By Jessica Lim
SINGAPOREANS are a negligent lot when it comes to passports, travel agents told The Straits Times on Wednesday.
It is not common for travellers to make a mad dash to the airport with the wrong passport, some said, but added that,more often, they show up at the airport with expired passports or without the required visas.
Some forget their passports altogether.
Travel agencies contacted by The Straits Times say they make it a practice to call travellers before their flights with reminders to pack their passports and check that everything is in order.
Despite this, one in 10 will goof up every month.
At least one travel agency, Hong Thai Travel, has briefed its employees to be more vigilant about passports following an incident on Monday in which a 61-year-old retiree cleared all checks at Changi Airport's Budget Terminal after having mistakenly taken his son's passport.
He realised the error during his flight to Ho Chi Minh City.
Upon arrival and informing the Vietnamese authorities, he was immediately put on a return flight here.
Agents said passengers without travel papers in order inconvenience others. Some cause flight delays; a number miss their flights altogether.
Errmmmm...yes, its again our fault, Singaporeans, you are careless, negligent!
To the 61 year old retiree; its your fault that you got through all four security barriers and eventually reached Vietnam using your son's passport.
Of course, its his fault for not checking his passport but allowing him to go through every security check-point also his fault?
When Mas Selamat escaped, Singaporeans, you were complacent and now of course you are negligent.
So it seems that any blunder that is made embarrassing enough for the country, the blame will be shifted to us, the people of the country.