On Sunday (15 March), Singapore Airlines (SIA) announced on their website their intentions to waive rebooking fees for tickets issued on or before Sunday, hours after the country expanded its travel restrictions to include travellers who have visited ASEAN countries, UK, Japan, and Switzerland.
The website informed that customers booked for travel on all SIA flights up to 31 May this year are allowed to rebook their flights, as long as their new itinerary is completed by 31 March 2021.
Although rebooking fees will be waived, a fare difference may apply for the new itinerary, the airline added.
Currently, SIA is said to be reviewing its waiver policy, and may extend the cut-off date of 31 May as it continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 outbreak on global air travel in the coming weeks.
Change fees will also be waived for all new SIA and SilkAir tickets issued from now to 31 March.
The SIA website notified that, “Due to the high volume of incoming requests, we seek our customers’ understanding that it may take longer than usual for our service agents to respond. Customers are encouraged to only contact us if their flight is departing in next 72 hours in order for our agents to focus on and assist those with urgent flight changes.”
Many online users are angry and frustrated with SIA as they are furious for being unable to contact the customer service personnel of the flight carrier.
Facebook user Tan Derrick revealed that he, like many others, have been trying to connect with SIA management as they are stranded in Bangkok, Thailand. But even after surpassing their take off time by three hours, there were no SIA personnel to assist them. To him and many others, this is unbecoming of a world-class airline. Others also shared similar experiences.
Additionally, online user Helen Bui said that she too was unable to get in contact with SIA through their hotline number and email. It was only when her husband visited the office at Paragon Orchard, their flight tickets were refunded.
Meanwhile, online user Wong Lam said that he had called SIA for a refund for his flight to Hanoi in July. However, he was told to rebook his flight instead. He, therefore, cautioned other customers of the flight carrier to not trouble themselves by calling as it is impossible to get through their phone line.Besides him, other netizens also voiced their dissatisfaction for being charged by the national carrier if they have to rebook their flights.
Facebook user Philip Tham explained that despite the new changes, the flight carrier has neither allowed him to cancel nor offered a refund for his trip to South Korea in April. Given the evolving situation surrounding Covid-19 outbreak, he is also unable to make future travel plans. Many netizens are in the dark whether to ask for a refund or to rebook their flights.
If the SIA experience was bad, netizens were quick to add that they faced the same problem with Scoot and Air Asia. They explained that these budget airlines too are nowhere to provide any response to their customers.