Last week, I wrote (access here) rather suboptimal reader’s transfer experience between terminals in Singapore when coming in on British Airways (T2) and leaving on Air Asia (T4) that ended up requiring the passenger to clear Singapore immigration and customs.
Here’s the original email from the reader:
Just transferred at SIN from T2 to T4.
Arrived in on BA flight and then walked the 20 mins to gate F51 to get the inter terminal bus to T4 to be told that as I’m traveling on with Air Asia (checked in online with e boarding pass) I can’t transfer airside between terminals, but have to clear immigration and customs, catch a transfer bus outside the terminal then recheck in to get a paper boarding pass and go through immigration again to exit. (Even though I’m going straight up to KUL)
Real nightmare and only just made flight because guy at F51 gate was amazingly helpful and took me all the way through to checkin at T4.
Might be a good idea to post something saying that if you’re transferring on with air Asia that you have to clear customs etc and get round to T4 via courtesy Bus that takes 20+ minutes, so allow extra time.
Really hope that situation might get resolved so you can transfer with e boarding pass.
And here’s the update:
Have checked today when I was on my way back through from T4 to T2, and it is the policy of Air Asia not customs or immigration that is the reason you can’t airside transit!!!
Will be sending them an email on the subject!!!
I just find this really weird. The only logical reason that I can think of is that Air Asia does the visa check for the destination country landside and this way they don’t need to deal with this at the time boarding for those that may have transited airside.
There were some ill-informed comments left about how transit works such as passenger can never transit between different airlines and tickets airside without entering the country that is absolutely not true as I do it several times each month.
Seems that one needs to be extra careful when constructing itineraries with these LCCs such as AirAsia. I usually only use them for point to point itineraries.