How I got bitten by the Tiger.

I have had a mediocre experience with Tiger – the first couple of
flights were delayed significantly – taking 5 hours to travel between
Melbourne to Sydney each way, and more recently being caught up with
recent CAA grounding of the airline in July of this year, and having
to make alternate travel arrangements.

But to be fair, there were times when the Tiger experience went well,
and was about what you’d expect from a budget airline. I thought I’d
give Tiger the benefit of doubt.

However, I just recently tried to book tickets for a return trip
Sydney to Melbourne, and discovered after I received my booking
confirmation that my forward leg was booked for a different time to
what I had selected. Since I am meeting someone flying in on a different
flight, this was unacceptable.

I cannot explain what happened. I do know that I missed the flight
details in the small box at the bottom left corner of the web page
(where it is typically not visible on a netbook’s screen). I was
expecting a more prominent “review order details” page before
committing to the flight. I also did not expect that my flight
selection should have changed, either.

Just like other people have found, it is very difficult to contact
customer support to rectify the issue. Given that the problem was
detected only minutes after the order went in, it would be no skin of
Tiger’s nose to correct the order to what I originally requested then
and there. However, it took some hours before I was able to get
through to customer support on the phone. In the meantime, I filed a
website problem report about the issue, to which I have yet to receive
a response.

Customer support, instead of being helpful, decided it was more worth
their while spending more than half an hour arguing with me than to
fix the problem.

I then attempted to change the flight details of the forward leg,
thinking that even if I end up not getting the $50 change charge
refunded, I might still be better off than if I flew with an
alternative airline. Two problems occurred – my debit card maxed out,
so the transaction was declined, but more importantly, even though I
selected two flights earlier than the current flight, the system
booked me on the previous day! Now customer support refused to reverse
this entry as well, and the upshot is that the return leg (which was
booked correctly) is now unusable. It is actually cheaper to start the
booking all over again, than to pay an additional change fee.

This is just not worth it. Tiger’s booking system is a roulette, with
no customer service to fix up problems when they occur. I have no
faith that spending another $120 will get me the flights I need.

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