Tiger has trouble roaring

6 budget airlines fly to/from Singapore’s Changi International Airport. They are: AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, Firefly, Jetstar Airways, Lion Air and Tiger Airways. Only Tiger Airways’ hub is in Singapore.

Though there are 6, I can narrow the list down to three more well-known ones. These are the three that immediately comes to my mind when budget airlines are mentioned. AirAsia, Jetstar Asia and Tiger Airways.

As a polytechnic student, I love the 1.5 month long holidays at the end of each semester. There are 2 long holidays per academic year. It differs from those of primary school, secondary school and junior colleges . Since demand is lower than supply during these periods, it translates into cheaper air tickets/tour packages/hotel room rates etc. This meant savings and a smaller hole in the pocket.

Half of my life in tertiary institution has passed. For the 2 prior holidays, I have been to Taiwan and Penang, Malaysia. For this month, I thought of heading to Korea for it’s autumn now! (my maple leaves…) The stupidest thing is that there is going to  be a hike in air ticket prices after September 30 and many tour agencies advertised and encourage customers to book early. Tempted, I urged Dad to ring them up. However, the stupid “confirmed dates” are bogus! Many of the tour packages to Korea are put on hold and can only be confirmed at a later date. Dad was disgusted and decides to delay it till next year, after the end of Semester 2.2.

Next option is Hong Kong, China. I have never been there before and all the talk about its roast goodies make me drool. Dad asked me to check out the prices of budget air tickets to Hong Kong. (By the way, Jetstar’s hot fares are alluring!) Few days later, Dad changed his mind and decides to go on a tour package. He called his friend, Terence and inquired if he was interested in going to HK with us. This fateful call… Obviously,Terence deemed the package as overpriced. However, for people who have never been to a particular country, a tour package is the best option since everything with regards to the trip is taken care of. Terence’s recommendation was for us to visit another country where the total spending for a family of 3 will be less than a thousand since he is also heading there. Heard that his friend is going to be the guide. Make a guess as to which country I’m flying to!

Terence directed me to the website of Tiger Airways. Was hampered by the Verified by Visa. Then, I called them, but there was no call tone. It was rumored that employees of Tiger Airways went on strike but the official reason given by the company was that two of its Airbus A320 aircraft have experienced technical issues over the past few weeks and were grounded for extended checks and maintenance.

Frustrated, I opt for Jetstar instead. Everything went on smoothly till the Verified by Visa comes back to haunt me again. I know it is for security purpose but what can I do in the absence of the code sent which I didn’t receive via SMS? Terence had a good laugh when I briefed him about what happened. He then told me that the problem can be handled by calling Jetstar and waiting for around half an hour? Based on his friend’s past experience. How damn. I’ve tried calling Jetstar before to book tickets but gave up before anyone spoke to me. The bloody advertisement were blasting loud. Bad for my ears.

Heaven took pity on me this time round. An operator by the name of David answered my call within 5 minutes’ time! He has got a charming voice. So does Terence. =P The transaction was complete. Much faster and convenient as compared to the hassle that I went through while trying to get the online booking done. At the very beginning, I was informed that the price of the tickets are going to be higher because this is a transaction done over the phone. Nevertheless, Jetstar will let you enjoy the lower online prices  if you tell them about the difficulties encountered while booking online!

Big thanks to Terence for allowing me to use his credit card to pay upfront and that Dad has to return him a total of $614.70.

Yeah! Ought to start preparing myself for the trip…

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