When you’re travelling, one of the most gratifying moments is when you finally get to sink into your hotel bed after a long, hectic day of flying.
Well, not everyone gets to experience that all the time.
At least Greek journalist Irene Caselli didn’t, which is why she took to Twitter to air her grievances:
Shameful: @SingaporeAir has left us here on the floor at @ChangiAirport without options to make it home to #Greece. After #Athens shut down its airport, @flyscoot left us stranded in Singapore offering no sleeping arrangement for my son or alternative flights until Thursday. + pic.twitter.com/RgCuOkNiJG
— Irene Caselli (@irenecaselli) January 25, 2022
In her tweets, she mentioned how she was supposed to fly to Athens via Scoot, but the airport in Athens got shut down due to weather conditions.
She then claimed that Scoot and SIA refused to help her and her family out by saying that all the hotel rooms at Changi Airport were booked, forcing them to sleep on the floor of the airport for three days.
Additionally, she talked about how “ground staff did not care and refused to put us on a different flight or offer compensation to buy alternative”, that another commuter on the same flight had managed to get a hotel room while she had not, and that she had been “lied to”.
She also slammed SIA, tweeting about how they had “plenty of availability on other flights and offered no alternative only for [their] profit”.
Although Caselli technically did not fly with SIA, Scoot is a wholly-owned subsidy of SIA.
In a later update, Caselli tweeted that she had managed to book a hotel room for her family after contacting the Italian embassy.
An update: we have a hotel room now, after making a big fuss here and calling the Italian embassy. Thanks for your support. Two more days to go, but at least we have a bed and a shower available now.
And, trolls, please get out of here.
— Irene Caselli (@irenecaselli) January 25, 2022
SIA, Changi Airport and Scoot’s Replies
Shortly after the tweets blew up, SIA commented on Caselli’s tweets, asking for clarification.
Hi Irene, we’re sorry to hear this. May we clarify if you had approached our Singapore Airlines ground staff for assistance, and what was advised by them regarding alternative flight arrangements?
— Singapore Airlines (@SingaporeAir) January 25, 2022
It appears that both parties have settled the dispute via email.
Changi Airport replied to Caselli’s tweets as well, clarifying that they had been taken care of in terms of meals and accommodation. They also added on about how “alternative flight options were available”.
Dear Irene, I am sorry to hear about your situation. I understand that the airline has arranged for meals and accommodation for all affected pax and alternative flight options were given. I hope your stay at the hotel will be a comfortable one till your next flight out. -Anthea
— Changi Airport (@ChangiAirport) January 25, 2022
Afterwards, in response to Mothership‘s enquiries, Scoot explained that those affected were “booked for the next available Scoot flights based on their final destinations”.
Just an FYI, if your flight is cancelled due to weather conditions, most airlines are apparently not obligated to rebook you, free of charge.
I suggest you rebook yourself onto any available flight to Europe and claim back from travel insurance. I don’t think you’re contractually entitled to be rebooked if the cancellation was due to weather
— Fiona Tay (@anoifts) January 25, 2022
Though there were some (mostly foreign) users who jumped to her defence and sympathised with her, a large majority of Singaporeans and other netizens criticised her attitude and entitlement, noting that it was not SIA or Scoot’s responsibility to provide her with lodging or even a rebooked flight due to how it was Athens Airport that had closed.
Did Singapore Airlines or Changi Airport cause Athen’s airport to shut down? Shut up and pay for your own hotel, cheapskate. Don’t be a self-entitled prick. Blame your own motherland. Hope you get a one way ticket back!
— Cloudneft (@NeftCloud) January 25, 2022
Some pointed out that Scoot is a budget airline, so she shouldn’t have been looking for first-class services.
You choose to use a budget airline with a toddler in tow. Why are you blaming everyone but yourself? You telling me you never fly Ryan air or easyJet? Don’t abuse Asian hospitality.
— Terry (@TezSg) January 25, 2022
Others provided actual, legit help that might come in handy to anyone someday. (So take notes!)
In such situations, you should first refer to your travel insurance to determine if you are eligible to rearranged your flights. If you don’t have one, next is checking if the airline can go out of their duties to help you. Last resort is dig into your own purse.
— br0k3n7ink (@br0k3n7ink) January 26, 2022
Additionally, there was a handful who questioned her decision-making.
You had the choice to put your kid at home…
You had the choice to fly other airlines..
You made the choice to take risk to travel… please also explain your choice before blaming others… period…
— Nicholas Tan (@gamerslifedead) January 26, 2022
And hey, some other netizens pointed out cold hard facts too. I’m sure everyone in Singapore will agree that there really are much more uncomfortable places to sleep in as compared to Changi Airport.
Sis, our airport is comfortable enough for you to be stranded at. Stop being self entitled thks
— yat (@hidyeyat) January 26, 2022
And for those who aren’t keen on scrolling through the entire Twitter thread, this person summed the comments up pretty well:
1. Books budget tickets during Covid
2. Does not have travel insurance
3. Uses her child as propaganda
4. Claims to be a journalist (nobody has heard of you)
5. Complains to everyone when the destination airport causes flight cancellation.
Unprepared self-entitled Karen.
— Dude (@Black_Gryphon) January 26, 2022
Interestingly, the only tweets that Caselli chose to retweet were all in support of her, whether it be through one-word remarks such as “Terrible” or short sentences demanding for the airlines to take responsibility even though they, well, already have.
If anything, what’s clear by now is that most Singaporeans will band together in times of need to knock some sense into those who need it, especially if it’s over social media.
In times like these, we’re probably more united than when we sing Home during NDP.
Jokes aside, don’t forget to book travel insurance the next time you travel.
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