Why was I left in the dark on last minute flight cancellation?

I am a Singaporean traveller and a frequent visitor to the Sultanate.

I would like to raise an issue regarding the service I received from an airline in Brunei Darussalam.

I booked my flight via this airline back to Singapore. My flight was at 9.15am on March 21, so I had to leave my rental apartment in Kuala Belait in the early morning to arrive at the Brunei International Airport by 7.15am.

When I arrived at the airport, to my despair, I found that my flight was cancelled.

When I asked the airline’s staff, I was told that all flights were cancelled until further notice and that my flight to Singapore was rebooked for March 22.

As an overseas traveller who wished to return back to her home country, I felt hopeless and confused at that moment.

I felt that the airline’s staff showed a lack of empathy and initiative to tend to a customer in need.

File photo of the Brunei International Airport. The writer hopes that the airline will step up and show that it is able to deliver a more professional service to its customers. PHOTO: RAHWANI ZAHARI

No action was done to compensate for the flight cancellation such as providing a safe temporary accommodation in the area since my flight was due for another 24 hour.

I expressed my difficulty to the staff but was only provided with an email to lodge the complaint. I have always believed that the airline is well established and is a reputable but this incident made me think otherwise.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, I did not book a hotel in Bandar Seri Begawan as I thought using my rental apartment in Kuala Belait was the safest option.

I had to waste money unnecessarily using the expensive taxi services to bring me back to Kuala Belait. (The taxi service is expensive as a one-way trip from Kuala Belait to the airport cost me over BND100)

Another upsetting issue is that the airline did not inform on the cancellation.

It was only done the day before as told by the staff, but I did not receive any notification through phone or email. I would have been okay if the airline had informed me as I could have saved money and time.

I hope that the airline will step up and show that it is able to deliver a more professional service to its customers.