Singapore Airlines CEO: "I am truly sorry about our website"

By danwarne, July 15 2011
Singapore Airlines CEO:

Singapore Airlines has faced up to the many problems of its new website design, with the CEO making a contrite apology to customers.

Goh Choon Phong wrote:

On behalf of Singapore Airlines, I would like to offer our sincere apology for the inconvenience caused as a result of issues that arose from the launch of our new website on 22 May 2011.

As with all new initiatives that we undertake, the intention behind the website revamp was to improve on our customers’ experience with us. I am truly sorry that the new website, with its technical problems, has instead caused much aggravation for many of our customers. We make no excuses for our failure to deliver an acceptable level of online service.

We have committed full resources to resolving the website problems and have made significant progress in rectifying many of the defects. We will continue to relentlessly pursue all other outstanding issues. An in-depth investigation as to how the issues that arose went undetected is well underway, and we are treating this with utmost importance.

At Singapore Airlines, we strive to put our customers at the centre of everything we do. I am well aware that there is a wide range of travel options to choose from, and thus, am grateful that many of you have continued to support us. We do not take this for granted.

Thank you for your continued patience during this period. I know that you have high expectations of us, and we failed to meet those expectations. On behalf of the Company, I offer our unreserved apology, and pledge to win back your confidence.

The problems with the new website, which makes extensive use of Adobe Flash (which doesn't work on Apple iPhone and iPad devices) have been a hot topic of discussion among travellers.

Shortly after the website launched in May, Sydney technology journalist Ry Crozier declared the website a "botch job".

"It's a horrible Flash design that takes ages to render, and some of the buttons seem to be painted on, with no coding behind them. For example, trying to change a flight booking, I can log in and see my flights, click change and then it all falls apart.

"You put in your new dates but nothing happens when you try to click through to the next screen.

"For the last 2 days it just says something is wrong and to call them. Today it returns an internal 500 server error. Great look.

"Ring up their helpdesk (for which the queues are unusually horrible) and it says they're experiencing higher than normal call volumes due to "teething problems" with their new website."

Some travellers even started an online petition to ask the company to return to the old website, which, by all accounts, worked well.

"In a world where average customers are bullied by mega companies, Singapore Air has the rare chance to cement their customers' loyalty by listening to us on an important issue such as this," wrote Franco Conte, who created the petition.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 363

People are getting so worked up these days! So the website didn't work... if that's the biggest drama in these people's lives then they should count themselves lucky.


24 Oct 2010

Total posts 177

When the website is the main portal to the way customers interact with a company, though, it's a big deal. And travel is a big deal to people too... trying to organise trips is tricky enough, without having to deal with technology failures.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 363

I certainly don't discount that. There's just no point these people getting so upset about it. There are other means of booking flights on Singapore Airlines. Expedia is one and you don't pay fees. I was reading the comments on the SQ Facebook page when they posted this apology and couldn't believe the reaction of some people. SQ are offering their sincerest apologies and people are giving them a hard time. These things happen.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jun 2011

Total posts 148

As reported in the article, many customers are unable to access the website (iPad) or use the website to make changes to their bookings. If you need to make changes/check in or so on and the website is the best means to do this, then a large company like SIN should have checks in place to make sure the transition goes smoothly so something like this doesnt happen. They need to consider cross platform accessibility. A new website should mean MORE useability, not less.

05 Sep 2012

Total posts 2

I hate Singapore Airlines!! Never going to fly OR recommend anyone to fly with it!!

I have posted so many times on their Facebook Page but they delete complaints/comments from customer, especially when it is against their customer service.

I have had a very bad experience with SA. I have recently flown from Delhi to Melbourne by SA. (I have earlier flown to countries on other international airlines, but first time and may I say, last time with Singapore Airlines!!).

My watch was STOLEN FROM MY Checked in baggage. I collected my bags at the Melbourne airport. I had locked the bags with a black lock and noticed that one of the locs and chain of the bag was broken. But noticed this only upon arriving at home in Melbourne. We were quite shocked but hoped that nothing was lost or bag was unopened... but the zip was a bit open..

. when i opened my bag, m
y things were here and there.. and my RADO watch was not in my bag. i had kept a DKNY and a RADO watch in the same box.

My husband got annoyed with me for not keeping the DKNY watch safe into the box. But, then when i noticed the RADO watch was not there, we frantically started taking everything out of the bag thinking it must have dropped from the watch box. But it was not to be found anywhere in the bag!!

After repeated mails, I received a letter from Singapore Airlines.
According to the letter (dated 02 September, 2012), the airlines will not be compensating for valuable. fragile or perishable items which are sent in checked in baggage. The letter also advises that the hand baggage allowance enables the passangers to carry fragile or valuable items which are then in possession at all times.
This is ridiculous!!! Does this mean the employees or the people who are responsible for securing our checked in baggage have the right to "steal" things from checked in baggage of the passengers??? I do not understand this!!
An international, well renowned airline is advising passengers - "where to keep what stuff of theirs"??? This is a ridiculous excuse to hide the clear fault of the airline, Firstly, to seek why the mis-handling happened. and secondly, to trace the person who did this, punish them and thirdly, to give me the right to claim against my STOLEN watch!!!
The letter has also advised me that I should have had insurance against the watch!!? Maybe, Singapore Airlines Tickets should come with a disclosure '" hang on to your bags tight. They could be stolen, lost or mis-handled with no claims, whatsoever!!!"

I have been traveling by International careers since I was a child, to USA, Canada, Europe and England but NEVER have I faced such a huge irresponsible and insensitive behavior on part of the airlines, even if it Indian Domestic Airlines!!!
I was convinced by my husband to travel with Singapore Airlines as it is "deemed" to be the "best Airlines"!!! I do not have words for such unkind behavior!!!

I will never recommend anyone to fly with Singapore Airlines EVER!! Also, I am registered on Facebook, Twitter, Google and various other blogs. I will be writing this letter to all the people on friend's list and others that I know of, (and do not know of) and spread the message of such rude behavior on part of the Airlines!! Despite of repeated mails and calls and so many pictures and details attached of the mis-handled bags, the rude behavior is intolerable - when they should actually be compensating for such an expensive watch and that too - very dear to me, as it was a wedding gift from my parents.
I also know of very senior staff in French, BA and other international Airlines that should hear of this. I hope their is huge reaction by this word of mouth as that is what people react upon. I just want none of my friends, relatives and acquaintances to have such bad customer service when they pay a hefty amount (at the cost of losing their valuables and then hearing some ridiculous advice that too from senior management of the Airlines!!).

I am greatly hurt and flabbergasted from this letter that I have received today. This is complete injustice and to top their own careless-ness, they are telling a passenger - where to keep their stuff!!!
I have read few posts on their facebook pages and elsewhere where people have complained regarding mis-handled bags, but they post the EXACT SAME reply to each of those customers.This is just rebounding their management's and employee's habit to the customer!!

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