Australian travellers do not, so it seems from surveys like the recent 'Choice' (Australian Consumers' Association) poll think much of either Jetstar or Tiger.
Of the two, my experience has been that Jetstar's staff are even ruder than Tiger's.
Tiger's Australia-wide punctuality seems to have improved a little in the last few days.This may be due to good weather, no plane breakdowns or it being May which is a low point (along with November) for passenger numbers and hence boarding and disembarking of passengers often takes a little less time.
There have been previous horror stories where Tiger cancelled a thrice-weekly trip from Melbourne to Rockhampton or Mackay in Queensland and passengers had to wait (say) two days for the enxt trip, with no compensation. Thankfully following pointed print media articles, this appears to be occurring rarely now if at all.
One Tiger Airways problem is that it only has nine planes based in Australia, a far smaller number than Virgin Blue, Rex, QANTAS or the latter's subdiaries QantasLink and Jetstar.
If one Tiger Airways plane suddenly requires unscheduled maintenance, delays are inevitable: of course one way to solve this when Tiger has multiple services a day (say Melbourne to Sydney) is to cancel a rotation (return trip) if passenger numbers are such that they can partly or fully be put on the next scheduled trip. This cancellation 'releases' the plane to say operate Melbourne to Cairns and return although sector lengths vary with further adverse punctuality repercussions likely later in the day if transposal of planes is not possible.
That said, my preference would be to travel by rail on the XPT to Sydney, then to Brisbane on another XPT, joining the 'Tilt Train' or 'Sunlander' in Brisbane to Cairns for a leisurely trip, but given that you are flying, I would have chosen Virgin Blue.
Edited: 7:35 am, May 08, 2010