SIA technical problems cause delays for over 500 passengers

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Photo: YouTube screengrab

Replacement airplanes had to be brought in for two faulty Singapore Airlines (SIA) flights on Wednesday, June 27, causing delayed flights for more than 500 passengers. These delays lasted more than three hours for one flight, and more than five hours for the other.

The first flight that experienced problems was SQ972, headed to Bangkok, Thailand, and scheduled to leave at 9:35 am. However, according to a statement from SIA, a glitch with an electrical brake power unit within the plane, a Boeing 787-10, prevented its departure.

Technicians endeavored to repair and replace the part, but to no avail. The 313 passengers who were already on board eventually had to move to a replacement plane. They flew out from Changi Airport at 3:15 pm, after a delay of nearly six hours.

The other plane that experienced a technical problem was bound for Melbourne, Australia, and was scheduled to leave at 11:00 am. Flight SQ217, a Boeing 777-300ER airplane, showed a fault warning message.

The flight had already attempted to take off when it returned to its gate. The statement from SIA said that the plane, “Returned to the gate after the crew aborted take-off at low speed…due to a fault warning message.”

Another replacement airline was brought in, and the 218 passengers were able to leave for Melbourne at 2:20 pm.

Unlike in other nations, Singapore has no laws that order airlines to compensate passengers for delayed flights. In the European Union, travelers who are inconvenienced by flights delayed more than three hours may claim between €250 (S$397) to €600 (S$953) in compensation, depending on how far the delayed flights were scheduled to go.

Passengers may claim this not only for airline operators from the EU, bit for any airline that flies in EU countries.

Along with four other global carriers, Singapore Airlines was told by the UK Civil Aviation Authority in 2017 to compensate passengers with delayed flights, otherwise these carriers would be faced with a lawsuit.

In the US, depending on the length of the delays, inconvenienced passengers may receive between 200-400 percent of the fare spent of a one-way ticket.

Since there are no laws requiring carriers in Singapore to compensate passengers with delayed flights, what passengers can do is communicate with the airlines directly and ask for compensation. To foster goodwill with customers, many airlines offer credit or additional flyer miles to make up for the discomfort and inconvenience that passengers may have suffered.