Sunday, December 4, 2011
Why I Hate Tiger Airways
Here are the reasons why I hate Tiger Airways and tell people to NEVER fly with them:
1. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority suspended Tiger Airways flights for over a month starting at the beginning of July. This meant that Zack and I didn't get to spend our third anniversary together, because he was working in Sydney, and I was booked on a Tiger flight to meet him there. I should have taken the hint and learned my lesson then and there to not fly with them.
2. After the suspension was lifted, Tiger Airways started cancelling some of its routes. That meant that the flights I had already booked for my family from Melbourne to Cairns no longer existed. Thankfully, rebooking on Jetstar was only a bit more expensive, and we got there with no problems. It also meant that Morgan's and my flight to Alice Springs was cancelled. We ended up flying Jetstar to Sydney and then Virgin to Uluru, which meant that we ended up directly in Uluru instead of having to drive there from Alice Springs (that was good). It also meant that we paid double the price of our original tickets (that was bad).
And the one that really "gets my goat"...
3. Several months ago, I purchased my family's November 14 flights from Sydney back to Melbourne through Tiger Airways. Not knowing how many checked bags we would have, I didn't pay ahead for those. I knew I'd have to pay a bit more by not doing it then, but that was okay. We ended up having two, so a few days before the flight, I got online to add the baggage to our reservation. Well, Tiger Airways has no way to add it online except for when you book the flight. Instead, you have to call a phone number to supposedly get it added. The problem is that when you call, all you get is a menu of four options. No matter which option you choose or what button you press (I tried everything), the recorded voice just keeps repeating the menu options. You never get a human being, and there is no way to add your luggage.
So we headed to the airport with our two bags weighing less than 25kg each. Stupidly, I assumed that the Tiger Airways employees at the airport would be understanding and not charge us the at-airport fees, because the problem was with their system. Not only are there NO Tiger Airways employees anywhere in the airport (they contract out their work with some other company), there was no understanding. I was polite, nice, calm, etc., but nobody cared. My dad tried to reason with them as well, but it didn't work. With the at-airport charges, our two bags cost us $257.50!!! When you pay for it there, I forget how much each bag costs, but each kilogram over 15kg costs you $20. Yes, $20 per kilogram! Ridiculous. Oh, and of course there was an extra charge for using a credit card. Yeah, like I would have had over $250 in cash just sitting in my wallet for this. So maddening.
The cost of those two bags was more than the price we paid for all six flights combined!! Just to make things even more frustrating, the flight was delayed over an hour. They even got us all boarded, found out something was broken, and made us all get off because the air conditioning unit couldn't be turned on and it was sweltering in there. So we got to Melbourne two hours later than planned and had to change our itinerary all around. It ended up okay, but I'm still mad about the luggage bill.
4. Tiger Airways makes it basically impossible to contact them. The phone number gets you nowhere, they don't have an e-mail address, there are no employees at the airport, etc. Yes, I will be mailing them a letter, which may have to go to Singapore (where they are headquartered). Yes, I will fight fight fight until I get the luggage costs back. And no, no matter how cheap their flights are (and they are pretty darn cheap-you get what you pay for!), I will NEVER fly with Tiger Airways again. Long live Jetstar and Virgin Airlines! When I get to the posts about Uluru, I will tell you why those low-cost airlines are SO much better.
By the way, if you think my experience was unique, just try Googling "I Hate Tiger Airways." I am definitely not alone. I'll admit it; I was one of those sucked in by the cheap prices and thinking that nothing bad would happen to me. Wrong! I hate Tiger Airways!
P.S. If you know any secret to contacting Tiger Airways or have had experience with actually getting money back for something like this, let me know!
P.P.S. Sorry, none of my own pictures to go with this post...I was too upset on that day to take any! I copied the one at the top from somewhere else.