker coils. Generally speaking, private customers get their priority stickers for free in “usual amounts”. You may be unlucky with a avaricious post officer, I have no issues getting 20 or 30 at a time. For commercial customers priority stickers are not free - they can be bought in the online store for 1.16 Euro per coil of 250 stickers (note: with the re-increase of value-added tax the price will increase to 1.19 Euro on 01-Jan-2021).

…yes, The inside a Store Version. But she Has Been there “forever”. Also at The “real” Post Office i Had Problems. Now those i Go to turned to Postbank and they, when i ask a simple question, they Say freely “i don’t have to know. This is a Postbank now”…

I will look For that brochure! Thank you!!!

It could have also been coils of 250 stickers (self-adhesive ones). I don’t know anymore. But what I know is that I paid to much compared to the 1,19 Euro in the online store (I didn’t know that they are available there).
The clerks of almost all nearby post offices or post counters are extremely unfriendly and make me feel like I’m bothering them. It seems that they really hate their job and the customers in particular.

In Switzerland the post office allows you to order them from their website for free, with free delivery. I usually get a couple of hundred at a time, it makes it so much easier.

I did buy a “Par avion” rubber stamp too, which I should remember to use more often…

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If a country sends a dispatch of mail to another country, the whole dispatch is labelled priority or non-priority. The recipient country should handle incoming mail accordingly, i.e. put the priority mail into their first class mail stream. Given the variety of air mail / priority stickers, rubber stamps or hand-written versions, I don’t think machines can handle that. The priority indication can perhaps some effect in very large countries or when mail has to redirected, but in my experience in sending mail (with priority and always with a label and/or rubber stamp, mail can take a long time even with the label.