Beware the Tiger

I love budget flights. I’m willing to deal with the lack of allocated seats (barely) and no service and having to pay for every single thing on the flight. But this is getting too much.

Twice now, Tiger Airways emails me and drastically changes my flights. Not delayed for an hour or two. But they change it from a 7am flight to a 4pm flight both ways. It’s ridiculous! Is this market practice for budget flights?

I understand flight delays due to weather or technical difficulties. But Tiger’s reason was “Due to the increased demand for other Tiger Airways destinations, we had to make some changes to our flight schedule. As a result, the departure time of your Tiger Airways flight between Singapore and Krabi has changed.”Ridiculous!

With these nearby destinations, the timing is everything, because one tends to go on a weekend here and there, so arriving in the evening instead of morning loses a day of your 2 or 3 day trip. That is significant.

They will lose me as a customer if this persists. They are rather irresistable with all the many routes they are taking up and their publicized low prices. But soon enough, people will start to understand the actual cost of those low prices because it will signal, as it does to me now, that their schedules are highly untrustworthy. I have found that Jetstarasia has been far far better: they allocate seats, prices hardly differ and they have never changed my flight. I will as far as possible avoid taking Tiger Airways, even when I have to pay more for another flight. I think Tiger Airways is testing the consumer’s patience.

Tiger Airways, you suck and I’m letting everyone know about it.

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19 Responses to Beware the Tiger

  1. ene says:

    Tiger Airways pissed me off too. Try ringing them and you’d be moved from person 1 right through to person 9,234 before the line gets cut off. Emails don’t get answered too. And then they charge you a lot of money if you have to make some changes on the ticket but fine, I understand that because the tickets are cheap in the first place, la di dah.

    And I have definitely heard about that flight time change thing. They did it to me and the boy for our flight to Hanoi. Brought it forward by 2 hours but sheesh, a morning flight to an evening one is unforgivable.

  2. Steve says:

    I recently booked perth-sin-perth, sin-chiang mai-sin and udon thani-sin-udon thani with this crap airline. They rescheduled the perth flights, cancelled the udon flights altogether, no leg room on the damned planes and the checkin staff at the singapore terminal must be the rudest in Asia. They yell at you and fine you if your gear is a few grams overweight. Tiger Sucks.

  3. Randal says:

    January 19, 2008. I just spent one hour and fifty-two minutes trying to get through to the Philippine booking office of Tiger Airlines without ever speaking to a live person. Finally used all the Pesos on my load, 393, and never got through to an agent. At one point I was on que for 22 minutes. I need to fly to Macau from Clark and this is the only carrier. I have used them before and had problems each and every time. How do they stay in business?
    I absolutely hate them. If I could magically snap my fingers and put them out of business I would.
    Snap! Snap! Snap! Done

    Randal Johnson

  4. Tyler says:

    We flew tiger once……
    our flights were delayed,
    and it took 90 minutes to collect our baggage at melb airport.
    their baggage crew simply left halfway through unlaoding it and turned off the carousel.
    Everyone got really angry and started climbing through to get their bags.
    The federal police were called and i can tell you i have NEVER seen a more angry group of people at an airport.

  5. Hi. I hate Tiger Airways with a passion. They are cheapest airline in Australia…emphasis on the word cheapest. Because I hate them so much I have created a myspace page dedicated to sharing stories about how dodgy Tiger are. It’s basically just me and one other friend at the moment, but I’m hoping if anyone does myspace and they hate Tiger as much as I do they will join. If so send me your Tiger Tale and I’ll post it as a bulletin or on my blog. Let’s share Tiger’s dodgyness around, people need to know.

  6. I agree! Tiger airways have let us down too, but then again so have Air Asia, Nok Air and 1-2-Go! All the cheap airlines work to cut their costs with no consideration for the customer… I must try JetstarAsia and see if they are any better…

  7. bubbles says:

    I too hate Tiger Airways with a passion!!!! I have only spent $$ on it once and will never do it ever again. Unlike most of u, I didn’t even get the flight experience because they won’t let me check in 40mins before flight departure!! Apparently it’s a STRICT 45mins check in and thats it. Not to mention that I stood in line with many others not knowing that they have closed the check in. And all the idiot check in Tiger lady did was just stood there and looked at everyone! Virgin Blue on the other hand has rushed me onto the plane 20mins before flight departure. There were more than 10 of us who didn’t get on that flight either. If I had the power, I would like to run them out of business forever.

  8. I hate Tigerairways with a passion, so much so that I regestered a domain name and got a hosting package to go with it today. , It may take a few days to show up on the net for some reason, but its the start of my war on them to try and take them out of business, I am not a web site developer not by a long shot, so I am looking for a small team of fellow tiger haters to help me grow the site and spread the info contained in its pages to the good people of planet Earth.

    If anybody thinks they can help me or just want to share your storey about tigerairways and have it posted on the website email me at

  9. I think you have to treat catching a budget airline flight the same as catching a bus/train, you can’t expect too much of them unfortunately…

  10. Luke says:

    We had a six hour delay, after three flight changes beforehand. I decided not to fly and try and get a refund. Total waste of time that was. Two ohone calls to the reservations centre. One hang up. The other put me on hold for 30 minutes, then told me to call back in an hour. I tried to fax a request, but so far have been ignored.

    I HATE TIGER for ruining my long weekend. I HATE TIGER for screwing me over on the tickets. I HATE TIGER for wasting my time. I HATE TIGER for making me so angry I wanted to write this. I JUST HATE TIGER. NEVER AGAIN.

  11. TigerSuck says:

    Bubbles, I totally agree! I went to Canberra yesterday and got jibbed with the 45 minutes rule. On the ticket it says check in 45 minutes early “if you have luggage”. We were told in Melbourne that 30 minutes should be fine as we didn’t have any baggage. We arrived at the Tiger check in desk FOURTY MINUTES before our flight, to find no staff there. I ran up to the gate to check it out, and I was told that it was strictly 45 minutes no exceptions.
    All she had to do was contact the pilot and get our names added to the manifest but no, it’s too much work. Well what the fuck do you get paid for you dumb bitch?! Boarding wasn’t scheduled to commence for 35 minutes.
    Hence, I was stuck at Canberra airport for another four hours to catch the next virgin flight (which I was sceptical about catching as virgin own tiger.


  12. brad says:

    Hi there,

    Great to see you have set up a web site about how crap Tiger are. Not only can it save others a few bucks but it also gives me a chance to vent some steam over having to spend $250 due to their harsh check in rules.

    On Thursday morning I arrived at the check-in desk at 7:05am for a 7:50am Tiger flight. The girl at the desk had just placed a “Check-in Closed” sign on the desk. I looked at my watch again, and it was literally 20 seconds past 7:05am. I then checked my phone clock to verify. The girl at the Adelaide desk was the rudest, coldest customer service individual I have ever met. I explained to her I was travelling to Melbourne for an appointment to get my marriage Visa for the UK, and that if I missed this flight I would forfeit the $180 appointment fee. She really “matter of factly” told me there was nothing she could do, and that I should have read the information when booking the ticket. I asked to speak to the manager and she said she was the manager. I then mentioned that the entire time we had been talking she had either been typing or getting ready to head down to the gates and had never given me her full attention. I said that if she was a manager at the very least she would stop what she was doing and give their customer her full attention. I then said I would not leave until we could discuss this further. She then said “If you want me to call security they are only a phone call away”!!!! I had no luggage. There were 3 other passengers that arrived after me and were standing with me by the time the conversation ended.

    At approximately 7:30 I went to the Virgin desk and bought a ticket for an 8:00am flight, and boarded at 7:45, no hassles, no problems. But Im $250 out of pocket for that extra flight.

    The return flight also with Tiger- You have to walk 200m to a shed away from the airport, where again the check-in is understaffed and the staff are all sad-faced no hopers.

    The girl at Adelaide check-in desk is a rude $%#!@!. The worst customer service I have ever experienced anywhere EVER. And a “manager” LOL!! Total ego-tripper more like it!!!! Please do me a favour and spend the extra $5 each way to fly Virgin.. Ive done some resaserch and Tiger are owned by Singapore Airlines apparently- What a shame I used to like Singapore but I will not be flying with them either!

    Happy travels!


  13. Elaine says:

    Yeah, they just changed my 6am flight to 1pm. I mean, that’s like half a day or 1/6 of my holiday gone, due to “operational issues”. Of course, they offered to change my flight, or give me a full refund. But I already booked for my hotels, so are they going to pay for my hotels too?

    Jetstar and Airasia are much better.

  14. RawFlesh says:

    11/20/08 @ 12pm:

    I finally got thru after waiting 40mins on the phone listening to their claim of being the “centre of asia pacific aviation lowcost airline of the year”. WTF is that? Long winding self proclaimed award? Who were they up against? I’ve never heard of such award b4.

    Making u wait that long on their so called international call centre number for urgent matters, i must say service is non-existent! We couldn’t get a dial tone on the number(Singapore +65 6538 4437 (9am to 9pm daily)) provided to us by email to inform us:

    “Due to operational reasons, some changes have been made to our flight schedule. As a result, your reservation, ______, has been affected and the departure time of your Tiger Airways flight between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur has changed. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. We wish to reassure you that we have endeavoured to minimise this disruption to our best efforts. Your flight has been affected but we are able to accommodate you on an alternative service on the same day of departure.”

    When I couldn’t get thru the number provided, I went into their webpage to find howelse I can contact them and I noted the below hilarious remark – “Due to fantastic response to their low fares is the reason we can’t contact their local call centres”. I think it’s more due to the fact that they can’t handle the calls coming in for complaints and disatification!!!

    “Important information for Australian customers
    We are aware that our local call centre number has been experiencing high demand due to the fantastic response to our low low fares. Please be assured that we are working on increasing the capacity by putting in additional infrastructure, however this may take some time so please be patient with us. “

  15. RawFlesh says:

    I’ve already pre-booked a few more with em, but after this, I’m goin to be VERY VERY VERY weary about booking with Tiger…. Maybe wen timing is not urgent, etc.

    I think Airasia is much better(i havent tried Jetstar, seems always the most expensive of the budget carriers between KL-SG), they’ve never rescheduled my flights from evening to morning. Worse I’ve experienced is that they delay ur flight n put u on the next flight. Im guessin it’s to ensure that it’s a full flight.

    Tiger was ‘good’ that they allowed me to change my flight schdele for free, since they changed their flight schedules. But either than that, they’re crap….

    1) Change schedule due to operation reasons – wtf does this mean?
    2) Offer a line to call, but it’s always an engaged tone.
    3) For URGENT matters, we’re to call this International Call Centre and got brain washed from 40min of waiting on the line!!!! Imagine, if that was actually an international call from say Aust, I wonder how much would the call be!

  16. Dominique says:

    Kelly – when did you site become the official complaint centre for Tiger Airways? I’ve flown them once. Had no problems, so won’t be contributing to this constructively for sure! :)

  17. kelchan says:

    yah seriously people…where are you coming from? Why is this site the official complain site for Tiger?

  18. Ranajoy Roy says:

    I had a very nasty incidence with Tiget airways too and I literally hated the experience. The ground staff were the rudest people I have encountered in my life. Its not only a budget airline but also the nastiest airline ever. I felt cheated flying the airlines. The person at the desk demanded to see my onwards ticket rudely on a one way ticket from kuala lumpur to singapore. I told him that I have a valid ticket and am not liable to answer him since he is not in immigration and by what authority is a check in staff asking for my onward ticket is beyond me. Then comes the worst part. I was over weight in my luggage. I was asked to cough up 8 times the ticket price for extra kilos i was carrying. And since it was a cheap airline (i will not call it a budget airline) I assumed the extra kilos will be charged nominally but it turned out to be a huge sum. The ground staff rudely told me you should have checked how much to carry before now pay up or we will not board you. I demanded to see the manager to complaint about the staffs behaviour but there was no supervisor there only worker class people manning the boarding. I would rather fly air asia anyday than this cheap and rude airlines.

  19. Steve J says:

    I flew Tiger once, Hobart to Melbourne after a funeral. Took off on time. Landed safely. I ask no more than that, Was def a no frills experience, but all I needed to do was go home. Qantarse were charging $614 for the same flight — I don’t think so! This was because of the Australian Open, but even so, $614 for Hobart to Melbourne one way is seriously GOUGING.

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