This is a special blog post that I had not expected to write. The post about Old Hobart Town will come shortly.
Saturday morning I got up at 5.30am and finalized our packing so that we were all ready to leave for the airport at 7.30am for our flights. Tehillah was flying to Sydney on Jetstar and Greg and I were set to fly to Melbourne on Tiger Airways to visit family who we have not seen for many, many years.
At 6am I turned on the TV to check the news to confirm that we could fly and that there were no further problems with volcanic ash. I was shocked when I heard the news!
CASA had grounded all Tiger Airways Domestic flights in Australia effective immediately! This meant that Greg and I could not fly to Melbourne to see our family.
Well that was not very helpful! What are travelers meant to do when they can not get in contact with the airline?
I will Never fly Tiger Airways again! They have certainly made some unhappy and unsatisfied customers with this treatment.
In my opinion, at least they could have sent text messages to all of the customers who had booked and given a mobile contact number. I believe that if they could not send an SMS then they should have phoned up travelers who had provided any phone number at all.
I heard that people were still arriving at the airports around Australia, almost 24 hours after the grounding, still believing that they were flying to their destination, as Tiger Airlines had not notified them!
What poor customer service and customer relations is that? Especially with school holidays beginning today and many families setting off on family holidays throughout Australia.
Greg and I were able to get onto Jetstar and book flights for a day later, as all flights for our departure date were already fully booked!
We were unfortunately not able to get tickets to Melbourne and then the Gold Coast as it would have cost us over $550 each to these 2 flights. So with much disappointment we reluctantly booked our flights on Jetstar on Sunday flying from Hobart to the Gold Coast. Our 2 tickets cost us $309, which is money that we really don’t have to spend, but Tiger left us with no other choice.
After securing our flights we then needed to contact Selective car rentals to extend our vehicle hire for another day. Then we had no where to stay so the search was on to find somewhere to sleep for our extra night in Tassie.
We checked out the Hobart Airport Hotel and could have booked a room for $109 for the 2 of us. This was not too bad, but we ended up getting a one bedroom unit at Wyndham Seven Mile Beach using bonus time for only $87.50.
So all up Tiger cost us $309 for flights, $40.60 car hire and $87.50 for accommodation, totaling $437.10 in extra expenses that we had not budgeted for!
Thanks Tiger airways for this blow to our holiday plans.
What annoys me the most, after not receiving notification, is that really this should not have even happened! In my opinion, when a pilot gets behind the controls of an aircraft they should realize that they have the lives of more than a hundred passengers in their hands and they should fly carefully, following all of the aviation rules and regulations that exist in the region that they are flying in.
So why have Tiger Airways pilots been disregarding aviation regulations and flying below safe levels over populated regions?
I wonder if we will ever find out why they have done this.
Jetstar, Virgin and Qantas have added extra flights where required to assist all of Tiger’s passengers in arriving at their destination. I even heard on the news that Virgin airlines are capping the cost of tickets for Tiger passengers to a maximum of $100. This is a blessing for the many stranded passengers and holiday makers.
I am writing this article as Greg and I sit on our Jetstar flight from Hobart to Coolangatta, disappointed that we will have to wait more time to see our family in Melbourne!
We are also left wondering if Tiger will ever honour their obligation to refund the many thousands of unhappy customers who trusted them with their hard-earned money for tickets.
I hope that over the coming weeks I will be able to write a quick post letting you know that Tiger did face up to their obligations and that we did receive a refund… Let’s see what happens.
As promised last time, we will have a look at our fun and interesting visit to Old Hobart Town in Richmond, Tasmania.
Until then, Remember to Enjoy Life and Enjoy a Fun Family Holiday!
Leanne Annett <><