Seatplan rating 4.5
- Boarding 5.5
- Seat for sitting 4.9
- Seat for sleeping 1.5
- Service 4.6
- Entertainment 0.5
- Food & drink 3.0
- Punctuality 5.8
- Baggage 3.4
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I took this late service from Ho Chi Min City to Singapore after connecting from a Vietnam Airlines flight from Hanoi, giving me the longest possible working day in the office. Online check-in is not possible so I joined the queue just before check-in opened in the International Terminal. As I had pre-paid to select my seat (2C) I was not under pressure to grab a good allocation and, with no luggage to check, was processed quickly and made my way through a slow Immigration and Security process to Departures. With no Lounge Access, I bought a sandwich and drink and accessed the coffee shop's wifi to catch up on e-mails etc.
Proprity Boarding (equivalent to Easyjet's Speedy Boarding) was called at the same time as pre-paid rows 1-10 (myself included) and I was soon on board. The aircraft interior was scruffy, with solied carpet underfood an some litter in evidence. However, the seats were comfortable and legroom reasonable. Row 1 had only two passengers and I was eying a move until an announcement, offering these seats for "a small fee" made me change my mind - a 90 minute hop does not warrant such profligacy from a Scotsman!!
The cabin crew were enthusiastic, even this late in the evening and noisy - unusually, there was a divider between the crew area and Row 1 and there was a constant opening and closing of a rather shabby curtain as they dashed around getting the cabin ready. Boarding was completed early and we were ready to move before schedule but then waited awhile (maybe ATC related?) before taxiing out.
Service commenced after take-off - some passengers had pre-ordered a snack and, for the rest of us, items were available for purchase, which I declined.
We landed about 5 minutes late and then faced a Schipol- like tour of the surrounding countryside before reaching our designated gate. Once there, we faced a long treck to Immigration (where there were no queues).
Tiger have some similarities to European LCCs but the big difference is the aircraft, which appear to parent SIA's cast offs rather than the brand-new models which Easyjet and Ryanair use. The plus of this is legroom, the downside is wear and tear!!
Verdict: A very good value flight (less than US$50 all in) and perfectly adequate for the short duration.
Boarding was slow with only one contractor checking us through towards the aerobridge.
There was a horrible continual loud noise as the tug attached to the Airbus A320. Pushback was late due to other aircraft in the vicinity. Midway through the flight the captain announced 'good news, bad news', talking about the nice view but also how he'd been asked to slow down due to too many other planes at Melbourne's airport.
As a result, we arrived 20 minutes late. The arrivals area for Tiger is like a jail with portable toilets and a one way exit barrier. A disgrace to Melbourne airport but typical of the private airport owners' greed.
This flight arrived late from Melbourne but there was nothing to reflect that on the flight arrivals screens, strangely. The ground staff were uncommunicative, but eventually everyone lined up, walked through the aerobridge, down the stairs, across the tarmac and up the portable stairs at either the front or back of the plane. We waited for a last minute pasenger and departed about 15 minutes late.
The hostesses made a sweep to sell snacks and drinks as well later to collect rubbish. I did not have anyone next to me which was a lot more comfortable. We arrived Melbourne about 10 minutes late and walked a fair distance (200 emtres) to the prison like, unattractive turnstile-equipped exit. All in all reasonably satisfactory.
Staying in Brisbane for a couple of weeks, I was invited to sample footie at the 'G' so looked to book flights for a weekend in Melbourne. Options were Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Tiger, which has recently been permitted to operate again in Australia after a 5 week ban because of safety concerns. There was a major difference in the prices offered by Tiger on their schedule compared to the competition and, being Aberdonian, that was enough to swing it for me, despite the grave misgivings of colleagues here.
I took the Airtrain to Brisbane Airport from the suburb where I am based for my Saturday morning flight - the Airtrain runs to both international and domestic terminals and is generally a good service. However, it lets the City and its environmental credentials down badly by ceasing service at 8 pm daily after which any passengers have to made do with the taxi or shank's pony.
Tiger currently have suspended online check in in order to sort out refunds due to customers who could not fly during the suspension - I cannot seek the link here but so it was. Therefore, it was traditional check-in but in an obscure area of the domestic terminal, badly signposted and behind Jetstar. But check-in with allocated seats was fast and efficient so no complaints there.
Boarding was in the main domestic lounge and was down stair and to the aircraft, an apparently well maintained A320. Boarding was front and rear and I was located in my chosen aisle seat, three rows from the back . Push back was early and we were airborne after a short wait. Catering is for purchase with a number of 'meal deals', none of which offer any discount on the combined price of the component parts so a bit of a con. I did not bother, having had my breakfast in the airport before departure. Service appeared to be friendly and efficient - Tiger focus on informality so that when your boarding pass is scanned for boarding you are wished a good flight by first name, not everybody's cup of tea, I guess.
Arrival was 15 minutes ahead of schedule and disembarkation was via steps front only, much to the annoyance of those of us at the rear. A reasonable walk under a covered walkway led to the warehouse surroundings of Terminal 4 arrivals, used exclusively by Tiger. Nonetheless, 15 minutes after landing I was on the Skybus to the city centre, which is a direct service to the Southern Cross Railway Station (Spencer Street of yore) terminal.
On the return, I was dropped to the airport where Terminal 4 has a drop-off area right in front of the terminal. Check-in was incredibly fast and with no queues for security, I was airside within 5 minutes of drop-off. The terminal waiting area is basic but has a shop, a couple of cafes and a shushi bar so is more than adequate. Boarding was early, again via the covered walkway and front and rear steps. This time I was seated up front in Row 3 but deplaning was by both sets of steps back in Brisbane. We left early and arrived 15 minutes ahead of schedule in Brisbane.
All in all, very good value for a weekend trip at less than A$200 return all in, booked close to departure. Tiger only operate twice daily in each direction on this route, a disadvantage compared to other operators. Nonetheless, all forebodings were groundless and I would certainly recommend Tiger for domestic Oz travel.
My first time with Tiger. Paid a supplement and got seat 1D. I think 1C &1D are the best on the plane although you do get a lot of people passing you and queuing for the toilet. Seats in some other rows do look rather cramped so its worth paying the extra. The boarding was a bit shambolic, the pay food menu reasonably priced and service good.
Felt constricted. Staff unhelpful and came across as 'fake.'