Singapore Airlines Passengers Stuck On Plane Without Aircon, SIA Apologises For Inconvenience
For most air passengers, taking a plane is a necessary ordeal that one has to undergo in order to travel overseas.
Our national carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) usually makes it as comfortable as they can with their impeccable service, food and entertainment offerings.
However, passengers on a recent SIA flight were distinctly uncomfortable when they were stuck in the plane for eight hours at Shanghai Airport.
The flight was later cancelled — meaning their wait was all in vain.
Singapore Airlines flight from Shanghai stuck on tarmac for 8 hours
In a Facebook post, passenger Annie Li said she had been stuck on SQ833 from Shanghai to Singapore for almost eight hours.
Her flight was due to depart at 4.45pm on Wednesday (6 Sep), she said.
However, the plane was still on the tarmac, with passengers still aboard, at 12.35am.
According to the flight tracking website FlightRadar24, SQ833 typically lands in Singapore at 10.20pm after a flight lasting slightly over five hours.
However, SQ833 on 6 Sep travelled precisely nowhere, making one round of the Pudong International Airport tarmac before returning to square one.
Passengers say there was no aircon aboard plane
The video that Ms Li posted showed passengers including elderly people and children standing restlessly in a foggy cabin that appeared to be thick with humidity.
Some passengers even started fanning themselves.
Ms Li complained that there was no air-conditioning and not enough air circulation in the plane.
Another passenger griped on XiaoHongShu that there was no aircon for at least one hour and she “almost suffocated”.
She pitied those with children, who were “suffocating together in the plane”.
Passenger says plane suffered engine malfunction
A third passenger said on XiaoHongShu that the plane suffered an “engine malfunction” upon take-off.
That meant the plane had to return to the gate. The captain also made “multiple broadcasts” for technical assistance.
However, the plane door “couldn’t open” and the temperature in the cabin started increasing, they said.
Flight cancelled after 8 hours
Yet another passenger said on XiaoHongShu that due to the eight-hour wait, the flight crew served them three meals.
Eventually, they were told that the flight was cancelled, leading to people “going crazy”.
The good thing about that was that the passengers could finally get off the plane, though their travel plans were in disarray.
Singapore Airlines passengers stuck in queues at Shanghai airport
However, the day’s ordeal apparently didn’t end there.
Ms Li posted a second video at 1.30am, saying that they faced a long queue at the airport.
There were only two members of the ground staff handling hundreds of people, she added.
Footage showed children and elderly people waiting in a long queue snaking from the check-in counters.
SIA apologises for inconvenience
In response to queries from Channel NewsAsia (CNA), an SIA spokesperson apologised for the inconvenience caused to passengers by the prolonged delay.
The plane “encountered technical issues when the aircraft was still on the ground”, the airline said. They also had to disable the ground power for safety reasons while technical checks were ongoing.
Moreover, they had to shut the plane’s engine for more than 30 minutes and the aircon for more than 1.5 hours.
She added that cabin crew had to provide “oxygen tanks” for passengers who felt short of breath.
Passengers could have been allowed to leave earlier: SIA
SIA said passengers received meals and refreshments as well as assistance from ground staff.
However, the technical issues persisted despite the engineers’ best efforts.
It was then decided that the flight would be cancelled as more time was needed to fix things.
Meanwhile, the passengers “could have been allowed to leave the aircraft earlier”, SIA admitted, adding,
SIA apologises to the affected customers for this and we will review our procedures to avoid a recurrence.
All the passengers have since departed Shanghai after being rebooked on other flights.
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