Rebecca Dalton, her son Douglas, and Ellen Malahoff, were left stranded at the Rockhampton Airport after Tiger Airways closed its gates.
Rebecca Dalton, her son Douglas, and Ellen Malahoff, were left stranded at the Rockhampton Airport after Tiger Airways closed its gates. Chris Ison

Budget airline check in challenge

AS Rebecca Dalton held her crying 10-year-old son in her arms she struggled to hold back the tears herself, knowing she might not see her mother for another few years.

She and her family were victims of Tiger Airways’ strict check-in policy.

They arrived three minutes after check-in closed for their flight to Melbourne yesterday.

Rebecca and her son Douglas planned to fly south to visit Rebecca’s mother for the first time in several years.

And her partner, Jeremy Arman, intended to visit his sick father.

The family left their Agnes Water home at 7.30am, thinking they had plenty of time to make the 10.15am cut-off.

“It took us three hours to get here because of the road works,” Jeremy explained.

“We didn’t know there would be road works.

“And no one was boarding.”

The family had only hand luggage, but Rebecca said the flight attendant told her the flight was closed and the first available flight was on Saturday.

And they do not hold much hope for the return of the $449 it cost for their flights.

“We’re still waiting for the $750 from flights that were cancelled during the floods,” Jeremy said.

Despite being burnt once before, Jeremy said the family was forced to trust the budget airline.

“We had no option, they’re the only ones we can get a direct flight to Victoria from here,” he said.

A Tiger Airways representative said the airline worked hard to offer the cheapest flights in terms of consistently lowest airfares and reliability.

“To achieve that, we need to be strict about stopping check-in 45 minutes before departure,” the representative said.



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