Australia’s worst airline

The annual report from the airline ombudsman has just been released.

Australia’s worst airline

The annual report from the Federal Government-appointed Airline Customer Advocate (ACA) has just been released for Australian carriers and it appears the results may not be that surprising.

For the third year running, Tigerair has been named the worst performing airline in Australia, with more customer complaints than any other carrier in 2014.

Even more concerning, the number of complaints has increased from previous years. According to the report, Tigerair received the most complaints in terms of flight delays and cancellations, unfair terms and conditions, unexpected fees and charges and customer service on the ground.

The report, which is based on customer complaints, only takes into consideration those gripes that have been raised though the relevant airline’s official complaints channel before contacting the ombudsman.

While according to this year’s report there were no major events that affected levels of dissatisfaction with aviation, the total number of complaints received last year was 1132, an increase on the 2013 number which came in just under 1000.

Head of Communications at Tigerair put the high level of complaints down to ‘airport infrastructure’ and ‘flight network changes’, adding that the airline “made significant progress in improving customer satisfaction” for the second half of 2014.

You can read more about the results from the annual report at


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    4th Jul 2015
    I flew once with Tiger a few years ago. I didn't complain but I will never fly with them again. A very disorganised group of people.

    4th Jul 2015
    If the check-in chaos as televised at Avalon airport is representative of the whole airline it MUST be the worst.
    4th Jul 2015
    Why people give Tiger the time of day puzzles me. I wouldn't for a micro second consider flying with them.
    4th Jul 2015
    We flew with Tiger some years sgo, several times, and thought they were excellent.
    Perhaps its gone downhill, but this claim to shame really surprises me.

    4th Jul 2015
    I use Tiger air at least once a year never had a problem. I keep away from Qantas where I have found ground and air staff to be rude and unhelpful and apart from that they are always the dearest airline.
    4th Jul 2015
    Isn't Tigerair a fully owned subsidiary of Virgin?
    3rd Nov 2018
    I believe Tigerair Australia is a fully owned subsidiary of Virgin.
    4th Jul 2015
    Tiger - always overbooked and finding all the excuses under the sun to include another charge to the fare.
    4th Jul 2015
    Virgin purchased Tiger Airlines October 2014 for $1.00-Google it
    4th Jul 2015
    That's all it was worth.
    4th Jul 2015
    I have only ever flown with Tiger Airways in Asia, and have no complaints whatsoever. The dozen or so times I have used them over the years there was not one delay, friendly and efficient staff and leniency with cabin luggage weight - unlike Jetstar who has started to weigh luggage at airports in Australia after check in. Slightest bit over the 7kg resulting in a A$ 50 fine and check in of luggage on the next flight!
    11th May 2016
    I know exactly how some of these complaints arise. As a low cost carrier, they have strict and publicised conditions and terms that most people don't read when they book online and tick the box to say they have read and agreed to the conditions. These include strict check in times; baggage weight and size restrictions (checked and carry on luggage) etc. However cancellations and delays of flights due to weather, mechanical and operational issues occurs in most carriers even the best. However Tiger unlike Qantas and major airlines, they do not have planes and other flights that passengers can be transferred onto when an aircraft is delayed or has mechanical issues. The message is simple. Read the conditions published by Tiger before you click to say you have read and agreed to the conditions and don't complain if something goes wrong. If you don't want to do this, pay more and use a major airline but remember there are also published conditions with all airlines.
    19th Aug 2016
    I am surprised that Tiger Air has such a bad reputation as I have used it for the last few trips that I have travelled to Sydney from Proserpine and have been very well looked after. I certainly have no complaints whatever as the flight is non stop through to Sydney and every other alternative makes one change at Brisbane. I was really unwell the last time and the flight attendants were very caring and gracious.
    17th Oct 2016
    I flew with them last year from Melbourne to MacKay qld first and last everything was a extra rude staff checking you. in dirty plane seats. I have used 1 carry on bag for years with other airlines but with them it cost a extra $28.00 each way I recently flew with quantas and rex airlines to Townsville and Winton used the same carry on bag no problems at all.

    14th Jan 2017
    I suppose you get what you pay for so if you want cheap, you don't get service. On the other hand, Qantas doesn't give discounts and is an airline of last resort for me. Compared to any other, full-priced carrier I have found their staff in the air to be rude and arrogant. Their in-flight entertainment is very poor although the food is very good.
    26th Nov 2019
    Having lived for some time in Europe, it is the same with Ryanair. They are universally disliked but still used by every man and his dog cos they are cheap and fly pretty much everywhere you want to go. They are no frills, so you take your one complying bag (or pay extra to have a bag checked in) and your own bottle of water and/or snack and you squish yourself into the tiny seat and you get off the other end and get on with life. People near where I used to live used them as buses to get back to UK each week. Prices depend on when you book, the best I ever got was Limoges to Stansted (hour and a half flight) return for 27 euros (about 44 Aus dollars). Never paid more than 50 euros. Where else would be able to fly that cheaply? I suspect Tiger are much the same, I know when we looked at them they didn't allow baggage, even if you paid extra; we had bags so had to use Virgin/Qantas.
    My husband has a maxim. Any flight you walk away from is a good one....

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