Tiger Airways - do they often cancel flights?

trying to help a mate book a flight from adelaide- melbourne for a convention

do they often cancel flights? my friend is worried that if his flight gets cancelled, it will ruin his whole weekend

never flown with them but it seems to be the cheapest for that route

anyone know?


Tigerair Australia

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  • -1 vote

    I have flown them heaps of times without issue.

    JetStar is the one I would avoid.

    • +6 votes

      Well I have flown Jetstar many times and never any issue.

      My first Tiger flight has already been cancelled and I havent flown yet. It was rescheduled, no compo etc and I had a lot of issues getting it changed so I am now flying out a day earlier. If not I would have missed my connections (which I had originally allowed 17 hours for). I had to book another night at my expense..

      So based on that Tiger is the one to avoid, at least Jetstar has more planes to back changes up…


      I have flown both Jetstar and Tiger 3 times each. No issues with JetStar. With Tiger, I had my flight cancelled once and I had to spend 18 hours in transit in Singapore. However I was informed of it weeks earlier, so it was ok for me.


      I've flown down to Melbourne with JetStar (Mel->Syd) and Tiger(Syd->Mel) exactly once.

      Tiger was completely fine.
      Jetstar was delayed by 1.5 hours which was not impressive.

  • +4 votes

    I have flown with Tiger four times now without a problem. The worst thing I see is the 'cattle cage' at Melbourne Airport, where one is locked in until all baggage is collected and this takes quite a few minutes. They basically deliver one load then go back collect the next load and get the conveyor belt going again. So that's where it is slow and has cage walls surrounding it with no seats. Would be very cold in Winter. Otherwise no problems and we never saw anyone going crazy about missing a flight or being late.


      And there is only one loo. Was very surprised when I arrived in Melbourne recently.


      Yes. I've been through there a few times. It's kind of disgusting - at least the shabby make shift 'bathroom' stalls are at least. Only a small area to sit near the vending machine. Waited around 30 minutes one time in the blistering cold before the conveyor belt even started. Another few minutes later and the luggage had finally arrived!

  • +5 votes

    Past cancellations have no tangible relationship with what might happen in the future. Flight delays and cancellations are caused by a number reasons including weather and ATC so some routes are more prone than others. Have a look at the offical govt stats for the past year … yeah Tiger is the most reliable for on-time departures. If getting somewhere at a particular time is critical then don't travel late in the day or with a carrier that has infrequent flights on that route. And take insurance to cover the unforseen.

    • +4 votes

      "Past cancellations have no tangible relationship with what might happen in the future."

      I don't agree with this statement at all. It's like saying "past behaviour has not relationship to future behaviour."


        He is right that Tiger are the most reliable airline for on time departures in Australia based on a high quantity of results.

        I have had nothing but good experiences with Tiger and horrible experiences with JetStar. The opposite may apply for some people but it's all likely to be based on a small amount of flights.

        • +2 votes

          I have had nothing but bad experiences with Tiger (3) and good experiences with Jetstar (over 30).

          Each to their own, I suppose.


        There was fog last week and the airport was closed so there is likely to be fog next week … the Aeroplane had a mechanical fault last week so it will happen again next week … ??? No.

    • +2 votes

      Just watch the insurance, many policies do not cover for delays/costs caused by carriers cancelling flights.


        Very true, and a lot of policies don't cover "weather" related delays. Which is nearly always what the airlines blame.

    • -1 vote

      Tiger is the most reliable for on-time departures

      Yeah, but the question was about cancellations. It's cold comfort if the 0950 left on time but the one you booked, the last flight of the day at 1800, is cancelled.

      I have to say they have such an ugly terminal at Tulla.

    • +1 vote

      Past cancellations have no tangible relationship with what might happen in the future.

      FTFY: Past cancellations have a direct relationship as to what might happen in the future…

      Travelled weekly over the last three years - I choose to fly only Virgin

  • +4 votes

    The problem is not that Tiger cancel more often than others; it's that they only have one or two flights a day for most routes, so if they do cancel you are stuck. The bigger airlines that have multiple flights a day give you more options if something goes wrong. Can't comment on Jetstar, they don't fly my usual routes so I rarely use them.
    I used to fly Tiger a lot, but rarely do any more. If I'm just going away for a weekend for the fun of it, I might fly them if they're particularly cheap, but if the trip is time-sensitive (e.g. I am going for a wedding, conference, even being back at work on Monday), there's no way I will.

  • +2 votes

    I would fly Jetstar for 2 reasons.

    1. There are 2 flights per day on Tiger on the weekdays, 3 on the weekend. So if they cancel the 950AM flight, they will put you on the next flight at 6PM. Do you want to wait at the airport all day? If you miss the 6PM, you will have to catch the next days flight. Jetstar also has 2 flights a day but it's possible if there is an issue they can put people on a Qantas flight.

    2. Price beat guarantee means you will get the cheapest flight + 10% off and no credit card fees.

    If your friend is going for a convention and it's being paid for by work/uni, may as well book a Qantas flight.

    • +2 votes

      "If your friend is going for a convention and it's being paid for by work/uni, may as well book a Qantas flight."

      My travel was paid for by work and the Qantas CEO shut down the airline. I'd travel Virgin for work if you have the choice.

      • -2 votes

        My travel was paid for by work and the Qantas CEO shut down the airline.

        If you were really concerned about flying on time, you would have realised that prior to the shut down, the staff were delaying flights, which is what this thread was all about.

        Really I guess you dont like Qantas/Jetstar. But surprising as it may be they are at least more Australian owned than any other airline. But like the unions who want to punish Qantas, going with overseas owned airlines is rather counter productive, if your objective is to keep jobs here.

        And as Neil has pointed out, with more alternate flights while a delay may be annoying, with Jetstar, having a Tiger flight cancelled gives very little options for an alternate flight that day.

        • +2 votes

          Cut that crap out, you know it, I know it, we both would choose a North Korean company over Qantas if it was substantially better/cheaper.

          You are an affiliate of iHerb and Vitacost why are you flogging their stuff rather than Australian alternatives? Could it be because they are better/cheaper?


          Thanks love!

          Nice of you to join just to have a comment. But I think you have misread the intention I was conveying.

          Still, given you can discover quickly how this site works like being able to research my previous posts, I am sure we will also be amazed at how quickly you can learn to play nicely here.

          Cool one tiger?. XXXX


    yeah i think i might get him to book virgin or qantas then


    I'm not sure how the airlines work but in my experience it does appear as though departure and landing queues are prioritised depending in the airline. I'm FIFO Monday - Friday between Brisbane and Emerald and the Qantas flight always gets priority over the Virgin flight (where departure or landing times are the same). Arriving home at about 6pm on a Friday in a Virgin flight usually results in at least a couple of holding patterns whereas this does not occur as often when I'm flying Qantas.

    The one time I was supposed to fly Tiger one of the other airlines was having a few issues with their check in system which had an affect on all flights. My flight was cancelled as the delay ensured that it wouldn't land before a set curfew at Sydney airport (Virgin actually had another flight out later that night, so it was a Tiger specific curfew). I can't remember how long Tiger took to refund me for my ticket but there was no compensation offered for my taxi to/from the airport (considering I had to go home and catch a different flight the next day) and booking the first flight in the morning from Brisbane - Sydney last minute cost a hell of a lot more than the $50 ticket I originally had. Another issue was that their staff at the Airport were Contractor's and so if I was to rebook with them for the next morning it would have had to have been over the phone.

    Granted this was one bad experience and it wasn't actually Tiger's fault, I generally overlook them even when looking for cheap flights.

  • +2 votes

    I have flown tiger heaps and never had an issue, I will continue to fly with them until I get burned. I like supporting a carrier that isn't scared of a bit of competition. Without tiger domestic flights within aus would be significantly more expensive jetstar almost doubled their price on the adelaide route when tiger stopped flying.

    Regardless of whether or not you fly with tiger they are great for ozbargainers because everyone gets a better deal because they're here.


    I have flown Jetstar multiple times with no problems.

    Attempted Tiger only once (two years ago) and it was cancelled while we were in the line to check in. The employee who walked down the line delivering the bad news also handed out forms that would allow us to reclaim our money. That was the second nightmare - it took three months and a lot of chasing to get our money back.

    Rant: We had a big weekend planned in Melb (bunch of guys) so we jumped on the only other flight available, which was Virgin. Paid $400+ each (compared to Tiger's $80ish) which REALLY hurt, and then we found out that Virgin had immediately bumped the prices by $100 when Tiger cancelled the flight. I guess you can't blame Virgin … but it didn't make me any fonder of them.


    I'd be worried about the return flight to Adelaide from Melbourne.
    Adelaide airport has a very tight curfew (more so than Sydney), and Tiger will cancel their evening flight if it's even slightly delayed, so that they dont' risk breaking the curfew (where they could be fined thousands $$$ if they arrived in Adelaide too late). From memory they only refund or pay for half the hotel rate… and it might even find it hard to be put on the flight the following morning if it's already full, and remembering there are 100+ other people who were also on your cancelled flight.

    Those jerks, should suck it up, fly to Adelaide and cop the fine. Their fault for scheduling ridiculous flight times and not leaving enough time for turnarounds and delays.


    Australian airline consumer law seems to be pretty bad. I remember being on an overbooked flight in Europe getting $250 compensation and a seat on the next flight (which was only 2 hours later)…
    Never had any trouble myself with Tiger, Jetstar etc. in Asia or Australia…

  • +1 vote

    That "airline" show on channel 9 is enough for me not to fly with them. However, not sure if the others are any better

  • +2 votes

    Flying with budget airlines always comes with risk
    if you have no commitment and able to accept delay (hours to a day), then fly with budget
    if you have commitments (work/conference/wedding etc) then fly with Qantas/Virgin because they simply have more flights and if there are delays on your scheduled flight, at least they have more chance of having a second plane, or able to put you to the next available flight.

    flown with Tiger 3 times, 2 delays, 1 cancelled, will never fly with them again
    I accept delays, as that was what I expect when I pay
    But cancellation was bad, it was an hour before departure and I was checking in.
    they told me the bad news over the counter, and give us the option of taking the flight next day, subject to availability. Those that have checked in and have to take their luggage back.
    All people behind us rush to the Jetstar counter, and I have to quickly book the Jetstar flight on the phone.
    Took 3 months to get the money back from Tiger which was another hassel.

    Never consider Tiger again, have flown lots with Jetstar and only suffer minor delays which was expected for budget airline.

  • +2 votes

    I've tried twice to fly with Tiger 2 years ago. Never again.

    First time they sent an email a week prior advising my flight was cancelled and I was rebooked 5 (!) days later. Melbourne > Mackay. I cancelled over the phone (which was a big hassle) and didn't receive my refund for 45 days.

    Second time Melb > Adelaide they changed my flight from approx 9am to 6pm in the evening the day prior.

    Luckily haven't had an experience of spending an entire day at the airport yet and never plan to by avoiding Tiger.

    Never had issues with Virgin or Qantas (International). 15+ flights.

    This is worth a read about Tigers customer service:

    I was on a Virgin flight where they were overbooked (what actually happened is a couple rocked up with their 3-5 year old son and didn't think they needed to book a seat for him….) They announced that if someone would give up their seat they would fit them on the next flight in 2 hours, refund the purchase price and give a $100 voucher for their next flight. 10+ people ran forward to claim this lol, a few were annoyed they missed out!

  • +3 votes

    Avoid Tiger like the plague, too many negative experiences to mention, please pay the ~$50 extra and fly Virgin or hell even Jetstar, but don't make the mistake of Tiger !

    My experience: they cancelled late night flight and did not provide accommodation, and mates had missed connecting flights because of this

    And don't give me that " You get what you pay for" talk, we don't want any big seats or fancy meals, just a flight from A to B


    Not long ago my Aunt flew with her son to Tasmania for something like $59 each because the flights were cheap, they already had return tickets but were told the plane was full but they can buy tickets for $300 and something each on the same plane and will be refunded the $59? Thats pretty stupid of them but my Aunt had to pay as they didn't have any option.

    Also I went to Flight Center and asked for a Tiger Airways ticked to Melbourne (from Adelaide) because they were $49. Flight Center told me that they don't do booking for Tiger because they cancel too many flights and don't give refunds, that left Flight center paying for all of Tigers canceled flights out of their own pockets. So now they won't book flight for them.

    I have never flown with Tiger though.

  • +2 votes

    do they often cancel flights? - in 1.3% of the cases based on 2012 figures


    • +1 vote

      Beat me to it by 16 mins JetBombat… I've flown them several times. Once a flight from Gold Coast - Sydney was cancelled due to a bird strike on landing of the previous flight, but to make thing work, they used a plane destined for another flight and bumped the next set of people until they could catch-up later in the day.


    you only hear about the bad experiences, the thing is when something goes wrong with tiger its usually much worse than a major airline with plenty of flights and overhead.


    Flew with them at Easter and there were lots of delays but no cancellations. Probably recommend if youre worried just pay a little extra and go with Virgin etc

  • +2 votes

    thanks, my mate went with qantas afterall.. not worth the risk


    I used to work for Jetstar, i was a policy specialist/complaints handler - and the rule of thumb is:

    Domestic Flights - fly Budget Airlines
    International Flights - DO NOT fly Budget Airlines

    I can tell you Jetstar's aging fleet does not have the navigation equipment to fly in poor conditions. They need great visibility - which is why they cancel in weather where Virgin or Qantas will fly in the same conditions.

    I can tell you that commercial overbooking for all flights is standard practice for Jetstar.

    I can tell you cancelling flights that are underbooked is standard practice for Jetstar.

    If they fall out of thier allocated space with traffic control, they will not purchase another one, they wait until there is a vacancy. If your flight is delayed, this is why they can never tell you when your flight will depart.

    Bottom line, you get the service you pay for - and always get travel insurance with budget airlines!


    My Mum flew to Melbourne with Virgin the other day. She said she heard Tiger announce they had cancelled their Melbourne flight. Poor form.


    I have only had one flight cancelled, and that was with Tiger. I had taken the day off work for a mid afternoon departure, and got the call from Tiger while we were on the train to the airport. They offered us 10:30 am next day replacements but that would have killed the weekend's plans and the accommodation had already been paid. So we had to pay top dollar for last minute Jetstar flights, and that entailed about a 3 hour wait at the airport.

    Then Tiger had the nerve to say it would take up to 6 weeks for a refund (although it was a lot faster than that).


    I think you take your chances whatever airline you fly with. I tried to fly Melbourne to Sydney with Qantas just a couple of weeks back. Took me over 6 hours! …took off 20 minutes late …pilot scraped the tail taking off. ..had to land in Canberra to do safety checks (…qantas safety procedures, protect safety record, etc )…needed new flight crew because the old one had finished their shift (…qantas safety procedures, protect safety record, yada yada ) …new crew had to fly down from Sydney. We were lucky to get back before just before curfew.

    If you absolutely need to be somewhere at a certain time then allow at least a day to get there.


    Given that this is the second time Tiger arbitrarily changes our flight times I would NEVER EVER make the mistake of flying with them ever again, I don't care if they have $2 airfare. Not worth the aggravation and insecurity of not knowing just when you'll be flying. We picked an evening flight and are now informed we HAVE to fly at 8am. If we wanted to fly in the morning, it would have been our first selection. This is all part of their gimmick of course, that way they can say, "well, in the future you should get travel insurance", WRONG, in the future, we will NEVER fly this ghetto airline again. Our flight isn't for about another month and they jump and suddenly do this to us. Unreal. Their airlines aren't that much of a bargain either, in the end, I would have rather gone with Virgin or Jetstar.

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