Singapore

Ruined holidays: From no-shows to delays

NO BUS: Mrs Geraldine Wee, her husband and their year-old son (pictured) were not picked up from their hotel in Malacca.-- PHOTO COURTESY OF GERALDINE WEE

It was a sour end to an otherwise perfect trip to Malacca for Mrs Geraldine Wee, 35, and her family.

The bus that was supposed to pick them up from their hotel lobby and take them to Singapore did not show up.

The housewife said her husband contacted the bus company, but the coach attendant disputed the family's claim and said they had not been in the lobby when she went to look for them.

The Wees, who had their year-old child with them, decided to make their own way home.

They took a taxi to the local bus terminal to find their way back to Singapore and finally reached home at around midnight on Jan 1, almost four hours later than they had initially planned.

RESOLUTION

Fortunately, after contacting the coach company's Singapore branch a few days after the incident, the Wees managed to find an amicable resolution ­­­­­­­­- reimbursement for their tickets and extra costs incurred and a pair of complimentary return tickets for future trips to Malacca.

Over the holiday season, the Wees were not the only Singaporeans who encountered problems while on their trips.

Twenty-six Singaporeans who were travelling with tour agency CS Travel were stuck in Munich, Germany, and Turkey for more than three days due to flight delays caused by a snow storm in Istanbul.

The group, which consisted of six families and a guide, was scheduled to fly from Munich to Singapore on New Year's Eve, with a transit in Turkey, but the Turkish Airlines flights were delayed due to the weather.

Eventually, the tour group managed to get on a flight from Munich to Istanbul.

They returned to Singapore on SIA in two batches - 15 of them arrived on Jan 3 and the rest arrived on Jan 5.

Their check-in luggage arrived in Singapore the day after.

When contacted, Dr Ali Genc, Turkish Airlines' senior vice-president of media relations, said extraordinary weather conditions in Istanbul caused flight cancellations and diversions and there were some problems with connecting flights.

Said Dr Genc: "In accordance with relevant procedures, all the required announcements, information, instructions and accommodations have been done (for) our passengers and our staff (have) worked hard to prevent any inconvenience."

Responding to queries from The New Paper, Ms Ruth Lim, public relations director for CS Travel, said the agency worked with Turkish Airlines to get the group of 26 out of Istanbul airport as soon as flight clearance was given.