Mount Agung: Scoot reroutes some stranded passengers; 18-hour journey to include ferry, plane rides

A flight information board showing flights cancelled due to the eruption of Mount Agung, in Ngurah Rai International airport in Denpasar, Bali, on Nov 28, 2017.
A flight information board showing flights cancelled due to the eruption of Mount Agung, in Ngurah Rai International airport in Denpasar, Bali, on Nov 28, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - With the Denpasar airport shut as Bali's Mount Agung continues to erupt and spew thick plumes of steam and ash on Tuesday (Nov 28), some airlines have been scrambling to reroute passengers.

Scoot said it managed to arrange transportation for its passengers from Bali to Surabaya. From there, they will be flown back to Singapore on Scoot planes. The journey, which includes a ferry crossing, is expected to take 18 hours.

Scoot added that it has stopped the sale of flights to and from Bali till Dec 4.

Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines said its focus "is on assisting customers who have been affected by the flight disruptions". It added that it is accommodating some travellers in hotels, among other measures.

SIA is also offering customers the option of rerouting their original Monday and Tuesday flights to Denpasar to other South-east Asia destinations in the Singapore Airlines and SilkAir network. The new flights must be "within the same cabin class, subject to seat availability".

SIA said customers travelling to Denpasar from Nov 27 to Dec 4 with tickets issued on or before Nov 27 may contact the airline for rebooking or refund requests. The new travel date must start on or before Jan 31, it added. 

Singaporean Natalie Neo, 26, an analyst at a bank, is among tens of thousands who have been stranded in Bali.

She was there with a friend for a short weekend getaway. Initially scheduled to arrive in Singapore on Monday night, she has had two flights cancelled on her so far.

Ms Neo said: "First, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines informed us that it had cancelled our flight as it said it was not safe to fly or land at night in Bali as long as the volcano was active."

The duo were then rebooked on an SIA flight returning to Singapore on Tuesday afternoon, but this, too, was cancelled.

Ms Neo said: "We've had to extend our stay in the hotel. We've not heard any news of compensation or if accommodation will be covered by either airline if the disruption continues."

Singapore permanent resident Simon Kyte, 45, a banking executive, was in Bali for a week-long holiday with his wife and two children.

He was scheduled to be on a KLM flight back to Singapore at 9.30pm on Sunday.

Mr Kyte, who is from Britain, said: "KLM has transferred us to the Hilton Garden Inn next to the airport and has been paying for our stay and food."

He said his employers have been understanding. "The understanding is that I will be working remotely on my work phone until I can get home."