PER-SIN and back on Tiger

Discussion in 'Trip Reports and Trip Photos' started by SeaWolf, May 7, 2007.

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  1. SeaWolf

    SeaWolf Active Member

    Jan 24, 2007
    858
    24
    Sydney
    Talking to one of my mates who now lives in Singapore on MSN, he complained that no one up there wants to go clubbing with him and that he misses living in Perth. I had a quick look at prices and hit back with "What you doing next weekend?"
    And so began my first trip out of the country in 20 years. (I was 5 last time, so it doesn't really count)

    Tiger Airways were offering flights for $360 return (including tax) PER-SIN (as opposed to QF's $960), officially ending any excuse about it being too expensive. I booked the tix straight away and got some travel insurance from Travel Insurance Direct. I decided to make it a long weekend and took Friday off work.

    So last Thrusday night I arrived at Perth International two hours ahead of departure for the flight. Tiger was running four check in desks, one dedicated to people who had payed the $4.50 to use 'Seat Selector'. I had, so I hopped in that queue with only two people in front of me. The other queue was also very short, only about six or seven people in it. I handed over my completely unused passport (I know, the shame) and was handed my already printed boarding pass. Tiger only allows you to bring 15kg of free checked in luggage (you can pay in advance to increase) and since I had no working scales at home I was worried I might be over limit. Dropped my bag on the belt and was surprised to see 9.5kg flash up. Apparently I pack lighter than I thought. Wandered upstairs and had a late dinner at the Dome cafe, before heading through towards the gate. Found that by sitting near the QP I could easily take advantage of the free wireless with very good signal strength while waiting for boarding. Once boarding started I headed over to the gate and the waiting Airbus A320. Tiger's staff are very professional, but the airline has a close relationship with Visa, and so the Visa logo was promienently emblazoned on all the staff uniforms. As soon as I boarded I realised that leg room was one of the reasons my ticket had been so cheap. The seat pitch is as small as they can reasonably make it, and I have a feeling they had decided 'reasonable' on the leg length of Asian people. Since I'm 6'1" I can get a bit squeezed in pretty much any economy seats. While it's certainly bearable, you do have to watch out for the person in front of you reclining their seat suddenly. The A320s are nearly new and have upholstered, rather than vinyl seats. We took off pretty much dead on 2135.

    As soon as they were able the cabin crew came around offering portable AVOD units for a charge, much like JetStar, but since I'd brought my laptop I didn't bother. Food service was also quite good, though you do need to pay for it and they don't accept any silver Australian coins. Your change is also given in Singapore currency. We touched down in Singapore around 0300. Tiger uses the Budget Terminal at Changi which has no AeroBridges, so as soon as I stepped off the plane I was hit with the humidity. Straight into the terminal which is air conditioned though. The arrivals at the Budget Terminal is very simple and efficient. Straight through Immigration in a matter of minutes (she seemed a little startled that my passport had nothing but an AU exit visa in it) and then into the small duty free shop to get some cheap booze for my mate. I quickly collected my luggage and was able to walk pretty much straight out of the terminal, all very simple and efficient.

    Return trip on Sunday was a little trickier though. I arrived two hours before departure at the Budget Terminal and went to the Tiger check in desks. However, there were only two, one marked "Perth - Visa Check" and the other marked "Perth - Passport Check". I hopped in the passport check line and waited. And waited. And waited. When I finally got to the front, my passport was scanned, had a small sticker placed on it and I was then directed to a different check in desk. So I then queued up again. And waited. And waited. And waited. When I finally got the the front of this new queue I was checked in and handed my boarding pass. All up though I had been queuing for 55 minutes. Wasn't too impressed. I had lunch very quickly and went towards the gate. Emmigration was very quick and efficient though. Two minutes and I was through. Security were also fast and I was through still with some time to spare. Departure in the budget terminal is also fairly simple. There's a cafe, a small Duty Free store, a newsagents and a money changer. There's also some public internet computers and a laptop area with seats, power points and WiFi coverage. Since I only had a little time, I got my money changed quickly and headed straight for the gate. Staff at the gate were also quick and I was able to walk out onto the tarmac almost straight away. Wheels up at 1550, dead on time. Having had virtually no sleep the last few nights I dozed most of the flight back to PER. Touch down in Perth and I picked up more Duty Free booze for my mates at this end, then headed for Immigration and customs. Much slower at this end than at Changi, but still not bad, I was out into the freezing night air and getting my jumper out of my luggage within about 30 minutes.

    All up, it's been quite an eye opening trip for me and I've had a great time. My main complaint with Tiger was the seat pitch, but for the price of the ticket and given it's only a five hour flight, I can't really complain at all. Hopefully they'll make check in at Changi as good as the check in at Perth was. All up, I don't think it'll be too much longer before I'm up there again. :D
     

  2. littl_flier

    littl_flier Active Member

    May 1, 2007
    898
    0
    Brisbane
    Great to hear your story SeaWolf. As you said, for the money you saved, it definitely beats QF, particularly if FF points are no big deal for you. It will be interesting to see what effect Tiger have on the Aussie market with connections to either Darwin or Perth? when they start domestic ops. It will certainly make long weekends is Singapore do-able! :D At the end of the day, if we expect what we have paid (peanuts) and don't expect Caviar, then it will be an enjoyable experience.

    As a young guy, just getting away is an experience and I can completely understand your excitement. Glad you had a great time and bring on plenty more! ;)
     
  3. moa999

    moa999 Senior Member

    Jun 23, 2003
    9,130
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    Sydney
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    What were the yields like.

    I flew Tiger SIN-HKT about 12 mths ago (on a very cheap ticket)
    Plane was only about 35% full.

    I camped myself near the door in the holding pen at SIN and was about 15th on Board.

    First 14 passengers filed into the first 3 rows !;)

    I went down to the middle of the plane - exit row.. :p
    Much better
     
  4. zig

    zig Established Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    1,427
    214
    NSW
    Thanks for your interesting report! Sounds like your weekend was worth it.
     
  5. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Thanks for the report SeaWolf
     
  6. SeaWolf

    SeaWolf Active Member

    Jan 24, 2007
    858
    24
    Sydney
    Yield on the flight was actually pretty good. I'd say on the way up there the plane was almost full, maybe 90%. Less full on the way back, probably about 80%.

    We had set seats for this flight, I'm not sure if they still use free seating on short flights, but you now have to pay extra if you want an exit row seat. On the way back I had selected a seat right at the back (28F) and found that they seemed to have filled the plane from the front backwards. The middle seat on my row was empty, and most of the rows near me had at least one empty seat. One lucky lady even had a whole row to herself! However as soon as I walked forward, after a few rows it was all fully filled for the rest of the aircraft. So I think if you're using seat selector on Tiger, it might well pay to grab a seat at the very back, even if it does take you a little longer to get off at the other end.
     
  7. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
    14,229
    1,742
    Interesting trip report seawolf - its interesting for me to read about leisure travellers (mine is almost 100% business) - given I am 6' 2" I dont think I will be on Tiger any time soon :)

    Hope you had fun in SIN - I see that part of the story wasnt shared ;)
     
  8. Altair

    Altair Active Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    810
    82
    Wellington
    Good report Seawolf.
    I try to stay away from budget carriers after a horrible 1.5 hour flight on Easy Jet. I do not know how you could last 5 hours on Tiger.

    Note last budget carrier I flew on was JQ, SYD-BLN vv. It was ok as it was a short flight and on both ways I was in row 1.
     
  9. SeaWolf

    SeaWolf Active Member

    Jan 24, 2007
    858
    24
    Sydney
    I haven't flown EasyJet, so I'm not sure how good/bad they are, but I guess in my mind, I don't even really see it as discomfort. More like I've choosen to buy the plain muffin, rather than the one with choc chips and sprinkles on it, so that I can spend that money on something I want more later on. Like nice accomodation or buying drinks at the bar etc.

    However, I do think that next time I might consider splashing out the S$25 each sector for an exit row seat. After all, it'll be a little extra comfort and I'll still have ~$560 more in my pocket when I get to Singapore than if I'd flown QF.

    I had a bit of a laugh to myself today when I ducked onto Curtin Uni campus and noticed there were flyers around advertising an STA sale. "$330 return to Singapore" then in very, very small print "Plus approx $330 tax and charges".

    simongr, I thought given the topic of the forum, I'd mostly stick to my actual flying part of the trip. I don't think everyone wants to hear about what my mates and I got up to in Singapore's amazing nightclubs and bars.;) But I certainly had a fun time and met a lot of really fun people. :p
     
  10. Altair

    Altair Active Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    810
    82
    Wellington
    Why not?
    From my time there my wife and I had an interesting time looking at all the new trendy clubs on "dildo quay" sorry Clarke Quay, it will be in the trip report.
     
  11. roego

    roego Junior Member

    Aug 2, 2006
    49
    2
    As Sea Wolf said on Tiger you can pay S$25 and get a seat with extra leg room.
    Also if you do not want that you can pay for seat selection and a baggage upgrade,
    Also remember someone like Seat Guru and you can check out pitch and width, though they don't cover tiger. eg. you can probably find that Singapore gives a little more room than Qantas
     
  12. tigerblue

    tigerblue Newbie

    Dec 6, 2007
    5
    0
    Thanks SeaWolf for that report. I flew Tiger from Perth to Singapore return in July 2007 and what you said is pretty much the truth. Flying Tiger is not bad, but for people like me who are quite laid back and aren't too fussy then travelling LCC isn't a problem (yet...I haven't had any troubles before but if you have seen that YouTube video of that Tiger flight being cancelled..eeeeeep)

    Funny thing is I was one of the last people to check in as I was at the back of the queue, but I was given an emergency exit seat. That was a comfy flight! :)
     
  13. SeaWolf

    SeaWolf Active Member

    Jan 24, 2007
    858
    24
    Sydney
    Have they improved check in at SIN or is it still a bit of a slow process? I'm likely to be headed up there again in a few weeks for a wedding.
     
  14. tigerblue

    tigerblue Newbie

    Dec 6, 2007
    5
    0
    I only had to join one long queue inwhich I was waiting in line for about an hour. I think others who had overweight baggage had to go to another queue after getting their boarding tickets to pay the excess but you could tell they weren't happy (hehe)

    So if you are late and you are at the back of the queue, bring a magazine/book to read.
     
  15. Alanslegal

    Alanslegal Senior Member

    Jun 22, 2007
    5,231
    1,364
    Sydney
    It's good to see your addiction to flying / travelling ;) it only takes 1 flight before you want more more more.............glad to see you go back again......

    I went to SGP for NYE07, spur of the moment in a sense..... round trip from check-in SYD through to exiting customs at SYD was less than 80hrs....... will be back for leisure later this year for the 1st ever Formula 1 'night race'.......thank goodness for cheap tix ex-SIN =)
     
  16. GreyGrump

    GreyGrump Newbie

    May 26, 2007
    6
    0
    Maybe your height is the issue, being only 5ft 9 I have found little difference in comfort between Air Asia, Tiger and Qantas. My wife being only 4ft 10 doesn't even touch the floor, sometime!
     
  17. bambbbam2

    bambbbam2 Active Member

    Feb 13, 2005
    857
    1
    Perth, WA
    You know what they say.. you're only too short if your feet don't reach the ground.:oops:
     
  18. GreyGrump

    GreyGrump Newbie

    May 26, 2007
    6
    0
    But she did enjoy Thailand - she could look most people in the eye!:)
     
  19. brucek

    brucek Intern

    Aug 8, 2002
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    2
    Victoria, Australia
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    Hi guys

    You may care to take a look here http://www.frequentflyer.com.au/community/open-discussion/tiger-airwars-12222.html#post158634

    It would be good if this WWW site moderators would establish this new thread as a Head Lined thread so that all posting re Tiger could be in the one place. For that matter, it would be good if there were individual threads for all airlines.

    If the above exists perhaps someone might be good enough to tell me where they are, and why the threads don't appear in the 'On-line Community' page.

    Tnx for your postings.

    Cheers
     
  20. straitman

    Moderator

    Apr 27, 2003
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    brucek,

    You will see that the forum is very QF and to a lesser degree DJ orientated. This is because of how things have evolved over time. I'm sure that as TT gets to be more involved in the percentage of the posts that this will also evolve.

    My suggestion is that if you feel strongly about this that you put together your idea and send a PM to admin for consideration and see where the next step of evolution may take us. :cool:
     
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