Over 300 passengers stuck in Athens for days by Scoot flight delay, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Over 300 passengers stuck in Athens for days by Scoot flight delay

This article is more than 12 months old

Passengers upset after being stuck in Greece and having to board and disembark aircraft repeatedly

More than 300 passengers on a Singapore-bound Scoot flight were stranded in Greece for two days after a technical fault on the Boeing 787 plane led to multiple delays.

The passengers, including Singaporeans and those transiting in Singapore, said they had to board and disembark the plane several times.

Flight TR713 was scheduled to depart Athens at 11.20am on Tuesday. But it was delayed due to "operational considerations arising from equipment limitations", a spokesman for the budget carrier said yesterday.

As it took longer than expected to resolve the issue, the 321 passengers on board were told to disembark. They were given refreshments.

They were able to board the aircraft again after the technical issue was resolved. But while they were doing so, "the operating crew's flight time limits unfortunately ran out", the spokesman said.

This meant that the aircraft had to be grounded, and Scoot had to reschedule the departure time to 11am the next day.

Hotel accommodation and meals were provided to passengers during this period.

On Wednesday, after passengers boarded the plane for a third time, Scoot was told flight approval had been revoked when the aircraft was already preparing to leave the gate.

Ms Natalie Cooke, 35, said her parents were stuck in the plane on Tuesday without water for four hours before they were asked to disembark.

While the airline had offered them accommodation for the night, it was at the Marriott Hotel in central Athens, which was an hour's journey away.

"It was too far for my parents, and my father was too sick to travel back and forth to the airport.

"I had to book them a room at the airport hotel," said Ms Cooke, who works here as a client services director.

She rebooked her parents on a Singapore Airlines flight scheduled to arrive today.

Several other passengers also took to social media to express their frustration over the delays.

In its statement yesterday, Scoot said it was arranging to send a plane to Athens to bring affected passengers back to Singapore.

The flight was originally scheduled to leave Athens at 1.05pm yesterday local time (7.05pm Singapore time).

But the departure time was pushed back to 7pm local time (1am Singapore time, today).

Meanwhile, Scoot said it had arranged for accommodation and meals for the passengers.

"Scoot sincerely apologises for this extended flight disruption and the inconvenience it had caused to our customers' travel plans," the spokesman said.

"Affected customers can opt for a refund via vouchers or to their mode of payment, if they prefer not to continue their travel with Scoot."

Those who choose to take the Scoot flight back to Singapore will be compensated based on the airline's policy for delays, said the spokesman.