Scoot airline passengers returned to Singapore two days later than expected after technical problems left them stranded in Taiwan.
Flight TR899 was supposed to depart Taipei on Sunday at 4.10pm but an electrical component defect meant the plane had to be grounded while replacement parts were flown in from Singapore, said a Scoot spokesman.
The flight was rescheduled for Monday at 11am but the technical issue persisted and put back departure until later in the night.
An airline spokesman said on Monday night: "Scoot has arranged for two rescue flights to bring the 356 affected customers back to Singapore."
These flights arrived at Changi early yesterday morning.
Passenger W.L. Xie, her husband and eight-year-old son told The Straits Times that they arrived at Taoyuan Airport at noon on Sunday to check in for their flight after a five-day holiday in Taiwan.
After they boarded, Ms Xie, a 41-year-old healthcare professional, said an announcement was made that the plane had some problems with its engine that would need time to fix. Passengers spent around three hours on the plane before they could disembark.
There were also Japanese passengers who were transiting from another Scoot flight from Tokyo.
People who bought duty-free items were told to return them and get a refund. Passengers were also given meal vouchers worth about NT$250 (S$11) each, said Ms Xie.
Later on Sunday night, passengers were told to collect their luggage and find their own accommodation as nearby hotels were fully booked.
Fortunately, Ms Xie's family had a friend in Taiwan who helped them find a motel a 30-minute drive away, but some passengers slept at the airport, she said.
They were told to check in around 8am on Monday for the re-timed flight departing at 11am.
"We boarded around 12pm, but after a while, they announced again that there was an engine problem that would need to be fixed," Ms Xie said.
The passengers disembarked at around 2.45pm and were given two meal vouchers each, she added.
Scoot said that affected customers were provided with refreshments and meals during the delay.
The spokesman added that customers who had booked their own accommodation could be reimbursed and a Guest Promise Voucher of $100 would be offered to all those affected.
Ms Xie said that apart from the announcements of the engine problem and disembarkation, there were not many updates from Scoot.
"They should have communicated more," she said. "I felt frustrated waiting with no definite arrangement."
She said her son had been feeling unwell when they checked in on Sunday, and the family had hoped to get back to Singapore as soon as possible.
Ms Xie also had to request an extra day of leave due to the delay.
The Scoot spokesman said: "Safety is of utmost priority to Scoot, and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused to our customers' travel plans."
This incident is the latest in a string of flight delays that have riled Scoot customers.
Flight TR713 from Athens to Singapore that was scheduled to depart on Dec 18 at 11.20am took off only in the evening of Dec 20.
The 321 passengers had boarded and disembarked the plane three times over the three days.
In late November, Scoot passengers were stuck in Tokyo and Bangkok for 30 hours due to a technical issue that grounded the Tokyo-to-Singapore flight that was scheduled to stop over at the Thai capital.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.