While most folks buy a plane ticket with the intention to board a flight, Singapore has been dealing with a unique problem: passengers not intending to travel.
The world’s best airport has been dealing with a problem of paying customers who use boarding passes to access the transit areas of Changi Airport without the intention to board the flight. Among the reasons some folks will do it are to catch their favorite pop stars, purchase something from the duty free area, hang out at the airports’ lounges, or to spend more time with family and friends. While it doesn’t seem harmful, it has raised the ire of Singapore’s police and airlines. Singapore’s police reported there were 40 incidents that were dealt with in 2018.
The Singapore Police Force released a public advisory on social media after a 38 year old woman was arrested for misusing her boarding pass while at the transit area at Changi Airport.
"Investigations revealed that the woman had entered the transit area to exchange an item, which her sister had bought from a shop in the transit area. She had no intention to depart Singapore," the police said.
Singapore has one of the most stringent policies when it comes to travelers who no-show for their flights. If a customer has been determined to purchase tickets without the intention to travel, the offfender/s can be prosecuted, imprisoned for up to 2 years and/or fined SGD $20000 (USD $14715). Since travelers have to clear through immigration to access the transit area, it can be considered an immigration issue. Passengers who “no show” are usually reported to airport police.
In the Facebook post, the Singapore Police emphasized that those entering transit areas with a boarding pass "should only be there for the purpose of travelling to their next destinations".