Sunday, 3 January 2016

Flying My 80th Airline With TigerAir Taiwan From Taoyuan to Bangkok Don Mueang

Welcome to my 80th Airline Trip Report! 


*Aircraft photos are credited to the respective photographers from Airliners.net



Introduction

I always wanted to fly this airline especially after flying with V Air to do a comparison and since I missed my chance on my previous trip, I decided to do it on this trip instead. The opportunity came when I decided to forfeit my Scoot's flight from Kaohsiung to Singapore and instead stay on in Taipei for a couple more weeks. After that was decided, I had to purchase my ticket back to Singapore. Originally I was thinking of flying with this airline from Taipei to Singapore but my friends gave me an idea about flying Thai Lion Air from DMK (Bangkok) to Singapore and I could do TigerAir Taiwan from Taoyuan to DMK, 3 hours plus on a narrow-body which won't be too bad. Flying on 2 new carriers on my way back sound like a great plan. So, after checking the air fares of both airlines, I decided on this itinerary. 

Airline's website 




TigerAir Taiwan shares the same website as the other TigerAir companies except TigerAir Australia - this company is now owned by Virgin Australia. 

For TigerAir's website, click here

For TigerAir Australia's website, click here

What I don't like about booking with Tigerair is that all the charges are left to the last page so thinking that the fare is so cheap, wait till you get to the payment page before getting excited. Fortunately the airfare for this one way ticket was reasonable, I paid around S$160 including 20kg luggage allowance. 

I had no problem using the website on both the mobile and website version. Comparing this airline's website to V Air's, I prefer the latter. 

History of Tigerair Taiwan

Among the countries in Asia, Taiwan is one of the last to start up a Low Cost Carrier with V Air set up by TransAsia first before China Airlines joining venture with TigerAir SG to set up this airline. It started operation in September 2014 after receiving its AOC (Air Operator Certificate) from the  CAA (Civil Aeronautics Administration). Currently, China Airlines owns 80% share of this airline, 10% to Mandarin Airlines while the remaining goes to TigerAir SG, so Tigerair SG doesn't have much of a say to the important decisions. First flight began on the 26th September 2014, Taipei to Singapore. This airline operates an Airbus A320 fleet and a few of them were transferred over from Tigerair SG. Tigerair Taiwan aircraft would have the 'Taiwan' word written on the fuselage.

Current fleet: 7 (December 2015)

Map of Tigerair's flight map 


Some photos of my trip in Taipei 

Nola Kitchen - my 2nd visit here and the food is pretty decent.


This is the blackened fish - tasted not too bad 


Taiwan is well known for its beef noodles, and this pretty good. I had this at Shida Night Market. 



Peanut butter Burger at a Burger Restaurant near Songshan Airport 


Raohe Night Market during daytime - its completely different from night life. 


A Taiwanese set meal - cost around NT$120, quite filling. 


Have you caught the latest Star Wars Movie? I think it is pretty good. 


Night view of Taipei, photographed at Elephant Mountain


A typical Taiwanese Street 


This is Shilin Night Market, it was quite busy even though it was around 4 pm. 


I enjoyed the sunset at Danshui - you have to come here especially in good weather


Night view of Danshui district 


The ferry terminal at Bali Island 


Japanese beef omelette rice 


Shaved Ice dessert consists of Mango and Banana with some candy on it


On the day of departure 

As the flight was in the afternoon, I had some time to spare before checking out. I went to my usual favourite eating places at Ximending before heading back to collect my items and headed to the airport. Initially, I wanted to take the HSR (High Speed Railway) to the Taoyuan and change for the bus to the airport, but I felt lazy so instead I took the airport bus directly there. Taiwan public buses could invest in more low floor and introduce double decker buses if possible. 

Once I reached the airport, I went to the Tigerair counter (handled by China Airlines staff). There was already a long queue waiting for the counter to open. Fortunately, it opened after 5 minutes and it took around 20 minutes for me to get my luggage checked in and my boarding pass. 

Checking my flight, it was departing on time. MH's flight was delayed due to the late arrival of the aircraft. 


Checking in at row 12 of Taipei Taoyuan Terminal 1 



China Airlines handles the ticketing for TigerAir Taiwan, so you get the China Airlines boarding pass, beats having the 'supermarket receipt' style boarding pass. 


 Once that was done, I went over to the air side. The security check was fast but the immigration queue was quite long as it took around 40 minutes to clear. So its important to be at the airport early especially for international flights. 

By the time I was done, I had about an hour and a half to kill, so I went to grab a bite at a cafe. Here are some photos taken along the way to the gate.




There is definitely Christmas mood at Taipei Taoyuan Airport during this period.


Got myself beef noodles but the problem was I had to wait for 25 minutes for it. I wasn't happy at all! 



After that, I made my way to the gate and by then I had around 15 minutes left before boarding. 



My aircraft, B-50007 was taking me to Bangkok! According to Flightradar24, this aircraft had been operating for this route for the past week. 


At that time, V Air was also departing to Busan. The staff came around to ask whether we were flying to Busan. Apparently some passengers were taking their own sweet time! If they miss their flight, they deserve it. 


After V Air's flight departed, we waited for another 15 minutes before boarding announcement was made. 


Flight route: TPE-DMK 

Miles: 1546 


My ride: B-50007



My 80th airline
Airline: Tigerair Taiwan
Flight: IT505
Route: TPE-DMK
Aircraft: Airbus A320 
Registration: B-50007 (Ex-Tigerair 9V-TAY)
Delivered on 1st July 2015 (Leased from Pembroke) 
Configuration: Y180
Engines: 2 X IAE V2527-A5
MSN: 4874
Gate: B2
Seat: 23A 
Load: 80%
Departure time: 1600
Boarding: 1531
Push back: 1550
Duration: 3 hours 20 mins
Take off: 1617
Schedule arrival: 1845
Actual arrival: 1842
Take off runway: 05R
Arrival runway: 21R

Unlike my V Air flight, the aircraft was parked at gate B2 which is connected to the aero-bridge of the terminal. So boarding process was fast and we settled in around 1540. Fortunately, all passengers were seated early and we were able to depart 10 minutes before schedule time. It was good for us as the single runway was often crowded with other aircraft, at least until the 2nd runway reopen. 

We were at the taxiway for a good 25 minutes or so before taking off. The cabin crew were friendly and professional through out the flight, a few of them were reserved though. Taking off was smooth and it was after 10 minutes or so, the seatbelt sign was turned off and it didn't come back on until landing. 

Here are some photos of the cabin 

Greeted by the friendly crew who assisted passengers to their seats. 


The Macau Advertisement on every head cover




The miserable legroom space 



Is it worth paying more for the yellow head cover seats? Yes, especially for taller passengers. 



Making my way to my seat on this single aisle aircraft




Emergency rows have better leg room space, and they were available on my flight. The crew made an announcement about these seats and if anyone was interested, just let the crew know. I didn't see anyone moving to these seats. There isn't a need to since the flight wasn't full. 





Photo taken from my seat 


Everyone was seated by then 


The last row of the aircraft is usually very cramp, can you see the miserable legroom space? These seats near the rear remained vacant on my flight. 


Cabin shot of B-50007: The cabin crew doing her job


Few more shots! 


Spare magazines just in case 





Just like any other 180 seats on the Airbus A320, legroom space is tight but the seat is reasonably comfortable. For a 6 foot 4 person like myself, sitting at the normal row would be a struggle after a while. Fortunately for me, I had the seat beside mine vacant, so stretching my legs was possible. The lady sitting at the aisle seat could place her hang bag on the seat, so it was a win-win situation for both of us. 

Photos of the toilet 





What's inside the seat pocket?

Airline's safety card 


In-flight magazine 


Duty-Free shop


Disposal bag 


Feeling hungry? Check out this menu


Quite a number of choices 









My in-flight meal 

Fortunately, hot meal was still available when the trolley reached my row. 


After taking a photo of this shot, I overturned my plate by accident, spilling the contents as a result. A nearby crew was slightly shocked but she quickly assisted me by giving me a piece of tissue. I had to ask for more from another crew later on.


Window-shot photos

My aircraft parked beside TransAsia's Airbus A330-300 which was bound for Japan.





Once engines were started, we were on our way. 


A view of terminal 2 airport tarmac dominated by EVA Air. 




This Air Asia X Airbus A330 getting ready to take off. 


We were behind this Airbus A330-300


Scoot's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, 9V-OJD heading back to Singapore.


Take off was smooth 


Signs of darkness approaching while we made a turn towards Thailand



Flying through some clouds but the ride was smooth 




Flying through smooth air while the sun is setting 




Part of Taiwan was in sight, the Eastern part of the country.




Sunset 


Getting darker 


On approach to Bangkok DMK airport's runway 21R





Touched down smoothly with the strobe light flashing


Here I am! 


Thanks for the ride, B-50007! The aircraft was being prepared for its flight home. 


It took about half an hour before I got out to the land side.

 This is the arrival hall



The queue for the taxi seemed to take forever even though it was about 40 minutes of waiting. If you ask me, I take BKK airport over this one any day. 

Take off Video at TPE


My rating: 

Airline's website: 6/10
Check-in staff: 6/10
Taipei Taoyuan Airport Experience: 7/10
In-flight service: 7/10
In-flight meal: 6/10
Cabin interior: 7/10
Seat comfort: 5/10 
Cleanliness: 10/10
Punctuality: 10/10
Aircraft: 8/10 
Overall rating: 72/100

Conclusion

Tigerair Taiwan is a decent Low Cost Carrier that flies you from point A to B with reasonable fares, the only thing is you need to watch out for those hidden charges at the payment page. Tigerair SG has a small stake in this airline, so you might notice some differences between this airline and Tigerair SG. Apart from the in-flight menu, this airline and Tigerair SG share the same cabin interior, cabin crew uniform and website. Overall, I find my experience with this airline a pleasant one in spite of the tight seat pitch. The in-flight meal was not bad and so was the service. I recently flew with Tiger Air SG from KUL to SIN, and (you can check out the report over here) I find the service on Tigerair SG slightly better. 

If you are flying on any Low Cost Carriers, I would recommend you to get the airline's insurance just in case something goes wrong. 

Hope you enjoy this trip report! 

Cheers,
Charles 

2 comments:

  1. Enormous and wonderful post, thanks for this information.I really appreciate your work,keep it up,it would be really helpful for someone who want airline upgrades

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the compliment, Amanda! More trip reports coming up, hope you enjoy them as well. :)

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