Tips to “Chop Chop” Clear Airport Security

If you consider yourself a true blue Singaporean, chances are, Changi Airport holds a lot of fond memories for you. The neat rows of check-in counters, the many restaurants and cafes, the duty-free shopping… Whether you realise it or not, your mind probably goes into “holiday mode” even before you take off.

But with so many people entering and leaving Singapore every minute of every day, it’s not all fun and games. It takes stringent security measures and effective regulations to keep Changi Airport the world’s number one airport.

Did you know?
Changi Airport (transit area) is a Protected Place!

What does that mean? It means that Changi Airport’s transit area is covered under the Protected Areas and Protected Places Act, and that the relevant authorities have the right to remove and arrest anyone who is deemed to be displaying inappropriate behaviour. The transit area (after crossing the departure gate) is meant as a holding area for in- and outbound travellers only. It may not be used for any other purposes–including chasing after arriving celebrities and buying the latest iPhones.

It may sound funny, but it’s no joking matter. The number of people arrested for abusing their boarding passes has increased dramatically, with the above-mentioned examples as actual offences. 2017 just reached its mid-year mark, yet already the number of offenders has overtaken that of 2016!

RELATED: Get UNLIMITED 4G high speed internet with ChangiWiFi at as low $5/day*!

If he paid for the boarding pass, why can’t he enter the transit area?

Well, for security reasons of course! The airport security is extremely strict in this regard to prevent people from frivolously entering and exiting the protected area. This will help in our efforts against terror attacks and more.

Now that that’s out of the way…

Here are a list of tips to make sure you breeze through the airport formalities like a pro.

#1 Check-in Early!

This is the occasion to be kiasu: After all, you never know if you might get held up by traffic or anything else, so it’s best to check-in as early as you can. Why shouldn’t you, anyway? There’s lots to do at Changi Airport!

Seasoned travellers will be familiar with all the food and duty-free shopping options, so no advice needed there! More a fan of nature? Head to the butterfly, sunflower, water lily, and cactus gardens. Got the feels for some games or movies? Check out the movie theater (T2, T3) and the entertainment deck (T2) which has XBox, kinect, and PlayStation 3 consoles.

The best part? All these are completely free!

#2 Avoid the “B” word.

As you probably know, speaking of bombs can get you thrown out (or even detained). With the rising number of terror attacks all over the world, security is at an all time high. So to be safe, make a conscious effort not to utter (or joke about) anything to do with explosives!

#3 Follow the carry-on rules and regulations.

It’s frustrating to have to toss items out, and it often puts both the traveller and airport officers in a bad mood when resulting disputes break out. We suggest avoiding this altogether: Familiarise yourself with the regulations, and pack accordingly.

Some tips: All liquids above 100ml must be checked-in; those below 100ml and in your hand carry bag must be stored in a clear, see-through bag. Large batteries like power banks must be hand-carried. If travelling to U.S., make sure you are using TSA locks.

#4 Be appropriately dressed for the security checks.

If you wait till you’re at the front of the queue to sort out your barang barang, you’re going to cause a hold up. That’s not very considerate! It’s also very embarrassing to be on the receiving end of dirty looks and annoyed “tsks”.

Instead, prepare while queuing. Remove your coins, keys, and other metal items (like watches and belts) from your pockets and body. If possible, we recommend a belt with a non-metal buckle to reduce to hassle. You will also need to remove your shoes for the check, so if you’re going to travel in boots (especially for winter holidays!) unlace them before you reach your turn.

Tip: Studies show that most people tend to take the queues on the right, so you can try your luck at the left side–they may be faster!

RELATED: Save more when you book your attraction tickets, land tours, and transport passes from Changi Recommends!

#5 Stay sober, and behave yourself.

You’re expected to be on your best behaviour, and that’s hard to do when you’re intoxicated!

The airport and/or airlines have the right to remove or refuse entry if the passenger seems to be under the influence of alcohol or any other illegal substance. The same goes for those with dismeanor–yes, that includes losing your temper and threatening the service staff! Even if you’re unhappy with anythingfrom the airport formalities to the service you receivedlashing out with the front line staff will not help much. It is also disrespectful. If you’re serious about providing feedback, write an email instead.

Don’t ruin your holiday for yourself!

#6 Lastly, if you made any Changi Recommends bookings, pick it up before entering the Departure Hall.

At Changi Recommends, we do our best to ensure collection of all ChangiWiFi routers and attraction & tour tickets are as convenient and seamless as possible. That’s why we are located at every terminal, operating 24-7.

On your part, you’ll need to pick up your items before entering the transit area. As much as we’d love to, we are unable to pass you your items once you leave the public areas due to security reasons.

Although the actual pick-up takes only around five minutes, the queues at our booths can get quite crowded during peak travel seasons. As such, we strongly recommend arrive 2.5h before your flight so you have ample time in case of any unforeseen circumstances.


Check out We Put Hong Kong’s Most Popular Food to the Taste Test, Travel Diary: One week in Gold Coast & Sydney, and Train to Busan: No Zombies. Just Food, Scenery & Culture!

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