One Way Tiger


Story Details

When Adelaide siblings Natasha and Bradley Mills set off on a trip to Melbourne, they were expecting a fun trip and an early birthday celebration.

Instead, the Adelaide youngsters found themselves in the centre of their own airport drama.

After finding cheap fares through the no-frills airline Tiger Airways, the 14 and 11 year old had no trouble boarding a flight from Adelaide to Melbourne last week.

But getting home was another matter.

"We walked up to the check-in line and they said how old are you? I said 14. They said how old is Bradley? 11. You can't fly," says Tash.

Despite the family's pleas, Tiger Airways staff wouldn't budge and offered no alternative.

"It was traumatic for me to see it, just because it was so unfair for them to do it to us when we'd paid for the flights and been flown over there, so in all respects we should have been flown back," says Tash.

Their aunt in Melbourne was distraught, back home, parents Steve and Belinda were plain angry.

"I was pretty steamed up. And then when I got to the airport I tried talking to the Tiger staff and I got the same back at me that was happening at the other end," says Steve.

Belinda says Tiger didn't tell them about its policy of not allowing unaccompanied children under the age of 14 when they boarded in Adelaide.

The youngsters were forced to split up. Natasha continued on the Tiger flight home.

Mum Belinda says, "�and there was a man and woman that got off the plane with our daughter Natasha. They were apologising to us for not bringing him home on the plane, because Tiger Airways wouldn't allow them to and they were quite distressed."

A homesick Bradley had to stay an extra night in Melbourne, before arriving home today on another airline.

"I knew I'd go home eventually, but yeah, I wanted to go home that day," says Bradley.

"You send two, and one comes back� so if it costs a bit more money, I'd probably go with a bit more money, I say. It cost more in the end anyway," says Steve.

When Today Tonight contacted Tiger Airways, they apologised for the mix-up and offered a full refund on Bradley's fare.