Friday, June 29, 2007

Singapore to Krabi for 20 SGD

Where would we be without budget airlines? Stuck at home, probably. Last Saturday, we flew Tiger Airways to Krabi for a round-trip fare of about 20 SGD, not much more than the cost of a taxi to Changi airport. Plus airport taxes and various fees, of course, of about 100 SGD – still cheap.

Having just spent the last eight weeks working days, nights, and weekends, Steph and I were sorely in need of a break. The call of Tiger’s low-cost fares proved irresistible. John carved a few days’ vacation out of his busy schedule and we booked the night flight to Krabi.

Fares below ten dollars are usually only available if you book several weeks to three months in advance, but because it’s low season we were able to snag cheap flights just five days ahead of time.

Tiger’s stopped doing free-for-all seating. They now offer seat selection (for 5 SGD) or automatically selected seats. They also offer exit row seats with more leg room (for 25 SGD), extra baggage allowance (for a fee), and special arrangements for oversized sports equipment (you guessed it, for a fee).

Passengers are not allowed to bring their own food. Tiger Airways claims this primarily is out of concern for the delicate sensibilities of passengers who may not be thrilled about durian or curry scents wafting about in an enclosed space, but at least they’re honest about pushing up revenues from chips and cup noodles ("Please don’t deprive our cabin crew of commissions..."). Rebel that I am, I discreetly snacked on my barbeque-flavored Pringles while leafing through the in-flight magazine (which is still free – so far).

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong flew Tiger Airways back from Hanoi last November. I wonder how much he paid for his fare, if he ordered any of those cup noodles, and whether he paid to request more leg room. Not that he would have had to worry about depleting government funds by opting for an exit row seat - Temasek Holdings, the Singapore Government’s investment arm, owns 11% of Tiger Airways.

Tiger travelers may pay humble fares, but we’re in prestigious company.

Information and Contact DetailsWhat others are blogging about Tiger Airways
  • The Tiger Airways Australia blog at Wordpress is tracking Tiger’s progress towards launching Australian domestic flights in December 2007. I’m looking forward to seeing those 119.99 SGD one-way flights to Melbourne.
  • Don’t expect Changi’s regular conveniences, as there's "nothing much you can do inside the budget terminal" - Life Snapshot
  • "Yes, you do pay less than half the normal fare... but no food????!!!!" - wagg
Check out the rest of this Krabi and Ko Phi Phi trip series.

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