Tiger Airways is experiencing turbulence on the ground and online.
The discount airline’s entire fleet was temporarily suspended earlier this month by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia, after it was determined that two planes flew at hazardous altitudes en route to Melbourne.
Dale Watson has his own issues with Tiger Airways.
On a flight from Melbourne to Sydney in April, the acclaimed country singer was charged a $500 excess baggage fee for a box of CDs he imported specifically for his scheduled performance at the Byron Bay Blues and Roots Festival. According to Watson, the airline lost the baggage and refused to compensate him for the damages.
In the spirit of director Kevin Smith’s infamous Twitter ranting about Southwest Airlines last year, Watson took to YouTube for his airing of grievances.
“I’d been telling them all along that I’ll just write a song about it and put it on YouTube,” said Watson on Friday. “I said, ‘I don’t expect ya’ll to give a damn but that’s the best thing I can do to warn people about the kind of people you are.’
“They didn’t believe me.”
“Tiger Airways” is as much a protest song as it as a travelogue, detailing Watson’s difficulties with employees (Timothy Archer, Simon Murphy) with a honky tonk baritone and comedic disposition that recalls Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue.”
The chorus hits the money shot:
There goes Tiger Airways and their we don't care-ways
You got a complaint, well stand in line
You got a problem, well that's your problem
That seemed to be their motto, all the time.
Since being uploaded late last week, the video has garnered more than 20,000 views, thanks in no small part to the press Watson’s received both in Australia and from the likes of AOL Travel and the Huffington Post. More importantly, Tiger Airways has finally settled the dispute, refunding Watson’s baggage fee plus an additional $1200 for the lost merchandise.
“It’s just a shame,” Watson said, “that you have to go to these extremes – going into the recording studio, filming a video – just to get people to do the right thing.”