Public domain glimpse of the SATS Lounge at Changi

In a move that might shock some full service fare paying passengers into reconsidering their choices in flying, Tiger Airways has gone ‘premium package’ at Singapore Airport, offering an all in one eat and drink all you like lounge experience plus hot showers for an extra $SG 48 for any of its customers catching a flight from Changi.

It is a text book case case of disruptive marketing for what is a furiously fought low fare war in Asia.

Use the term ‘premium’, which is associated with established brands like Singapore Airlines, or SilkAir,  in relation to a cheap, pack-them-in-tight flying experience, and extend that association to an airport lounge experience that consumers think is the exclusive domain of ‘privileged’ frequent flyers.

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It might work, although the impecunious and well informed among Changi regulars might not be impressed.

If Tiger has it right, this is likely to work rather better for the image conscious newly enabled air travellers of Asia than the infamously vulgar antics of Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary in Europe, who apparently thinks a more jaded market will be attracted to his low cost product by threatening to put coin operated locks on his fleet’s toilets, and enforcing $160 penalties on customers who turn up for one of his flights without a self-printed boarding pass.

This is how Tiger describes it’s new Singapore Airport package.

Tiger Plus is a premium add-on service applicable for flights departing from Singapore, including Mandala and SEAir, and can be purchased at S$48 through the Tiger Airways website or at service desks at Changi Airport Terminal 2. This service includes access to SATS Premier Lounge at Changi Airport Terminal 2. Customers may opt for an Early Check-in service from 0400 hrs to 2359 hrs on the same day as their flight. Privileges include free flow of refreshments featuring local signature delights as well as a variety of beverages, shower facilities, luxurious and comfortable lounge seating with state-of-the art massage chairs, workstations with high-speed internet connectivity and wireless internet access, cable television, and a wide selection of international magazines and newspapers.

However regular users of Changi Airport will be able to find less costly options for a shower, and some refreshments if not a total smorgasboard, and even a roof top swimming pool.  Tiger is packaging in a more convenient form, things that savvy backpackers have known about for a long time.

There is no word as yet as to whether Tiger Australia is about to aim for the Qantas Club or Virgin Lounge set with a similar deal.  There is nothing quite like Changi Airport’s wide range of user pays or free amenities at the major Australian airports.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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