Singapore Airlines A-380 taking off at Terminal A of Zurich Airport on September 8, 2018 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Image by Fedor Selivanov / Shutterstock.com)

SIA passenger complains of “inhumane torture” over 16-hour flight delay

A passenger on Singapore Airlines (SIA) flying from Singapore to Delhi took to Facebook on Sunday (1 December) to slam the airline for its “pathetic preparedness and service” after the flight was delayed for 16 hours.

Facebook user Deep Roy wrote a lengthy post on SIA’s Facebook page describing the “inhuman torture” he experienced on 29 November when the SIA flight that was due to depart from Singapore at 4.25 pm was delayed.

First, the flight was delayed for a couple of hours due to rain. Passengers had already boarded the plane at this time and were inside the cabin for more than an hour, said Mr Roy, adding that it had become “terribly hot without AC”.

Just as the plane was about to take off, the passengers were told that there was a problem with the braking mechanism. The plane headed back to the terminal where the passengers disembarked.

Mr Roy said the estimated time of departure was moved first to 8.50pm and then 11.30pm when the engineers discovered that they needed to replace a faulty brake pump.

As the passengers were waiting in the airport, they were offered some credit for food.

Mr Roy said, “We were just offered a measly SGD 15 credit for getting some dinner as the SQ staff refused to take out the meals from the aircraft that we were supposed to have been given had we been airborne.”

Later at 11.00pm, passengers boarded the plane for a second time after being informed that the test run was successful. Unfortunately, just before take-off again, there was another problem with the braking mechanism. Passengers were again asked to disembark and return to the terminal. This was around 1 am the next morning.

Mr Roy explained, “When we insisted that we did not want to get into the same plane again as it was clearly unsafe, they told us they did not have any other A380 planes available, even though we were in Singapore which was their Hub and they are the National Carrier!”

He continued, “They also refused to provide any hotel accommodation claiming all hotels were full (which was established to be a blatant lie). Their Ground Staff Executives kept feeding us one lie after another and did not show any concern for the problems we were facing!”

The irate passenger then said that the airline eventually arranged for some sandwiches, tea and coffee after “continuous yelling and protests”.

They were also later informed that they would be put on a different A380 that was flying in from Melbourne that morning.

“We finally boarded the new plane (our THIRD BOARDING) which eventually took off around 9:00 am SGP Time and reached New Delhi around 12:00 pm India Time after more than 16 HOURS DELAY! “

Mr Roy added, “Thankfully this time we did not have any braking problems!! At this time, we were all just relieved to finally get back home after this relentless & inhuman torture!”

He lamented that the delay caused him to miss his child’s award ceremony.

He said, “Despite charging much higher fares, Singapore Airlines demonstrated pathetic preparedness and service! This ordeal made one thing very clear to me & all my co-passengers – #NeverEverFlySingaporeAirlines!!”

Mr Roy ended his post with a demand for a full refund and an unconditional apology from SIA.

Other passengers on the same flight chimed in as well, adding that the SIA team was “unprofessional” and described the ordeal as “torture”.

However, other netizens commenting on Mr Roy’s post, mostly Singaporeans, jumped in to support the Airline and ask him to “stop complaining” and be thankful that he arrived safely despite the delays.

Many pointed out that they would rather be safe than sorry and praise SIA for putting safety first:

One person noted that delays are inevitable, no matter the airline She also acknowledged that a 16-hour delay is mentally draining but added that SIA managed to get passengers to arrive at their destination safely, which is the most important thing.

One person shared their own experience of a delayed flight with SIA, saying that the problem was in “poor communication” and the ground staff’s handling of the situation.

One person called for compassion, asking other commenters to put themselves in Mr Roy’s shoes and think about moments when they were upset and took to Facebook to rant about unhappy experiences.

SIA has won the title of World’s Best Airline in the Skytrax World Airline Awards four times including in 2018 and has been consistently ranked in the top 3 for the past 12 years. However, it was knocked off the top in 2019 by Qatar Airways which reclaimed the top spot.

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