33 Arrested At Singapore Changi For Deliberately Missing Flights

For all its efficiency, cleanliness, great hotels, and a stunning airport, Singapore is not a nation that suffers fools gladly. Such fools include those willing to fork out for an airline ticket just to get inside the fabulous Changi Airport. As such, it seems local law enforcement has been flexing its muscles to stop this poor practice in its tracks.

Changi wants you to keep your fond farewells strictly landside. Photo: Singapore Airlines

FlyerTalk is reporting that people are getting arrested at Changi for buying tickets and going into the transit area with no intention of flying. The report cites the example of a man who wanted to share a little last-minute quality time with the outbound love of his life.  

According to the FlyerTalk report, a 27-year-old man bought a ticket and got himself a boarding pass so he could enter the secure transit area because his wife was leaving town and he wanted to maximize his ”face-time.” 

He had no intention of going anywhere. Just as well, because the police arrested him.

Not an isolated incident

It turns out that as many as 33 people have been arrested so far this year for doing the exact same thing. Although, not all of them were following their heart. 

Changi Airport is the perfect venue to stalk South Korean boy bands. Photo: Shankar s. via Flickr.

The Straits Times elaborates on some of the reasons why people are doing this. Apparently, one 20-year-old lady pulled the same trick in order to get into the transit area to meet members of a South Korean boy band. Another non-passenger just wanted to go shopping in the fantastic surrounds of the modern airport complex.

Totally illegal

In a Facebook statement, Singapore Police said;

“The Police would like to remind all passengers that the transit areas of Changi Airport are gazetted as Protected Places. Passengers who enter the transit areas with a boarding pass should only be there for the purpose of travelling to their next destinations. Those who misuse their boarding pass to enter into the transit areas, with no intention to proceed to their next destinations, are liable for an offence under the Infrastructure Protection Act.”

According to reports, perpetrators of this odd practice could put themselves at risk of a fine of up to SGD$20,000 or two years in prison.

Saying goodbye at the self serve check-in kiosks just isn’t the same. Photo: George Tan via Flickr.

Apparently, this trend is on the uptick. Over the whole of 2018, only 40 got arrested for “misusing their boarding pass”. With four months of 2019 to go, 33 people have already been arrested, suggesting the final number could be much higher.

While it’s certainly very romantic to want to spend every last second with your spouse, or indeed to invest in a plane ticket in order to hunt down your pop idol, venturing airside with no intention to fly is clearly a bad idea. Not only would it cause problems for airlines, having passengers booked who end up being no-shows, it will present security concerns for the airport too.

Do you think Changi is right to be clamping down on this sort of activity? Let us know in the comments.