Singapore: Scoot passengers sleep on floor, go without food and drinks at Hokkaido airport

This is the second time in December after almost 200 Singapore Airlines passengers were stuck in northern Japan two weeks ago.

Singaporeans suffers in Hokkaido airport since Thursday due to snow
Representational Image Reuters

Many Singaporean passengers are stranded in Japan's Hokkaido due to heavy snowfall that caused the delay or cancellation of more than 100 flights for the second time in December 2016.

Reports said Scoot flight TZ215, which was scheduled to fly at 5.25pm on Dec 22, was cancelled due to heavy snow. It might depart later on Saturday. Another Eva Airways' BR115 flight was cancelled on Friday.

Angelina Hing told The Straits Times that she and her family spent two nights on the floor of New Chitose Airport in Sapporo since Thursday.

She said that this situation occurred as most of the hotels near the airport were full, leaving people to sleep on the floor of the airport. Hing also added that they had to queue for more than two hours just to get blankets. Although Scoot provided meal vouchers, they were of limited use.

"They were only applicable to a handful of eateries, and on Thursday night by the time we checked out all eateries had closed," she added.

The eateries and convenience stores at the airport also ran out of food as more and more people arrived there. Hing said they have checked in and checked out three times since Thursday. However, she said that Scoot staffs were polite but "displayed very little flexibility" and there was a "lack of communication" which added to their frustration.

On its Facebook page, Scoop said flight TZ216 bound for Sapporo was diverted to Tokyo on Thursday as the runway at New Chitose Airport was closed. The flight only landed at around 10.50am on 23 Dec.

"Consequently, Scoot flight TZ215, originally scheduled to depart Sapporo for Singapore via Taipei at 5.25pm on 22 December, was delayed as well," it posted.

"However, the aircraft was not able to depart on 23 Dec due to adverse weather, which led to the closure of the airport in early afternoon," the post added.

Scoot further said that as there were no hotel rooms available, the affected guests were provided with meal vouchers.

Meanwhile, Singaporean dentist Tan Keng Wee said they were scheduled to travel on China Eastern airline but they had to wait inside the plane for seven hours on Friday before being asked to disembark. He also added that the airline did not have ground staff at New Chitose.

"It's been pretty terrible... The convenience stores were emptied out completely by the time we got out and we had to find space on the floor to sleep on," the 28-year-old dentist told The Straits Times.

"People were hoarding power points; blankets were being given out but the queue was longer than the one we have in Singapore for baked cheese tarts because every single flight was cancelled," he added.

Two weeks ago, almost 200 Singapore Airlines passengers were stuck in northern Japan after more than 250 flights were cancelled due to inclement weather.