Tiger Airways had now said sorry three times in six days to angry customers and the RSL.

Last Thursday it apologised for incorrectly charging some customers over the use of a baby seat. The next day it apologised to the RSL for conducting an ANZAC Day sale which broke the laws protecting the day from commercial exploitation. And today it is apologising to a person who was charged twice for a flight, once on a VISA card and then on a Mastercard, asking them to identify themselves so that they can get some money back.

It sounds like someone has decided it’s time to stop the rot for Tiger — an airline with only five jets that started flights in November 2007 but one that has attracted massive negative media.

So we’re here to help in the Crikey way, by opening an Angry Flyers Lounge on the Plane Talking blog. Just come in, with a valid email address and a real complaint, perhaps even some photos or vids of your nitty gritty airline or airport experiences, and tell the world.

Here is today’s wrap, featuring by coincidence, nothing but Tiger Airways. (Overseas airline experiences are also welcome.)

Last Thursday’s Crikey Tips included an item from a Tiger ex-customer who was double debited for a Canberra-Melbourne fare ticket. The Tiger agent could get the payment accepted on one credit card, so tried on another, resulting in separate VISA and Mastercard debits for the same seat followed by incorrect claims that this would be fixed by Tiger staff on arrival in Melbourne.

The response from Tiger is as follows:

Tiger Airways is a streamlined operation which is why it is able to bring Australians consistently the lowest airfares. Customers are encouraged to book their travel requirements on line to secure even better deals and to ensure they tailor their travel options to their requirements.

Double charges unfortunately occur from time to time across a wide range of personal and commercial transactions (from banks to retail outlets). It’s not common, but if a double charge occurs for Tiger Airways customers, we refund them as soon as we are aware and confirm the situation.

Tiger Airways apologises to this customer and will investigate however will need the customers name and contact details to do so.

Tiger Airways invites the customer to send a fax to 03 9335 3455 and we can call him back to discuss directly and we will rectify the situation immediately.

Today’s Tiger service failure report is from a couple who we will identify to Tiger if they give Crikey approval, as the complaint was filed on our anonymous link. It says:

My husband, his pensioner parents and I booked a Tiger Flight from Adelaide to Melbourne on 17th of November 2008 departing at 0725. We arrived at the airport to find the flight had been cancelled, they had not notified us despite having our two phone numbers, postal address and email address. Tigers ‘Conditions of Carriage’ state that if flight details change they will make every effort to contact the passengers, this obviously didn’t happen.

There were no Tiger staff at the airport to advise us what to do next, our only option was to call their Melbourne office, the number had been provided to us by an Adelaide Airport official. The official incidentally told us that they had been aware of the cancellation for over one week. We were among 40 others who were stranded. The Melbourne office of Tiger didn’t open until 9am EST, we were stranded at the airport at 6am Adelaide time. We had no option but to buy tickets on another carriers flight to Melbourne at premium airport prices.

My family had to spend $200 each to fly with Qantas nearly three hours after we were supposed to have departed with Tiger.

After several attempts we did manage to get through on the Tiger phone line to be told that we would receive a refund for the Tiger flights and to contact Customer Relations to discuss further refund options for the Qantas tickets. They refused to offer a reason as to why the flight had been cancelled or why we had not been notified. We have received the refund for the Tiger tickets.

We have since contacted Tiger on numerous occasions via letter and fax to discuss this matter requesting to get a refund for the Qantas tickets we had to purchase at the airport. After four months we received a written response which did not address any of our questions and did not even have a representatives name on it. We have received extremely poor service from Tiger and would not recommend them to anyone. They claim to be a budget carrier but in our experience they ended up costing us a lot more money.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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