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Sawasdee Soiree! SIN-BKK On Tiger Pt 1 (pics)  
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4757 posts, RR: 25
Posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 7774 times:


Singapore Budget Terminal – Bangkok Int’l Airport Suvarnabhumi
Tiger Airways
TR102
Airbus A320-200 (9V-TAA)
ETD: 0630H
ETA: 0740H
Duration: 2hr 10min

Life has a pretty funny way of presenting itself. Back in 2001, when LCC-travel made inroads into Asia, my nose was up-turned towards this much maligned genre of flight. As I gloated in my glory while holding a MH Golden Club Class boarding pass in KLIA, I would glance (but not to be seen looking) casually at an Air Asia lounge next door trying to board a seemingly chaotic unschooled mob bound for Langkawi.

“God forbid,” I thought to myself, “should I EVER be flying this airline…”

7 odd years have since flown by at incredible speed. Many changes have taken place in my world of aviation. For one, my frequent flier alliance has gone one full circle from SQ’s to MH’s and finally back to SQ’s again. The carrier I turned my nose up on has since quadrupled in size and has sprouted franchises around the region. Legacy carriers have all scrambled in varying degrees to set up their own LCC units. But more importantly, I have – within the last few years, grown accustomed to (gasp…) LCC travel.

Which was why when my partner and I decided some 3 weeks back to hastily plan a trip up north to Bangkok, the first thing that came to our minds were “Let’s check out Air Asia / Tiger / Jetstar…”. Even I was quite taken aback at how knee-jerk the reaction was. What happened to good old SQ or LX?

11 June 2008



The only time I ever rose at 3am to catch a flight was to USA on we-get-you-there-cheap Northwest. Those ungodly, inhumane and cruel hours not fit for civilization was something to be tolerated if you had no money to spend on a comfortable SQ long haul to LAX that left at a rather sanely mid-morning.

Nevertheless, today’s flight was just a tolerable short haul to Bangkok.




The harsh fluorescent lighting underscoring the Spartan set up that is Budget Terminal is very glaring for sleepy eyes. It took me a while for my la-la land disposition to look for my check in counter.

“Only one bag?” asks the check-in girlie as if in disbelief…

Formalities were completed quickly and we had our boarding slips (notice how easily I described that?) in no time.

Of all the things to go to Bangkok with, I was heading there with an ill-stomach. Breakfast was out of the question for my bloated and burping self as I was frequently running for the numerous well appointed toilets located around the terminal. It was a good opportunity for me to test the facilities, in a way…



Much of airside was boarded up for some upgrading works (already?!) so that took up much of the space area. None of the shops were open except for one duty free and a money changer. It was such a sleepy looking place at this time of the morning with the passengers milling about aimlessly like zombies.




There were only 2 flights heading out at 0630H, the other being TR986 bound for Guangzhou.




0600H: On the dot, the doors were opened for boarding and Tiger has since started assigning seats at check in so there was no rush to form a line like before. Why can’t all LCCs do this?



Up the stairs in the cool, humid morning, I was greeted by a rather chirpy Lead FA Ying Yi. “Good morning! This way, please…” Like as if there was any other way, huh? While her greeting was stating the obvious, early morning niceties are always welcomed.




9V-TAA was my ride this morning. Bearing in mind this IS Tiger’s very first A320, the interior was neat and presentable but the fabric was fraying a little. Load was slightly on the high side with only a few seats left empty, but despite that the boarding process lasted no longer than 15mins.

0626H: The aircraft sat on the tarmac for a further 10 mins with no other would be passengers running up the stairs, and it was decided the doors to be closed. Ying Yi came on the air to welcome some more members of her team namely Fara, Daisy and In Ji (Who is curiously Korean! An Incheon Tiger Girl in training, perhaps?).




Pushback and start up was accompanied by the usual whine of the IAE engines coming to life one after another. Yippee… I am on my way to Bangkok…

On such an early flight, I would dare venture that NONE of the passengers were paying attention to the safety demo. Some had their heads slumped forward, some had their heads jerked back with their mouths open, but all had one common trait – eyes were shut. Yes we were all very sleepy… My seat mate decided it was time to make bubbling sounds as he drifted off to his wet-dream land.



0640H: Line up runway 20C

Take off was immediate because traffic was very light. The sun was just beginning to illuminate the sky at this point so that made a rather picturesque scenery. I shall let you enjoy the following take off photographs.
Our journey took us to the south for a minute before a left orbit was carried out which flew over Changi Airport. Several planes in landing configuration were seen approaching for runway 20R, must be the overnight Indian and European arrivals from SQ.




0650H: The climb seemed very slow this morning. After the seatbelt sign pinged off, we were still climbing through the clouds and the sun was nowhere to be seen. At this point, fatigue set in and I joined in the crowd for head forward slump.



“Your mother sling?”

“What? Huh?” I mumbled through my drool crusted lip…

“You wanna orrrder some dling…?” smiled the Korean FA In Ji.

“Oh no thanks….”

0700H: Carts were out in full force with all 4 FAs manning them. From the looks of things, most people continued to slumber and no one reached out to buy anything.

But these Tiger girls were not giving up.

“Duty free… Duty free items for sale…DUTY FREEEEEE…” Another round of carts came out and true enough – perfumes, teddy bears, toys, watches. But still, the passengers still would not be aroused. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz….



They finally gave up and darkened the cabin lights. In fact they gave up entirely and disappeared for most of the flight probably sulking at the fact that they could not earn any sales commission from this bunch of sleepy, cheapo tourists.



0740H: FL 360. Flight deck comes on and welcomes all on board today’s flight. In fact, one of the passengers was celebrating his birthday on this day and the captain wished him a happy one, on behalf of the airline. This was a definite nod for customer service!

The closer we got to Bangkok, the more the cabin was starting to stir and as if I needed it, a baby started to wail. The embarrassed parents of this toddler were trying very hard to pacify the screaming infant but to no avail. FAs Daisy and Fara magically appeared and began to fuss over the parents to make sure they were alright, while trying to explain that it was indeed normal because the baby’s ears do hurt in-flight.


No wonder the baby’s ears hurt, the plane was starting to descend. Flight deck came on and updated us on the arrival and the FAs started buzzing about to prepare the cabin for arrival. Snoozing passengers were roused awake to straighten their seats and open their window shades to be blinded by the sun, which now was way over the horizon.



Coasting into Thailand, signs of civilization which I could only guess was Pattaya, drifted by. Slowly but surely, the once upon a time cobra swamp Suvarnabhumi International Airport also decided to peer through the morning mist as if in a welcome of sorts.




0834H: Cabin crew, landing stations, please!

Final set of flaps, gears down…




Touchdown was smoothly executed and here I was again on my annual soiree to the city of angels. Several interesting and exotic sights were in attendance as we taxied to our gate like the Biman DC10, and the ANA 777 which we do not get to see in Singapore. Not to mention rows after rows of Cadbury coloured Thai aircrafts of various marques. BEAUTIFUL!






0853H: The flight came to an end at Gate D8 and the local time was 0753H. Isn’t it nice arriving at this time and you know you have a FULL day ahead? Awesome!






Check in: 9/10… Check in lady was chatty and friendly for that time of the morning.

Boarding: 9/10… Tiger as an LCC operates a very organized boarding which makes it a painless affair.

In-flight service: 8/10… Given that time of the flight, most passengers opted to sleep. However, the FAs were quick to respond and ever obliging to requests. Sincerity was shown to the wailing toddler so more brownie points gathered there.

Arrival: 9/10… Perhaps there weren’t too many flights arriving at that time because immigration and baggage claim were a breeze to negotiate.

Overall: 87.5%


Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 7684 times:

Oh great, you decided to work on this report after all... I was expected the 'other' report
Well, another entertaining report. I do wonder if one fine day, I will end up like you, succumbing to cheap travel on tacky sounding airlines, in a boarding lounge that reminds me of the Tan Tock Seng Hospital...

Speaking of tacky airline names, I read that Korean Air's new low-cost subsidiary was originally going to be named "Jean Air" because they planned for their FAs to wear jeans. Somehow, they decided against it and called it "Jin Air" instead. No idea what Jin means in Korean, but tacky sounding nevertheless. If SIA was born in this current era of LCCs, perhaps I would now be a proud frequent flyer of "Kebaya Airways" - and MH, not to be outdone would name themselves "Sarong Air"?!

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Thread starter):
%u201CYour mother sling?%u201D

Hahaha... the wonders of semi-consciousness! I was once on a get-you-there-cheap Northwest flight to NRT departing at an ungodly 7am from SIN. I was so drowsy that I fell into a deep sleep immediately after breakfast was served. And you know what your grandmother always say about sleeping with a full stomach... you get nightmares. I dreamt that I was being chased by something big (the inflight prison matron perhaps?) and started shouting (ok, it was a muffled scream ) in my sleep. I woke up with a fit, only to see my traveling companion totally embarrassed that I made a fool of myself in a packed cabin. I tried to convince myself that the vintage DC10 engines were loud enough that no one else heard my 'shouts'...

[Edited 2008-06-18 09:26:27]

[Edited 2008-06-18 09:28:26]


There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineTriple7man From Thailand, joined May 2005, 763 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 7670 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

When I think of SIN I think of much bigger and nicer terminals...still it sounds like you got a good deal on Tiger.
I've been into BKK twice, so your pics bring back nice memories of Suvarnabhumi...although it's not the most spotter friendly airport.
I will look forward to part 2. Were you just in BKK for a day?



Have you kissed a 777 today?
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8596 posts, RR: 54
Reply 3, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 7448 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report and pictures, glad to see you have embraced LCC's!  Smile

Quoting Triple7man (Reply 2):
your pics bring back nice memories of Suvarnabhumi...although it's not the most spotter friendly airport.

- Tue true, much prefer the old airport!

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineBNEFlyer From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 232 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 7035 times:
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Hello Ryan!

Nice report... how nice that you're embracing LCC's now (well TR anyway!) It looks like everything went pretty smoothly, but that leg room is just disgusting!

Hope you enjoyed Bangkok, I can't wait to get back there... and i'm bringing a friend this time.

I like the new glasses too  Smile


User currently offline9V-SVA From Singapore, joined Aug 2001, 1860 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 6968 times:

How much did you pay in all for your TR flights? Checking prices for next month and its a ridiculous S$260 all inclusive compared to LX's $285.. No prizes for guessing which one I booked.

[Edited 2008-06-19 05:54:12]

[Edited 2008-06-19 05:54:54]


9V-SVA | B772ER
User currently offlineAirpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 959 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6859 times:

.
.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Thread starter):
“Your mother sling?”

“What? Huh?” I mumbled through my drool crusted lip…

This report cracks me up! Thanks for posting Ryan... it can't have been easy to do (well, I certainly wouldn't have been in the mood to be making notes, remembering FA names, taking photos at 4 am!) and on an LCC some more...  Wink

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Thread starter):
The flight came to an end at Gate D8

It's interesting how the LCCs like Tiger and AirAsia (from KUL, it's very often D1) get to use some of the best gates at Suvarnabhumi.


User currently offlineSIN7 From Singapore, joined Jun 2007, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6854 times:

Really enjoyed your very entertaining recount of your flight. Even the LCC TR was an enjoyable read.

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 1):
I do wonder if one fine day, I will end up like you, succumbing to cheap travel

Like you both, oh please I hope I don't have to.
Anyways, in May there was no choice I had to fly on one . . . Jetstar SIN-SGN. There's no TR on it as I was cusing and swearing that I had to fly on one. Darn . . .

As this is about LCC, some pics of my Jetstar flight. SIN-SGN ETD 0730
Boarding 3K A320
http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z150/SIN7_photos/boarding.jpg

TIGHT pitch too!
http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z150/SIN7_photos/pitch-1.jpg

Front of cabin
http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z150/SIN7_photos/cabin-1.jpg

My apple juice from the can ($3.00) and my colleagues' coffee. For the coffee, FA placed a cup of hot water on the tray and then a napkin with a packet of 3-in-1 coffee ($3.00 too) . . .  gasp 
http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z150/SIN7_photos/drinks.jpg

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Thread starter):
"Let's check out Air Asia / Tiger / Jetstar...". Even I was quite taken aback at how knee-jerk the reaction was. What happened to good old SQ or LX?

I'm heading to BKK next month by LX  yes 


User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4757 posts, RR: 25
Reply 8, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6826 times:



Quoting SQ772 (Reply 1):
Well, another entertaining report. I do wonder if one fine day, I will end up like you, succumbing to cheap travel on tacky sounding airlines, in a boarding lounge that reminds me of the Tan Tock Seng Hospital...

Never say never... Looked what happened to me? Looks like we share the same sentiments. The arrival concourse actually looks more like a hospital... A children's hospital.

Quoting Triple7man (Reply 2):
Were you just in BKK for a day?

I was in Bangkok for a total of 5 days. I had a reunion of sorts with some long lost relatives I have not met for 23 years!

Quoting BNEFlyer (Reply 4):
Hope you enjoyed Bangkok, I can't wait to get back there... and i'm bringing a friend this time.

I always enjoy Bangkok. Lots to see, eat, shop... Can't wait to see you again and the read carpet welcome is ever ready.

Quoting 9V-SVA (Reply 5):
How much did you pay in all for your TR flights? Checking prices for next month and its a ridiculous S$260 all inclusive compared to LX's $285.. No prizes for guessing which one I booked.

Aiyo... Don't remind me. We paid SGD315 per head for this flight because we booked it so close to the departure date. SQ, LX, TG although cheaper was all fully booked.

Quoting Airpearl (Reply 6):
it can't have been easy to do (well, I certainly wouldn't have been in the mood to be making notes, remembering FA names, taking photos at 4 am!) and on an LCC some more

That is why I keep my trusty PDA by my side. As soon as something comes to mind, a thought, an observation, an occurence.... I make a note of it. Quickly turn it on, jot, turn it off again.

Quoting SIN7 (Reply 7):
There's no TR on it as I was cusing and swearing that I had to fly on one. Darn . . .

Come on lah... an LCC is NOT THAT BAD. Oh god... I can't believe i said that out loud.



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineChristao17 From Thailand, joined Apr 2005, 942 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 6613 times:

Yeah, now we know how you made it to BKK. Nice report.

That budget terminal is about the most spartan thing I've ever seen. There are warehouses fancier than that!

Tiger's seat pitch is really tight. Even for a "short" flight to BKK, that's a pretty tight fit.

Looking forward to the next part of the story...



Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13745 posts, RR: 19
Reply 10, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 6569 times:

Interesting report RyanAir!!! !

I, along with many others, share your opinions on Tiger Airways's seat pitch. It must be 29 - 30"? I justified it though because the fare I paid on my flight SINSGN was so cheap so I got what I paid for really.



Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlineSQA350 From Thailand, joined Apr 2007, 180 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 6563 times:

I love your writing style! Well done!

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Thread starter):
"God forbid," I thought to myself, "should I EVER be flying this airline..."

Yep, I am also one of the snobs...but soon I'll also have my first LCC experience on Air Berlin...let's see.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Thread starter):
Coasting into Thailand, signs of civilization which I could only guess was Pattaya, drifted by.

The town seen in the picture is Chonburi, Pattaya is a little bit further south.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Thread starter):
Arrival: 9/10... Perhaps there weren't too many flights arriving at that time because immigration and baggage claim were a breeze to negotiate.

Your were soooooo lucky! Most of my BKK arrivals are 1/10.



"No more window seats in business class, sir!" "Any in economy? Yes? Then downgrade me!"
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4757 posts, RR: 25
Reply 12, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 6138 times:



Quoting Christao17 (Reply 9):
That budget terminal is about the most spartan thing I've ever seen. There are warehouses fancier than that!

LOL... It is actually not that bad given the circumstances. I have seen pictures of the LCCT in KLIA now THAT is a warehouse.

Quoting Singapore_Air (Reply 10):
It must be 29 - 30"? I justified it though because the fare I paid on my flight SINSGN was so cheap so I got what I paid for really.

Well... I find that tight pitches are tolerable on a short flight. Anything beyond BKK would be a tad too much. I did it once to Hanoi (3.5hrs) and I had to stand along the aisles for the latter half of the flight. I cannot imagine doing TR to PERTH! Urgh!

Quoting SQA350 (Reply 11):
The town seen in the picture is Chonburi, Pattaya is a little bit further south.

Ok... I thought it was one of the "buris"... hehehehe...

Quoting SQA350 (Reply 11):
Your were soooooo lucky! Most of my BKK arrivals are 1/10.

Well... BKK arrivals are always almost a nightmare. However, if you come in at the right time (early morning / late night), it is actually pretty do-able.

Thank you all for your comments.



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6944 posts, RR: 77
Reply 13, posted (6 years 6 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5883 times:

Great, entertaining report, Ryan. I like Tiger's livery, will try to fly the carrier one day, probably next time in Australia.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Thread starter):
“Your mother sling?”

“What? Huh?” I mumbled through my drool crusted lip…

“You wanna orrrder some dling…?” smiled the Korean FA In Ji.

 Smile

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Thread starter):
0740H: FL 360. Flight deck comes on and welcomes all on board today’s flight. In fact, one of the passengers was celebrating his birthday on this day and the captain wished him a happy one, on behalf of the airline. This was a definite nod for customer service!

Definitely something to remember for that very passenger. Great move. But how did they know?

Quoting SQA350 (Reply 11):
Yep, I am also one of the snobs...but soon I'll also have my first LCC experience on Air Berlin...let's see.

Air Berlin isn't the typical LCC - you'll surprised about the service. Seating can be a pain, though, depending on the type.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
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