Man Arrested In Singapore For Using Boarding Pass To Escort Wife To Plane

Filed Under: Media

There have been a lot of stories over the years about people abusing refundable tickets to visit lounges, gain access to airport facilities or restaurants, etc.

Well, this week’s story from Singapore should make anyone not planning to travel on a purchased ticket through Changi think twice.

A 27 year-old man purchased a ticket to escort his wife to her plane. But things didn’t go as he planned because he was arrested for using his boarding pass to access the terminal without the intention of flying. Turns out he broke a law specific to Changi where police consider the transit area a “Protected Place” for passengers only.

The remarkable thing is this isn’t an isolated event. The Singapore Police Force reports he is the 33rd person to be arrested for “misuse of boarding passes” this year alone.

The full police advisory is below:

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. The offender may be prosecuted in Court and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $20,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both.

So, as tempting as it might be to go see the new terminal in Singapore, just make sure you do it as a passenger with actual plans to travel.

  1. Singapore is unique in that all flights are international. This is not an issue in the United States. I have no moral issue with purchasing a refundable ticket to get airside or to take advantage of TSA Precheck if flying on a non Pre Check airline, but would never do this to access a lounge.

  2. Why did she need escorting to the plane? Was it a cultural or religious issue? Health issues? Fidelity issues?
    The law is the law, of course. Breaking it in Spore is always a dumb move.

  3. Excellent deterrent for system abusers! that’s why they have an impeccable country, it all begun with death penalty for corrupts, then the well implemented caning for all offenses. There was a case I remember of a young American who vandalized a car, he received the respective caning for the minor offense (just a few ones) and the uproar of the left of America begun super fast!.. Just simple common sense needed (something that the left lacks big time), the Singapore authorities made clear that the in Singapore they apply their laws. Period.

    Good luck for them they don’t have the equivalent of the unhinged leftists in America that defend the law breakers in all contexts. Just for the sake of votes and power.

  4. BBK you sound pretty uneducated, you should work on bettering yourself so you don’t give political sermons about a declining country on a travel website.

  5. I noticed the signs when I was there earlier this year. Singapore way over exceeded my expectations, but I also got a weird vibe there that I had better not do anything out of line. Also, I am a very law abiding and conservative person so it isn’t like I was likely to do so.

  6. BBK

    You are somebody that I don’t know
    But you’re takin’ shots at me like it’s Patrón
    And I’m just like, damn, it’s 7 AM
    Say it in the street, that’s a knock-out
    But you say it in a Tweet, that’s a cop-out
    And I’m just like, “Hey, are you okay?

    From Taylor, to you 🙂

  7. How are said people caught, upon having to reclear Immigration when there is no arriving flight and after clearing Immigration only hours earlier?

  8. Isn’t this what that Justin Ross Lee guy does to access airport lounges?

    Also, couldn’t the man in Singapore just make up an excuse that he could no longer take the flight?

  9. There’s a big sign with red letters telling you this is arrestable offense and its happened 30+ times before this dolt…Play stupid games, win stupid prizes!

  10. @EthFlyer I am curious. What exactly makes you think that Singapore is a “declining” country? The fact that it has the 3rd/4th highest GDP per capita in the world or them being one of the safest countries in the world (well ahead of the States)?

  11. @Ryan Singapore is not unique in having a sterile international departure zone. It’s the US that’s in the minority.

  12. @BBK

    What you describe can exactly refer to Singapore or North Korea, go figure.

    Singapore (and DPRK) is what it is today because it’s people. It has few enough population that propaganda does work.
    You gain (abuse) power through economy you get the Lee dynasty.
    You abuse (gain) power through military you get the Kim dynasty.

    HK kids should be happy, they won’t get freedom to go around causing havoc if they were in Singapore. Figure this, Operation Coldstore never existed in school textbooks but someone got abducted overnight.
    LOL, It’s 10 PM. Do you know where your children are!!!!!
    Dare to add oil again HK??

  13. I remember the case that happened in 1993 or 1994 while I lived in Kuwait at the time. The offender received 50 lashes and his family left Singapore after he received the punishment and was released from jail. Singapore and Hong Kong are competitive rivals in international banking, technology and integrity. But Singapore will be unbeatable in near future now that HK is under China rule. Back in the 1960s, Lee Kwan Yew was widely known for rejecting American bribe of $3.3M by lecturing them not to understand Singaporean they dealt with. The amazing thing that you do not see in Singapore is racial and religious violence or conflict take place when it has many competing and rivalry ethnic and religious groups. It has a robust economy without having any natural resources. Human resources, especially the leadership, dictate the future and destiny of the country.

  14. Having lived in Singapore for an extended period, I can assure you that the country isn’t declining. They do have very strict laws, and that is part of the reason the standard of living is so high. They have paid a price for this culturally, but that’s a separate discussion.
    As this post pointed out, this rule (like most others in Singapore) is clearly visible, so there’s really no excuse

  15. @Grant +1

    Second stinker from Mike this week. This is essentially a rewrite of articles that circulated earlier this week.

  16. This seems fairly straight forward to me. If a passenger clears security but doesn’t board then ‘where did he go’ Did he check in luggage? In today’s paranoid security environment checks would have to be made, maybe the plane delayed, gate blocked at airport, pilots go out if time etc

  17. @paul as arrivals are separated and a sterile area I suspect this is where he encountered the issue once he asked staff how to return. He would also need a passport and have been imagine questioned at immigration as to where he travelled from

  18. @eskimo

    So Singapore and North Korea are the same, heh? You sure make a lot of noise/comments in these threads, but something tells me you haven’t travelled very much abroad. If you’ve even been on a plane before?

    PS. Yes. I have been to both N.K. and Singapore. No comparison.

  19. “I have no moral issue with purchasing a refundable ticket to get airside or to take advantage of TSA Precheck if flying on a non Pre Check airline, but would never do this to access a lounge.”

    Good to see your moral compass is inconsistent. Abusing the system is still abusing the system, regardless of the purpose of the abuse.

  20. @globetrotter

    Singapore might not have China breathing down it’s neck like Hong Kong, but one flaw it has is it’s success depends on how the ruling family acts. Future rulers might not be the most competent…

  21. I know in HKG they also have signs up now. This stemmed from a bunch of (predominantly) teenage girls actually!

    So obsessive are they towards their ‘K-pop’ idols they would buy fully flexible tickets to get airside and as close as possible to the bad members when departing HKG airport. They go a step closer and actually BOARD the flights with a business class boarding pass before getting as close as possible to the band members then say they want to get off the plane and btw i’ll have a refund please.

  22. @ Icarus- actually at Changi, arrivals and departures are commingled, with the security at the gate. Makes for very fast transfers and more shopping, which is why they did it. But it’s not as secure- transit passengers can pass things to each other- so Terminal 4 has a sterile arrivals zone now.

    Mike- when you say “the new terminal”, I’d guess you are referring to Changi Jewel? That is all landslide- it’s basically a mall at the airport.

    How do they know you didn’t catch a flight? Simple- immigration is connected to emigration- when they scan your passport on arrival, they know the last time you left Singapore.

    I know this because I once went through emigration, got to the lounge only to realize that I had left my roller bag landslide! I quickly ran to immigration, and the woman knew when she scanned my passport that I had just gone through emmigration 15 minutes ago. I explained about the lost bag, she cautioned me to watch my stuff more carefully (“low crime does not mean no crime!”) and I did a round trip back to the lounge in about 25 minutes. Do not try this at a US airport!

    @Julia- actually, Singapore is a representative democracy, where everyone has to vote- there’s a fine if you do not do so, and they declare a public holiday. So there’s no hereditary inheritance, though the current Prime Minister is Lee Kwan Yew’s son.

    Yes, there’s gerrymandering, defamation laws and a bunch of chilling legislation that helps the PAP stay in power. But it is a democracy, and if they do a bad job and alienate a significant majority of the population, they are out.

  23. @Julia, if you are doing it to access a lounge and refund the ticket, you are stealing. Doing it to access PreCheck is only taking advantage of something that I paid for and you should have on every flight, regardless of the airline. All it does is prove the stupidity of the current system which relies on the airlines to provide TSA the information it needs to make the PreCheck determination.

  24. @Icarus That isn’t the case at Changi actually – he would have needed a passport and boarding pass to clear immigration in order to enter the departure area (in which both arriving and departing passengers mix). He was most probably pulled up when trying to exit immigration on an unused ticket, with no supporting evidence of trip exigencies/cancellations.

  25. @John

    I’ve been to enough places to see how cleaver governments are to brainwash or cover up against their citizens. Some governments are more open, many are more discreet. Unfortunately, traveling a lot does not reflect the person’s wisdom or ablity to digest written statements. Otherwise we would have world leaders with 10 million miles or only scientists who’ve been to 190+ countries. (Tip of the hat to those two groups)

    Now if you read my post again. I never said Singapore is the same as any country, as any educated person basically understand that no country could be identical. I am referring to @BBK’s post which could also describe DPRK. No country is perfect, but some are doing a better job at hiding skeletons than others.

    Just think if Hitler won the war how would textbooks today be like. If Chiang Kai-shek defeated Mao, what would they teach you in school.

    If Singapore has the size and population of Texas, it won’t be able to be what it is now. You can’t mess with Texas, but you can get guns, lol.
    But then again, I didn’t even care to comment on what Singapore is doing on their domestic matter. No one was dumb enough to close Changi.

    I do have to give credit to LKY, he did what it takes to put the land of Temasek on the map and succeeded.

    P.S. Next time, don’t trust your something that tells you. It’s completely wrong. 🙂
    P.S.2 If you win the war, you are always legitimate.

  26. @Eskimo You have been well and truly triggered. And what does North Korea have to do with a airport incident in Singapore anyway?? Nothing.

  27. @Kai true, but Singapore is unique in that it only has international flights, and, as such, anytime you go airside you are crossing an international border. There are other countries like that too (Brunei and Qatar quickly come to mind). My point is that Singapore’s law is reasonable when you consider that all the flights are international. A similar law in the United States would, to me, be unreasonable.

  28. If the guy arrested is Singaporean, he should know better or was up to something. And seriously, who does such a thing post 9/11?

  29. Blows my mind how some people would even go through all the trouble of buying a refundable ticket just to go airside in any airport.

  30. Almost four times a month someone access secured area without intention to fly. It feels like Singaporean government has not done good enough job to tell its citizens that this act is illegal or the punishment isn’t severe and public enough to deter people. Given singaporeans are quite law abiding, I have to guess most people are unaware it is against the law to access secure area without intention to fly in Changi airport. I know they probably have big signs everywhere but I know personally I rarely read signs in airports as I just assume those are advertisements.

  31. Few things:

    There is no “new” terminal at Changi. Jewel is a mall within the airport perimeter (no gates).

    There is abundant signage at check-in counters advising re: penalties for boarding pass abuse. It wouldn’t occur to me to play this game (or any game) in SG. Fair warning is granted for those who are less inhibited.

    Source: personal travels to SG (2x/previous 90 days).

  32. He could’ve just used the throwaway ticket money and spent it on Singapore VIP escort service to have his wife escorted to the plane…..

  33. I simply don’t understand why this is an issue. Why would the airport/police give a sh*t if you buy a refundable ticket with no intention to fly? I get why the airline would if you’re abusing the lounge – but what security risk did this guy pose? Absolutely none.

    A rule in search of a problem from an authoritarian government, nothing more to see here.

  34. @Julia — “Singapore might not have China breathing down it’s neck like Hong Kong, but one flaw it has is it’s success depends on how the ruling family acts. Future rulers might not be the most competent”

    Interesting that a benevolent “monarchy” (eg, Singapore) can be more efficient and beneficial to its populace than a broken “democracy” that relies on its mostly inadequately educated populace to vote in too many corrupt and incompetent career politicians (eg, too many western countries)? 😛

  35. Good to see the usual far-right American crazies with the by-rote frothing hot-takes. Why are so many Americans so demented? Truly the refuse of the human race, these rabid dogs with their false-piety and selective moral outrage.

  36. @EBWaa — “Good to see the usual far-right American crazies with the by-rote frothing hot-takes. Why are so many Americans so demented? Truly the refuse of the human race, these rabid dogs with their false-piety and selective moral outrage.

    Can you be more specific about what, exactly, you’re obviously triggered by? Wholesale generic accusations like yours are much too nebulous and ambiguous to be meaningful?

  37. @billc he means most trump supporters. There are many wonderful highly educated Americans. It’s a great country. However as soon as anyone mentions such things as universal healthcare many see it as some sort of communist plot Service workers are badly paid and treated often having to hold down multiple jobs Minimum holiday. No sick pay. No maternity leave. Many states allow discrimination of on religious grounds
    Anyhow that’s enough as this is a travel forum

  38. People should be more clever if they do this. They should say they felt sick and decided not to fly or make up some excuse like that.

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