Case in dispute with Scoot over refunds

SINGAPORE - Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) got into a dispute with Scoot on Tuesday after claiming that the budget airline did not give refunds for duplicate bookings.

Case had issued a press release on Tuesday morning, highlighting how, over the last three years, it received 23 complaints from customers who were charged double for a budget flight when booking online.

It added that out of the four airlines involved, Scoot, which received three complaints, was the only one which did not offer a refund.

But in a statement to The Straits Times later in the afternoon, the budget carrier said that it did. "As long as the names, flights and travel dates are identical, one of the bookings will be refunded," said a Scoot spokesman.

Duplicate bookings may occur when customers accidentally select the payment tab twice, or if the system fails to register a successful transaction.

According to Case, one Scoot passenger got a shock in July last year when he was billed $1,363.44 - twice the amount for the flights he had booked.

A month earlier, another passenger who made a duplicate booking tried to contact the company repeatedly for a refund, but has not heard from the airline so far. Another was able to reach Scoot with Case's help, and transfer the second booking for a small fee.

The three other airlines - Jetstar, AirAsia and Tigerair - offer full refunds for duplicate bookings, although it can take as long as two months.

Airline staff urged customers to call up and check on their bookings if they encounter errors online, instead of trying to re-book.

"Don't assume it didn't go through just because you didn't get your itinerary. Always call the airline first," said a Jetstar call centre officer.

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