12月3日早上十點不到，好多網友就已經守在電腦前，蓄勢待發準備搶購威航 (V Air) 的台幣520元開航優惠票。但人算不如天算，當天開賣沒多久後，該航空公司就因為訂票系統故障，被迫暫停優惠機票的售賣活動。當時此事還真的引起了一陣轟動，這家航空公司也因此被罵了好幾天。兩天後，威航很有誠意的又再次宣佈：即將發售多五千張優惠機票，讓更多旅客可以搶到520元的優惠票！雖然也有不少網友批評此舉為一種頗惡劣的「推銷手法」，但筆者選擇相信威航的誠意，今早（2014年12月5日）便跟著大家一起搶票！嘗試了幾次後，終於給我買到了～
Before 10am on the 3 December 2014, many travellers waited eagerly in front of their computers, getting all ready to make sure they get hold of a TWD520 V Air launch ticket between TPE and DMK. What happened thereafter was really unfortunate; the airline’s reservation system collapsed as large number of people surged into its official website. Very soon, V Air announced no tickets could be issued and they would have to postpone the sales launch to a later date. What a dramatic start to an airline’s operation! While many argued that this was just a unscrupulous marketing technique, I chose to believe the airline’s sincerity, especially since they promised to release another 5,000 offer tickets on the “second” sales launch that took place this morning (5 December 2015). I was attracted to it, and eventually after numerous tries, I manage to get hold on an offer ticket from DMK to TPE, scheduled in May 2015.
本篇文章（一）威航 V Air 開航優惠票 | 購票流程分享
再飛回台灣... 以後多的是機會體驗 V Air 的服務！
This isn’t my first successful attempt in booking a launch ticket. Earlier this year in September, I have already got myself a return ticket onboard Tigerair Taiwan for just approximately SGD100 (between SIN and TPE).
V Air’s marketing strategies this time round successfully attracted my attention; even though I initially promised myself that I will not take the hassle, specially flying to Thailand just to experience V Air. Oh well…
Two days ago, I managed to resist the temptation of this extremely cheap offer. But today, in the name of just testing out the system, I accidentally booked myself on a V Air flight in May 2015.
Well, there’s no harm flying more, isn’t it? Let’s just take a detailed look at the airline’s reservation system now!
This morning at about 10.05am, while I was sorting out the photographs for my flight report on our lucky op-up into Emirates’ Business Class the night before (see the report here), this question kept popping up in my mind: Should I buy it? Or should I not?
Okay, maybe I shouldn’t, but it doesn’t hurt to just check out the reservation system, right?
I tried to commence a dummy reservation, but the “search” button on the airline’s homepage wasn’t working at all! That’s bad.
I went to take a look at V Air’s Facebook page, only to realize that I wasn’t the only one facing issues when searching for flights availability. While there were a lot of criticism and complaints going on in that Facebook page, some kind souls recommended everyone to try searching using the following URL instead.
Oh well… Since I saw it, why not just try it out?
Oh cool! It’s working out after I keyed in some possible dates that I may be free in 2015. The only downside was that, on the dates that I can make it, there were no sale tickets available from TPE to DMK. Only tickets with the original prices were available.
I reversed the options, flying out of DMK instead.
I tried a couple of times, and this
stupid bear kept appearing.
Every time the error message pops out, I will have to key in all the details again. Just when I was about to give up, the following screen appeared!
9 May 2015 seems to be a possible date; and the cheapest ticket price was available on that day!
1) 2015年5月08日 (SIN-BKK/DMK)：大學考試結束後，晚上先從新加坡飛到曼谷，過一夜。
2) 2015年5月09日 (DMK-TPE)：在曼谷吃宵夜、睡一覺後，再搭威航回台灣探望阿公阿嬤！
3) 2015年5月10日 (TPE-SIN)：雖然時間很短暫，但沒辦法... 隔天就得再搭另一間廉航直飛回新加坡。
At this stage, I am quite sure that I will eventually end up with a V Air reservation.
After doing some quick research on airport hotels near BKK/DMK, I came up with a brief itinerary:
1) 08 May: Fly to Bangkok after my exams
2) 09 May: Fly V Air to Taipei!
3) 10 May: Fly back to Singapore on another LCC ticket
After selecting my flight, the “details” column seemed to take forever to load.
And finally! The total ticket price appeared!
Without further ado, I clicked on “next”!
Yet another century passed before the next screen appeared. In a few seconds, I filled up all my particulars and decided to give all the add-on services (e.g. checked baggage, in-flight meals, priority boarding) a miss for now.
票價與其他額外費用都是以泰銖 (Thai Baht) 計算。
As I scrolled down, however, the seat map caught my attention and I decided to spend just SGD18 to select an exit row seat. As compared to Jetstar and Scoot, SGD18 is a huge bargain for an exit row seat!
The other seats could also be selected at fees ranging from SGD3.60 to SGD9.70; very cheap indeed!
I do like V Air’s webpage design. It reflects very appropriately the corporate culture of the airline.
As mentioned, given that it was really a bargain, I selected Seat 25A, an exit row seat.
Here’s the requirements one has to meet before he/she can be seated in an exit row.
The total cost amounted to 1,700 Baht, which is about SGD67. Albeit not as cheap as the Tigerair Taiwan ticket I bought three months ago, this is definitely still a great bargain!
The table below reflects the seat selection fees for a few different airlines. Do note that fees may vary by quite a bit depending on your route, so this table serves just as a very generic reference.
(The amounts are reflected in New Taiwan Dollar; routes used as reference were TPE-SIN/DMK/KUL)
All in all, it probably is still very obvious that V Air does indeed have the lowest seat selection fee!
(*Scoot’s front row seats refer to the quiet cabin at the front of their aircrafts)
The next screen requires passengers to key in their contact details. It is always good to subscribe to airlines’ newsletter if you really do not want to miss out on all the special offers.
Now, I have reached the most important screen – PAYMENT.
Do remember to check box beside “I agree blah blah blah…”, or else you’d see this window popping out. If you want to be really sure about your reservation, make sure you read the airline’s terms and conditions before you commit to a ticket. Budget airlines are known to be extremely strict about whatever is written in their terms and conditions.
And… ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Why is there an error now?!
Clicking “OK” brought this
stupid bear back onto my screen again…
Upholding the spirit of perseverance, I tried again and succeeded on the second attempt! Here’s the confirmation screen after a successful reservation.
A small problem that arose was that my seat selection wasn’t reflected.
After double-checking, I confirmed that the system did not capture my seat selection. Looks like there’s really a lot of room for improvement here.
Let’s just hope that this airline continues to improve in the near future!
But hey, I really want my exit row seat! Therefore, I went back to V Air’s homepage and selected “Manage My Booking” (located towards the bottom right of V Air’s logo, in Chinese it says “管理行程”).
This screen to “manage your booking” was really dull and borderline ugly.
Personally, I am of the opinion that Scoot has one of the best website and reservation system, and that is followed by Jetstar and AirAsia’s websites. Tigerair’s reservation system is a little “user-unfriendly” in my opinion, but they do have a great mobile app.
To pull out your reservation details, just key in the PNR code and your last name.
Immediately selected Seat 25A again!
Payment will be required again since the system did not capture it just now. As mentioned above, selecting an exit row seat costs 450 Baht – a bargain indeed.
Keyed in my card details again.
While many people complained that the airline took hours or even days to issue their ticket and send a confirmation email, mine appeared in my “junk mail” folder just minutes after I completed the reservation.
Do remember to check your “junk mail” folder in case you thought you didn’t receive V Air’s itinerary!
The confirmation email/itinerary similarly had a very simple and borderline ugly design. Later on in this afternoon, V Air sent another itinerary that was with a much better layout than this. The contents are however largely similar and thus I won’t be putting up a separate screenshot of the new itinerary.
It is always important to download and print the itinerary provided by the airline before you fly. I had really bad experiences before, at Melbourne airport; just because I forgot to print a hardcopy of my itinerary.
Heaving a huge sigh relief after receiving the confirmation email, I took a while more to read and understand the “ticketing conditions”.
While I won’t be able to participate in both V Air and Tigerair Taiwan’s first commercial flight, I am still glad to be part of both airlines’ sales launch and I do look forward to flying both of them in 2015.
On a side note, there is an urgent need for V Air to match up the standard of its reservation system to that of Tigerair Taiwan’s, otherwise they’d be losing the competitive advantage, given that Tigerair Taiwan has a strong backing by both China Airlines and Tigerair Singapore.
Wishing V Air all the best in their expansion plans! For readers who were referred to this article from Flight-Report.com, I hope you enjoyed reading my flight report on V Air and also found this article useful!
1. 歡迎參考筆者另一篇訂票經驗分享文：台灣虎航 開航體驗特惠票 | 購票流程