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SIA apologises for 17-hour flight delay to New Delhi, vows to improve service

SINGAPORE — National carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) “sincerely apologises” to passengers after a technical issue with an airplane led to a delay of close to 17 hours before it could depart.

A view of a Singapore Airlines plane at Changi Airport. A passenger took to Facebook to complain about the poor service and communication given when flight SQ406 from Singapore to New Delhi was repeatedly delayed on Nov 29, 2019.

A view of a Singapore Airlines plane at Changi Airport. A passenger took to Facebook to complain about the poor service and communication given when flight SQ406 from Singapore to New Delhi was repeatedly delayed on Nov 29, 2019.

SINGAPORE — National carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) “sincerely apologises” to passengers after a technical issue with an airplane led to a delay of close to 17 hours before it could depart.

Last Friday (Nov 29), flight SQ406 from Singapore to New Delhi, India was scheduled to leave Changi Airport at 4.25pm, but it ended up departing at 9.23am the next day.

The delay upset one passenger named Deep Roy on Facebook, who posted on SIA’s Facebook page detailing what he called a “horrible experience” of being stuck in a holding area for a long wait and not being given full information on what was going on. 

He missed his child’s awards ceremony because of the flight delays, he said.

“Despite charging much higher fares, Singapore Airlines demonstrated pathetic preparedness and service,” he said, claiming that the airline did not want to arrange hotel accommodation for the passengers and gave them a “measly” S$15 credit for meals.

SIA eventually arranged for them to have some sandwiches and beverages after “continuous yelling and protests”, he added.

He ended his complaint vowing to never fly with SIA again, and asking the company to provide a full refund and apology for the ordeal.

ONE PROBLEM AFTER ANOTHER

In response to TODAY’s queries on Wednesday, SIA said that the flight was initially delayed due to bad weather here.

Shortly after the plane navigated away from the boarding gate at 6.05pm, the flight crew were alerted to a technical issue with the aircraft’s braking system and had to return to the gate for safety reasons.

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Engineers then inspected the aircraft, replaced two components and ran tests which did not result in any fault indications.

Passengers were then invited to board the aircraft again.

SIA said that the fault indication display came up once again when the aircraft was pushed back from the gate a second time at 11.30pm.

As a result, the plane had to return to the gate.

A decision was then made at 1.17am to operate the flight with a different aircraft, which was available only at a new departure time of 7.30am the next day.

After flight SQ406 left the gate for the third time the next day, some passengers told the crew that they were unwell and wanted to disembark, SIA said.

The aircraft then had to return to gate once again to allow these passengers and their families to leave and to remove their baggage.

Eventually, the flight took off at 9.23am — close to 17 hours after its scheduled departure — and landed in New Delhi at 12.18pm.

SIA said that over the course of the various delays, passengers were provided with meal vouchers, as well as refreshments including sandwiches, muffins, fruits and drinks.

They were also provided with eye shades, amenity kits, blankets and sleeping bags, as well as complimentary neck pillows.

The national carrier said that it will review the events that took place over the course of the delay, and “apply the lessons learnt” to improve its service to its customers. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JUSTIN ONG 

Related topics

SIA flight delay New Delhi customer service safety Changi Airport

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