Scoot is launching a self-service portal for all eligible customers to obtain voucher refunds for the full value of bookings made on or before 15 March 2020. According to the airline, the portal will be active in a couple of days, and will be updated to customers via its website, social media channels and email notifications. This comes days after parent company Singapore Airlines (SIA) deployed additional resources to support its customer service and waived rebooking fees.
Similar to SIA, Scoot will also be allowing customers to use the refund vouchers for rebooking travel at a later date. According to the airline, these policies aim to support customers with the flexibility to defer their travel plans in view of the current situation. This comes after several countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and India imposed travel restrictions. Scoot also joins the likes of other airlines including AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines which were hit with several customer requests on refunds and change in flight bookings.
Meanwhile, Scoot has been facing customer service woes since February 2020. For Valentine's Day, the airline launched a spot on Facebook to celebrate experiences, but was met with a slew of negative comments about its customer service by consumers and travellers looking for refunds and regarding cancellations. One netizen demanded for the brand to stop advertising, while another added that the airline should "take care of the affected customers" instead of promoting its flights. Another consumer said that Scoot should stop posting [on social media] and, put more manpower at call centres as means of a brand image recovery in this current situation.
However, it is worth mentioning that the airline has done its part in bringing Chinese nationals back home to Wuhan, and flying Singaporeans back home to Singapore. Scoot also stated on its site that it has suspended all flights between Singapore and Mainland China, and that affected customers booked on these flights will receive a 100% refund of their unused itinerary value via original mode of payment, and no further action is required.
Most recently, the airline also appointed Essence as its global media agency, while retaining BLKJ for creative duties. Essence will provide Scoot media strategy, planning and buying services for its global business, including in Mainland China which makes up a significant part of Scoot’s network. While, BLKJ has been handed another two years of appointment, after the independent creative agency was first appointed in January 2018.