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Tiger Airways Grounding

40,000 customers caught in the Tiger trap

Jul 07, 2011

Not enough is being done to help the more than 40,000 people caught in the Tiger trap - and the airline itself is the worst offender.

Customers who ring seeking a refund can wait hours.

Using the website - the airline's recommended option - is no easier as the "refund request" section doesn't even have a relevant choice in the drop down menu.

Qantas and Virgin say they're doing enough by offering special fares - "subject to availability". But it is worth noting that share analysts reckon the Flying Kangaroo's earnings will jump 15 per cent if Tiger collapses.

Virgin's will rise 18 per cent.

In light of this they could afford to be generous as a gesture of goodwill.

The consumer watchdog says it is in "continuing and constant contact" with Tiger but won't comment on what it's doing to assist customers.

What it could do is force Tiger to double-time it on handing back the millions of dollars of ticket revenue for flights that have been cancelled or are likely to be cancelled.

Four weeks is way too long. Customers could be creditors by then.

"It's not appropriate for me to comment (on what happens if Tiger goes under before customers are refunded). That's the responsibility of ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission)," Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Graeme Samuel said.

"We would potentially become involved if, for example, Tiger sold tickets knowing they had no ability to repay them." But Mr Samuel, people such as Scott Daly who are relying on you to get a bit medieval on Tiger's Australian and Singaporean management. It's time to unleash the much-hyped powers of the new Australian Consumer Law.

Hoxton Park's Mr Daly is out of pocket about $600 after his flights were cancelled.

The single dad had planned an interstate trip to pick up his three children for the holidays but Tiger cancelled his July 2 flight to Melbourne and four flights back to Sydney.

He bought the tickets on Tiger's website using his credit card.

Tiger promised to refund his flights. However, Mr Daly's credit card was cancelled shortly after purchasing the flights and he's worried he'll miss the refund if he doesn't let Tiger know.

He has spent up to nine hours over three days trying to get through to a Tiger operator. He has now booked Virgin and Jetstar flights.


The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) will apply to the Federal Court to have the suspension of Tiger Airways flights extended until August 1, it was revealed last night.

A spokesman said if CASA is satisfied the airline "no longer poses a serious and imminent risk to air safety" before that date, it is possible operations may resume earlier.

CASA said the investigations into the airline will not be concluded by the end of the five-day suspension period and the suspension will remain in place until the Federal Court decision is made.


Tiger Airways Australia announced last night it would not oppose the extended suspension period and will begin to refund fares for passengers who have booked flights until July 31.

Current CEO Crawford Rix will leave the airline at the end of this month and will be replaced by the group president and CEO of the airline's parent company Tiger Airways Holdings.

"Tiger Airways has been working constructively with CASA for the past five days to establish a plan for the resumption of our services and will not oppose the period of extension. The airline remains committed to resuming services as quickly as possible," according to a statement released by the company last night.

40,000 customers caught in the Tiger trap
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