When budget reall y does mean B-U-D-G-E-T.

When Singapore unveiled its new low cost terminal a couple of years back amid much huppla – including a contest to name the terminal, which ultimately was named “Budget Terminal” (we kid you not!), great pains were taken to explain to the domestic audience, long accustomed to the comforts of Changi Airport, that in order […]


When Singapore unveiled its new low cost terminal a couple of years back amid much huppla – including a contest to name the terminal, which ultimately was named “Budget Terminal” (we kid you not!), great pains were taken to explain to the domestic audience, long accustomed to the comforts of Changi Airport, that in order to reduce costs certain passenger comforts had to be sacrificed. In the end it was a very sensible terminal that, although fairly basic, is certainly a lot more comfortable than a lot of other airports the Belly Achers havebeen painfully subjected to.

But in a recent return from the Philippines, a certain Belly Acher was shocked to find himself in a queue snaking its way back towards the plane. The cause, an apparently permanent, full-on passenger screening setup with mandatory handcarry X-ray and passenger metal detector, before going through immigration. We wondered whether we had made a mistake and were heading for the gate to board another aircraft.

This of course got us thinking; Is there some specific ‘budget’ passenger threat to Singapore that doesn’t exist in the higher priced economy full-fare airline passengers who are only randomly (barely) screened when entering the city state at the other non-budget terminals? A flight to Changi’s Terminal 1 will also originate from the same airport abroad as the one to the Budget Terminal – a bit of a security loop hole if we do say so. Anyway, back to the story. Nearly 30 minutes later we emerge from the screening ordeal and get back into queue for the immigration counter. But the worst was yet to come.