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Cleared Immigration at the Wrong Terminal in Changi

Cleared Immigration at the Wrong Terminal in Changi

Old Nov 15, 22, 6:15 am
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 5
Angry Cleared Immigration at the Wrong Terminal in Changi

Here is an unusual and annoying experience, just sharing it for the members' thought.

Took SQ 403 from Delhi to Singapore with two checked in suitcases, and the flight landed at Changi early next morning as usual. As a frequent flyer of SIA and resident of Singapore, I have landed numerous times at Changi, and did not think much of where to collect luggage etc. (believing I will find my flight once I reach the belt area). I followed the usual signs to arrival area and walked (did not take any light train that ply around) to clear immigration. As I approached the belts, could not find my flight. Asked a staff, who said the belt for my luggage is at terminal 3.

When I asked her where am I, the response was I am at terminal 1. The result was, I had to take the landside sky train to terminal 3, go to the arrival area, get a re-entry permit against my boarding pass, had to go through one round of thorough frisking, then to the lost and found counter inside the secured area, who eventually pointed me to the belt to collect my luggage. The process wasted almost an hour.

During numerous landings at Changi, this has never happened to me. I sent an angry email to SIA with flight number and date, against which they said the flight landed at terminal 3, gate B2. Assuming they are telling the truth, I cannot fault them, but that raises a puzzling question of can I really clear immigration at terminal 1 when my flight did land at terminal 3?

My instinct, after landing anywhere is to just follow the signage to arrival/immigration area, operating under the assumption it will take me to the correct counter. But if terminals are all connected on the airside (without any manual checkpoint) then obviously many people may end up at the wrong terminal. Slightly annoyed at myself for having this experience at my home airport, but wondering whether anyone else faced it.

Not to self-from next time, check the correct terminal and belt number before exiting the aircraft.

Last edited by Swagato Barman Roy; Nov 15, 22 at 11:13 pm
Swagato Barman Roy is offline  
Old Nov 15, 22, 9:23 pm
Join Date: Sep 2001
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Good you were able to get a re-entry pass. When you exited the 2nd time, did you go to the special immigration desk and they opened a gate for you to get to T3 baggage claim?

You must have been very tired from your flight since if you landed at B2, the escalator to immigration is very close, just past the transfer desk. In order to walk to T1, you had to walk past 8 gates (7 in T3 and 1 in T1) to get to the T1 immigration area. It's a long walk (I've done it before).

I'm guessing you were one of the last to exit the plane. Otherwise you would naturally follow the flow of pax exiting to immigration at T3.

Sorry it happened to you. A wasted hour isn't so bad. You now have a funny story to tell your kids and grand-kids.
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kevino is offline  
Old Nov 15, 22, 11:13 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 5
When you exited the 2nd time, did you go to the special immigration desk and they opened a gate for you to get to T3 baggage claim?
Not sure what you mean by 2nd time exit. The 2nd time exit was with my baggage, from the terminal 3 belt, after which I took a taxi out, ending the trip for good.

To go to T3 baggage claim, I had to go to the T3 arrival waiting area (where general public waits to receive passengers, you don't need any ticket/pass to go there), show my boarding pass and luggage tag to a Changi information counter staff, fill up a form with a lot of details (flight origin, number, name, passport number, pnr etc.) who issued me some kind of tag. With that I had to approach the CISCO certis desk (the counter manned by an extremely rude woman) who made me feel thoroughly guilty of my terrible oversight and making her do extra work, who arranged for frisking, took my passport, and gave me another tag. Then I had to collect my luggage, and go back to her to return the tag, and get the passport back. Then I exited via green channel of the customs.

One mistake was though, after exiting the plane, I went for quick washroom break, and hence lost the flow of passengers. After that, yes, it was a walk, but did not feel extra-ordinary, I did more walking at Jakarta CGK for example. But still, what you say, implies that terminals are seamlessly connected on the airside, without any manual checkpoint to prevent me from moving among them. While it may be great for transit passengers, seems an unnecessary potential trap for arriving passengers. A questionable design and flow control.

Will have to remember this at other major hubs at all. Flying to LHR next month. If something like this happens there, who knows if they will let me in again at all, or the luggage will be lost for good.
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