SIA passengers in S'pore after emergency flight landing in Azerbaijan
- POSTED: 07 Jan 2014 17:28
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Singapore Airlines will offer a refund to passengers who were on board flight SQ317 from London to Singapore. The flight had to make an emergency landing in Azerbaijan on Monday after it suffered a loss of cabin pressure. The 467 passengers arrived in Singapore on Tuesday afternoon.
SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines will offer a refund to passengers who were on board flight SQ317 from London to Singapore. The flight had to make an emergency landing in Azerbaijan on Monday after it suffered a loss of cabin pressure.
The 467 passengers arrived in Singapore on Tuesday afternoon.
Mohinderjeet Kaur, whose daughter had texted on the flight when the emergency happened, said: "We first got to know about this around 2am, that there was going to be an emergency landing. We had not slept since then, worrying and traumatised by the whole thing that's happened."
Rajween Kaur, who was on the flight, said: "I'm glad to be home. I wasn't feeling well so they really took care of me on the way back. So I'm really grateful for that."
Melanie Carter, a passenger with two young children, said: "The air hostesses were very good and tried to help but it was very difficult to hear what they were saying.”
It was quite an ordeal for the passengers and crew, even after they landed safely in Baku.
All 467 passengers were eventually moved to a hotel, but this was only 15 hours after reaching the Baku airport.
Singapore Airlines said this was because it took a long time to get approval from local authorities to let passengers leave the transit area.
Steve Barnes, a visitor from London, said: "They couldn't get us into the hotels until we were four hours till we were due to leave, so we only spent 41 minutes in our room."
Those with relatives and friends on board said communication from the airline could have been better.
Annetta Mullen, whose friends were on SQ317, said: "When my husband rang them last night, and again this morning, the person on the other end said they didn't know what was going on and they needed to go find someone who did know. Eventually they came back this morning and said the flight was due to land early this afternoon."
Debra Lim, who was waiting for her parents, said: "We had to try and contact the airline and we couldn't contact Singapore Airlines because they don't have a person to talk to, it's just an automated voice. So I had to call the reservations hotline - the customer service officer there was very nice, she found out what was going on."
Responding to queries from Channel NewsAsia, SIA said the hotline was for its 24-hour call centre, and it apologises if the centre was not able to provide immediate information to the relatives of those affected.
The airline also noted it was only able to provide information when details could be confirmed as it was a developing situation.
It also pointed out it had been providing updates on its Facebook page and Twitter.
SIA said in a letter to passengers that it will offer a refund for the London-Singapore flight.
It has also made arrangements for onward flights for those who missed their connecting flights.
Ground services teams also met passengers on arrival at Changi to make hotel arrangements where needed.
Investigations into the cause of the depressurisation are ongoing.