In the earlier days when budget airlines (or low cost carriers, whatever!) were introduced in Singapore, booking is a very straight forward process. You pick a flight, punch in your preferred dates, select a FREE seat, and make payment.
Today, every seat you book you will have to pay, ranging from extra leg room (First class seats) to the normal seats (Economy seats) which are normally situated at the back. We did an overview comparison over the 3 low cost carriers, namely Jetstar, Air Asia and Tiger Airways to give you some little tips when you do your booking.
How this comparison is made:
1) Return trip to Bangkok on Singapore public holiday. 1st May – 4th May year 2012.
2) The earliest flight selected on departing date (1st May) and the latest flight selected on arriving date (4th May). This is to maximise travel time spent abroad.
3) There were no promotions on these dates
Total price = $313.90 + $16 credit card processing fees= $319.90
Note: If you pay using offline payments, using the SAM machine for example, you will save on the processing fees.
Select Offline Payment (circled in red) and you will be presented with the options to pay, saving you “Booking and Service Fee”. There is no mention of the fees until you select “Visa” under card type.
Total price: $249.00 + $10 credit card processing fees= $259.00
Note: You can save the processing fees when you choose the option “Direct debit”, which you will pay using e-nets payment mode.
Select Direct debit (circled in orange) to save on “processing fees”. Air Asia has the processing fees shown clearly to their customers unlike Jetstar. (Highlighted in light blue box)
Total price: $291.96+ $16 credit card processing fees= $307.96
Note: There is no option to save on processing fees. You must pay their “convenience fees”.
Winner is Air Asia
Price in this case is not a good comparison because they will differ according to promotions and different dates selected. However, for clarity and ease of booking, Air Asia is no doubt the winner. Through the booking process, the fees were kept transparent and they also have the option of saving your particulars so that you can book faster next time. As a side note, we feel Tiger Airways should also provide offline payments to allow us to save on those “processing fees”