To put it lightly, Scoot’s not had a great month. Sure, we’ve heard of flights being cancelled or delayed before, but Scoot took it to a totally different level. You could even choose your favourite airport of choice to get stuck at. Delayed in Hong Kong? 22 hour wait in Changi Airport? You take your pick.
Needless to say, Scoot’s handling of the recent incidents left much to be desired. But a recent incident that got brought to our attention really takes the cake. We’ll get into that in a bit.
Before we jump into what may possibly blow your mind, I just wanted to address an underlying sentiment (no, I’m not talking about extreme hatred) that people have had towards Scoot and, really, towards budget carriers in general. Amidst the mass of comments and snarky remarks that naturally followed the two incidents, an overarching echo of “pay less, get less” seemed to be flowing out from everyone. So let’s get a few things straight first.
It’s fair to assume that when you pay less for a budget carrier, you most definitely should not expect all the bells and whistles that come with full-fledged carriers. Check-in luggage, in-flight meals and entertainment, these are all things that come together with the additional price you pay for a full carrier. Or rather, these are ways in which budget carriers keep costs low for the consumer and make additional money by (over)charging you for things like Pringles priced at $5.
The issue here is this attitude was also used to excuse off the poor customer service provided by Scoot. Paying less should never mean that you are subject to poor service and that communication efforts are poor and untimely. There is a certain baseline by which these services should be run and be expected of regardless of the price of your ticket. The more excuses we make for companies like this, the more they will feel like they can just get away with the same shoddy service the next time round.
Now That We’ve Gotten That Out of The Way
This brings us to the meat of this article. I was notified of an incident involving one of my friends (who has no relation to me even though we share the same surname), and I have to say this really takes the cake. Here’s the online message he sent to Scoot:
Off the bat, I have to point out that one of the fastest ways on this planet to piss someone off when a situation like this occurs is to throw the book at them and say “the Terms and Conditions say so”, insinuating that they have no choice and just have to suck it up.
It’s also worth noting that if this were a flight booking for just a holiday trip, then going to Taiwan instead of Perth isn’t really that bad to make up for a technical glitch. The only issue here is that he was flying to Perth to visit a friend so it’s not as if changing destinations was a small matter.
If your flight is delayed, or worst still cancelled, that is something that you can at least get some monetary compensation for with travel insurance. We’re not going to go into another lecture on why you should be buying it before your trip. But in this case, I fail to see under what clause any insurance company would even entertain his claim.
What Can You Do To Prevent This?
Well, in case the article title wasn’t obvious enough… you could always avoid certain airlines. But as a general practice erring on the side of caution, Ambrose also helpfully suggested a few safety measures:
1. Don’t Open Multiple Tabs
We’re pretty sure Ambrose isn’t the first person to open multiple tabs when making a booking, and I can’t even begin to explain why on earth that would cause an error like this but hey, better safe than sorry right?
2. Take Screenshots
If you really can be bothered, take a screenshot every step of the way, but most importantly of all, make sure you capture the page just before you make a booking. Just like our previous article on what to do to make sure people don’t overclaim their insurance against you, recording every detail is important should you find yourself in a similar situation.
3. Use Social Media
Ambrose shared that he never thought he would have written a post like this on Facebook, much less one of this length. His friends advised him that if he didn’t make it public, Scoot would never feel compelled to act.
Be factual, be direct, and make sure you are clear about what you feel is fair compensation (and actually be fair about it).
Has this ever happened to you? Are you ever going to fly Scoot again? Share your thoughts with us here.
Andrew W. Sieber