5 Scoot flights delayed, passengers create commotion at Changi Airport
Angry crowds surrounded airline staff at Changi Airport yesterday morning after their Hong Kong flight was delayed.
They created such a commotion that it attracted the attention of patrolling airport police officers.
Scoot spokesman said five of its flights heading out of Singapore were affected.
One man's flight departed nine hours after the scheduled time.
Mr Goh, 36, who booked a red-eye flight to Hong Kong, ended up flying at 11 in the morning. He had boarded the plane at one point but was told to disembark about three hours later. The events executive, who was on a work trip, said he missed an 8am meeting in Hong Kong.
He told The New Paper on Sunday: "The counter was open by 11pm on Friday. We were told the system was down and the staff had to do manual registration. From the usual one hour to check-in, we stood in the queue for about three hours."
Mr Goh, who was travelling with his family, including his five-year-old son, said he was told the flight was delayed until 4am because the system was still down.
But the plane did not take off as planned and people were still boarding the plane at 4.30am, he added.
Mr Goh says: "At 5.30am, we were told there was a new flight crew and that they were on the way. When they arrive, the plane will take off."
But again, he was disappointed.
He said: "At 6.30am, they told us there was a flight complication issue and we were asked to wait again."
The last straw came when all the passengers were told to disembark from the plane at 7.30am. Tempers flared and passengers created a commotion at the baggage check area.
"People started scolding the employees. No senior management came," he said.
"The crew tried to be nice but people just wanted to fly off. There was also no proper explanation. The affected passengers were tired and there were elderly people and children as well."
Scoot posted a status update at 11.26pm on Friday night about its booking system being down.
It said: "Our booking system provider is currently facing some hardware issues at their data centre, hence the booking system is down. We will update you again once the booking system is up and running again. We apologise for the inconvenience caused."
The post attracted angry rants from affected passengers.
Netizen Kam Patel commented: "Over 200 people and just one Scoot staff writing out manual tickets and allocating seats. I bought business-class tickets and I was pushed to economy. What a freaking joke."
Netizen Ayesha Chauhan said the delay ruined her weekend plan.
She commented: "It's 7.20am and I wake up to find we never took off at 5.30am as planned. There are parents with kids on board, senior citizens and the reasons given are laughable."
When contacted, Scoot said that the five affected flights were heading for Hong Kong, Sydney, Tianjin, Taipei-Narita and Perth.
Its spokesman said: "Scoot had been working overnight with our vendor to resolve the issues in the booking and check-in systems."
He added that the system was restored at 5.30am yesterday and that the "outage in the system caused an uncontrollable delay situation" whereby the check-in process had to be done manually, causing some delays.
He said: "This was a situation beyond our control and we apologise to affected guests for the inconvenience caused and seek their kind understanding."
Besides Scoot, other low-cost carriers also experienced difficulties with their booking system.
AirAsia posted on its Facebook: "AirAsia reservation and airport systems are currently unavailable due to technical issues being experienced by our supplier, Navitaire.
"As a result, we are unfortunately expecting delays and disruption to our flight and airport operations on Saturday, Oct 11."
On Jetstar Asia's Facebook page, netizen Aaron Yip asked why he could not book online.
Tigerair also posted on its Facebook page: "Hi everyone, we're currently experiencing some issues with our booking system, hence you're unable to make any bookings. Please be rest assured we're working closely with our provider to get it resolved. Our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused."
A check with Navitaire's website showed that besides the budget airlines based in Singapore, it counted Australia's Qantas, Indonesia's Valuair and Malaysia's Firefly among its customers.