Sunday, 10 October 2010

Flight Assessment

My experience with Tiger Airways back to Hong Kong was interesting, if not stressful at first.

I arrived a bit early for check in and strangely there was no sign above the check-in counters with my flight number, but for a Hong Kong flight later in the day.

So I went over to the ticketing desk to ask and she tells me to go to counter number 2.

I get there and the sign says "ticket management". Sounds ominous.

The line takes forever and I soon find out why -- a flight has been canceled and people need to fill out forms for reimbursements. Off to the side, an Australian man argues with a Singaporean staff demanding he be put on the plane to Sydney. The staff person tries to keep cool and calm down the man, but he gets more and more irate, instructing the staff to talk to his superiors and put him on the flight because he is not staying an extra night.

Apparently something is sorted out because the Australian winks to his two fellow travelers and they go to get some coffee.

Finally over half an hour later I make it to the front of the line and the poor guy handling all these frustrated customers tells me that the desk for my flight has opened and can I go there instead please?

So I kick up a fuss of my own, explaining that I was told to come here and that I have waited over half an hour so just check me in, please.

He again tries to persuade me to move, but I'm not budging after having stood in line for so long.

He relents and checks me in with a boarding pass printed from paper used for receipts in a grocery store. Now that's really no frills.

And like last time, I don't check in my luggage and then head to the security check where we actually have to weigh our bags.

I put my suitcase on the scale and it's just over 8kg.

"I'm sorry ma'am, but it's overweight," a young uniformed man tells me.

I open my bag and take out a big book my friend had given me to read on the plane. Then I put it back on the scale.

"Oh it's fine now," he says, seeing as it's under 8kg. "Is it you just bought the book?"

How Singaporean.

Then I head to the duty-free section and get some cosmetics, which I have to say were cheaper than in Hong Kong shockingly enough. With that purchase I was able to get a free prize at another counter sponsored by the airport authority. It was actually a lottery to win something, but I also got a S$5 coupon to use in any of the shops in the vicinity.

For some strange reason this budget terminal had no Singaporean snack shops, so in the end I opted to get a copy of the New Yorker which was originally over S$11 ($8.42) and i got it for S$7 ($5.35) instead. Definitely the deal of the week.

The gate was a small standing-room area and the plane hadn't even arrived yet. When we were supposed to depart, the plane arrived and they quickly emptied out the passengers and cleaned it up a bit. What was also interesting was that all the flight attendants were male. Have you ever seen that before?

So I'll give Tiger Airways an average mark overall. The ground staff really aren't very professional or seem to know what they are doing, which can make passengers nervous. But then again it does take you from A to B relatively inexpensively so you can't complain too much.

1 comment:

  1. well you get what you pay. that is fair. people have to make a living too.