Tigerair has been flying to Malé since January 24, 2014. My first experience with Tigerair was recently when I flew to Singapore two months ago. Here’s my review…
Date: 13 January 2016.
Route: Male – Singapore.
Fare: USD 140.74/-
CHECK IN: Fast, but not efficient. I didn’t have any checked luggage, just a backpack. The staff at the check-in counter from Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) wasn’t bothered about checking the weight of my backpack. Pardon me if I am been too much, but I worked four years for the company representing the General Sales Agent for Tigerair in the Maldives and I pretty much learnt from the book/standard operating procedures.
AIRCRAFT Airbus A320 – Seats were comfortable for a 3 hours 55 minutes flight, with 275 seats in economy and 24 in business.
The crew were friendly and nice, even after a flight from Singapore to Malé and before the commencement of the return leg, they smile. One of them directed me to my seat and I placed my backpack in the overhead compartment before taking my seat. Sadly I did not carry my laptop with me, assuming I might exceeed my allowed cabin baggage weight limit. Tigerair also lets two pieces of cabin baggage that weight no more than a combined weight of 10kg.
The cabin crew demonstrated the safety protocol in accordance with the Civil Aviation Authority and soon we ascended with the cabin lights dimmed.
ENTERTAINMENT: There was no in flight entertainment – touch screen system, radio, music or even a USB input to charge the phone or any other device.
Lights were put on as we reached the cruising altitude as per the flight plan. The crew made a quick check if passengers were in need of anything before preparing to serve pre-ordered Tigerbites meals. I pre-ordered my meal when I purchased the ticket from the Tigerair website.
FOOD: I had Devil’s Curry Chicken Rice, a Eurasian inspired curry dish which was very sour and spicy. Served with chunks of chicken and rice, the curry was said to be cooked with aromatic spices and vinegar to give a tangy punch which I didn’t like. The meal also included a complimentary hot beverage and for that I had a cup of UCC coffee and a bottle of water.
SERVICE: The crew were very responsive, they were neatly dressed and impeccably presented at all times. It was a smooth flight, and I was able to comfortably stretch out my legs with a seat pitch of 31 inches and get some sleep. Please note that most European budget carriers provide a seat pitch of 28 inches and that’s the norm nowadays.
CONCLUSION: Budget carriers aim to safely transport passengers from one destination to another, similar to legacy carriers in a general perspective. What made Tigerair unique to me was its service, seat, and catering. Either way, it exceeded my expectations and it was a perfect first time experience and I would fly again and certainly recommend it to anyone.
I slept and woke a little groggy while a couple of minutes were left to land at Changi Airport, currently the World’s Best Airport (Skytrax 2015).
I flew at my own expense.