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Old 29th January 2008, 10:35 AM   #1
kelakwek
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Default Fans Fined for Breaching Airport Rules

This article appeared in The New Paper recently. It is a surprise for me to learn that even if you had a valid ticket but with no intention of flying, you could get prosecuted by the police.

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The New Paper (Singapore)
17 January 2008
By Chang May Choon

TAIWAN star Jay Chou will arrive tomorrow afternoon on flight BR225 to perform in two concerts here in Singapore.

Mr Sin Teck Wee was among the many fans who greeted Taiwanese singer Jay Chou at the airport's transit area in July last year. But if you think the fastest way to catch a glimpse of the star is to buy an air ticket to get into the restricted areas inside Changi Airport, think again. Some hardcore fans are known to resort to this rather pricey method to see their idols up close.
But those who do so are actually breaking the law.

Two of Jay's fans found this out the hard way when they were recently fined $1,000 each for doing that on 30 Jul last year. Jay, 29, was then in town to promote his movie Secret and appeared at a meet-and-greet session for transit passengers at the Terminal One transit mall area after arriving.

Sin Teck Wee, 33, and Jocelyn Soh Chia Ling, 28, were found to have bought air tickets to Kuala Lumpur to gain entry into the transit area to see him.

NO-GO ZONE

However, only 'passengers with boarding passes who are proceeding to their next destination' are allowed in this area. This means that those who enter the transit area must go on to board their flights. Both Sin and Soh had no intention of flying off despite holding boarding passes. They ended up being detained by an Immigration and Checkpoints Authority officer and were handed over to the police.According to court papers, they were each fined the maximum of $1,000 for breaching the Protected Areas and Protected Places Act. They could also have been jailed up to two years.

Many Singaporeans were not aware that buying an air ticket to enter the transit area without actually flying is an offence here. 'Is it so serious?' was a common response.

The New Paper understands that some fans who have done so in the past had been given verbal warnings. Others apparently managed to convince the airlines to change their flight after meeting their idols. They then used their tickets on a later date. A spokesman for HIM Music, which manages popular Taiwanese boy band Fahrenheit, said that she had seen fans who obviously bought air tickets just to see the quartet. Many such fans are teenage girls.

NO LUGGAGE

She said they had no luggage and their eyes were transfixed on the band even while queuing to clear immigration. They would then follow the guys around 'as if they're travelling together', and try to talk to them. But the spokesman said she was not sure if the girls boarded a plane in the end or simply turned around and went home.

Freelance photojournalist Tony Yap told The New Paper that he realised it was an offence in 2003 after an airport official stopped him from taking pictures of Taiwanese pop group 5566 inside the transit hall. Mr Yap, 26, was returning from an overseas holiday when he bumped into 5566 by chance. But once he whipped out a camera and snapped away, he was stopped by an official. 'He asked if I had bought a ticket to see the group and said it was not allowed,' Mr Yap recalled. 'He asked for my passport and boarding pass, and even checked my overseas stamp'

Fans who want to see Jay tomorrow can wait for him outside the arrival hall at Terminal One. Mr Jonathan Tan, artiste and repertoire director of Hype Records, which is organising Jay's concerts, said it was 'not worth it' to break the law. 'Let this be a note of caution to fans,' he told The New Paper. 'There are other ways to support an artiste, and Jay himself would not be happy to hear that his fans broke the law to see him.'
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Old 14th April 2008, 12:01 PM   #2
kevino
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How can they prove you had no intention of flying? Lots of people travel with little or no luggage, especially to KL. I hope they fought it and were not convicted.
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Old 15th April 2008, 07:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevino View Post
How can they prove you had no intention of flying? Lots of people travel with little or no luggage, especially to KL. I hope they fought it and were not convicted.
Quite sure we will know by now whether they did board the plane or not! Then again, how they heck are they going to board if they were detained? Hehe...
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Old 19th April 2008, 01:14 AM   #4
Greatfox
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maybe they missed the plane, and couldn't come up with a good excuse? or tried to re-enter without ever flying?
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