Scoot says no bedbugs found, but it will disinfect seats

Low-cost carrier Scoot has found no evidence of bedbugs after investigating a passenger's claim that she was bitten by them while on a flight.

In a statement to The Straits Times yesterday, a Scoot spokesman said: "We would like to reassure everyone that we take the health and safety of our guests seriously and have conducted an investigation, including thoroughly examining all the crevices around the seats, such as below the seat cushion, lifting the seat pan flap, and punching the life vest to check for evidence of bedbugs."

In a Facebook post last Saturday, passenger Jiamin Han said she was left with "a cluster of bedbug bites" after a day trip to Hong Kong on Scoot on Aug 8.

Ms Han said she had flown on flights TR2062 and TR2069, and noticed the bites on her arms and back after she returned.

"We can confirm that there is no evidence of bedbug infestation in this instance," said Scoot's spokesman. As a pre-emptive measure, however, the carrier will disinfect the seats where the alleged incidents took place, as well as the seats around them. The seat cushion covers will also be replaced.

The spokesman explained that bedbugs can spread in places with a frequent turnover of people. They can also spread where people are in close proximity, and also through their belongings.

"In view of this, Scoot has in place a rigorous cleaning and maintenance schedule to ensure the cleanliness and hygiene of our fleet, comprising a monthly pest treatment, as well as aircraft cabin deep cleaning and residual disinfection every seven to eight weeks."

In a separate incident, cinema patron Debra Low, 28, posted a complaint on Golden Village's Facebook page last Friday about bedbugs at two of its cinemas, with photos of bumps on her skin. The cinema chain blocked the affected seats upon receiving her feedback. No bedbugs were detected.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 16, 2017, with the headline 'Scoot says no bedbugs found, but it will disinfect seats'. Print Edition | Subscribe