I am living in Italy with a residence permit renewable permit.
I was flying from Italy to Austria last month for a short weekend trip. At that time my permit was near expiry. Four days remaining to be exact.
There is no immigration control when travelling inside the Schengen area, so this happened at the boarding gate when providing ID proof to the airport staff (not immigration staff).
The airport staff at the counter saw that my permit was near expiry and asked me when I was returning, to which I stated Monday. Then she asked me for my return flight ticket.
At the time, I thought nothing of it. But later when I recounted the incident to my colleagues they asked why did I even show my return ticket, because they are not immigration officers and cannot ask for such proof.
Therefore I pose the question here, am I legally obligated to provide such proof to non border control personnel? If so, why?
My logic for "no" is if I wanted to remain outside my country of residence beyond my date of return, it doesn't matter if the expiry is three days or months from my date of travel.
My logic for "yes" is Why create a hassle?