Budget Air Travel in Singapore

One of the best things about living in Singapore is the ease and relatively low cost of air travel. Budget airlines such as tiger, air asia, jetstar and scoot are plentiful and whilst they may not be particularly glamourous, they certainly seem (from my admittedly hazy recollections) to be an improvement on easyet and Ryanair back in Europe. So far I have travelled on both jetstar and tiger airways and whilst even my little legs could do with some more legroom, I have yet to have a bad experience. Check in has been easy at both although the queues at Tiger seemed to move more quickly.

My most recent flight on Tiger departed from Terminal 2 at Changi, where I never fail to be impressed by the orchid gardens and “sanctuary” spaces allowing you to relax a little bit before takeoff or take advantage of the complimentary leg massage chairs scattered throughout the terminal.

I really do think Changi are in a league of their own compared to other airports, you can even make tax free purchases land-side, making the airport a popular shopping destination with savvy Singaporean shoppers. Both jetstar and tiger have pretty good inflight magazines that could certainly keep you entertained on the Singapore to KL route say but otherwise I’d recommend bringing a book as airplane chair backs are never the most interesting things to stare at once you’ve finished reading the inflight material.

On my Tiger Airways flight to Hong Kong $6 would get you a cool asahi or tiger beer, pre mixed cans of Singapore slings or gin and tonics were $9 with wine coming in at $7 (if only they had better than JP Chenet) Soft drinks are $4 although I wish I could get a coke light instead of coke zero (this was instrumental in choosing to drink the asahi you understand!) Incase you didn’t have a bite to eat at one of the airports restaurants or cafes and simply can’t manage the short flight without eating, for around $10 they also offer a selection of hot meals.

Tiger offered hot dishes such as teriyaki chicken, mutton biryani and green Thai curry with sandwiches between $6 for a fairly uninspiring looking cheese and ham “triangle” to $8 for what looks to be a slightly more interesting (although I would stop short of appetizing) roast chicken or cheesy mushroom panini. Other snacks such as pot noodles, chocolate bars and nuts come in at $3-5 but to be honest I have never tried them as I prefer to eat well at my departure and destination points and instead enjoy a little onboard tipple to get me in the holiday mood enroute but I imagine if you are travelling with kids its pretty handy. Its also worth noting that they often don’t accept debit cards, only cash (of either country – departure or arrival) or credit cards.

Staff on both airlines have been pleasant and helpful where needed and the level of cleanliness also couldn’t be faulted.

Sign up to the email webshots (http://www.tigerairways.com/sg/en/ or http://www.jetstar.com/sg/en/home) which send out weekly e-shots and allow you to be kept up to speed on special offers and promotions and take full advantage of the wonderful travel opportunities afforded to us here in Singapore. I’d be interested to hear any of your travel recommendations, from companies to travel with to destinations for a mini break or even horror stories about which to avoid!

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