Tag: airlines

Tiger, tiger…

So. We’re going on a holiday. Right. In September. Pretty exciting stuff actually. We’re heading to Melbourne for a wedding and a little bit of a holiday.

Now. The catch is. We’re flying Tiger. Don’t look at me like that. It was really cheap. Even buying checked baggage for both of us.

Let me tell you a little story about last time we flew Tiger. Last time we flew Tiger I only booked checked luggage for one of us, and I thought you had the standard 20kg of baggage. Silly me. I didn’t read that fine print.

When we arrived at the Brisbane airport for our departing flight the staff were really nice. They looked after us, they said it didn’t matter that we only had one bag that was over the weight limit – we could just purchase luggage for our second ticket there and then and not pay the ridiculous price per kilo rate that they impose. That was pretty nice. It was costly. But nice.

No such joy upon our return from Sydney. We got to the airport nice and early (we were fitting our schedule around some friends and airports aren’t that bad…). We tried to check in, but the check-in wasn’t open. So we waited at the cafe. It had bad coffee.

Now, we hadn’t realised that Robyn’s ticket was an online check in ticket (because we’d checked in at the airport without a hitch in Brisbane). And when we got to the counter with our excess luggage hoping to repeat the Brisbane deal we were met with derision and the promise of a $30 at the counter check in fee, and an excess baggage fee of more than $200. So we did what any typical students would do in this situation. Panicked. We left the line and went through our bags offloading some excess weight into our hand luggage (because nobody ever weighs hand luggage) and donning whatever heavy clothes we could muster. Long story short, we got our baggage down to an acceptable weight, and walked through the check-in gate looking like Bernard Black heading off to donate clothes to the second hand store.

So now my questions are – have I thrown money into a drain booking with Tiger? Will they even exist come September? What should we do in Melbourne?

Plane Truths

Have you ever wondered why cheap airlines are so much cheaper than the others? They must cut corners right? Of course they do. Some of the corners are more obvious than others. But they make cuts just about everywhere. Check out this infographic on Flickr for proof…

Found via Gizmodo.

Air lines

One of my favourite things about Lifehacker is that it will often provide a little gem of information amidst a bigger piece of information.

Lifehacker Australia’s editor Angus Kidman has been trying to live out of just one bag for a couple of weeks – because airlines are now taxing checked luggage – which has been an interesting experiment in and of itself. This post is a list of small things he learned on the way

And this is my favourite…

“Qantas never has enough ginger beer on its domestic flights. If you like ginger beer, you’ll need a seat near the front.”

I’d never considered picking a seat on a plane based on having the full range of menu items available (or in fact being close to the front so that you get off quicker)… I’m much more concerned about trying to snatch an exit row seat.

Any flying tips you’d care to share?

Also, my other favourite tidbit of info that the writer picked up was this one:

Far too many hotels still think it’s acceptable to offer International Roast coffee.

The plane truth

We were on a plane this morning. In an exit row. I am constantly astounded by their ready availability. Don’t people ask for them? Other than me? That’s all you have to do… ask when checking in.

I’m also struck by a couple of other things about the airline industry that I’m going to record for posterity’s sake. The new $10 fee for luggage (because that’s what it is – it’s not a $10 discount for not having luggage) is surely an incentive for people to fill up the previously under used overhead storage areas. They are chockers now. They’re full of baggage from people avoiding the penalty by stuffing everything into slightly oversized backpacks and sneaking them past the check in people. It does nothing for the net weight of the plane – all it does is reduce the need for baggage handling at the other end, and makes check in less labour intensive.

Secondly, or perhaps thirdly, planes are yet to catch up with the obesity epidemic. This may not be a new thing – particularly when applied to the size of the seats and charging fat people proportionately, or on some sort of pro-fata rate. But there are some serious design and safety flaws with the emergency exits. I hadn’t noticed before Robyn pointed it out – but there’s no way a fat person is squeezing through one of those holes without a large degree of lubrication unless their flesh is particularly malleable.

So there you have it. Reflections born of a 5am awakening and a 6am departure.