Pseudo-travellers Arrested at Changi Airport Transit Area

Pseudo-passengers with a valid boarding pass enter the transit area in Changi Airport but not with the intention to fly.

Singapore Changi Airport is one of the few mega airports in the world where departing and arriving passengers rub shoulders. Unlike the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, or the Tullamarine international airport in Melbourne, incoming and outgoing passengers do not cross paths because pre-boarding security checks are done just after immigration.

But when pre-departure security checks are done at the gates, this sort of airport layout – similar to many mega airports like the Kuala Lumpur international airport as well as the Schipol in Amsterdam – actually allows incoming and outgoing passengers to mingle around the transit areas together.

Changi Airport Jewel
Changi Airport Jewel

In the first half of this year alone, Changi Airport has arrested 59 people for misusing their boarding passes. This was nearly a three-fold increase from 22 in 2015. These pseudo-travellers buy their tickets from budget carriers which can cost as low as $40 so as to gain access to the transit area with no intention of departing Singapore. Their reasons for doing so was to

catch a glimpse of their idols or beat the queues to get the latest launch products, like the iPhone 7


to spend more time with a family member or friend leaving Singapore.

Unfortunately, entering the transit area in Changi Airport with no intention of departing the country is illegal.

According to the Straits Times, all “no show” cases – including passengers who have checked in and have been issued boarding passes, yet do not show up for their flights – are reported to the airport police.

However, airlines do not consider a passenger “no show” a security threat after a boarding pass is issued despite the misuse of boarding passes warrants a police investigation. The penalties, if convicted, is a jail term up to two years or a fine of $1,000 or both.


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