For a long time now, Tigerair has been flying between Manila and Singapore, making it among the first low-cost carriers to operate in the country. It wasn’t until recently, however, that I was flying with them, so I was undoubtedly looking forward to the experience. Read more…
Beating Friday traffic jams, I made it to the airport about an hour before my flight. Amid the buzz because of those going for the hajj, the four Tigerair check-in desks were already quiet, making me among the last to check-in. I liked that, of course, as I got my bag tagged and my boarding pass handed over in a couple of minutes’ time.
In Manila, flights by Tigerair operate from the NAIA Terminal 1. Sure, it’s notorious online as being one of the worst airports in the world, but recent renovations made the airport more bearable. I must say getting from immigration and security to my gate, thankfully, was hassle-free.
The corresponding flight from Singapore arrived ahead of schedule, so they started to call passengers to board—it seemed like a full flight from the looks of it. Called to board ahead individually were those who purchased Board Me First, which in hindsight, I should’ve purchased.
The rest of the boarding process was done in groups of rows, so overall, it was orderly and convenient. I was naturally among the last to board because I was seated up in the front.
Preferred seats on the first row, together with the next three rows and those by the emergency exits, may be purchased for a small fee. I picked seat 1A, so I can stretch well on a 3.5-hour flight, access the lavatory easily, and disembark first—I dislike waiting on the aisle to get out.
The cabin crew on my flight were still friendly and warm, even though it was already almost 10:00 PM. With a smile, one of the crew directed me to my seat and helped me find space in the overhead for my backpack. By the way, Tigerair generously allows two pieces of cabin baggage that weigh a total of 10kg.
The cabin crew wasted no time in settling us in and making sure we followed safety protocol, so we can already begin our ascent. Announcements done, emergency instructions demonstrated, and cabin lights dimmed, we were ready for our journey to Singapore.
Lights went on again as we reached cruising altitude. After checking passengers if they needed anything, cabin crew started preparing and serving preordered Tigerbites. When I was booking my flight, I was enticed by the savings I would get had I picked a hot meal with complimentary hot beverage. I then chose the Mutton Biryani meal for my Manila-Singapore leg.
The menu describes my meal as “India’s most beloved dish.” It was a fragrant mound of basmati rice served alongside aromatic mutton simmered in mild spices. Wonderfully hot and hearty, it was surprisingly tasty and above the standard for an inflight meal. Complementing it were a cup of UCC coffee and a bottle of water.
After people were offered food and beverages, the cabin was mellowed down with the lights dimmed. But before I can catch some shuteye, the lead cabin crew approached me and fellow passengers to check if everything was all right—talk about stellar service for a low-cost flight!
The rest of the flight went smoothly, and I was able to freely stretch out and sleep on my extra legroom seat. I must note that even the regular row seats of Tigerair’s Airbus 320 aircraft are roomy in terms of pitch at 31 inches and thus comfortable also.
I woke up a little groggy as our plane smoothly touched down at one of the world’s best, Changi Airport. We subsequently docked at the beautiful Terminal 2, and to cap it all off, my bag was already at the conveyor after I quickly passed through immigration.
Truth be told, low-cost carriers, with the primary objective of safely jetting passengers from a destination to another, are quite similar in the general sense. What differentiates them, however, lies in the details—in terms of service, seat, catering, and the extras on offer. In all aspects, Tigerair exceeded my expectations; it was a great first time experience.
Tigerair flies from Manila NAIA, Clark, Kalibo and Cebu to Singapore. Passengers can also take advantage of Tigerair’s extensive regional network and visit Maldives, China, India, and beyond because at the award-winning Changi Airport, connections are easy with Tigerconnect. Book the cheapest fares at Tigerair.com, and follow their Facebook and Twitter for updates and promos.