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Scoot Airlines, ScootBiz Review Singapore To Sydney

By:
Joanna Hall
 

The Airline: Scoot.

The Flight: TZ2 Singapore to Sydney (0145 departure; 1235 arrival).

The Equipment: Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The Cabin: ScootBiz, Seat 1A.

Date: March 2016.

Overview:

Since it launched into the Australian market back in 2012, with a direct service from Sydney to Singapore, Asia’s newest low cost carrier has always been clear about its target market: it's a service for long haul travellers, aimed at the young, the young-at-heart, and the bargain hunter. The result is a no-frills service using a fleet of brand new aircraft, with well priced airfares, and plenty of “Scootitude”, or lighthearted fun. By August 2015 Scoot had expanded to operate an all-787 Dreamliner fleet, offering a lineup of other essential amenities such as onboard Wi-Fi connectivity, in-seat power, and comfy seats. Today its route network includes a combination of popular holiday and business destinations such as Bangkok, Hong Kong, Perth, Melbourne and Tokyo, and more recently it has announced plans to fly to destinations in India, including Chennai. The airline doesn’t have a loyalty program, but in 2015 it joined Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer frequent flyer program, so if you earn points with this program you can redeem them on Scoot flights.

Check In:

As a ScootBiz customer in Singapore, I checked in at the dedicated desk at Changi Airport and found the process to be quick, easy and polite, even though it was busy, and I was travelling at an unsociable hour. My ticket home came with all the available perks, which includes a generous 30kg of luggage allowance to check in, up from the original 20kg at the airline’s launch, and two pieces of carry-on luggage up to 15kg. If you buy the Scoot In Style package for AUD $39, you can use the SATS Premier Lounge, so I headed off to find it and wait until my flight was ready to board - they don’t make announcements at the lounge so you have to be on your toes checking the TV screens. My ticket also included First on Board, and when the flight was called ScootBiz guests were invited to the gate first (unlike in Sydney). The only annoyance was that I’d bought a bottle of water to take on the plane for the overnight flight, but it had to be emptied out at the gate as you have to pass through primary security here. There was a water fountain at the gate for refilling bottles, but around 30 people were lining up to use it so there I ran out of time. 

The Service:

On boarding the 787 Dreamliner, as with the outbound flight, I was greeted with friendly smiles from the young, energetic “Scootee” flight attendants, and I found my seat easily in the front row of the aircraft and the ScootBiz cabin. I was quickly offered my free welcome drink, and the pilots had a quick chat to everyone about the route we were taking and the weather along the way. Overall, the crew quickly prepped the plane and passengers for the flight, and we left on-time. Throughout the flight, the Scootees were polite and on hand if you needed anything; they don’t offer top up refreshments during the night, however, so you have to ask. Priority de-boarding is also part of the ScootBiz deal, and this was carried out effectively on landing in Sydney.

The Food:

Even though my flight from Singapore departed in the middle of the night, I was served a meal shortly after take-off, along with my second and last free drink, which can be alcoholic or soft. I’d opted for the same meal as on the outbound leg - Singapore Signature Chicken Rice - which had been pre-ordered, and came with carrots and Asian greens with chilli. Again the portion was quite small, but I’d had dinner and some snacks in the lounge earlier, and it was the middle of the night so it wasn’t an issue this time. The meal was adequately cooked and accompanied by a small salad, a chocolate bar, and a small tub of ice cream. Being an overnight flight, I opted to drink water only so again I didn’t check the wine list in any detail.

The Seat & Entertainment:

The 787 Dreamliners used on the routes to and from Australia are configured with 35 seats in ScootBiz, arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration. The seat is a dark blue faux leather style, with a 96cm pitch and a 56cm width. There is a leg rest, but it’s essentially a flap which extends from the bottom of the seat to prop up your legs from behind. There is plenty of leg room, more so if you are sitting in row 1, the bulkhead, but flying overnight you can add a Snooze Kit to your flight for AUD $18 which includes a blanket, an eye mask and a neck pillow which adds a little more comfort to the adjustable head rest on the seat. The seat also has a decent arm rest separating you and your neighbour, and the seat reclines to around 20cm which is on par with premium economy on other airlines. Should you wish to work, as the man seated next to me did, there is AC power in the seat with no adaptor needed, but no USB sockets. Again there was no personal air vent and I found the cabin overall to be run at quite a warm temperature, which became hotter towards the end of the flight with the morning sun beating through the windows.

Scoot don't offer personal screens or wall mounted screens, even in ScootBiz, so to watch any of the entertainment provided you will have to download an app to your own smartphone, tablet or laptop before you fly. You’ll also need to bring your own headphones. Unfortunately my iPad’s OS was too old to download the app, and I didn’t have my MacBook with me, so again I ditched the entertainment in favour of sleeping, which most people in the also did bar my neighbour and one restless child. Scoot’s 787 Dreamliners also have satellite-fed inflight Wi-Fi, which you pay for in blocks of hours from one to 24 should you feel the need to get online.

The Verdict:

The flight from Singapore to Sydney isn’t a long one compared to some long haul services, but it does leave at a highly unsociable hour, which makes the additional comfort and legroom in ScootBiz well worth the money. From the seat to the service you’re paying for long haul premium economy, or the business class of a bygone era, but Scoot is upfront about what it does and doesn’t offer. Beyond the basic cost of your ticket, however, you will also need to pay for some extras even flying in ScootBiz, but given that its fares are so much lower than other major airlines, even cheaper than many economy class fares, this really isn’t a big deal. And there’s that other major bonus of flying Scoot besides the cost; the 787 Dreamliner aircraft is incredibly quiet, with cleaner and slightly more moisturised air enabling you to arrive in Sydney quite refreshed.

Scoot™, the low-cost, medium-haul arm of the Singapore Airlines Group, has carried six million guests since taking to the skies in June 2012. The world’s first all 787 Dreamliner fleet operates between Singapore and Sydney, Gold Coast, Bangkok, Taipei, Tokyo, Tianjin, Shenyang, Nanjing, Qingdao, Seoul, Hong Kong, Perth, Osaka, Kaohsiung, Hangzhou, Melbourne, Guangzhou and soon Jeddah. Scoot provides – in addition to fantastic value airfares – a safe, reliable and contemporary travel experience with a unique attitude – Scootitude™. Offering amenities including on-board Wi-Fi Internet connectivity and in-seat power and the ability to redeem and accrue Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, Scoot was voted 2015-16 Best Low Cost Airline (Asia/Pacific) by AirlineRatings.com and ranked in the Top 10 of the World’s Best Low-Cost Airlines in 2015 by Skytrax. Scoot is passionate about changing the way people travel long distance. Book your tickets at FlyScoot.com or contact our Call Centre. Find out more on FlyScoot.com, Facebook.com/FlyScoot, Instagram.com/FlywithScoot or Weibo.com/Flyscoot.

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