My “Scoot” to Singapore!

scoot

Singapore airline launched Scoot in 2011 as a low cost carrier. I think their intention is to position Scoot between ultra low cost Tiger and regional subsidiary Silk Air. Late last year, Scoot announced an arrangement with Thailand’s Nok air to extend the brand from Thailand so I think Scoot is here to stay for a while.

Scoot has gone with a vibrant youth focused vibe. It feels somewhat more “hip” than its parent. For example, they refer to “cuddly” passengers who they encourage to buy two seats.

Booking: 10 out of 10

Their booking engine (www.flyscoot.com), available in Cantonese,  English, Japanese, Korean and Mandarin) is user friendly, fast and straight forward.  They take what could be a confusing number of choices and options and reduce them to seven steps which I found very easy to move between:

Step One: Passenger selects destination and date

Step Two: Scoot displays all flights and prices for the week across four fare options:

  1. Fly
  2. Flybag
  3. FlybagEat
  4. Scoot biz (their business class cabin) with wider seats, more leg room and included meal. These are not the equivalent of a Qantas, Delta or Malaysian Business class seat

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Step three: Passenger data is added. Scoot offers bolt ons including Extra baggage, Entertainment kits, Sleeping kits and Meals. Everything a full service airline used to include!  Scoot also charges for scoot thru which allows a passenger to connect between flights in Singapore. All of the options are cheaper if booked online in advance than on the actual flight.

The thing that impressed me is that none of those options are forced onto the customer. You do not unwittingly proceed to payment with an insurance option chosen. This happens with Air Asia and Ryanair.

I also like Scoot’s very generous 10kg of hand luggage.

Step Four: Seat selection

Selecting a seat ahead of schedule costs:

  1. Standard (a nominal fee of around $US5- Scoot’s economy seats are arranged 3-4-3 configuration which means you risking getting stuck in one of the middle seats if you don’t pre select)
  2. Super (a fee of $US20 to $US30) are located in a special child free section with more leg room. I highly recommend these for their 35″ of leg room and their “private cabin” feel
  3. S-t-r-e-t-c-h ( emergency ecit and bulkhead seats) for an extra $US50 to $us60

Step Five: More Extras: Hotels and rental cars

Step Six: Payment

Here is where I suggest you watch things carefully. On another trip, while searching a fare to Japan, while Scoot started as having the lowest price, with extras such as luggage, meals, and super seating the fare jumped to $400 more than Malaysian Airline’s best fare!

A Confirmation email came quickly.  Scoot then gives you twelve hours in which you can change your date and time and even name for no fee.

Check in: 9 out of 10

Online check in was easy and fast. Check in at the airport opens 180 minutes and they will accommodate you oif you are in the queue 60 minutes before it closes. Scoot offers Early Check-in at Singapore only for a fee of SGD 5 at Scoot’s check-in counters. At Sydney, I was surprised at how mnay people were choosing to check in with luggage at the airport rather than pre check. I was in line for less than two minutes. My hand luggage was weighed and at 7kg was well under their 10kg limit. I had no check in luggage.

Lounge

Customers at Singapore airport can pay $SG39 for access to the SATS Premier Lounge in Terminal 2 with food, beverages and shower facilities for up to four hours. There was no such facility available at Sydney airport.

Boarding: 9 out of 10

Boarding was stress free. We were warmly welcomed on board by smiling crew.

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On Board: 8 out of 10

Image from Seatplan

Image: Seatplans.com

The plane feels spacious and light. The current Scoot fleet are ex Singapore Airlines craft in very good condition.

Business Class has four rows of eight seats arranged in a  2-4-2 layout. The black leather seats are 22 inches wide and have a 38 inch pitch. There is an AC socket which is shared between every two seats.

Super Seats are yellow, have a 17″ width and a 35″ pitch. They are arranged 3-4-3 but as previously mentioned in a small private child free cabin at the back of Business.  It was a marvellous space to fly in. The yellow was not too garish.

Standard Seats are Blue with Stretch seats highlighted in yellow at the emergency exit rows.

The crew worked very, very hard. They were selling meals, drinks, duty free, entertainment kits etc and maintained a very warm and pleasant demeanour. The cabin manager, had come from Singapore Airlines but the rest of the crew were new to flying.

Lavatories were maintained at a spotless condition for the entire flight.

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Entertainment: 5 out of 10

There is no seat-back entertainment system but you can hire portable DVD players or stream material to your own device for a fee. Bring your own laptop or even a book is my advice.

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Meals: 3 out of 10

All Scoot meals cost.  Take a look at the selection. Pre ordering is cheaper and if you must buy a meal, recommended. The meals are expensive by Singapore standards. Most were double the price of what I would pay in a hawker’s market or food outlet in Singapore. The portions, however, are smaller than one would expect. The quality was also disappointing. Water was not available on the flights and had to be paid for at a cost of $SG4 per small bottle.  This galls me.

Landing

Arrival at the super efficient Singapore Airport was a breeze and I was on the street, no more than 20 minutes after landing.

The Verdict

My Flight Rating: Overall 74% (3.7 out of 5).
My Overall rating of Scoot: 74%  (Tiger gets 27% from me, easyJet 76%, Jetstar 63%)
Skytrax: Scoot has a 3 star rating from Skytrax.Its customers give the carrier a rating of 7 out of 10 which is good for a Low Cost carrier
Positives: Crew,  Website, Super seats
Negatives: Meals, lack of free water, Entertainment
Would I fly them again? Yes

 Related Posts:

Qatar 5 star: Hanoi to Bangkok

Trip report: Malaysia “five star”

Singapore ups Low Cost ante

 

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