Those who’ve seen Tom Hanks in ‘The Terminal’ would immediately be reminded of the film upon hearing the story of 32-year-old Raejali Buntut, a Malaysian man who had to spend 18 days in Singapore’s Changi Airport after missing his flight to Kuala Lumpur. His story however, was not as heartwarming.
Buntut, who was reportedly a former business development manager with Royale Consultant Management in Singapore, overslept at the airport lounge and failed to catch his 7:05 a.m. Air Asia flight to Kuala Lumpur.
The stranded passenger then decided to forge boarding passes in three different terminals to be able to stay on airport lounges, The Straits Times reported.
For almost three weeks, from Aug. 21 until last Wednesday, Buntut forged 31 electronic boarding passes for Singapore Air and Cathay Pacific.
His forgeries allowed him to stay in the Dnata Lounge at Terminal 1 and 3, Sats Premier Lounge at Terminals 1-3, Plaza Premium Lounge at Terminal 1, Ambassador Transit Lounge at Terminal 2 and 3, and The Green Market Lounge at Terminal 2.
He allegedly manipulated boarding passes by re-touching them with fake flight details and downloaded images of the airline companies. An airport worker who was stationed at Dnata Lounge at Terminal 1, however, caught him visiting a lounge four times.
The attendant immediately alerted the authorities and the now jobless man was arrested. While he could’ve been given a four-year sentence for his crimes, he was just awarded a verdict of two weeks in jail after pleading guilty to three out of 31 charges of forgery.
It is unknown why Buntut decided to stay in the airport in the first place.