Faster remedies, better trained staff needed at immigration points

On Sunday, I arrived at Changi Airport Terminal 4 from Hong Kong on flight CX735.

I proceeded to the immigration clearance area and found groups of passengers gathered around the machines at the automated lanes looking confused and flustered.

At least half of the machines were not functioning properly. For many passengers, they scanned their passports only to be shown the message to "proceed to the nearby immigration desk".

There was a female officer at the other side of the machines, signalling these passengers to move to the counters at the back. No other officers were around to assist the crowd.

I managed to pass through one of the functioning machines, and approached the female officer. I suggested that more help should arrive quickly to clear the queues.

She looked utterly distressed and barked at me in Mandarin: "You should go ask the Singapore Government why this is happening! Please don't come ask me!"

I was appalled by her reply.

In Hong Kong, immigration officers deal with individuals who encounter problems at the automated lanes swiftly and properly. It puts the Singapore system to shame.

Better trained personnel and quicker remedies should be in place for unexpected happenings at Changi Airport.

Ten Siew Lin (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2017, with the headline 'Faster remedies, better trained staff needed at immigration points'. Print Edition | Subscribe