The Duty-Free Shopping (DFS) at Changi Airport has been accused of making customers wait in line for hours only to give limited bottles of Japanese whisky Chichibu to staff.
Facebook user Andrew Soetiono alleged on social media that he caught this with his own eyes as he waited in line at DFS’ Whisky Festival, on Saturday (18 May). According to DFS’ website, The Whisky Festival is an annual Changi Airport-exclusive “multi-sensorial bar” where customers can taste over 400 whiskies, some of which are DFS exclusives.
Andrew wrote that he had been flying out of Changi on Saturday and decided to try his luck at the Whisky Festival around 2.30pm. He met another man in line who had been waiting since 12pm and they asked the staff about purchasing Chichibu.
The staff said there is no guarantee that there will be any Chichibu available and told them to wait. The men waited for over an hour. Around 4pm, however, three young men “sneaked up to the cashier counter, spoke to the staff on duty like friends and handed them passports and boarding passes. And immediately made payment for Chichibu.”
Andrew recounted: “We were shocked so we confronted the cashier and staff. They insisted it wasn’t a Chichibu. But it is! So we said look, don’t make us wait, we are not angry, more than anything we are disgusted. We’re all tired, so tell us the truth and we’ll go away, instead of waiting here.”
Finally one of the staff members confessed that the young men had bought the Chichibu and that the batch that was given to the young men was the last remaining allocation for the day.
Revealing that he has confirmed that the three young men are DFS staff, Andrew wrote: “I am appalled. DFS made such a big deal of its strict policy and allocation, but they allow this to happen.
“Look, i get it, it’s good money to flip this bottle, or maybe they needed the money for some noble cause. I don’t judge. The fault lies in the indecency of all the other staff who could have told us the truth, that they’re all gone, so we don’t waste our time there.”
Andrew’s post quickly began trending and has accumulated nearly 300 reactions and over 450 shares on Facebook so far. He later updated that DFS contacted him to reveal that it has initiated an internal investigation over the matter.
In a final update, Andrew revealed that “DFS General Manager Prashant Mahboobani gave me a call this evening and extremely regretted that this incident happened. A full internal investigation is underway and a discussion within the management is taking place to find a better system for allocation.”
Urging netizens to wait for the verdict of the investigation, he wrote: “This post have (sic) blown out of proportion, let’s all hold our horses and wait for the verdict. While at it, let’s pour ourselves some nice whisky, it’s World Whisky Day and long weekend after all.”
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