SINGAPORE - Passengers on a Singapore-bound Scoot flight from the south Indian city of Bengaluru were stranded in the airport for hours overnight, after a security threat was falsely reported.
Flight TR573, which was supposed to depart Bengaluru at 1.20am local time on Tuesday (April 23), has been tentatively rescheduled to take off about 14 hours later at 3.30pm.
Frustrated passengers, including families with young children and those with connecting flights in Singapore, said that they were left with little information for hours.
Research and development engineer Bharath Kumar Cimbili, 30, told The Straits Times on Tuesday that the plane was preparing for take-off on the runway when the flight was abruptly cancelled.
According to him, a passenger had reported a "gun-like structure" in one of the cabin bags.
The Indian national, who works in Singapore, said passengers were told that there was a "security issue".
They were made to wait in the plane for about three hours, before all of them alighted and went through security screening and immigration clearance again.
"Basically, everyone is restless, angry and frustrated because we all arrived at the airport at 10pm and it has been more than 10 hours in the airport without any refreshments or trusted information about next steps," he said.
He added that there were several people taking connecting flights to Australia who were worried about the next leg of their trip.
Other Indian nationals wanted to head home, "but their baggage is stuck in the plane and they can't leave airport premises", he said.
The flight had been scheduled to land at Changi Airport at 8.25am, and he was supposed to report to work at 10am.
In response to queries, a Scoot spokesman said that a passenger had to be removed from the flight by airport security because of a verbal security threat.
No suspicious items were found after the remaining passengers went through security screening and immigration clearance again, the spokesman added.
However, the additional security procedures meant that the flight time limits of the operating crew had been exceeded.
Scoot said that it is arranging for a replacement flight from Singapore, which will be operated by a new set of crew, to transport affected passengers back.
The replacement flight, TR573D, is currently scheduled to depart Bengaluru at 3.30pm local time on Tuesday (6pm Singapore time), depending on overflight permit approvals.
Breakfast was first served to passengers at about 7am local time and they were also provided with lunch, the Scoot spokesman said in a later update.
Those with young children and infants were provided with lounge access from 9.30am local time.
Meanwhile, all affected passengers are able to access updates about arrangements made for them on Scoot’s online Flight Status Platform, while announcements are also made on ground every half an hour.
The spokesman also clarified that passengers' baggage are not being held in the plane, and they are allowed to leave airport premises and return to the airport to take the replacement flight.