Scoot Airlines is one of Singapore Airlines’ budget offshoots; the other being Tiger Air. While Tiger Air usually flies on short haul routes (from Singapore to South East Asia and India), Scoot was established in 2011 as the city-state’s medium and long haul budget carrier. With a charter to fly for cheap to further afield destinations, the airline operates an all 787 Dreamliner fleet from Singapore to China, Japan, Australia and in a few months, Saudi Arabia. I recently flew from Melbourne to Singapore and return with Scoot.
I flew to Singapore in ScootBiz, the airline’s business class, which is more like a full-service airline’s premium economy class. I was offered the upgrade to ScootBiz through a bidding option a few days before the flight – the upgrade was approved, and off I went! ScootBiz seats recline a bit further, and include a checked-in luggage allowance, in-seat power, priority boarding, one inflight meal and free entertainment (although, importantly, the aircraft carry no entertainment devices – you bring your own tablet, computer or smartphone, and the onboard wifi streams the movies and TV shows to you). The business seats are arranged in a 2 – 3 – 2 configuration, with plenty of legroom and a leg rest.
The inflight meal I chose (nasi lemak) was tasty, although far from haute cuisine. The flight went smoothly, and we arrived on time into Singapore, although as often occurs with budget airlines, we didn’t pull into a gate, rather catching a bus across the tarmac to the terminal. Luggage was slow to arrive too, but I was overall happy with the service.
The return leg was equally pleasant, even in economy class. Having done some research before the flight, I knew that Scoot’s economy class seats don’t have moulded headrests, so I’d need to find my own if I wanted to sleep on the overnight trip. Scrunching up my hoodie against the top of the seat next to me did the trick; and I slept nearly all the way back to Melbourne! The seats were roomy, and had more legroom than a lot of premium airlines – definitely an advantage for a tall person.
Economy class had a buy-on-board cafe option, but I didn’t use it. Entertainment, in-seat power, wifi, checked baggage and entertainment were all chargeable, along with items like blankets and pillows; standard budget airline deal. My travel companion shopped from the ‘Scootalogue’ – duty-free shopping on Scoot is quite cheap, I’m told!
In economy class, there are also different options of seats;
- Super Seats, with a bit more legroom and a headrest
- S-t-r-e-t-c-h Seats, with much more legroom, near the emergency exit and at the front near the bulkhead, and with a headrest
- Scoot In Silence, a separate cabin towards the front of economy class, with no children under the age of 12
Overall I was pleasantly surprised with the Scoot experience, although part of that would come down to preparation. A pair of Australian bogans seated behind me were arguing with the flight attendant about why they couldn’t have a bottle of water with their pre-ordered meal (a “set combo”, which comes with a can of Pepsi). When told that they would purchase the bottle of water at an additional cost, they hissed “I’m not gonna buy one now, just to spite you” at the lovely flight attendant. I guess not knowing what you’re signing up for on a budget airline can leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.
The flight attendants (known as “Scooties”) were really friendly and unobtrusive, while the Dreamliner makes a real difference, as I noted on a Jetstar flight about a year ago. In fact, it was the friendly attitude and genuine care of the staff which probably made the flight memorable. Additionally, the cabin lighting was pretty cool, as was the company theming; before taking off from Melbourne we were instructed to “get ready to scoot back to Singapore!”. Later, when we arrived in Singapore, the head Scootie welcomed us to Changi Airport, thanked us for choosing Scoot, and then repeated the company slogan by saying “Let’s Get Outta Here!”. Awesome.