Tigerair closure: What happens if you have a flight booked?

Tigerair Australia has officially growled its last growl.

The airline emailed all its customers this week to say “farewell”.

“After nearly 13 years of operation we have made the difficult decision to discontinue the Tigerair Australia brand,” the email said.

Tigerair Australia was owned by Virgin Australia, which itself was bought out last week by US firm Bain Capital. That deal is expected to be finalised by the end of October.

The new owners decided there wasn’t room for a second low-cost airline in Australia right now.

But what does that mean if you already had a booking with Tigerair?

Tigerair has exited Australia’s skies. Picture: Shae BeplateSource:News Corp Australia

Tigerair has converted existing bookings and flight credits into “Future Flight” credits that can be used with Virgin Australia.

You can use that credit for any flight booking, not just the route you were originally booked on.

The stinger? You can’t access those credits just yet.

Tigerair says those credits will be made available from September 23 this year, and will be eligible for bookings up until July 31, 2022.

Many Australians still have flight credits with the now defunct airline. Picture: Shae BeplateSource:News Corp Australia

Virgin Australia today announced that it will allow unlimited changes to any bookings until the end of January 2021, so those credits will be quite flexible for the Christmas period.

You’ll also earn Velocity Points, something that never happened with Tigerair flights.

If you urgently want to use your credits, you can contact Tigerair online to see if the fare can be converted into a “conditional credit” which can be used immediately.

Tigerair isn’t guaranteeing when it will respond to those queries and isn’t supplying a phone number for faster contact.

Unfortunately, one option you don’t have is a refund.

The best option is to use the Tigerair credit with Virgin Australia. Picture: Peter Parks / AFPSource:AFP

Because Virgin Australia has gone through administration, the normal rules around getting a refund because a service didn’t run won’t apply.

My advice? Unless you absolutely need to take a flight right now, the Future Flight credits are going to be your best bet.

The obvious kicker is that the credits might not be enough to pay for a complete flight, given that Tigerair typically had much lower fares than Virgin.

But $60 to spend on flights (which is what one of my refunds amounts to) is better than nothing.

Angus Kidman is the editor-in-chief and travel guru for Finder

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