I am a loyal member of Air China, though I really really prefer Cathay, as Air China gave me a gold card, I always take Star Alliance flights. After Ansett went insolvent, there is no more Star Alliance partners in Australia, actually QANTAS is the only normal airline company, all the others are either cheap or subsidiary companies, very strange in such a big country.
As I am planning to go to have a short holiday after the exam, between QANTAS and cheap airlines, I choose the latter. Tiger and Jetstar are the two major cheap airlines in Australia, Tiger has its base in Melbourne, Jetstar has more routes in every city. My plan is MEL-SYD-OOL-MEL, I booked the tickets from both of these companies. It’s the first time I am trying these cheap airlines, and there are lots of surprises.
1, Cheap price? Maybe. The flight rate starts very cheap, MEL to SYD only 27 AUS including GST, however it’s not the end, I have to pay: seat choosing fee, insurance fee, and the last one is Master Convenience Fee, if it’s not paid by Master Debit card. Every step needs to be cautious, as default setting is paying even elective choices.
2, Luggage rule is very strict. For every bag over 10 kg needs to be checked in and certainly with extra money, if someone is not sure of the luggage and needs to check in at the airport, double the price.
3, Every change needs money. Change the time, change the seat, even call the operator. Anything is different from the first input, money is necessary.
4, Not cheap for small airports. Some routes like between Melbourne and Sydney are very cheap, but not in those small cities, some routes like from/to Darwin is nearly the same to QANTAS.
It’s an interesting booking experience, cheap price is what I got. And I also booked the shortest flight from Sydney to Gold Coast, only 20 minutes, which is even faster than I go to city. Well, I’d rather look forward to going there, but before that, it’s time to prepare my final exams, now.