Budget carriers want lower check-in standards at Changi Airport

Check-in queue at Changi Airport, Courtesy bbc.co.uk

Check-in queue at Changi Airport following a flight delay, Courtesy bbc.co.uk

BUDGET carriers at Changi Airport want lower standard for check-in times than the normal imposed by the authorities for all airlines. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has set the standard of maximum 10 minutes wait time as soon as a passenger joins a line to be checked-in.

Budget carriers argue that they do not offer the same product and experience as full-service airlines and should not be subject to the same standard. This all but affirms that budget travellers must expect lower standards, a dictum that full-service airlines are only too happy to hear coming from the horse’s mouth.

While budget customers may tacitly expect lower standards, they are unlikely to be sympathetic. Some passengers have counter-argued that the lower fare has to do with the physical product such as the absence of certain perks and concessions rather than service. But it is a known fact that cost being the driver, budget carriers are less likely to provide as many staff numbers as full-service airlines. Consequently the service suffers. Yet any operator, whether budget or full-service, knows it is taboo to even suggest openly any compromise in the customer service department. We just know it exists.

It is easy to understand why CAAS is sticky about standards, for that is how Changi Airport has attained its reputation as one of the world’s best. To split hair between budget and full-service operators will compromise or weaken its standing, particularly as a hub airport where travellers may connect between any class of airlines and which has seen higher growth in budget than full-service traffic. Relaxing the rules with exceptions may open the floodgate for other considerations across the board. Any exception to the rule becomes all the more glaring when budget carriers now operate alongside full-service airlines in the main terminals following the closure of a dedicated budget terminal.

Budget carriers operating in and out of Changi Airport include Tigerair, Jetstar and Scoot which are based in Singapore, and others such as AirAsia, Lion Air and Cebu Pacific.

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About Dingzi
Writer by passion, with professional expertise in aviation, customer service and creative writing. Aviation veteran, author, editor and management consultant. Besides commentary on business issues and life-interest topics, travel stories and book reviews, genres include fiction, poetry and plays. Nature lover who abhors cruelty of any form to animals, and a tireless traveler. Above all, a dreamer.

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