Report: Sick Passengers Refused Water, Threatened With Arrest During 4 Hour Delay on Singapore Flight

On Friday’s Singapore Airlines flight SQ516 from Singapore to Kolkata, India was delayed four hours due to non-working air conditioning onboard. But apparently crew didn’t keep passengers informed about what was wrong or what it looked like to fix the aircraft.

There weren’t any refreshments served during the delay that stretched as long as the block time for this four-times weekly Airbus A330. Allegedly sick passengers were refused water.

As passengers voiced their frustration, Singapore crew threatened them with arrest. It’s not only in the U.S. that airline crew turn customer service problems into law enforcement problems.

“When we confronted the cabin crew, they had no answers, rudely shut us up, threatened to call the cops to arrest us, and said “we are in the same situation as you are, don’t ask us, we don’t know anything”.”

… “The airline didn’t let anybody go. We were being treated like prisoners, being asked to sit in our seats and wear our seatbelts. They told us if we were going to offload ourselves then we wouldn’t be allowed back in and they would put us on another plane which was two days later and they wouldn’t compensate us for any of it.”

Singapore Airlines now apologizes.

(HT: Loyalty Lobby)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Wow did not expected this from Singapore Airlines! Is this what’s expected of them service wise going forward?

  2. Tigris23 wrote: “Wow did not expected this from Singapore Airlines”

    In fact Singapore Airlines plays the infuriating game of holding all econ passengers until every first and biz passenger gathers up their crap and deplanes, no matter HOW long it takes — they won’t even open the curtains to let you see the progress or lack thereof. FA’s stand guard and are totally firm in blocking access – again, with curtains drawn. No matter which side of the curtain I’ve been on, it left me with a lingering sad and creepy feeling after what is usually a nice enuff flite … a quick dip in the rigidity of the authoritarian rules and caste systems.

  3. You have to understand Singapore has many positives but the culture has certain frustrating aspects, one of which is a rigid, non adjustable attitude towards doing things. Also remember the caste order is: Chinese, white, then Indian, then Malay. Consider what type of passengers were on this flight and you will understand why this would happen 🙂

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