A romantic gesture cost a husband dearly – in fact, more than he had bargained for. The 27-year-old man, a devoted husband, only wished to say goodbye to his wife. He accompanied his partner into the transit area, all the way to the departure gate, even though he had no intention of boarding the flight. So why did he pull off such a feat? Turns out it was simply because he wanted to spend every possible moment with her before she travelled.
The man now faces jail and a hefty fine for not travelling. While this is a story that would impress some, the authorities at Changi International Airport, Singapore, were anything but impressed. The man was later arrested by the Singapore Police Force.
The authorities have warned people not to try something like this, or they would be detained. The police too put up a Facebook post that 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 destination.”
The Changi police put up a reminder on Facebook that said: “A friendly reminder to not misuse your boarding pass! You should only use it for the purpose of travelling to your next destination.”
What’s the big deal?
It is an offence to misuse a boarding pass, according to Singaporean law. If a person goes anywhere beyond the gates without intending to travel, they could be fined S$20,000 or charged with imprisonment for two years.
Singapore’s Infrastructure Protection Act
According to Singaporean regulations, this is a part of the nation’s counter-terrorism network. The law has been in force since October 2, 2017. However, people have been arrested for misusing boarding passes since 2015.
The airport bears several signposts that let passengers know that going into the airport without an intention to travel is considered a violation.
The problem of misused boarding passes in Singapore
Since the beginning of this year, 33 persons have been arrested by the Singapore police for misusing boarding passes. In March this year, a woman from Macau allegedly entered the airport’s transit area to get a tax refund. She again didn’t intend to leave the country.
Last year, a young woman was arrested after she made it into the transit area to meet members of a boy band. She again had purchased a ticket but had no intention of leaving the country.
And it doesn’t just stop here. Last month, a 23-year-old woman who decided to shop at the airport was again caught for purchasing a ticket and entering the transit lounge, without any plan to leave the country.
One could argue that the show-stopping, luxurious Changi airport brings about an exceedingly romantic atmosphere with its parks, gardens, human-made forests, mazes, suspension bridge, and the world’s biggest indoor waterfall. But these, in a way, encourage hopeless romantics to enter illegally, as this man did.