Any experience with Tiger Airways?

Never flown with Tiger and was wondering if they OK now, after the whole grounding thing. They are the often the cheapest, so should I go with them or pay more for a more "reputable" airline?

More worried about safety, I realise it's a budget airline so don't expect too much.

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Tigerair Australia
Tigerair Australia


  • There haven't been any large commercial jet crashes in Australia.

    • Good point, and I reckon even Qantas has had a fair few safety incidents as well, even if no actual crash. The worry with Qantas is sudden strikes or CEO imposed groundings ;-)

  • +2

    Use the cheap fares for a price beat with Jetstar:

    • Thanks, will try. And how is Jetstar? Never flown them either…

      • Did the Price Beat guarantee to Singapore last year and I've found them fine to fly with. Booked to go back with their birthday sale next year too.

      • I have flown with both. Once with tiger in 2010 and then got tiger's price matched with jetstar in 2011. Honestly, I couldn't find any difference. My return flight with Tiger was delayed by 1 hour and my departure with Jetstar was delayed by 6 hours, which ruined my whole day as I missed the connecting flight.

    • just wanted to add that I just booked through Jetstar with the price beat guarantee…
      to my surprise, it was easy as!

      Just called the hotline 1300 369 516 and told the operator the details, and it was all done within 5 mins…including 10% discount off the Tiger fare - no CC surcharge either.

      Really happy with it, will be using this option a lot more in future I reckon!

  • I think the problem with Tiger was that the flights were often delayed rather than any saftey concerns.
    Never flown Tiger but have had delays on Virgin, Jetstar and Qantas so I guess they are all the same really

    • Not really. That time CASA banned it from flying until safety concerns were dealt with. Just search for tiger air casa.

  • My husband felt very scared to use Tiger. He believed all the hype from the TV show and wouldn't use it. Then in December, we had to get a flight to Adelaide from Melbourne for a student son. Well! No Tiger flying there and no competition either! So in April we tried Tiger and were pleasantly surprised. Not a problem in the airports or with flights. Did not see anyone yelling or complaining about missing flights. In fact they made every effort to call forward closing flights. My son had also commented how there was more leg room on Tiger when compared to Jetstar and he was correct. My only negative would be the collecting of checked in luggage in Melbourne (Tullamarine). It's in the equivalent of a large 'cage' with the belt running through. So I suggest giving it a try. We will fly again with them for sure and pocket the savings. By the way, I do not work in this industry, nor do I know of anyone who works there. Just like saving money and having competition to keep the prices down.

  • +1

    I have done price match with jetstar previously. I don;t like jetstar, but like tiger even less.

  • I wouldn't be too concerned about safety with tiger, they have to meet the same standards of any other Australian airline.

    I would be concerned with your flight leaving at the time and date you book it for though. I booked a flight from Melbourne to Tasmania for a Christmas flight to meet family. Tiger emailed me 2 weeks before the flight to tell me my flight had been moved from 8am to 7pm…. I've flown with Virgin and Qantas plenty of times and they would never stuff you around like this.

    You will not be able to contact Tiger to change flight etc, they have one phone number that just rings out.

    Tiger just isn't worth it for me, I'd rather pay an extra $50 and know that my flight will leave at the booked time.

  • +1

    i flew with them bris-melb return last weekend.

    no problems really.

    though the seats were crammed together.
    on the way down I was right at the back and that was horrible. sitting at the back exacerbates any turbluence. i spoke to a air steward friend in melbourne and she confirmed that you should always sit as close to the front as possible for a "smoother" ride.

    on the flight back I was in row 1 and that was excellent. I was first off the plane and plenty of leg room.

    Tigers terminal in melbourne is very basic. arrivals is an open shed which for winter was horrid.

    the departure lounge is ok, I've to worse in 3rd world countries.

  • Yep, and its all bad! 3 times. and 3 times they have changed my flight times. On one flight 3 times! Generally very disorganised at check in, I couldnt believe it. Nothing short of chaos. I guess you get what you pay for.

  • I've heard about the disorganised-ness and cancellation/movements of flights about both Jetstar and Tiger. I've booked on both now…let's hope!

  • Tiger has the best ratings at arriving & departing On time scince sep last year'

  • +2

    Take Tiger out of the market and watch air fares soar

  • Ugh, here's my 2cents:

    I live in Adelaide. I used Tiger to fly to Sydney and Melbourne frequently, on average every 5-6 weeks because the fares were so low. So plenty of experience with them, including the not-so-great ones of course - yet I still came back for more. Couple of stories:

    I took a late flight from Sydney to Adelaide about 2 years ago when Adelaide was experiencing a crazy storm. We were actually about 20 minutes or so from landing, when the plane circled the sky for almost an hour and eventually had to fly to Melbourne to re-fuel. Crazy weather and the 11pm curfew at Adelaide airport meant we were stuck in Melbourne overnight, however they stuck us in a nearby hotel overnight and put us on a plane first thing the next morning.

    Similarly, was flying back from Melbourne however the plane from Adelaide was delayed - curfew again, we couldn't make it before 11pm. Ended up in the same hotel, hopped on a plane the next morning.

    Honestly I'm pretty content with the airline and getting from A to B. Happy with the outcome of the first scenario, and for a budget airline it was great that they put us up in a decent hotel overnight. Leg room, their barnyard of a terminal and maybe slight delays don't phase me at all. I actually had far more flight changes when I booked Jetstar for a trip. Sad that their Adelaide base closed though, as much negativity as they receive they're what kept fares down across the board :(

  • +1

    Reporting back, now having flown Jetstar and Tiger.

    No cancelled flights but both were running more than 1/2 hour late on at least one leg of the journey. Everything about Tiger screams "cheap" from the boarding passes printed on thin receipt-like paper, to the temporary looking "terminal" at Melbourne consisting of wire fence and tin roof. But the plane got me there and back safely, so that's the main thing.

    Jetstar was a bit classier by comparison. Interestingly, the inflight food was cheaper on Jetstar than Tiger. Jetstar even ran specials on their perishable food on the midnight flight!

    The OzB'er in me would fly either again and use the savings to buy dinner in the destination city :)

    • Receipt-like boarding passes are not peculiar to Tiger. I've had them with Virgin too and with Ryanair. Who cares, as long as it gets you on the plane; it will be discarded after the flight. But being on-time is important.

  • Heard a few bad things about them but when me and my partner traveled with them 3 years ago we had 0 problems. I think u can get lucky and unlucky (our taxi cost us more then the flight ~_~)

  • +1

    Flew Tiger recently Sydney to Melbourne return. Everything from check in to on time take off and arrival went smooth without friction. Would fly them again. Thanks Tiger for injecting real competition into Australian aviation. :)

  • Safety is the most important thing.

  • +1

    All of the reasons people avoid flying with Tiger happened to me with Jetstar recently so don't be put off by all the hype. Firstly, the timing of the Brisbane-Cairns Jetstar flight meant I had to take the earliest (and more expensive) Qantas flight of the day from my home town to Brisbane which would have left me with a 3 hour wait in Brisbane. Three weeks or so before the date of my flights, Jetstar cancelled the flight and informed me that I'd now be leaving Brisbane 4 hours later. I'd paid the extra $22 to get frequent flyer points, plus extra again for a front seat, to get the extra leg room, so after receiving this email, called customer service and was given confirmation that I would still have my selected seat. During online checkin the evening before flying. however, I discovered that my seat had been given away and I'd been moved to the second row. I called them again to discuss this and was assured that there was extra leg room in the first few rows - yeah, right!!!!

    I'd arranged for an elderly aunt to drive the 1.5 hour trip to Cairns to collect me, and the worst thing about this shift in time at that stage was that she'd now be driving home getting on dark. Hubby had recently received a complimentary pass to the Qantas lounge, so we'd figured I could while away the 7 hours I was waiting at Brisbane in there. So I got to Brisbane and Jetstar refused to take my baggage until 2 hours before my scheduled departure time ….. in fact they refused to let me join the queue until that 2 hour time frame, so instead of Qantas lounge I spent the vast majority of the time I was in Brisbane in the arrivals hall, stuck with a heavy suitcase, and there are no lockers. By the time I'd finally gone through security screening I had half an hour before I had to board.

    My return flight was also delayed by almost an hour.

    Pan forward to receiving frequent flyer statement for the month, and I haven't been credited FF points for this flight. I have them for the return flight, but not this one, so I put in a claim for missing points, which are supposed to be credited within 14 days of making the claim. 4 weeks later and still no sign of them. My previous experience with Jetstar was in the days when they did not assign seats. And after this rigmarole it will be a long time before I use them again.

    So yeah, they all have their horror stories, and pricematching with Jetstar is no guarantee of a better experience.

  • I've flown the Tiger Bris-Melb return route a lot (also used Virgin and Jetstar), I think Tiger is pretty good. A bit cramped (I am 182cm), but not too bad for a short flight. I've never had a long delay, just 30 minutes once. I flew Brussels airlines in Europe which is not even a budget airline and had an awful delay for catering for hours and they wouldn't let us off the plane, so I wouldn't say cheapest is going to be always worst.

  • I was done over by tiger recently. I accidentally booked 2 tickets to gold coast to melbourne instead of return. I did understand that it was my stupid mistake and would have to pay a fee to change but was blown away at the EXTRA $460 to change from GC to Melbourne to Melbourne GC on the same day for myself and child. The tickets were only $288 for both of us to start with. After recovering from that I arrived at the airport and checked in my 1 piece of luggage to be told that I hadn't paid for luggage. They refused to consider that I had paid for it in my original booking and said I would have to pay $90 and get rid of a few kilos or it would be more. They were very rude about it. I was so furious as I knew I had paid for it but couldn't prove it until I got home. I have been trying to contact them for a couple of weeks but give up after 1 1/2 hours waiting on the phone trying to get through. I have sent 2 emails with no response. I have just lodged a complaint with the Airline Advocate. Hopefully they will help me at least get the $90 back.

  • Just came back with Tiger from Tulla today.


    • On schedule


    • Out of the way uncomfortable terminal, badly signposted, but that's probably Tulla renovations.

    • Usual credit card surcharge rort but all the domestic airlines do that. Glad this is getting reined in.

    • Long slow queue for inadequate check-in counters, no Internet check-in for hand luggage only customers. And the reason is that the check-in nazis go out of their way to catch passengers who have exceed the 10kg hand luggage allowance and whack them with a $75 charge for 15kg checked luggage. I was under, but unfortunately my companion had shopped and I should have realised this would take it over the limit and prepurchased.

    Bottom line for me: Will not fly with them again unless I cannot price match with Jetstar and I'm sure I will be under the 10kg limit. And yes, I have flown with Jetstar and Virgin (JS outgoing this time) and the experience still betters Tiger. The kiasu owners should put money into improving the customer experience, if they have any left over from addressing the CASA concerns from the grounding debacle.

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