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Singapore Airlines was ordered to pay a couple compensation for 'mental agony' after they complained their business-class seats didn't automatically recline

Pete Syme   

Singapore Airlines was ordered to pay a couple compensation for 'mental agony' after they complained their business-class seats didn't automatically recline
  • Singapore Airlines was ordered to compensate a couple for their malfunctioning business-class seats.
  • Ravi and Anjali Gupta paid $1,600 to fly from India to Singapore las year.

Singapore Airlines has been ordered to compensate a couple who said their business-class seats malfunctioned, according to local media reports.

Ravi and Anjali Gupta flew from Hyderabad, India, to Singapore in May last year — a roughly four-hour flight. They paid 66,750 rupees (about $800) for each business-class seat, India Today, India's most widely read weekly magazine, reported.

They filed a legal complaint because the seats' automatic recline feature wasn't working, India Today reported.

As a result, the couple complained that they felt like they were treated as economy-class passengers — except for the extra legroom, according to the Deccan Chronicle. They also said they were forced to stay awake throughout the journey as a result.

A Singapore Airlines spokesperson told British outlet The Independent that the seats could still be reclined manually.

"Our crew proactively checked in on these customers regularly and offered to manually recline the seat when needed," they added.

India Today reported that the airline offered the couple 10,000 frequent-flyer miles each, but they turned this down.

On Friday, April 26, local outlets reported that a consumer-disputes commission in Hyderabad ordered Singapore Airlines to compensate the Guptas.

According to a local government website, Ravi Gupta is the director general of police in the Indian state of Telangana, of which Hyderabad is the capital.

The compensation reportedly totaled 200,000 Indian rupees ($2,400.) Around half of that was for the cost of the seats, and the rest was to compensate for "mental agony and physical suffering," per India Today.

A representative for Singapore Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider sent outside local working hours.

Singapore Airlines is one of the world's few five-star airlines, according to the Skytrax ranking. It was named the world's second-best business class last year, behind Qatar Airways.

But a malfunctioning recline feature is not unheard of even among the top airlines. Emirates, which ranked third last year, faced a $3,300 lawsuit last year from a 20-year-old passenger who complained his business class seat didn't recline and was stained.



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