Scoot customer recounts her experience of being ping-ponged around Sydney Airport for six hours

Photo: Andrew W. Sieber / Flickr

The alleged lack of communication from budget airline Scoot apparently left a Singaporean and her travel companion stuck in Sydney Airport for around six hours without any home-bound flight booked.

According to a customer’s post on the FlyScoot Facebook page, the harrowing experience involved being bounced around various counters and desks just to get their luggages returned and fly back home.

It’s a bit of a long, winding tale, so we’ll just lay it out in point form:

  • Ember Leong and her boyfriend flew in from Auckland on a one-way Air New Zealand flight to Sydney Airport, arriving around 10:35am on March 31. They had a one-way Scoot flight booked from Sydney to Singapore that afternoon for 1pm.
  • An attempt to get their luggage was thwarted by a customs officer, who allegedly stated that they had to check in four hours before their Scoot flight — which meant that they actually had to check in at 9am.
  • This was not stated in Leong’s flight itinerary, which only mentioned that they had to check in two hours before their flight.
  • After seeking help at the International Transfer Desk, they were re-routed to the Singapore Airlines desk.
  • SIA staff tried their best to help them get their luggage back from Air New Zealand. They were also told to get their boarding pass from the Scoot counter— but Scoot staff informed them that they were booted off the flight as they did not check in on time.
  • Scoot then directed Leong back to SIA for them to sort out another flight. Upon arriving at the SIA desk, however, SIA staff said that they did not receive any information from Scoot — none of their names were transferred to any flights.
  • They were then shuffled to the Air New Zealand counter to get their luggage, but a staff member claimed that their luggage was already on a Scoot flight back to Singapore.
  • Leong double-checked, and it turned out that the Scoot flight didn’t even pick up their luggage but instead left it behind in the basement. The couple’s belongings were promptly returned to them.
  • A call to the Scoot hotline didn’t do much — a staff member who spoke to her said that the airline couldn’t do anything.
  • Eventually, to just fly back home, the couple booked a last-minute Qantas flight, one that apparently “costed quite a bit for something that was not (their) fault”.

Since the distressing incident, Leong has called the Scoot hotline to lodge a complaint, and a representative assured that an investigation would be conducted. For now, the case remains pending, and Leong’s boyfriend confirmed to Coconuts Singapore that he’ll be making another call to Scoot tomorrow to get an explanation on the “horrible experience” they had.

A Scoot spokesperson, however, clarified to Coconuts Singapore that though they were “unable to account for the accuracy of advice” other parties gave Leong throughout her ordeal, the airline mentioned that the there was no codesharing agreement between them and Air New Zealand. Leong and her boyfriend had been transferring between flights made on two separate bookings on two different carriers — so the responsibility of not missing connecting flights was on them.

Here’s what the Scoot representative stated:

“The passenger was transferring between flights made on two separate bookings on two different carriers with no codeshare agreement. Hence she would need to clear Customs and Immigration, collect her checked-baggage, then proceed to the relevant departure hall check-in counter to check in for her Scoot flight. Our check-in counters are open 3 hours before scheduled departure and close 60 minutes before scheduled departure. As the passenger did not present herself at our counters to check in for her flight, she was deemed a ‘no-show’.”

“We strongly encourage passengers transferring between flights to determine the appropriate processes required so as to avoid missed connections.”


Editor’s Note: Article updated to reflect Scoot’s statement on the case. 

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