More than 300 passengers on a Singapore-bound Scoot flight remain stranded in Greece for a second day after a technical fault on the Boeing 787 plane led to multiple delays.
The passengers, including Singaporeans and those transiting in Singapore, took to social media to complain about having to board and disembark the plane several times.
In response to queries, a spokesman for the budget carrier said that Flight TR713 was originally due to depart Athens at 11.20am on Tuesday (Dec 18) but met with a delay due to "operational considerations arising from equipment limitations".
The spokesman said that, as it took longer than expected to resolve the issue, the 321 passengers on board were told to disembark for their convenience. They were given snacks and refreshments.
Passengers were able to board the aircraft again after the technical issue was resolved, but "in the midst of doing so, the operating crew's flight time limits unfortunately ran out", the spokesman added.
This meant that the aircraft had to be grounded and Scoot had to reschedule the departure time to 11am the next day.
Hotel accommodation and meals were provided to passengers during this period.
But on Wednesday, after passengers boarded the plane for a third time, Scoot was told that the flight approval had been revoked when the plane was already preparing to leave the gate.
Twitter user Ali McManus, one of the affected passengers, said that after an hour on the plane and going through the safety briefing, the doors were opened again for them to disembark.
In a separate tweet, she added that she was supposed to spend three days in Singapore before heading to Melbourne, but will now have to miss her Australia flight.
Facebook user Natalie Jane Hellon said that her friend, whose parents are due to be in Singapore for Christmas, was left in tears wondering if they will arrive.
"Absolute disgrace on #TR713 with passengers being treated like cattle - herded on and off the flight three times and still no sign of a new flight. No compensation, no offer of explanation and no sympathy for these poor families," she wrote.
Several other social media users also expressed their frustration over the multiple delays and said that they had little information on the cause.
In its statement on Thursday (Dec 20), Scoot said it is arranging to send a plane to Athens to bring affected passengers back to Singapore.
The flight is currently scheduled for 1.05pm on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Scoot said that it has sourced for and made accommodation and meal arrangements for the passengers.
"Scoot sincerely apologises for this extended flight disruption and the inconvenience it had caused to our customers' travel plans," the spokesman said.
"Affected customers can opt for a refund via vouchers or to their mode of payment, if they prefer not to continue their travel with Scoot."
Those who choose to take Thursday's flight back to Singapore will be compensated based on Scoot's policy for delays, said the spokesman, who did not say how many passengers have opted for a refund so far.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.