TL;DR – Turned around, but shouldn’t have thought of it in the first place!
Not too long ago, SIA announced that they are going to start charging credit card fees for flights departing Singapore. The plan was that form Jan 20, there will be a 1.3 per cent “service fee” based on the total cost of the booking, capped at a maximum charge of S$50 per passenger. Those fees would have applied to tickets issued under SIA’s Economy Lite category.
All across Singapore, you can probably hear a collective ”wa lau eh!”
What’s SIA trying to do? Because unless there is some way that you can still get SIA tickets over some counter and pay for them in cash, it’s not like we can get get SIA tickets without using credit cards. Or is SIA trying to encourage us to use cash? Aren’t we supposed to be a Smart Nation moving toward being cashless? Or did SIA not get the memo?
And of course Singaporeans weren’t happy with that announcement.
After all, the fees apply to flights departing Singapore. That means that Singaporeans will be the ones most affected by the fees. Is SIA trying to tell Singaporeans that we should fly other airlines instead of them? Then don’t blame us for not supporting our local enterprises.
I wonder which genius thought of the idea. And for what?! The only thing SIA would say was that the non-refundable fees were to recover “costs relating to the acceptance of credit cards”. Really? Is that necessary? Is the increase in revenue from those fees worth the bad publicity?
Thankfully, someone in SIA was using their brains. Barely a day after the announcement about the implementation of the fee, SIA made another announcement that SIA won’t be implementing the fee following a further review.
It’s great that SIA heard the outrage of Singaporeans and made a u-turn that would make a F-16 high-gravity manoeuvre look like a bus rounding a corner. But we can’t help but wonder why no one did that “further review” before making its first announcement?
Was SIA surprised at the outrage and backlash? Or did they sort of expect it but still decided to try their luck just in case Singaporeans would be so meek and obliging as to roll over and accept the fees?
Be smart. Don’t be like SIA
SIA has declined to comment further when asked why they decided to review its plans to implement the fee, so we will never know what really went through the minds of the decision makers in SIA. Whatever the case is, this makes SIA look really dumb. We hope that other large local enterprises learn from this incident, and don’t ever do something as stupid as this. Don’t expect Singaporeans to be meek sheep. Because we aren’t.