On 26th January 2006, I reserved on the SIA website from our home in the UK 3 business class seats from Singapore to Auckland for travel on 15th December 2006, at a cost of over S$5,000 per ticket. When we arrived at Changi Airport two and a half hours before take-off time, we were told that the flight was oversold and that we were to be compulsorily downgraded to economy class. A substantial compensation figure was mentioned by the check-in clerk (which Singapore Airlines subsequently said was a miscommunication), which we rejected; we also declined an offer to travel in first class 24 hours later as our schedule did not permit this.
In the event, Singapore Airlines found a premium seat for my wife, but my son and I travelled in a 100% full economy cabin, which was noisy and uncomfortable and which resulted in us beginning our New Zealand trip with a completely sleepless night, not at all part of our plan.
At the gate, we were requested (and declined) to sign a form accepting the downgrade in exchange for S$1000 cash in compensation (which is less than the difference in value of the ticket) and an upgrade voucher on that route subject to availability and valid for 12 months – not a sector which there is any prospect of me traveling again in that time (our return trip was from Christchurch, and SIA has no first class on that route).
Although they knew that we did not wish to accept the downgrade, at no time did SIA make any effort to negotiate a package with other passengers and the only alternative compensation they have offered is 30,000 krisflyer miles – as I am UK-based, enough for a return economy flight within Europe subject to availability and time-limited, once again not a proposal which has any practical value to me at all. Your readers should be aware that over-selling is endemic on SIA (Mr ** who handled our case told us that on his previous shift he had compulsorily downgraded or off-loaded 39 passengers.) and that booking early or checking in early is no protection against this mistreatment.
They should also be aware that SIA does not follow international best practice (compulsorily in Europe and the US) of negotiating acceptable terms with passengers and that after the event they have shown no interest at all in trying to find a reasonable settlement. Our case is still open.
SEOUL -- My name is **. The topic of this letter is almost certain to gain your attention. Frankly, I know that your airline has offered friendly customer service at a high rates and that is always cause for patronage in many marketing textbooks. My hope is to continue using Singapore Airlines but I have to admit I was dissatisfied with you. My brother purchased the round trip ticket in the USA and the ticket was to bring him to Korea on July 27, 2003, and return him to the USA on Aug. 16, 2003. A flight from San Francisco to Seoul went off without a hitch. My brother said that the attendants inside the plane were friendly and helpful.
The return trip however from Seoul was riddled with harassment and bitterness. Before ticketing, on a desk my brother was asked if he would like to give up his seat for a nonstop flight, business class of a flight to Vancouver would be offered and he would obtain $400 instead. And then he responded saying yes and then left Seoul for Vancouver.
After about 12 hours, my brother arrived at the airport in Vancouver and he thought that he was scheduled to connect to flight to San Francisco as you promised in Korea. But he didn't discover that his connecting flight from Vancouver to San Francisco had no seat. Unfortunately, Singapore Airlines failed to provide adequate service because it did not notify him (my family also) of this cancellation or rescheduled flight.
Subsequently, my brother asked your agents how to solve that problem, and the officers were asked to wait for 3 days until they found the plane to San Francisco. After waiting for 3 more hours, the only option available to him was to take a 6 hour bus ride to Seattle. He were eventually bussed into Seattle around 11 p.m. that night. When he arrived in Seattle, he found out that he must wait for 9 hours. But he had no ice and was concerned about arriving in San Francisco first!
My brother finally boarded the plane to San Francisco and his final arrival time in San Francisco was 10:11 a.m. on Aug. 18, almost two days later than his original time. Although 10 days passed, my brother did not get $400. So he called your office in San Francisco and demanded the compensation that your company promised. But the officer said for him to visit your office. It is to be regretted that you did not make an apologize but say 'visiting'.
I understand that overbooking is possible to happen, but this would have never happened if proper notification of the changes had been done in the first place. This error caused him to waste a day of vacation but I confirmed that my brother did not get any information, any apology, and any indemnity that your officer said. I couldn't stand this so I called your Seoul office and demanded a speed answer. But it was just my hope. An attempt was made me embarrassed.
I have been searching the internet for about two weeks but couldn't find absolutely the phone number of Customer Service in Seoul. Your airline seems to think that Customer satisfaction should be less important than in particular other countries. Anyhow, so I called a reservation part. I had the misfortune of encountering Ms. **. (It is possible that spelling of the name is wrong.) After I said this error, she said that she would 'call me inside a day'. But 3 days later, I still had not received any connection, so I called her again after 3 days.
She forget it (and my name, phone number) and stated that it was out of her hands because she carried the message to someone (**) related to this problem. I asked her to call back because there is nothing to solve. She was extremely rude and discourteous. Though she said 'yes' and 'I'll call you inside a day', she didn't. So I called again next day, she said that call him (Mr. **) or wait!
I couldn't wait forever. When I called Mr. **, he just said (without apology) that he had day-off for 3 days. Once I expressed actually dissatisfaction about this irresponsibility, I was treated quite rudely by Mr. **. Stunningly, he did not have any information about this problem and he thought little of that I didn't want to repeat because I had to say it whenever I communicated with someone at Singapore Airlines.
Because Mr. ** didn't care about my needs as a customer of Singapore Airlines, after spending some minutes on the telephone with him, I decided to talk to a station manager who could manage this. But he did not know the phone number. So I asked what phone number of the head office is and his answer was just 'I don't know'. So I asked him why he didn't know the phone number of your main company in Singapore and he just told me that he didn't know.
When I told him that I got a direct phone number of station manager (It's true) and that I didn't want to talk with him anymore, he was being rude he said "Because you do so, there is no way." And then he connected me with an assistant manager **. It seemed Mr. ** was mocking me! I was disappointed to Singapore Airlines because of People like ** and Mr.**. I don't restore my confidence in Singapore Airlines again. The problem was that neither Ms. ** nor Mr. ** would consider the feeling of customer. And it is care noting about customer's complaint. (I forget that name of a man who is a member of marketing.)
Ultimately, I believe that it is Singapore Airline's responsibility to notify its customer of any delay or change that it makes to compensation. It should not rely solely on a branch in Korea to do so. I am also disappointed with Singapore Airline because its agents were not being very understanding and continued to escape from the error.
This was my brother's first time flying on Singapore Airlines, and to be quite frank, it was not a pleasant experience at all. My family have flown various airlines for many years, for business as well as pleasure and have never had a problem like this. It was one of the worst flying experiences of my brother's life. While the circumstances resulting from the overbooking was beyond anyone's control, the manner which the situation was handled was unprofessional.
I and my colleagues have thought that Singapore Airlines has been the best at Customer Service. However, the lack of concern for the customer on recent flights, and particularly a customer call, will lead me to begin flying other airlines if I do not hear an appropriate response from you. The whole chain of events that happened was simply a total lack of respect for the convenience and service to the customer.
It is unfortunate that my brother's vacation had to end on such a note. Does Singapore Airlines really not care if customers call for help? It doesn't make me feel like I am very valuable to your company. I can't understand as a person working related to customer. I think that my brother and I deserve to apology from you for your company's irresponsibility and their rudeness and impolite manners. All we received were apologies that did nothing to make up for the impact it had on us.
At the very least I would like a response from your company regarding this incident and I would like the following: 1. I think that Singapore Airlines should be aware of travelers that want to get right service with right manner at right time. I would like your company to make some adjustments to your employees' manner responding to customer's demand. 2. To resolve the problem, I would appreciate some sort of compensation, not only $400 that you promised but also whether it is monetary or free ticket, whatever you deem necessary for a matter such as this. I feel that we should be offered a refund for the inconvenience.
I expect to hear from you soon. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.
PEARL RIVER, LOUISIANA -- Singapore Airlines is one of the absolute best airlines I know. I say that with confidence, because I have flown close to 400,000 miles in SQ business class during the last 2 years. Impeccable service, wonderful staff on board, wonderful staff on the ground, absolutely reliable, on time, A+ baggage handling. Thank you!