22-hour flight delay riles Scoot passengers

22-hour flight delay riles Scoot passengers
The incident over the weekend was the second time in two days that a Scoot flight had been delayed. Another flight scheduled to depart from Hong Kong last Friday took off only on the following day.
PHOTO: ST

Dozens of Scoot passengers were up in arms after a five-hour flight from Singapore to Perth was delayed for more than 22 hours over the weekend.

Scoot flight TZ 8 to Perth was originally scheduled to depart from Singapore at 12.10pm on Saturday. The flight was rescheduled to 9.50am yesterday, according to Scoot's Facebook page. It eventually took off at 10.42am.

A Scoot spokesman told The Straits Times it was delayed at Changi Airport "due to a technical issue".

Ms M. Arollado, 30, a housewife who was travelling with her five-month-old baby, husband and mother-in-law, said it had been very inconvenient for families with children and the elderly.

The passengers had been asked to board the plane and then disembark twice, and finally asked to return home without any reimbursement for taxi fares, she said.

While in the plane the second time around, and after waiting for about 25 minutes for air traffic to clear, she said it was announced that the aircraft could not take off as the pilot and crew had maxed out their allowed work hours.

"The airline should have had adequate staff on standby. They should also have sent down Scoot staff to help us. We took a budget airplane, so we knew what to expect. But we felt especially bad for the foreigners, tourists and transit passengers because many had been at the airport earlier than us," she told ST from Perth.

Another affected passenger, recruitment consultant Anny Ho, 42, sent an e-mail to Scoot to complain, noting that the flight was "delayed six times with different reasons". One reason given, she added, was that the plane's tyre was "worn out".

She expressed her disappointment with Scoot's offer of travel vouchers in compensation, and said the hotel and rental car bookings in Australia "are all going down the drain".

Ms Ho, who was travelling to Perth with her two sons aged eight and 13, asked Scoot for a refund in cash. She also sent Scoot two YouTube videos of the scene at Changi Airport after news that the flight would be delayed till the next morning was announced. In the clips, visibly angry passengers were shouting at a man who said he was a handling agent for Scoot. Babies could also be heard crying.

In a statement, a Scoot spokesman said: "A delayed flight can be frustrating for passengers whose travel plans have been disrupted but Scoot would like to emphasise that safety is our top priority. We seek the kind understanding and patience of all the affected guests."

This is the second Scoot flight to be delayed overnight in two days.

Flight TZ 221, scheduled to depart from Hong Kong at 7.10am last Friday, was re-scheduled to 7pm the following day. However, the affected passengers were provided with accommodation at a Hong Kong hotel, according to Scoot's Facebook updates.

melodyz@sph.com.sg

chuimin@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on June 22, 2015.
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