Earlier this week, The Straits Times reported the sudden closure of travel agency Sky Travel & Tours, which left many of its customers stranded.
One such customer was 68-year-old cleaner, Madam Teo Ino Meo, who had booked her dream tour to Hokkaido with the agency. For months, Madam Teo had been saving up for the trip, only to be informed on departure day that the agency had suddenly closed, leaving her shell-shocked. Her long-anticipated holiday was not going to happen.
On a typical news day, her personal story would likely have gone unnoticed, possibly buried by a deluge of netizens bashing the shady business practices of the travel agency. But thanks to the eagle eyes of travel activities booking start-up, Klook, Madam Teo’s disappointment would gain resonance.
In just a few hours after the news broke, Klook posted a request on their Facebook page for help to locate Madam Teo, so they could cheer her up “with a little something this travel season”.
Here is Klook’s post in full:
Local carrier Scoot also came in to pledge their support to #helpmadamteo. Although it wasn’t spelt out how they would be involved, one would assume they would have thrown some subsidised airfares into the mix.
It didn’t take long for the #helpmadamteo search party to take off. In less than a day, the post had received more than 800 shares, even gaining the backing of community page SGAG and its supporters.
As testament to Singapore being a small, small world, several netizens who knew Madam Teo personally soon chimed in to offer their help. Then, with typical Singaporean efficiency, Klook updated 18 hours later that they had made contact with Madam Teo to arrange for a meeting.
This development seemed to restore some netizens’ faith in the good of social media.
And like the well-travelled folks we are, some even waded in with weather forecast expertise:
Good on you, Klook! We can’t wait to hear what you have in mind for Madam Teo.