Although our Scoot flight was 40 minutes late departing Sydney, it landed in Singapore 45 minutes ahead of schedule, so I guess you could say we had the condensed version of the ScootBiz experience. It seemed like I had only just mastered the entertainment program when the cabin lighting transitioned from a restful blue/purple to a ‘wake-up-everyone’ red/green. Twenty minutes before landing, the lighting changed again – this time to white with a touch of blue.
Mood lighting is one of the selling features of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, along with fresher air, more cabin moisture, larger overhead lockers and a quieter experience, not to mention that it is kinder to the environment than its predecessors. Scoot, a low-cost, long-haul carrier owned by Singapore Airlines, has a full fleet of these gleaming new aircraft.
We were lucky enough to be sitting up the front in what is affectionately called ScootBiz. There are five rows in the business class section in a 2-3-2 configuration; we were in seats 2H and 2K. The seats don’t convert to a flat bed but being a daytime flight, it didn’t matter. The leather seats were very spacious and we were grateful to have so much leg and elbow room.
It was a lunchtime flight and the guy in front of us had loads of room in row 1 with no-one in front of or beside him, but wouldn’t you know it, he still felt the need to recline his seat to the max. This wouldn’t have mattered if they were pod seats but they’re not, so it did make it less comfortable to work on my laptop. Still, you have to keep in mind that this is a budget – or as Scoot calls it, good value – carrier, with fares as low as $99 economy and $299 from Sydney to Singapore.
Everyone can control their own window shades on the Dreamliner, so if you want to filter out the light, it’s easy to choose the level of darkness you want. Even though ours was a daytime flight, pretty much everyone had their windows subdued, some of them nearly black.
All seats, economy included, have in-seat power outlets and wifi on demand (US$5 for 20 MB of light surfing; US$11.95 for one hour, US$16.95 for three hours and US$21.95 for 24 hours). Wireless streaming of movies and television is available to personal devices for a small charge (free in ScootBiz).
ScootBiz also comes with a meal, one complimentary drink and 30kg of check-in baggage. The business class section on our flight was about 80% full. We’d been given the option of pre-ordering meals, but although we did that, the dish we ordered was unavailable and we both had to have Chicken Rice. Not to worry, it was very tasty. The meal offer included a small bottle of red wine, a nice potato salad and a fruit salad.
The flight attendant was very apologetic about our meal not being available and offered us a cup of tea or coffee as a goodwill gesture (normally ScootBiz provides only one complimentary drink). The tea came with a sachet of “crema” (powdered milk), not our fave way of adding milk. Water is unlimited but all other snacks and drinks cost extra.
The flight attendants, or Scootees, look very smart in their black uniforms with orange stripe down the side. The plane is smart too, with its white and yellow livery.
The check-in process at Sydney Airport was smooth and quick. We arrived at the check-in counter just 90 minutes before the flight (not something I’d recommend – normally I like to be there about 3 hours ahead). Nevertheless, it was a relaxed process, with only one couple ahead of us.
For three years in a row now, Scoot has been named Best Low Cost Airline Asia/Pacific 2017 at AirlineRatings.com’s Airline Excellence Awards. It is also scootin’ to new destinations – in June, its network is expanding to include Athens. On overnight flights, you need to bring your own blanket and pillow, earplugs and eye shades, or you can purchase a comfort kit on board.
This was our first flight on Scoot and it won’t be our last. For the prices charged, it offers good value for money. It’s a no-frills experience but it’s comfortable and fun. You can’t go past an airline with Scootitude.
More information: www.flyscoot.com
Christine and Maurie travelled to Singapore for IMM Asia as guests of Scoot, TravMedia and Accor Hotels.