SINGAPORE: Passengers on a Scoot flight from Sydney to Singapore were stranded for 24 hours from Saturday afternoon (Sep 30) after the flight was delayed due to an aircraft technical issue.
Scoot flight TR1 was scheduled to depart Sydney Airport at 1.30pm Sydney time (10.30am Singapore time) on Saturday.
However, it experienced an aircraft technical issue and the flight was retimed while engineers rectified the issue, the airline said in a statement in response to Channel NewsAsia's queries.
The flight, which was carrying 234 passengers, departed Sydney on Sunday at 1.33pm, said the airline. It arrived in Singapore at around 7.05pm, according to Changi Airport's website.
"Hotel accommodation and transportation were arranged for affected passengers during the delay," scoot said.
MISSING TRANSPORT, LACK OF ROOMS
However, there were complications with some of the 53 travellers Scoot said accepted their offer of accommodation. Said a spokesperson, the rest of the passengers were either Sydney residents or did not want the assistance.
While several reported being put up at a hotel after hours of queueing, others complained of missing transport and lack of rooms.
Facebook user Myrene Hooper said her daughter's family was given accommodation with room service at Novotel, but suffered further logistics and technical problems at the airport the next day.
Passenger Chai Yieng posted on Facebook that he and some other passengers had to "spend a night in the airport" after a shuttle that was supposed to bring them to the hotel did not come.
"Couldn't there have been a better arrangement to ensure (that) all passengers (were) picked up? We all felt deceived," he wrote.
Fellow passenger David Harris also wrote on Facebook that passengers waited in queue for their accommodation for three hours before the line stopped "abruptly" as officials were "waiting on confirmation for more accommodation".
After arriving in Singapore, Mr Harris told Channel NewsAsia that he was about to miss out being a best man for his friend's wedding because of the delay.
"I would have booked another flight if I had any indication of the delay we experienced this morning but all flights had departed by the time it became clear ," he said.
"Terrible communication, lack of resource allocation and just one of the most poorly executed contingency plans ever resulted in one of the worst days 300+ people have ever had," he added.
Meanwhile, passenger Jeremy Teo wrote that his family was assigned to and made it to Novotel Sydney Central, but spent the next three hours waiting around after they were told there were no rooms.
"Why send us there?" he said, adding that his family, including an infant, was told to go to a motel where they were left stranded again.
LIMITED OPTIONS DURING HOLIDAY SEASON: SCOOT
In an updated statement on Sunday night, a Scoot's spokesperson said the airline tried to arrange transport and hotel rooms for passengers that required overnight accommodation, but due to it being a holiday season, there were "limited options".
"We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience experienced due to the delay in ground transportation to the hotels, and miscommunication between our airline representatives and the hotels which resulted in some unavailability of rooms," the spokesperson said. "We regret the disruptions to the travel plans of our passengers."
"Safety is of utmost importance to Scoot, and we will spare no effort in making sure all our flights operate safely," the spokesperson added.