UPDATE – Singapore’s Response to Defective IFE, Broken Seats, and Meal Mishaps

Some of you may remember the completely unexpected and uncharacteristic problems I ran into during my first ever Singapore First award trip to Bali back in January. I flew from IAH-DME-SIN-DPS for 70k United MileagePlus miles (booked during the Singapore glitch), but had a non-functioning TVbroken seat that would not recline, and food incidents(hair in the dish and food poisoning) on two legs of the trip.

Singapore first responded back in February and I thought their compensation offer was a little stingy, most readers thought it was just plain horrible. For a flight with an average first class fare of $8000 each way, they offered me $242 voucher. They would not discuss the food poisoning issue at all as they had only “received reports of 22 passenger complaints. Reports of 40 or more are required to investigate airline responsibility“.  OK, so forgetting my 24 hours of sickness, $242 still seemed off for an inoperable seat and TV in first class and some hair in my dish. With the coaxing of several readers, I responded back to the airline…and received no response until today.  Here is their updated response:

Dear Mr Point Me to the Plane,

I am following up on behalf of Mr xx who is no longer with our company. In addition, Ms xx has transferred to another department. Having reviewed your case again, we would like to apologise once more for your disappointing experience onboard flight SQ61 /10 January 2013. We note that the in-flight entertainment system at your seat was not functioning properly, and that you had difficulty reclining your seat. We also regret the in-flight meal issues that you had faced.

That being said, we hope to seek your understanding that we are unable to provide compensation under these circumstances. We regret to inform you that we are unable to refund you any UA miles that were utilised to redeem the above mentioned flight and we hope that you will reconsider our offer of the proposed SGD300 transportation voucher. As  per your request, I have also forwarded your request on to the Customer Affairs Senior Management team. 

I look forward to hearing from you, Mr Point Me to the Plane

Yours sincerely
xxxx
Customer Affairs Manager
Singapore Airlines Limited

For an airline with world class customer service, I’m just not feeling the love!

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Comments

  1. I love how they always say “that we are unable to provide compensation under these circumstances” that is total garbage. YES you can provide compensation, you just refuse to do so!

    I don’t think 300SGD is adequate compensation especially for a F pax.

  2. yeah SGD300 was too much for a broken IFE or seat… hair in food is not life threatening, only 22 people not feeling well – they could have gotten that from the lounge devouring. plus you only spent 70k miles, SQ has to make a living somehow.

  3. Firstly, the fact that the fare is normally $8,000 is irrelevant. The cost incurred by you was 70k miles.
    Secondly, you were only able to book this flight due to the airline’s error. It’s questionable whether they were even obligated to honor the deal to begin with.
    Thirdly, the flight attendants made a good effort to accommodate you.
    In light of all of the above, I have to agree with SQ. $242 is fair compensation for the minor inconveniences you experienced.

  4. Agree with Jonathan. If you had paid $8K I think the situation would be different. Be grateful you got anything at all.

  5. I stand by my reply to your first round of complaining about the compensation:

    >>If I read the reports correctly, an alternative seat was offered or provided in both instances. As for the errant hair, wasn’t the dish also immediately replaced?

    I agree that $250 doesn’t seem like much, but I also don’t see where SIA really let you down.

    Things like this happen from time to time, in Y, C or F. What matters to me is how these things are dealt with on the spot. It seems that at every point, the airline apologized and tried to make things right for you.<<

    You may want to consider getting over it and moving on.

  6. Work2fly is right. You mistakenly got a drastically reduced ticket. You did not pay $8,000, and I’m sure they considered that when compensating you. It sounds like they provided exceptional customer service, and even provided compensation for someone who likely will not pay $8,000 in the future. You made out like a bandit on this trip.

  7. Move on – most of your comments state that.

    You got SQ with their mistake fare, probably a loss for them, voucher and apology.

    Sir – Ever heard of karma ? It will come back to you one day.

  8. Hard to gauge what’s really ‘fair.’ Fair is different for each person and I guess SG though $300 SGD was fair but you didn’t.

    If you’re really looking for major compensation you’re probably better off going through some Civil lawsuit if you got food poisoning or something.

    Otherwise since you actually made it to your destination I doubt they’d offer much. If your flight was cancelled or delayed for some reason maybe they’d offer you more.

  9. Yeah I agree with the other commenters. At the very least SQ replied back; most airlines probably would have just ignored your complaints.

  10. Man people love to troll these blogs. It is irrelevant how or why you got the seat. You had a first class ticket and did not get first class service, plain and simple

  11. It was an award ticket on a glitch as you explained. Thus, what do you expect SQ to do for you? DO you think they consider you a “loyal customer” and are afraid of loosing your loyalty? You brought no revenues to them but took a seat that could have been sold for $8K taking advantage of a glitch in their systems. Get the SDD300 and thak them for that.

  12. do you know any contact person in Singapore Airlines… I emailed a complaint to them in Decemeber last year..have not received any response yet

  13. http://pointmetotheplane.boardingarea.com/2013/02/04/singapore-first-class-iah-dme-sin-trip-report-part-1/
    “Luckily, I was moved to the one remaining first class seat which had a working unit.”

    So that was not a major issue.
    The hair was bad but they did replace the meal.

    “I flew from IAH-DME-SIN-DPS for 70k United MileagePlus miles”
    – SQ protects their F class and if you had paid 8k a ticket I am sure your treatment after would have been better

  14. I would ask them for some SQ miles rather than the voucher if they are unable to give you back any of your UA miles. Not sure how many SQ miles would be adequate for you, but I think I would try for 25k.

  15. I think they should offer a 1 way upgrade from Coach to Biz or Biz to First; or refund half the miles. It is a small goodwill gesture to a passenger that was in F, regardless of whether it was a mileage ticket or not or it was booked in error. A passenger in F should get a F class product experience – the experience should not change based on what was paid.

  16. How about KrisFlyer miles? That’s what they offered me on what I considered to be a horrible biz class experience.

  17. Trying to get them to replace the experience with the SQ F experience seems a better tactics. They shouldn’t have to fork over currency, but they did not supply you with what you paid for (however it is you accomplished that). Since the itinerary was probably not limited to their flight, I’d suggest you did get some value, so an upgrade on business class ticket (booked on United miles) to First, seems appropriate. That would be great since it’s otherwise not possible to get SQ F. The trouble is logistically that’s difficult to deliver to you. If you came up with a itinerary, put it on hold, and could get them to respond in time …

  18. I had an issue with my United/SQ glitch ticket being canceled by Singapore a month before the flight. They were useless to help when I called. But after sending them a tweet, they had my tickets reissued in 24 hours! So I would definitely try their social media team. They were unbelievably helpful.

  19. @Santasico- how intelligent are you? You think SQ is letting award flyers on the plane for free? They’re paid by United. It’s not the full amount but its the amount they’ve agreed to accept for the class of service they offer. And do you think Point Me got completely free miles??? Even if he got them from a credit card sign up they were paid for, by the bank. If they were earned by credit card spend then he essentially paid for them as well because alternatively a cash back card would have given cash in lieu of miles. With your logic, if Starbucks gave you a free coffee after buy 30 coffees and your “free” coffee was just a cup of urine you wouldn’t complain. I’m sure that is likely.

  20. @Milezjunkie – I can see by your name that you like junk. So, I will not waste my time with you. SQ will allow award flyers in their flights but not for 70K in first. He gamed the system and should be thankful that SQ honored the ticket. He got an alternative seat for his broken one and food was replaced. What the hell is he complaining about?

    • @Santastico – How did I game the system? This is the price that is charged by United for a flight to Bali on ANY of their partners. Whether or not SQ meant to release the space to UA is none of my concern. Additionally, SQs own one-way award in first is not all that much more with the online booking discount.

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