Empty check-in counters; Changi Airport

Numerous airlines in Singapore are playing dumb, and putting their customers on ridiculously long queue on customer service hotlines to avoid paying refunds.

According to a 65-year-old retiree who paid S$2,200 to Korean Air for three return tickets to Seoul, he contacted the airline last Wednesday (Feb 27) but did not get a response.

A customer with Singapore national budget carrier Scoot, called more than 10 times over 20 days – and at one occasion he was put on hold for 3 hours – just to get back S$400.

Another customer with Scoot complained that the Singapore airline refused to refund him and even demanded a further S$400 for two tickets, which costed him S$600, for a rearranged flight.

The Facebook pages of Singapore Air Lines (SIA) and Jetstar are also filled with comments from angry customers who could not get their refunds. The two airlines ignored all requests on its Facebook page:

“Carl Bellwood – Singapore Airlines – your customer service teams are absolutely appalling. I have a ticket which has a partial refund available to me owing to the fare type I booked yet I cannot get anyone to read my email properly and respond in a meaningful way. It seems to me that your tactic is to simply send rubbish and irrelevant replies to emails so that you can keep pushing customers back and giving them the impression you’re actually helping them and being responsive when, actually, you’re just useless!”

Some airlines are also giving blanket refusal to refunds by hiding behind travel insurance.

The Singapore Customer Association (CASE) is also playing dumb alongside the airlines, without even a squeak on the mountains of customer complaints.