Passengers travelling from Singapore to Kolkata on board a Singapore Airlines (SIA) aircraft were in for a rough time a few days ago, when they were allegedly made to wait for around three hours inside the aircraft without the air conditioner working! Passengers complained that they were first put through the ordeal of having to wait inside a bus on the ground and then inside a hot aircraft before taking off.
According to reports, the incident took place on June 8 when flight number SQ 516 suffered technical glitches at the Singapore Changi Airport. Reports say that the aircraft was slated to take off at 9:10 but it was delayed by almost three hours and took off just before midnight.
Chandni Doulatramani, who was travelling from Brisbane to Kolkata via Singapore with her elderly parents and a young sister, took to Facebook to recount the horror. She said that the bus they were asked to board to take them to the aircraft, took half an hour. In her Facebook post, Chandni said that when some of the passengers knocked the door and windows of the bus, they were made to alight from the bus wait inside the terminal.
“My 73-year-old father and many other senior citizens and toddlers were extremely uncomfortable and exhausted just standing there,” she wrote. The passenger added that upon boarding the aircraft at 9:30 pm, they were told that the air-conditioning system of the plane was not working ant it would be fixed within 15 minutes. She said that the captain kept sharing the updates after every five minutes through the public announcement system – ‘the engineer is on his way’, ‘the engineer is here and it will be fixed soon, please bear with us’.
The lady also shared a video of the hot argument between few passengers and cabin crew.
Chandni noted that there was no ventilation in the aircraft, adding that after half an hour passed, an airhostess told her the aircraft hasn’t been in use for long thus the air-conditioning system was not working. “It was 31 degrees in Singapore and very humid,” she said in her post.
Later, she said that the pilot announced that they are ready to take off, leaving all passengers worried. “When the pilot announced they were ready to go, the air-conditioning had still not started. Everyone was nervous.”
The plane took off just before the midnight, she said. “We were on that plane for three hours with zero ventilation in super humid weather, with no way to get out, with a bunch of extremely rude cabin crew, and absolutely nobody helping to make the situation better.”
Chandni said that they were treated in such a manner by the SIA because passengers in the aircraft were Indians. “This was a traumatic experience not only for me and my senior citizen parents but for everyone on that plane. I strongly believe that this outright racist and dehumanising behaviour was meted out to us because we are Indians and the superiority complex was beyond evident.”
Later, the SIA issued an apology for the inconvenience caused to passengers travelling in Airbus A-330. It said that the aircraft had experienced technical snags and thus it was delayed by 2 hours and 52 minutes. “SQ 516 operating from Singapore to Kolkata on June 8, 2018, experienced technical issues on ground resulting in a 2-hour-52-minutes delay. SIA sincerely apologises for the inconvenience caused to the passengers on board,” a spokesperson said.