Scoot – beware unfair T&CsBack to Forum
Anonymous12 Apr 2016
If Scoot changes schedule, even if this means you will be delayed by a day or two, they will not refund your fare but rather give you a voucher that expries in six month’s time. Just so you know. This is hidden in 9.1. and 9.2 of their terms and conditions. I learned the hard way. The are saying that “Schedules are subject to change at any time and
do not form part of your contract with Scoot”. Unbelievable but true.12 Apr 2016
Did you book this with a UK credit card?
If so (and the value is over £100) I’d contact the issuing bank.
It’s one thing for the carrier to have T&C’s like that, but in your circumstances a credit note valid for 6 months is probably not useful and I’d have thought a reasonable bank would agree and institute a chargeback, if the merchant are that unreasonable.12 Apr 2016
I flew Scoot down to Australia when they first started. Even in their “Premium” seats. They were grossly uncomfortable, hard ,and little space hardly reclined, and the cabin was noisy. it was on an old SQ 772, noisy and shabby. The crew cared little, and it was a very unpleasant flight down to Australia.
For AUS $700, you get a lie flat seat on brand new 333’s from Air Asia up to KUL. I have not travelled “Scoot” since, and would rather spend more and take an economy with another Airline.
Their T & C’s do not surprise me!13 Apr 2016
FDOS_UK, the credit card issuer refused a chargeback on the grounds that I had agreed to the t&cs under which there would be no refund – ever. We’re talking GBP 200 for a one-way from Singapore to Australia and I am inclined to not push things any further, but not without warning fellow FTs that ***any money you hand over to Scoot is theirs to keep forver even if they choose to not deliver the service for which you paid***. I have no idea whether this is legal under Singapore law but it is immoral in my book.13 Apr 2016
Sorry to hear that, unfortunately I read the T&Cs and they looked clear and enforceable.
My only other thought and this is very tangential, is could you make a ‘failure of public transport’ claim under your travel insurance?13 Apr 2016
The other angle is notwithstanding the clarity of the clause, whether it is fair under consumer protection regulation. I’m not sure whether Singapore has a equivalent to either the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations or the Consumer Rights Act 2015 but is another avenue to pursue.13 Apr 2016
AspirationalFlyer2 – 13/04/2016 14:44 BST
I’m note sure that the contract would be accepted as unfair, in that MartinJ accepted it of his own free will, see  in the judgment below
The contract term made the claimant entirely responsible for getting to the gate on time, even when they arrived at check-in at the time recommended by the airline and the airline failed to provide assistance, when asked on more than one occasion. (They did get EC261, but failed on breach of contract and consequential loss.)
However, IANAL.13 Apr 2016
Point taken, FDOS_UK. When exactly to show at the gate may be open to debate, but for an airline to stipulate that schedules do not form part of the contract of carriage is hideous. Imagine BA moving a once-wekly service from Saturday to Tuesday and then refusing to give you your money back. In any case, my post was intended as a warning to fellow travellers, but of course everyone is free to draw their own conclusions from Scoot’s T&Cs. I call them grossly unfair and will avoid Scoot in the future.13 Apr 2016
I also find this shocking Martin and though I’m unlikely to fly Scoot thanks for bringing it to our attention.
I presume you have to accept the T&C’s in order to complete the booking as is the case with most airlines. However, I wonder if you follow up the booking with an immediate email as follows, where you would stand legally or with the credit card co, especially if they did not reply?
“In order to complete the booking I was forced to accept your T&C’s in full. I would like to inform you by this email that i do not accept clauses 9.1 and 9.2 and should your schedule change I will want a full refund and not a voucher”.14 Apr 2016
LuganoPirate. Yes I guess its the old ‘accepted under duress’ approach which in some jurisdictions I know carries some weight and can render contracts void.
I too think its appalling. I can see how they can get away with it on a ‘consumer’ booking, but would be surprised if any corporates buying travel on behalf of their employees would accept this clause (assuming they are aware of it).14 Apr 2016
LuganoPirate – 14/04/2016 10:30 BST
As I understand it (and bearing in mind the judgement from Scotland I linked to, earlier in the thread), when you click to place your order, offer and acceptance has taken place and a contract has formed, for which the airline has received a consideration.
At this stage, your email would be no more than a request for a variation of contract, which would be ignored or refused.
Superchris calls it right, it is appalling, but unfortunately I believe it is enforceable – shame IanfromHKG is not around at the moment to add some proper legal input.
To summarise in the easyJet case, a couple arrived at an airport at -2 hours to STD (per the airline advice) and the check-in/security was so slow they asked more than one time for assistance from the airline, but were told nothing could done. They arrived too late at the gate and were denied boarding.
They issued a claim for EC261 denied boarding compo and the consequential loss of having to buy BA tickets at 2x the cost of their easyJet flights.
They won the EC261 compo and refund of the original tickets, but lost the other part, as they had accepted easyJet’s conditions making them solely liable for getting to the gate on time.
Even though the judge accepted the T&Cs were unilateral, he said by accepting them of their free will, the terms stood.
Edited to add: This judgement seems ‘wrong’ to me (obviously I’m not a lawyer) in the sense that slow security would seem to be ‘force majeure’ that the passenger cannot influence and if s/he checks in as advised by the airline and then misses the flight due to this factor, the element of the contract for that particular flight should be rendered null and void and a refund given.14 Apr 2016
Hello everyone – whilst I agree with some of the above, I thought there were some points worth adding.
The threshold question is whether it is worth bringing a claim (in particular, in a place other than your country of residence where your local courts do not have jurisdiction). Often it is not.
Assuming it is, breach of contract and unfair terms are different causes of action. It can often be difficult to demonstrate breach and causation (as the case cited demonstrates).
However, for most unfair term related claims, the fact that a consumer has entered into a standard form contract of their own free will is clearly not in question. However, in reality these are standard form or “adhesion” contracts where the customer is not in a position to negotiate.
If the determinative factor was whether someone had chosen to enter into a contract or not, then the fairness related provisions of the UTCCR or CRA (or equivalent in other jurisdictions) would be fairly pointless.
Therefore, the question is often whether a person has a statutory or regulatory cause of action to argue a particular provision is unfair and therefore voidable or void. There are a range of terms which may be common in airline contracts but which have been found to be unfair in the relevant circumstances (cases obviously turn on their facts) in various European countries: http://www.beuc.eu/publications/2013-00073-01-e.pdf14 Apr 2016
FDOS, surely in the case you quote the airport operator is also culpable if “unreasonable” delays occurred at security.
Regarding Scoot, it seems to me a pretty harsh T&C, but a T&C it is. I am surprised given (and I stand to be corrected here) Scoot is a part of Singapore Airlines group. I can say with some certainty that proving a T&C is unfair in a British court is very difficult, and one does have to prove it, the party your are fighting does not have to prove it is fair. Without the support of the department for trade and industry you are unlikely to be successful. Obviously in Singapore the rules may be different.
Agree with FDOS on once you buy you cannot then change the contract LP, nice try though 🙂14 Apr 2016