I WAS among more than 100 Singaporeans stranded in Bangkok after Tiger Airways cancelled Flight TR109 to Singapore last Sunday evening.
Tiger Airways dropped us off at a hotel without a guide. Instead of airline staff, it was left to the hotel staff to inform us to gather at the lobby at 8.30 the next morning for a briefing.
But, at 8.30am, we were told to meet at 9.30am.
At 9.30am, we were told to meet at 12.30pm. All these messages were relayed by the hotel staff, not Tiger Airways.
During the numerous delays, we tried to contact Tiger Airways in Thailand but were told that its contact was merely a call centre and could not help.
Then, we called Tiger Airways in Singapore and were told that they were unsure of the situation in Thailand. Further calls went unanswered.
I then called the Singapore embassy in Thailand for help and was told that an officer would return my call later. One Mr Teo called me shortly and advised me to contact the Tiger Airways liaison officer. Although I told him that we had already tried doing that but to no avail, he insisted that I try calling the Tiger Airways contact again.
I did, and as expected, I was told to wait for further information. I contacted Mr Teo again to seek his help but he replied that it was an issue between the passengers and Tiger Airways.
All that he was able to do was to monitor the situation and wait for updates from our end.
I have always thought that in times of need, we could turn to our embassies for help. My confidence in that assumption has been badly dented. I am also seeking an explanation from Tiger Airways for the fiasco.
Lam Kam Choy
This article was first published in The Straits Times on June 19, 2008.