Uh oh, here comes another social-update-related drama.

Following news of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight #MH17, Singapore Airlines (SIA) said posted up a Facebook status and Twitter update to inform customers that its aircraft have been rerouted away from Ukrainian airspace. However, Facebook users have more or less spammed Singapore Airlines’ Facebook page with disapproval and claimed that it was “aimed at taking advantage of a tragedy”.

Why, you ask? Maybe it’s because the status updates read as such:

Source: Singapore Airlines' Twitter
Source: Singapore Airlines’ Twitter
Source: Singapore Airlines' Facebook page
Source: Singapore Airlines’ Facebook page

As seen in the screenshot above, the Facebook status update has been shared over a thousand times. At time of writing, it has generated over 700 comments.

The main reason why the above claim is being questioned is because yesterday, the Singapore Straits Times referred to Flightradar24 and reported that Singapore Airlines SQ351 were within 15 miles (25km) of the ill-fated MH17 when it disappeared and crashed.

Facebook users have brandished their “keyboard warrior” skills and while armed with sheer rage, flooded Singapore Airlines’ Facebook page with comments. One user wrote, “SQ was the second highest user of Ukraine airspace. How many lives have they endangered?” while another said, “Err…hello, SQ351 was right behind MH17. It changed path upon receiving info MH17 was down. A bit sensitivity?”

Source: Flightradar24
Source: Flightradar24

There were also other one-worded but just as angry comments such as liar, shameful, tacky, and disrespectful.

And that’s not to say that Singapore Airlines was deliberately doing it in bad faith. Perhaps their initial intention was to say that they no longer fly that route instead of saying that they don’t use that route? Some rephrasing would’ve made a world of a difference, we think.

What do you guys make of it? Did you find that insensitive, perhaps just as insensitive as what Singaporean blogger-turned-celebrity Dawn Yang said yesterday?




Singapore Airlines has since apologised for the seemingly “insensitive” social media posts.

“We are aware that our Facebook and Twitter update on Friday morning may have come across as insensitive to some,” an SIA spokesperson said in reply to queries from Channel NewsAsia. The post was in response to requests from customers who had asked for information about the airline’s flight routes, the spokesperson said in a statement.

“We recognise that the information could have been better communicated and we sincerely apologise if it had offended our customers and anyone else in the online community,” the statement said. It added that SIA is “deeply saddened” by what happened to flight MH17. “Our thoughts remain with the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew who perished on board.”

Meanwhile, we’ve created a special Spotify playlist in remembrance of the lives that were lost. Also, for more timely and verified updates, please visit Malaysia Airlines’ official website and follow their Twitter account. Families of passengers and crew may contact +603 7884 1234 (Malaysia) or +31703487770 (Netherlands).

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