Well, Singapore Airlines usually offers amazing passenger experience however, this was not the case in Shanghai recently.
Passengers Stuck Inside Singapore Airlines For Eight Hours
Channel News Asia is reporting an incident that occurred on a Singapore Airlines flight from Shanghai on Wednesday, September 6, 2023. SQ833 was supposed to operate flights from Shanghai (PVG) to Singapore (SIN) at 16:50 PM and scheduled for a 5hr30min flight to Singapore. The flight was operated by an Airbus A380-800 registered as 9V-SKT, which was a roughly 11-year-old aircraft.
Now, the incident occurred when the aircraft was on the ground and about to take off. As soon as the aircraft was on take-off roll, there was an unexpected technical issue where the pilots had to abort the takeoff.
Initially, the captain informed the passengers that maintenance would be fixing the issues within an hour however, as time passed by, after hour by hour, it was already 12:30 AM, past midnight with the flight ultimately being canceled.
Moreover, some passengers apparently posted videos on social media showing passengers and mentioned:
“Many out of their seats, in the economy class section of the aircraft. There was no air conditioning and not enough air circulation in the plane.”
“It was plane technical issue. So they turned off engine twice for total more than 2 hours. And locked everyone in the cabin 8 hours while they tried to fix the issue.”
Apparently, the mechanic shut off the engines and APU a couple of times which made the cabin very hot. You can watch the video shared by one of the passengers on board below.
Singapore Airlines issued a statement regarding this incident stating that:
“The aircraft returned to the bay and engineers were brought on-site to try to rectify the issue. For safety reasons, the ground power had to be disabled while the checks were going on. Customers disembarked the aircraft at 12.30am and hotel accommodation was arranged. All affected customers were rebooked on other flights (on Thursday) and have since departed Shanghai.”
“We recognise that the customers could have been allowed to leave the aircraft earlier. SIA apologises to the affected customers for this and we will review our procedures to avoid a recurrence.”
Singapore Airlines’ Disappointing Passenger Service
While Singapore Airlines offers superb service both on the ground and air, the latest incident shows that airlines need to find the best possible solution rather than trapping passengers on board for eight hours. Getting stranded inside an aircraft cabin is very unpleasant and uncomfortable. In addition, it could cause medical issues especially when the air conditioning is turned off and the cabin gets hot. Therefore, Singapore Airlines’ way of handling the situation was quite poor in this case.
However, I also do understand Singapore Airlines’ side. I mean, who would think the maintenance will take hours? If the aircraft was about to get fixed in 30 minutes, deplaning nearly 500 passengers and reboarding them would cause another significant delay. So this was a little bit of a tricky situation for the airline to decide whether to keep or deplane the passengers.
But keeping it for eight hours was a little too much…
Singapore Airlines is under fire for its way of handling a situation where passengers had to be trapped onboard the A380 for eight hours in Shanghai. The aircraft had a technical issue prior to takeoff and had to return to the gate and this is when the operation team kept passengers hours before the flight was eventually cancelled.
I understand the situation faced by Singapore Airlines about handling passengers in this kind of situation however, keeping passengers for eight hours was too excessive.