United Airlines President Scott Kirby tried several passenger-unfriendly innovations when he was President at US Airways that he ultimately had to roll back like elimination of free water in coach and elimination of elite bonus miles for flights.
British Airways – once a full service airline – has destroyed their brand with their cuts including their refusal to provide hot water for customers who bring their own tea bags. If anything should be complimentary on BA it’s tea.
It’s the direction much of the airline industry has gone so while I’m sympathetic to flyer Gene Goh I’m not sure he should be surprised that he couldn’t get water on his Scoot flight. He should be grateful they gave him free ice and a free cup (and told him to wait for the ice to melt).
Presumably he could have gone to the lavatory to fill up his cup from the sink, but you don’t want to drink that water. Scoot sells bottled water, but won’t pour complimentary bottled water — just like Spirit.
Scoot is the low cost carrier owned by Singapore Airlines. It has entirely separate branding to avoid tarnishing the Singapore (and even SilkAir) name. What becomes a problem is when Singapore transfers routes from a full service operation over to Scoot.
Many flyers scolded Goh for being too cheap to buy bottled water. I do think in the current world of fees it’s become incumbent upon customers to (1) know what to expect from the airline you’re purchasing tickets from, and (2) come prepared to sustain yourself inflight (which often means bringing your own water even from a ‘full service’ airline rather than relying on flight attendants to provide for your needs).
There are some things I’m stuck relying on an airline for, beyond safe transportation. That includes inflight internet, since my own connectivity doesn’t work in the sky. But I try to travel prepared for most eventualities.
- I bring an extra pair of underwear in case I’m forced to overnight.
- I bring my own entertainment to watch.
- I bring a power brick because I might be flying on a legacy US Airways ‘basket of deplorables’ plane American hasn’t updated yet.
- And I make sure I have water.
And that’s not even flying Scoot or Spirit. However just because we can be self sufficient as travelers, should we have to? Airlines don’t charge for use of the lavatory (yet), should they charge for water?