Tales of Phuket – The Tiger Airways Departure @ Budget Terminal

Here’s the beginning of my “Tales of Phuket” series, which will detail as much as possible on my fifth (and most likely the last for a long time) trip to Phuket. Well, let’s get started on the flight, shall we?

Usually I take JetStar, but for some reasons they no longer have flights to Phuket. As I am traveling alone, I don’t qualify for any of the other normal airlines – like SilkAir – so I have to go for Tiger Airways. Which was very expensive, considering that it is a budget airline and will be flying out of the Budget Terminal. I paid over S$450 for it.

I was decidedly not looking forward to the Budget Terminal. I love airports, and it pains me that I will not be flying off from Terminal 1 or 2.

And so on to my first day. My flight was scheduled at the ungodly hour of 8.15 a.m., so I have to be at the airport at 6 plus! I was prepared for the worst, really, that it being the budget terminal, but I was in for a surprise.

Budget Terminal, Singapore

The budget terminal is really just like a huge warehouse, renovated just nice enough to be comfortable and not enough to be consider as “luxurious”. As there were only two airlines departing from this terminal, and my flight being so early, there whole place was practically empty. Which was good news for me. Check in was quite a breeze. The staff were friendly and efficient. And the passengers didn’t really threw up much fuss.

Except for this duo of women with two children. They were… exuberant. I was just being polite. They were noisy! Ah well… I should be more understanding.

Budget Terminal, Singapore

The custom clearance was quick – too quick actually. There were three counters in operation, and I was the only passenger going through. Naturally that made me nervous. But no one gave me a hard time. They were just being efficient.

And so on to the facilities. Well, I expected all of them are being one grade down from the remaining airport terminals, and I was right. Shopping options were similar to heartland malls, and the food outlet was designed like a food court. Everything else is minimal – toilet, water cooler, ATM… just enough for you to get your pre-flight errands done.

Budget Terminal, Singapore

Budget Terminal, Singapore

Budget Terminal, Singapore

One comment on the food though. I order a pao and some chee cheong fun, and there were… horrible. The counter staff was not friendly, and made me felt like I committed a grave offense for asking them to prepare my food. The pao tasted weird, and the chee cheong fun portion was so small, it was not worth the S$2.50 I paid for it. I recommend that no one get food from the stupid outlet until they get their act together! Apparently more food places will be made available in the future – though I can’t really see that happening, considering the amount of airport traffic they are having.

Boarding a flight was an experience that I quite like. There were 10 boarding gates, minimally decorated like some high-end budget hotel. At the gates, there were no seats provided, as you have to queue up to board the plane, just like being at the bus terminal. It is kinda… minimalist. Fun.

Budget Terminal, Singapore

Budget Terminal, Singapore

Budget Terminal, Singapore

Budget Terminal, Singapore

After clearing the officer, you have to walk on the tarmac to climb a flight of stairs to get to your plane! I kinda like that. Tried to take a photograph, but a security officer was quick to stop me. Alas! I wonder, though, how the boarding would be like if it was raining. The sight of one whole row of Tiger Airways airplanes was quite exciting. I felt like a jet setter.

I know, I know. It’s only Tiger. But still! :D

The flight was uneventful. Usually I will be taking photos of the plane interior, of the food that I purchased… but this time round I didn’t bother to do so. I have done this so many times, all my photos start to look the same. So, what’s the point, right? Haha.

An observation though. You would imagine many Singaporeans/Asians will take advantage of the budget airline. But from what I saw that time, almost 60% of the passengers were westerners. Half of that came with family. Children and teenagers were abundant on the plane. I wonder why is this the case? Did the locals think the price charged by budget airlines are no longer worth it, that they are willing to pay a little more for full-service flights? And to these angmohs, the price is so cheap (after currency conversion) that it would be stupid for them not to take advantage of it?

Ponder ponder.

Anyway! I slept on the flight for quite a bit, only to awaken by the captain announcement that the plane will be touching down. I looked out of the window, and saw the turquoise sea and gorgeous islands dotted all around the main island.

I was so excited. Phuket, I am here again!

Tales of Phuket - The Tiger Airways Departure @ Budget Terminal by

Comments

  1. nadnut says:

    $450?!?! madness! i paid like $250+ for mine.

  2. Razlan says:

    @ nadnut – I know! I also say I paid too much. That’s the downside of booking your flights only two weeks before the departure date :(

  3. Razlan says:

    @ nadnut – I know! I also say I paid too much. That's the downside of booking your flights only two weeks before the departure date :(

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