Changi Airport Group — airport security and sq ticketing
I am a frequent traveller who recently encountered a ridiculous episode with Changi Airport security. Not only was the Airport Security supervisor incompetent, he was ignorant, stubborn and irresponsible with very poor customer service. I could not recall his name, but vaguely I think he was "Imran". I was utterly disappointed with the handling of the situation that caused my missing of my flight. I was also disappointed with SQ for not being compassionate for my case. The various functions were pointing to each other, leading me confused and distressed.
On 7 Jul 2019, I was refused to board SQ868 bound for Hong Kong leaving 7:55pm. At 7:30pm, I was held at Gate A21 by Airport Security officers 25 min before departure. I was stopped because none of the security officers could recognize the anti-static device keychains which they claimed "shaped like bullet". I have travelled with this device on many SQ and international flights and was never stopped. Where is the consistency? Despite my showing the security officer the picture of the device (see attachement) from Lazada website
and suggesting to leave the device with the security so I could board the plane to be at an important meeting the following day in Hong Kong, the security supervisor refused and activated the state police at 7:44pm. I asked who would be responsible if I missed my flight, the security officer irresponsibly said "You ask the state police".
The state police did not show up until 8:10pm, by which time flight SQ868 had departed. Within minutes, the state police cleared the key chains safe and said the device did not even resemble a bullet. When I asked about who was responsible for my flight, the state police pointed back to the Airport Security Supervisor, who again conveniently instructed me to go to the Transfer desk which was a distant away from Gate A21.
After walking a few hundred meters to the transfer desk, the SQ agent said I had to incur SGD$136 to change my flight to the next available flight, at MY expense. SQ had no compassion at all to waive the tranfer fee even having understood the situation how I was not allowed to board. For a world class airline, this was unexpected. I asked if SQ could cover the ticket for me to hop on a Cathay Pacific flight which would leave on 8 Jul 1:20am, and SQ agent said they only handle SQ flights. What a disappointment.
I was left to handle the financial damage, emotional stress and anxiety, and messy situation all by myself due to an incompetent Airport Security who made a terribly WRONG judgement on a completely harmless device. There was a lack of compassion where nobody cares for the passenger. Isn't Changi Airport and Singapore Airlines a world class airport and airline?
Apart for emotional stress and anxiety during that period of missing my flight, the damage I incurred were
1) SGD $136 to reticket my flight to the next day flight.
2) SGD $29 for taxi from airport to home
3) SGD $17 for taxi from home to airport the following morning.
4) SGD $348+ tax for wasting 1 night stay at Intercontinental Hong Kong, Total more than SGD $530
5) Most importantly, I missed meeting my CEO on Monday morning, on 8 July 2019
1) I am complaining about the IGNORANT, INCOMPETENT security supervisor who INTENTIONALLY ignored my constructive suggestions and caused UNNECESSARY delay. I am holding the Airport Security supervisor accountable for my missing of flight and the financial damage above. He could have prevented the whole incident.
2) I am complaining about SQ having no compassion to waive the fees nor covering my ticket for the Cathay Pacific flight, for a fault not due to me.
3) Should there be other options, or quicker response for state police to attend to passenger to catch the flight ?
4) What is the contingency plan, recourse and follow up, if the held-up is no fault of the passenger but the airport staff ? The passenger get pushed around, with no help with the mistake is at the security? It seemed to me that the Security supervisor assumed that his work is done once he escalated to state police? I seriously doubt he is suited to perform his job role.
I would like Changi Airport Group's relevant authority to investigate and respond to my complaint. This is important for Singapore to continue to uphold the reputation as a world class airport supported by dedicated and competent staff. It is critical to have properly trained and updated security team and to improve the response time with technology to review the item if the State police cannot respond in time at the gate. I hope my super bad experience will not be repeated with other innocent travellers.
I await your kind reply.
Tay Soon Lai, Alex
Contact Number +[protected]
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