In response to feedback from clients and members of SADeaf and DPA regarding Tigerair’s policy on passengers with disabilities, staff of SADeaf, DPA and Tigerair held a meeting on 12 November to discuss these issues.
It was a fruitful meeting for everyone, and did much to clear the air on the following matters.
(For background information, please refer to Tigerair’s policy on passengers with disabilities at:
Requirement to sign indemnity form
* Tigerair has clarified that deaf or blind passengers do not need to sign any indemnity form because of their disabilities.
* Deaf passengers also do not need to be with a caregiver or companion.
* Tigerair acknowledges that past incidents ? in which deaf passengers were told they were required to sign indemnity forms or be accompanied by a non-disabled person were the result of misunderstandings on the part of Tigerair service staff. Tigerair will reinforce its staff training on this.
Requirement to inform Tigerair before the flight
* Passengers who are blind or deaf are required to inform Tigerair through its call centre at least 5 days before the flight, so that ground staff and cabin crew are aware of their presence and can pay special attention to them in case of a need to communicate important information, such as those pertaining to changes or safety.
However, there have been feedback that this method of informing Tigerair is inconvenient and a hassle; it is also difficult or even impossible for deaf people who are unable to communicate over the phone.
Instead, DPA and SADeaf suggested having an option to indicate the passenger’s disability if one is blind, deaf, or a wheelchair user on Tigerair’s online booking site. Tigerair will consider this suggestion and will follow up with us.
Policy on passengers with visual impairment
* Tigerair reaffirms its policy of requiring passengers with visual impairment to be accompanied by a caregiver or a companion for flights from and to Singapore. This reflects the airline’s assessment of its safety measures for passengers with visual impairment in cases of emergency.
DPA pointed out that this does not apply for Australian-originated flights because of legislation in Australia which forbids such policies. DPA requests Tigerair to review this policy, but accepts that Tigerair has the right to determine its internal airline safety standards.
* DPA and SADeaf understand that Tigerair is exploring a SMS-based information service for delayed flights. This would be a boon for both deaf and other non-disabled customers – we look forward to updates from Tigerair on this.
* Tigerair would like to take the opportunity to remind passengers that there are gate changes at times, and passengers should check the information screens regularly to be up to date and to arrive at the correct gate on time. Tigerair will also look into having more visual (text) notices at their check-in counters for delayed flights.
Last but not least, we wish to put on record our heartfelt appreciation to Tigerair for a very cordial and insightful discussion, and to its staff, Mr Xavier Lim and Mr Aminuddin Ahmad, for taking the time and effort to explain and clarify the matters raised above.
We will continue to work together with Tigerair on the outstanding issues.
If you have any feedback, comments or suggestions, please contact:
Advocacy Executive, DPA
Wong Ai Ling
Senior Manager, Deaf Access Services, SADeaf