I took this late service from Ho Chi Min City to Singapore after connecting from a Vietnam Airlines flight from Hanoi, giving me the longest possible working day in the office. Online check-in is not possible so I joined the queue just before check-in opened in the International Terminal. As I had pre-paid to select my seat (2C) I was not under pressure to grab a good allocation and, with no luggage to check, was processed quickly and made my way through a slow Immigration and Security process to Departures. With no Lounge Access, I bought a sandwich and drink and accessed the coffee shop’s wifi to catch up on e-mails etc.
Proprity Boarding (equivalent to Easyjet’s Speedy Boarding) was called at the same time as pre-paid rows 1-10 (myself included) and I was soon on board. The aircraft interior was scruffy, with soiled carpet underfood and some litter in evidence. However, the seats were comfortable and legroom reasonable. Row 1 had only two passengers and I was eying a move until an announcement, offering these seats for “a small fee” made me change my mind – a 90 minute hop does not warrant such profligacy from a Scotsman!!
The cabin crew were enthusiastic, even this late in the evening and noisy – unusually, there was a divider between the crew area and Row 1 and there was a constant opening and closing of a rather shabby curtain as they dashed around getting the cabin ready. Boarding was completed early and we were ready to move before schedule but then waited awhile (maybe ATC related?) before taxiing out.
Service commenced after take-off – some passengers had pre-ordered a snack and, for the rest of us, items were available for purchase, which I declined.
We landed about 5 minutes late and then faced a Schipol- like tour of the surrounding countryside before reaching our designated gate. Once there, we faced a long treck to Immigration (where there were no queues).
Tiger have some similarities to European LCCs but the big difference is the aircraft, which appear to be parent SIA’s cast offs rather than the brand-new models which Easyjet and Ryanair use. The plus of this is legroom, the downside is wear and tear!!
Verdict: A very good value flight (less than US$50 all in) and perfectly adequate for the short duration.