Late Again? 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Fly with Asian Budget Airlines

Yesterday I twittered this, “Aren’t Stewaredesses supposed to be pretty?”. Today you might read this and say “Watch out, Stereo Type” or whatever, I don’t care. It was just another tip of an ugly iceberg that practically crash landed my positive experience of in-flight “entertainment”. Shortly after we touched down in Singapore, late once again, or well, have we ever been on time anyway? Within the last months my frustration about the budget airlines operating from Singapore grew just as much as their service and cockiness got worse and worse. Their new luggage rip-off is only the latest scam adding another good point to below list,of why to avoid them at all costs, literally..

singapore budget airlines terminal

1. The Luggage Rip-Off

This was actually not an issue until very recently, maybe 2 month back. Most budget airlines have a strict policy when it comes to hand luggage (usually 1 piece + laptop only) and right down to the gramm, restricted to a certain weigth. For everything above or more, you pay, a lot. But that’s ok since you simply comply to those rules. Combined with a general relaxed consense from the airlines side the comfortable and easy travelling was perfect.

But times are bad for air carriers and there is need for money. At the budget terminal people now have to line up before even going through customs, going through a little boot with nothing but a cash counter and scale inside, and are made to pay down to the last gramm, penny by penny. Speaking of “convenient” flight experience, the carrier treats his passengers like criminals.

Other budget airlines get there money from the “1 piece” restriction. I saw ladys with a tiny handbags (really those kind that fit a wallet and maybe one lipstick) being asked to pay hefty fees for an additional plastic bag they were carrying. The evening I first experienced this, every single passenger waiting at the gate was pretty much stunned from what was going on around them. Good job, wont fly with you again.

2. The Obvious.. The Service

Now this is bad, really bad. The people, no I wont call them flight attendant or sterwards or whatever, since they don’t deserve it, must go through 1-day courses and are soon after let loose to the frightened passengers. None of the staff has any training in inter personal skills, how to handle difficult passengers or situations, general rules of how to communicate with the passengers, politeness, whats that? Hell, at least smile while you “order” me to switch off my MP3 player. Going into detail would take too long, but the comment from one of my readers “They even take Ah Liens these days” nails it pretty much.

3. I was on time once – Delayed Flights

Its annoying especially if you are already on a tight schedule and your flight, once again, is late late late. I know the static appologies coming from the poor captains by heart now, and if I plan, I do consider at least 30minutes delay in each direction (and that’s on good days). At the poor captains: WHY would you even think about flying with these airlines, don’t do it, if only for the honor!

4. No Outside Food or Drinks are allowed

To be honest I think no one really cares about this one but the simple existance makes me annoyed already. 10 minutes into the flight I told my friends many times “So what are they going to do? Fine me? Throw me out of the plane?“, munch, and then took a big bite of my Subway Sandwich. I always bring water by myself on board, and I think they know no one is taking them and their 6$ instant noodles really serious.

5. You think you are there, but you are not!

Somewhere Budget Airlines have to safe costs, right? And if they already charge you for tab water, going to the toilet on board or borrowing a pen to fill in your immigration cards, then whats left?

Exactly, the parking lot of your plane. be prepared to walk long distances until reaching your gate, in fact, plan at least 15 minutes extra because it might be so hidden and in the latest corner of the whole airport that you might get into trouble missing your plane, since you forgot to train for a 5km walk the day before.




This is assuming you can get a ticket. I made countless attempts over 26 hours recently to book a ticket with airasia. That whole time not only did the booking page not load all that time but the error page for the booking page not loading wouldn’t work most of the time. When it started working 26 hours later I had missed out on the tickets I wanted


Allow me to add reason number 6.

6. Expecting full service
If you paid 50 dollars for a ticket, and you’re still expecting a 400 dollar service, please spend that 400. Then you can go back to the old days, where you would simply complain about how expense flying is.


Indian Stallion

I agree with Henk. Here is an analogy to demonstrate my point.

No one goes to a stall in a hawker centre looking for service, in fact we usually tolerate horrid service and long waiting time for food that we consider value for money. Everything else is secondary.

Our expectations are very different when it comes to eating in restaurants because we pay more and we expect more.

So yep bottom line , you need to lower your expectations, or pay more and fly on a commercial airline.


budget airlines, for budget travelers and in no hurry…. the slogan as NOW EVERYONE CAN FLY would definitely appropriate for them who just NEED to fly without any great expectations about the services…
So, still the economic law working here. You get as much as what you’ve paid… :-)

Ying Zi

Full of bullshits,them all. Yupe,I definitely agree. Pay more and enjoy good service. Pay less,enjoy the hidden cost of food and bad services. I love the one about the food,damn funny. Seriously,they can’t do anything,can they?


This is such an eye opener for me since I’m from the United States. There have been changes to fees and policies but gosh nothing as bad as what you described here. A fee for a little wristlet that us ladies carry?? I have to agree with you, people whose job requires customer interaction should have or be trained on good people skills. Unfortunately, good interpersonal skills is not what many people possess.

Calm Ang Moh

What a load of crap. You get what you pay for. How many people need a movie and a crappy meal included on a 2 hour flight and are yet prepared to pay over twice as much for it?

Not only that the the majority of budget airlies planes are newer than the Silk Air SQ shorthall planes.

You continue to get ripped off by paying $100 extra for a bag of nuts. The more of you that do that means the more availability there are on budget airlines which will keep the price down even more.

Personally I’m glad there are both options but I guess some people are happy to complain about anything. What was it LKY called Singaporeans? Ahh that’s it…champion grumblers.

Personally the reason I fly is to get to a destination I want to, if you want to line airlines pockets by paying twice as much so you can have you bag of peanuts then you need to have your head examined.


Never ever fly Airasia and Tiger. These are the worst budget airlines around. Customer services sucks and service is simply non-existence. They do not apologize for the delays. I think Jetstar deserves the thumb-up though. They are really really quite good at what they are doing.


Asia budget carriers – forget it.
They think that since it is low cost airline they have no commitment to you and to deliver you at your destination. Jetstar even have this written on the page when you book the flight – “We are not going to guarantee that we get you to your destination on time”

Ones on Tiger Airways (The worst if you ask me) crew, pilots and all decided to leave airport – We had not left Singapore yet – without telling anyone that the flight was “delayed” not “cancelled” and would fly next morning at 9 am. If they had used “cancelled” they would have had to refund the money – instead they just walked away. It was only at 1 Am that all the passengers (we were the only one left at the terminal – Budget) started demanding that we be let out to go home – that we were informed about what was happing.. Totally unreal – Full carriers are the only way to go in Asia. Budget is fine when they fly – but unfortunately budget carriers feel that they can be late and later and not arrive at all without any explanation and or apology, compensation….. They use the same argument which many who have posted comments inhere use ” What did you expect – it is cheap!”
At the end of the day it is not that cheap – and frankly it stinks and I for one will not fly them…


The least I would expect is for the crew to know basic safety procedures.
When the captain announced “Cabin crew please arm doors”, the air stewardess on my flight actually asked her colleague, “What is ‘arm doors’ ah?”.

I almost lost it when one of the air stewardesses stood up at the point the plane was about to take off and started walking along the aisle. I was not the only horrified one – her colleagues started screaming and gesticulating at her, “Jannnnetttt! SIT DOWN SIT DOWN!!!”. All the passengers turned to stare at them, most wearing the same mortified expression as I was.

I wanted to jump off the plane.

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