Sunday, 24 February 2013

Tale of 3 Budget Airlines : Jetstar Vs Tiger Airways Vs Air Asia Review

So, this time I went back to Malaysia via Singapore I took 3 budget airlines.

Auckland <----> Singapore             Jetstar

Singapore <----> Kuching    Tiger Airways

Kuching <-----> Sibu            Air Asia

All in all the return trip added up to 6 flights altogether.
I'll give a quick review for those who might be interested in travelling with these airlines in the future.
This just based on my experience from  this trip.
I will rank them in categories

Online Booking

1. Jetstar wins this one- you can choose your seats from the remaining ones for free ( when you check-in online)
2. Tiger - Okay
3. AirAsia- More tedious than the rest. Although all budget airlines have hidden costs, AirAsia tries to milk you for as much as they can. I particularly hate the "opting out" for travel insurance. They add in the cost of insurance automatically and you have to opt-out by clicking a difficult to find "cancel" button.
After you click cancel, a pop-up will ask you
" Are you sure you want to cancel?"
and you will be given 2 options"
"Continue" or   "Cancel"
Guess which one you need to click to cancel your insurance?

AirAsia was recently fined by Australian courts for false advertising and multiple hidden costs.

Checking In

1. AirAsia - AirAsia wins this one as you have online check-in and you can print out your boarding pass online. This means if you have carrying-on baggage only, you can go to the airport and board the plane without going to a counter. They also have kiosks for checking in at some airports.
2. Jetstar- You can check-in online but you can't print a boarding pass. Checking in online does speed things up as the baggage drop line is usually faster.
3. Tiger Airways- Online check-in for limited flights and only available to Singapore citizens.


1. AirAsia and Tiger Airways - both were punctual, taking off on time. Tiger Airways arrived in Kuching a bit earlier than scheduled.

2. Jetstar - Take-off was delayed for 40 minutes on my return journey to Auckland and we arrived 1 hour late!

The Flight/Aircraft

Difficult to compare as obviously different crafts were used for different journeys.

1. Jetstar seats were reasonably comfortable and you get to choose seats from leftovers. They also had shared monitors where random in-flight entertainment were screened.
Tip: Bring a personal earphone, you can listen to music and watch TV without having to buy one.

2 +3 . AirAsia and Tiger tie for providing me with cramped seats for one leg of the journey each.
 ( one flight was okay and one was cramped). This things depend on your luck I think.

All 3 airlines use Airbuses rather than Boeings but that doesn't mean much.


I didn't try the food on any of the airlines this time although I have tried AirAsia food before ( it's okay).
Food is generally overpriced and not as good as what you can get at your destination. Get it if you need to for sustenance. I bought drinks to keep hydrated.


I did not have any trouble with service at the counter or in the air.

You do need to pack your luggage properly because the ground crew love throwing your luggage around with gay abandon. I'm not sure if this is airline specific, it's probably more likely to be airport specific. Cookies can become crumbs. Either mark your luggage as fragile or hand-carry delicate stuff.

Good lookingness of air crew

AirAsia wins this one, if it matters to you.

In summary, I have to give Jetstar a thumbs down for this trip as a delayed flight is the bane of any traveler.
The excuse we were given this time was "ground crew is still loading your luggage"

Happy Travelling

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