Singaporean travellers in Osaka forced to change their plans

Passengers stranded overnight at the Kansai International Airport in Izumisano city, Osaka prefecture, on Sept 5, 2018.
Passengers stranded overnight at the Kansai International Airport in Izumisano city, Osaka prefecture, on Sept 5, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

Singaporeans in Osaka have had their travel plans disrupted by Typhoon Jebi, which forced Kansai International Airport to close due to flooding.

Public servant Ben Ang, 29, and his wife were supposed to fly home yesterday, but their flight on budget airline Scoot was cancelled. They have booked a Singapore Airlines flight departing from Tokyo tomorrow instead.

"The shinkansen (bullet train) just restarted today, so we thought that would be the most reliable option," Mr Ang said yesterday, adding that they plan to take the train to Tokyo for the flight home.

The stores near where they were staying in Osaka were closed on Tuesday, but the situation was "not too chaotic", he said. The stores reopened yesterday.

Mr Ang estimated that the additional expenses will amount to about $1,500, which he hopes their travel insurance policy will cover.

"We are quite thankful we didn't get stranded at the airport," he said.

Singaporean Tan Aik Hui, 21, who studies at Osaka University, said classes were cancelled on Tuesday, but resumed yesterday.

He added that many trees on the campus were toppled and that power and water supplies were disrupted from 2pm on Tuesday to 10am yesterday.

Dynasty Travel said a few of its customers, mainly business travellers, were stranded in Osaka, and that the agency was helping them book flights back to Singapore.

"Customers flying into or out of Osaka's Kansai International Airport may have to land at or fly out from other airports in Nagoya or Kobe," said company spokesman Alicia Seah. "We will also continue to monitor the situation."

Chan Brothers spokesman Justine Koh said that while it did not have any travellers in Osaka, some customers called to ask about their travel plans and options.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) advised Singaporeans to defer non-essential travel to Osaka during this period. They can go to its website https://www1.mfa.gov.sg/Countries-Regions/J/Japan for more information.

Those who require consular assistance can contact the Singapore Embassy in Tokyo on +81-90-3208-4122 or the 24-hour MFA Duty Office on +65-6379-8800/8855.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 06, 2018, with the headline 'Singaporean travellers in Osaka forced to change their plans'. Print Edition | Subscribe