A group of travellers headed for Singapore were stranded in Sydney for more than 24 hours after their Scoot flight on Saturday was delayed, and then cancelled.
There was chaos among passengers of Scoot Flight TR1 at Sydney Airport when a defect in a circuit board grounded the Boeing 787 jetliner bound for Singapore. The flight had been scheduled to depart at 1.30pm (10.30am Singapore time).
It finally took off at 4.33pm (Sydney time) on Sunday and touched down in Singapore at around 7pm (Singapore time).
Netizens took to social media to vent their frustration at the snaking queues, interminable wait and other inconveniences.
One passenger, Facebook user Chai Yieng, said passengers had to spend a night at the airport, while another Facebook user, David Harris, said it was "one of the worst days" more than 300 people had ever had.
Marketing executive Jay Teo, 31, who was on holiday with his family, told The Straits Times yesterday: "Alerting passengers on what to expect would have allowed us to make informed decisions and prevent a chaotic situation. That way, by 7pm, everyone would have been out of the airport and had enough time to have a good dinner, a good sleep and fly back the next day.
"Budget travellers should be the easiest to appease because our expectations are not high. If there's an issue, we understand... Just explain what's the issue, what we should do next and everyone's happy."
Scoot told The Straits Times that an avionics card in the aircraft had to be replaced and the procedure involved a "software load" that took several hours. By the time it was fixed, limits on crew duty hours had been exceeded and the crew had to get a rest period of 12 hours as mandated by aviation regulations, causing the flight to be cancelled.
Scoot said it tried to arrange for transport and hotel rooms, but there were "limited options" due to the Australian school holidays.
Some passengers said transport to the hotels did not arrive, while others said they arrived at one hotel arranged by the airline, only to discover that it was fully booked.
Scoot apologised and acknowledged the confusion caused by the miscommunication with the hotels. The airline added that flight safety will not be compromised.
The Boeing 787 is part of a new generation of increasingly "smart" planes that rely on powerful on-board computers. Last year, a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER was grounded in Milan for over 24 hours due to a computer glitch.