Nearly three days.
That was how long it took budget carrier Scoot CEO Campbell Wilson to apologise for making his passengers wait overnight for more than 22 hours last Saturday.
Dozens of Scoot passengers were asked to deplane twice from Scoot flight TZ 8, which should have been a straightforward five-hour journey from Singapore to Perth. This was Scoot's second major flight delay in two days.
Below is his full statement that was published on Channel NewsAsia:
Scoot deeply regrets disruption to guests affected by the flight delays over the weekend. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to their travel plans.
The principal cause of the disruption was a technical fault experienced upon arrival of TZ220 at Hong Kong on Friday morning. Initial attempts to resolve the issue failed and, ultimately, a spare part and team of engineers had to be dispatched from Singapore.
With a small fleet and one aircraft out of action in Hong Kong a number of flights were rescheduled, including Saturday’s TZ8 from Singapore to Perth. During checks prior to this flight, a tyre issue was detected requiring a wheel to be changed, a process that took three hours. Regrettably, this new delay meant that the operating crew could not complete the flight in their legal duty time and were obliged to stand down but, because of earlier rescheduling of flights, no standby crew were available. Consequently, TZ8 was delayed overnight until a new, rested crew was available.
The safe operation of our airline is paramount and will not be compromised. Occasional technical issues nonetheless happen, to any airline, and the smaller the fleet, the larger the effect on schedules. As Scoot’s fleet grows from 6 to 11 aircraft this year our ability to absorb such events will significantly improve but, even so, Scoot is also reviewing the handling of these two flights to refine our processes and procedures.
As readers will be aware, Scoot has never shied away from the fact that low airfares come with a quid pro quo, which is that hotel accommodation is not assured in the rare event of disruption, and that travel insurance is highly recommended (our emphasis). These conditions are made known to and are acknowledged by every passenger at the time of booking. Notwithstanding, Scoot elected to provide hotel accommodation in Hong Kong to passengers on TZ221 and lounge access and F&B vouchers at Changi Airport to those on TZ8. Scoot has also reached out to guests on the two affected flights with compensation vouchers over and above the Guest Promise stated on our website as an indication of our regret.
We again apologize to those affected, assure them that their safety was at the core of our actions at all times, and commit that we will learn from this experience.
Chief Executive Officer
Here are three questions that were left unanswered:
1. Why didn't Scoot have adequate operating crew on standby?
2. Why wasn't any Scott staff available to help the affected passengers, especially the foreigners and the transit passengers?
3. Why were the passengers asked to deplane twice?
So a little yellow birdie told us that a certain American airline looks familiar. It looks like #ScootInspires their current campaign…well, we’re really flattered! Watch this video and tell us what you think!
Posted by FlyScoot on Thursday, April 9, 2015
When Wilson criticised US airline Spirit for copycat branding, he concluded by saying: “We’re not mad, we’re flattered. To CEO Ben Baldanza, thank you for spreading our brand to the other side of the world. ”
On behalf of the affected Scoot passengers, we say, "We're mad, we're not flattered by your use of a latin phrase to make light of such a 'rare event of disruption'. To CEO Campbell Wilson, thank you for using the word "apologize" twice to display the extent of your sincerity."
Top photo from FlyScoot Facebook page.