airwaysIn air travel you pretty much get what you pay for.

First class, Business class or Economy? Direct or connecting flights? Maximum baggage allowance or carry-on? Premium or no frills airline?

Tiger Airways prides itself on being a budget carrier, catering to a broad market who are prepared to cut a few corners for the sake of saving a few bucks.

On the back of its success with Border Security, and noticing the format built around the UK carrier easyJet in Airline, Seven has equally opted to go for a cheap, if broadly appealing, factual on Tiger.

Like Airline, the show pivots around the exchanges between customers and staff. With emotions already high on making a flight, farewelling a loved one, having a fear of flying, training a new staff member, or negotiating baggage issues -it’s rife with the possibility of drama.

In the first episode the stories profile a large group of 40 whose plane is cancelled, leaving them with a ten hour wait. Making it worse, they are mostly senior, and English doesn’t appear to be their first language. Yup, this is a show made by the people behind Border Security.

A second story sees a couple angry that they are being charged for a pram for their two year old -just five days over the infant threshold that allows free transport of prams. A third sees a young man sleeping through his boarding call, resulting in the staff having to offload his bags. The sole optimistic story features a man who proposes to his wife in the terminal (classy) as they head off on a holiday.

Narrating the series is Corrine Grant, a curious choice given her background in comedy. But here she plays the straight role, drily linking the set-ups in a post-production voice-over. A narrator is also very necessary when the structure of the series includes such stop-start storytelling. Thanks, Border Security…

The show doesn’t shy away from criticism, with plenty of passengers irate at either Tiger’s customer service or derailed travel arrangements. It’s hard to know why anybody, or indeed any airline, would agree to be filmed for this. Luckily for Seven they have.

Airways feels like its ‘cast’ have all been shipped in from Fountain Lakes. With short tempers, couched by dramatic music, shaky cameras, and lively, working class characters this makes for tasty voyeurism.

That said, it will be very entertaining to those who eat up this genre. Angry passengers, frazzled staff, fly on the wall, rinse and repeat.

Personally I always found Mile High a pretty entertaining dramatisation of a budget carrier. Even old reruns of Skyways could make for nostalgic fun. But beware, this is a show ripe for broad appeal, especially in this timeslot.

As one of the staff says at the end of a testing day, “Sometimes you bite the Tiger and sometimes the Tiger bites you.”

I presume there’s something in that for all of us.

3_starsAirways premieres 7:30pm tonight on Seven.


  1. After having just watched Episode One of Season Two, all I can say is ‘Thank you uncouth, uneducated bogans’ because you never fail to entertain me.

    PS: Your class should Never be permitted to travel. You should stay in the western suburbs where you belong.

  2. Thank you Mike K , Andy and everyone else out there for your empathy. As an ex employee of the airline, I do feel the frustration for passengers when they’ve missed check-in, been charged for excess baggage etc, but rules are rules and they apply to both passengers and staff. What most passengers don’t understand is that as much as we are empathetic and sincere with helping them out, we don’t have the authority to action what they’ve requested. As everyone who has been employed by any work place before would understand that there are policies and procedures that employees must adhere to and that’s what we do when we come to work. It isn’t fair on any of the staff having to endure passengers verbal (and sometimes physical) abuse simply because they’re not happy with the airline’s terms and conditions or didn’t organise themselves appropriately.

    Passengers have scolded at me, harassed me, verbally abused me about Tiger’s ridiculous terms and conditions then ironically, they empathised for me knowing that it’s not my fault that the aircrafts are delayed and that I don’t make the rules nor do I have the authority to change them and aplogises for their behaviour yet they continue to give me an earful. The staff can understand the frustration and stress passengers experience because at some stage in their lives (if not everyday) they are a customer themselves. However, most passengers will never experience or understand the amount of stress staff are put under being stuck between the employer and the abusive passengers.

  3. This Tiger Airways is an insult.

    I remember as a Kid on Ansett The Hostess gave me Lunch to take with me and a Kids activity pack I was Eleven at the time on a School Trip To Melbourne and they really looked after me.I wonder If Kids today on Tiger will get the same kind of Special Treatment Most Likely Not!!!

  4. What were Tiger thinking let them film this stuff. Talk about left hand not knowing the right one is doing!!! I agree with many of the comments posted staff were cold, robotic and unsympathetic. Customers need solutions not shouting and belittling. The Manager clearly the top face of Tiger at the airport was the worst of all as much people skills as a concrete wall. I felt for most of these people except ones who didn’t follow check in rules. Surely the Airline shouldn’t have let the underage boy fly out if they weren’t prepared to fly him back. The gentlemen who’s seat was clearly given to the couple should have received another seat and compensation I still believe a better checking in system would avoid this. Anyway bottom line until Tiger can demonstrate they have addressed these issues I will be flying with other carriers.

  5. franz chong

    Someone should send the people who run Tiger Airways in Australia Old Youtube Versions of Ansett Commercials to see how an Airline is properly run.

  6. franz chong

    Not flown Tiger but who in their right mind would?Does anyone here remember the whole Ansett Air New Zealand Story SIA could have saved something Australian and we wouldn’t be subjected to crap like this

  7. I will never fly Tiger.

    This show has really emphasised how little Tiger Airways care about their passengers, even when the mistake is theirs. Fancy accepting a booking, taking money from people, then cancelling a flight – and then not even letting those passengers get on the next flight to their destination! Shame Tiger, shame. If that was me waiting for 10 hours in their terminal, I would have been just as furious and demanding compensation for wasted time…but luckily that will never be me as I won’t bother to waste my time or money on Tiger. Great show to learn from without having to experience Tigers lack of respect or “customer service”.

  8. not a good advertisment for tiger air….and im booked on the thing soon….gawd no… for that woman with the pram in coolagatta airport what a Bi@tch…..she needed a good kick in the teeth…i would have flown the pram to melbourne free of charge and told this wench to walk back

  9. The show was OK, I will watch again,
    However I agree with other posters that some of it looked staged…..
    I also agree with Jerome’s comments. Rules are rules.

  10. Neon Kitten

    This first episode was a pale shadow of the already-lightweight UK version it copies. With absolutely no attempt to let viewers get to know the staff they’ll be seeing weekly, it was basically just a whinging-passenger-versus-intractable-airline observational. Boring, in other words. We’ve seen it all before. All I came out of it with is, as I predicted, I will never even remotely go near Tiger Airlines, as they quite clearly treat their customers like cattle.

    The BSES “whoosh” was there – The Meenan Touch, presumably – as was the BSES itself in an admittedly less belligerent form. Bit of a fail at the end when they kinda forgot to add the cheesy “*that* was Airways” to precede the “and *this* is Surf Patrol” that aired at the start of the next show. Come on, Seven! Formula! Work to the formula! Everything the same is good!

  11. Yep I agree with you Jerome

    As for the show I didn’t mind it was ok I will probably keep watching it will be interesting to see the ratings tomorrow I doubt it will flop for 2 reasons

    1 it is a factual
    2 it is on seven

  12. sorry tracey i’m going to have to disagree with you. it has nothing to do with what ages use prams. rules are rules. if the woman did not like that rule then she should not have flown with tiger. ignorance cannot be an excuse.

  13. After watching tonight’s episode and the condesending way in which the Tiger staff treat people like idiots that have all the time in the world to waste i won’t be flying Tiger anytime soon. How disgusting of a company to expect people to wait in their terminals for 10 hours at that age. Shame on you Tiger. I would only hope you all treat your own parents better than that.
    As for the pram incident, as a mother to a 26month old I am disgusted that you charge me to take a pram. About 90% of under 3 y.o.’s still use prams. Maybe all the “young” girl staff will realise this one day. And I suspect the person whom wrote the rule was a “Man”. Enough said. Shame shame shame.

  14. If the show is like the promos suggest, it’s just 30 mins of people abusing airline staff, and probably getting rewarded for it with refunds, free flights, and now 15 minutes of fame. Because a plane with mechanical problems has to be the fault of the check-in counter staff, and they deserve to be abused about it right?

    Doesn’t really seem right to me.

  15. Just watching the adverts makes me feel so sorry for the crap that Tiger staff (and airlines generally) have to put up with. I don’t know if I”ll be able to watch this – watching belligerent fools abuse the poor staff just makes me angry. It’s not their fault people – they don’t make the rules.

  16. Might give it a go to see what it’s like, i only caught the occasional episode of the UK Airline/Airport shows that Ch 9 used to show… and didn’t mind it. In saying that i’d only watch it once in a blue moon, i don’t think i could my attention to a show such as this every tuesday night.

  17. Neon’s explanation of the BSES is the exact reason i will not watch the show or anything by that group, until they make a public apology and stop doing it.

  18. James Grant

    This looks like it might work – simply because it will remind us all of a situation or two we’ve probably experienced at some time when visiting an airport – we are pretty good at being flys on the wall too given the ratings for shows like Border Security. This show would also I suspect be fairly cheap to make – so Seven could be on a winner here – shame its up against the return of Insight on SBS but both shows are worth a visit tonight!

    Thank God Seven did run the program immediately after Aircraft Investigation –
    Unlike Nine who ran Trouble in Paradise immediately after Getaway – no wonder Trouble in Paradise was cancelled – you get hooked by the travel bug after watching Getaway with all these wonderful destinations then almost poo your pants watching what can happen to you if you travel anywhere outside Australia – on Trouble in Paradise – curious programming indeed!!!

  19. I thought Jets**t was bad until i flew Tiger. Tiger is one of the worst airlines ever to grace the Australian skies and i would say this program will show what everyone is thinking and has experienced.
    Yay for Mile High, shame it never ran more than 2 seasons. :(

  20. Is it just me or does the scene on the commercial where the woman is told she just missed the play by 4 minutes look completed staged and set up. The two women keep looking awkwardly at the camera like it is rehearsed? Pay closer attention if you see it today.

  21. Neon Kitten

    Corinne Grant is a logical choice; the UK versions of these shows have always had wry comedic narration.

    Like David, I have always wondered – especially in the case of the UK’s Easyjet – why these airlines agree to these shows. Having seen a few episodes of “Airline”, you’d have to be completely nuts to willingly pay money to fly on the airline. They even had to do a “positive spin” episode – presumably forced on them – to try to make amends, but the damage was long done.

    However, the Border Security Editing Style (TM) is going to get old really, really fast. How many times will we be told the same information tonight?

    In the last paragraph, we asked how many times we’d be told the same information tonight. And that’s a very good question, which we’ll try to answer.

    Previously, we asked how many times we’d be told the same information tonight, and decided it was a very good question that we’d try to answer. Now, the answer becomes clear.

    A question was asked about how many times we’d be told the same information, and…

  22. Oh David, you mentioned one of my pet hates – such stop-start storytelling.
    I suppose we have to thank the young gen that can’t holdconcentration for more than 3 minutes.
    On the other side, love the reference to Mile High & Skyways, 2 unique shows that actually make you want to get on a plane.

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