Netizen calls out Scoot for failing to refund tickets after her grandfather was diagnosed with cancer
Singaporean Sarah Low took to posting on Scoot’s Facebook page after she felt that the airline failed to respond compassionately when her family needed to cancel a trip due to her grandfather’s advanced stage cancer diagnosis. In her disappointment, she wrote of the airline, “No empathy, no compassion, no alternative solution. And we always have to call them back to check on the status.”
Ms. Low, whose aunt booked a family vacation with the budget airline three months ago, was disappointed that Scoot would not give them a full refund on the tickets they had purchased. The trip was cancelled when her grandfather was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and was given only 6 months left to live.
Attempts were made by Ms. Low and her husband to obtain a full refund. They had difficulty in connecting with the airline, and in her post Ms. Low mentioned that she had called Scoot’s call center over five times, repeating their story to many of the airline’s staff. Despite these efforts, they were repeatedly reminded of the airline’s six-month validity voucher program, which meant that the family could still use the air tickets for up to six months after the date of the original flight.
Ms. Low understandably said that it was highly unlikely that the family could travel within six months, given her grandfather’s grave condition. However, in addition to a full refund, Ms. Low proposed other alternatives instead, such as extending the tickets’ validity to 12 or 18 months, which Scoot did not agree to.
Scoot said that they offered Ms. Low and her family a travel voucher based on compassionate grounds, which has the equivalent worth of the tickets they had originally purchased. While Ms. Low would need to book flights within six months, the date of these flights could be later than the validity period. Additionally, the flights could be transferred to other members of the family, or even to their friends.
Scoot said, “In view of Sarah Low’s family situation, Scoot has offered the option of refund with travel voucher based on compassionate ground. The validity of the voucher is 6 months but the travel date can be outside of the validity period. The travel voucher can also be transferred to friends and family for redemption.”
The airline only issues full refunds in cases of grave injury or death of the passenger, or members of his or her immediate family.
Scoot is by no means the only airline seemingly reluctant to offer full refunds in situations of grave illnesses such as cancer. In 2015, Canadian John Paciga took to youtube with his case, calling Air Canada’s treatment of him “unconscionable.” Mr. Paciga had tried to get a refund after a sudden cancer diagnosis and need for treatment caused him and his wife to cancel a trip.
Mr. Paciga’s attempts to deal with customer relations went nowhere, but when the video he posted on youtube got 25,000 hits, he received a reply from the airline, telling him he would get a full refund.