Bronwyn Sell flies aboard Tigerair flight TT398 going from Sydney to Proserpine.
The plane: A320.
Price: A very reasonable AU$243 ($253) return.
Flight time: 2hr 15m.
My seat: 27A — a window seat at the back. I paid a few bucks extra to select my seat because I like seeing the world from above. I took a punt on a window seat at the rear, which paid off — I ended up with an entire row to myself. A poor man's air sofa. You can buy a queue-jump pass for A$3, although I don't understand why anyone would choose to spend more time sitting on a plane.
Fellow passengers: Seemed to be mostly locals plus a scattering of backpackers. One woman across the aisle read aloud, in a Queensland twang, horoscopes for each of her family members.
How full: About 80 per cent.
Entertainment: BYO. This is Virgin Australia's no-frills regional airline. There's an app you can download (before the cabin door closes) that gets you access to music, and lets you buy movies and TV. But I had a good book.
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The service: Polite and unflappable. An older woman fell ill, and the staff handled it with compassion and efficiency. First time I've heard the words, "Is there a doctor on board?" (There was.) They got out the oxygen for her and after we landed, paramedics boarded to take her off first.
Food and drink: A$3.50 for a Kit-Kat, $9 for an Aussie red. You could pre-order hot food but when I checked it out a day or two prior to departure, it was too late to order. There was a pricey cafe right next to the gate, although you're not allowed to take hot drinks on board. I paid A$3 for a decent but unnecessarily small cuppa on board.
Toilets: Didn't feel the need.
The airport experience: Made the mistake of getting to Sydney's domestic airport early so I was stuck in limbo for a while before check-in. With kiosks for check-in and baggage drop (bit of a queue there) and plenty of security staff, the logistics were a breeze. Being a budget airline, the gate was a fair hike. Proserpine, at the other end, is like a bus terminal and is under renovations but I was out of there quickly.
Would I fly this again? Considering the cost of other airlines plying this route, sure.
The bottom line: A perfectly adequate A to B trip. The return flight wasn't as smooth, but that's a story for another Flight Check . . . [I can't wait — Travel Editor]