Archive for Australia
I love travelling the world and I would take every opportunity whenever I can to see new places, meet new people and learn about foreign cultures. I have also flown with most major international airlines including the no frills airlines or widely known as the budget airlines..
I have no problems flying with budget airlines and I’ve had some good experiences flying with them eg: EasyJet, Ryan Air, Air Asia but unfortunately, nothing compared with the shocking experience that I had with with Tiger Airways Australia. It was bad..I mean bad is probably not a suitable word to describe it. Its just ghastly!! The airline is ripping people off left and right… and almost operating in a scam-like manner!
Let me tell you my story…
I was on a business trip in Sydney, Australia in early December 2010. During the last couple of days in the city, I had decided to join another conference in Melbourne. This trip wasn’t in the intial itinerary so I had to google for flights information for a return flight from Sydney to Melbourne. I stumbled upon Tiger Airways website and I thought that they were offering competitive fares so I immediately booked my flight with them. However, I didn’t book my seat preference nor did I register any bags for check in. I was planning to leave my bags in Sydney and I didn’t feel it that it would be money worth spent when paying to book a preferential seat on a 1 odd hour flight. I didn’t mind sitting anywhere on the plane to be honest!
I did the usual thing which was to print the confirmation page that include my reservation number for check in. For the record, I paid $220 for my return flight from Sydney – Melbourne.
Finally, on the day of travel, I had decided to bring my luggage with me and I knew that I will now have to pay additional charge for it during check in. I expected that it wouldn’t cost more than $60 so $220 plus $60 = $280.00 return didn’t sound too bad.
I queued up at check in. The flight was full and the queue was a bit long so it took a few while before my turn for check in. I put my baggage on the weighing travelator, gave my passport along with the printed confirmation ticket to the check in lady.
The first thing that the lady said was an alarming ” OH!!!” and I thought to myself…why did she say that?
She then said, ” Did you web check in?”. I said, ” What web check in? I have my reservation number, confirmation printout and I’m here with you to check in.”
She replied, ” Well sir, if you did not web check in we have to charge you $25 for it!”
I was like…. WHAT!!! I mean why? I’ve got my reservation number to confirm my flight so surely that would be enough to check in on the flight..just like any other airline…
But wait theres more…
She then said, “Oh you have baggage with you sir?” I said, “Yeah”
She immediately took out her calculator and started punching numbers into it. I felt alarmed!
She then said, “In order for us to check you in for this flight you’ll need to pay $170.00 which included the $6.60 fee if you decide to pay with a credit card”
I fumed!!! $170.00 dollars charge for petty things – One. Web check in penalty and Two. to check in my one luggage!!
Thats just way too diabolical..more like daylight robbery!! They shouldn’t be charging for this. It was totally unnecessary. Everyone who flies need to use these basic airline services!
I created a bit of a scene because I thought that I was treated very unfairly but to cut the story short, I gave in in the end. Theres no point arguing at check in. It gets you no where so I paid the unfair daylight robbery fees!!
But wait..there’s more…
She said, ” Sir, these charges are for one way only. You will need to pay for your baggage on your way back from Melbourne!!”
I was like…What!!! Surely they weren’t being serious!!! This was getting too much to handle in less than 15 minutes!!
I’ve had it. I couldn’t be asked dealing with them anymore and I said to her, ” OK, can I pay for the fee for my flight in Melbourne?”
She said, ” Sorry sir, you cannot pay it here, you will need to call our customer service at this number and pay it there.”
I was like..WHAT!!! You’ve just asked me $170 dollars for pumped up charges and now you wanted me to call at my own expense to pay for another pumped up charges for my flight back from Melbourne!! Now this was a bit too much. Any decent mind would go crazy at these demands!! Service was definitely poor and without a smile, more like from a concentration camp! It was crazy!!
Again, I decided not to argue. I took the number and decided to call their customer service after security clearance at the airport and naturally I had to pay the outrageous $6 odd dollars for their flat rate credit card fee! Again!!!
OK I admit. I wasn’t in my best moods when I arrived in sunny Melbourne but thank goodness that I had my great friends with me to guarantee a fab time in Melbourne….
After a couple of days in Melbourne, it was now time to fly back to Sydney which I dreaded badly especially when I was flying with rip off blood sucking Tiger Airways! I knew another problem would arise!!
OK I was back at the check in counter at Tiger Airways terminal at Melbourne Airport. It was busy as usual but what surprised me was the amount of people that I saw who shouted, screamed and complained at the check in desk. I assumed it was all for the Tiger Airways well hidden and incessant charges!!
I even saw a family of four who had to pay the $25 Australian dollars each!! They were clearly unhappy about it and was disputing everything. Clearly, I wasn’t their first victim. Almost one out of four passengers at the queue had the same problem and had no choice to pay collosal charges!! It was disgusting!!
Anyhow, I checked in and lo and behold they wanted more money off me!! Clearly, the amount of money that I paid to their customer service whilst in Sydney wasn’t enough. The weight of my baggage had exceeded by a mere 1kg from the 20kg limit so this other sombre- looking check in lady said, ” Sir, unfortunately you are over the limit on your baggage limit and we have to charge you $15 dollars plus $6.60 if you’re paying by credit card.”
That was it. I couldnt take it anymore. I opened up my bag and took out whatever I could and put some of the contents in my hand luggage. I closed my bag and handed the bag back to her. This time she didnt say anything and checked me in…
I had also realised that there was a film crew filming at the terminal. This was probably for a local Airport TV programme. They took some video footage of me at check in and maybe..just maybe that the lady who checked me in didn’t say too much because she knew she was on tele!!
I did ask her this question just before I left, ” Why did you do this?” Her only reply was, ” I’m sorry sir..I will lose my job if I didnt do it” and my reply, ” Well, I’d rather be unemployed than live with a guilty conscience by scamming people left and right!!”. She didnt say anything…
Again, unless if you know how Tiger Airways works then you’re okay but if youre a tourist like me then my advise is never ever fly Tiger Airways!! Their motto “Fly Cheaper” is clearly a BIG MASSIVE FAT LIE!! You pay cheap online but you still have to pay a lot more offline!! I paid over $400 dollars for this one hour trip which was like over £300 odd Pounds. I could get a Business Class seat with an international airline from the amount of money that I paid with these Tiger Airways rip off charges!
My advise never fly with these cowboys. Trust me. I’m not the only one who’ve been scammed by this airline!!
Please comment and let me know your experience. I’d love to hear from you.