I am shocked that a man being denied water onboard a flight is making national headlines. Of course he was denied a glass of water…it is part of the business model.
Gene Goh was flying Scoot, the low cost subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, and thirsty. He asked FAs for a glass of water and they offered to sell him a bottle water. He declined and one FA offered him a cup of ice, telling him to wait for it melt into water.
Now in most circumstances, that strikes me as very generous. The very concept of Scoot is like Spirit Airlines…low base fares, but you’ll pay for virtually everything else on a la carte basis. And while I do not personally like that concept, I do not see an inherent problem with it. Nor do I see a need for regulation mandating free food and water, except during a delay. There was a delay here.
Budget carriers are not a new concept. I believe consumers should be responsible for finding out what service is offered onboard and preparing accordingly, which leads us to our next issue.
I’m all for airlines selling drinks and snacks onboard…if that is their business model…provided that consumers are free to bring their own food onboard. On Scoot, consumers are flatly prohibited from bringing their own food onboard:
Alcohol is one thing, but all food and drink is quite another. That’s an absurd restriction that I wholly oppose. Unfortunately for Scoot passengers, the fact that security checks take place at the gate at Singapore Changi (SIN) make buying water and sneaking it onboard rather difficult…
The story here is not that Goh was denied water or even the generosity of the FA that gave him a cup of ice. Instead, the story is Scoot’s unreasonably policy of prohibiting passengers from bringing any food and drink onboard.
image: Scoot 9Y-OJC / Wikimedia Commons