Fees. It can sometimes be all about fees and ancillary charges with low cost carriers, but only if you decide to pay them or if you’ve done something wrong, wrong as in not followed the conditions of the ticket you have purchased. I’ve flown low cost carriers and budget airlines, with their ‘user pays’ systems on flights of just a few hours and hadn’t really considered flying one long haul. That was until Scoot Airlines, the low cost offshoot of Singapore Airlines, had its first birthday sale and I managed to book a return economy class ticket from Sydney to Singapore for AUD$302. Ok, so I added on baggage – I knew I’d be doing some shopping – for AUD$50 and about a week before the flight I chose an Economy S-t-r-e-t-c-h – extra leg room. bulkhead – Seat for AUD$29 and ordered a Roast Beef Focaccia for AUD$11. As I checked in at Sydney Airport, signage on each counter was advertising upgrades to ScootBiz, the airlines premium product, for AUD$99. Even though this ‘cheap ticket’ was now starting to add up, I couldn’t pass up the chance to sit up the front (and feel important) 😉
I paid the AUD$99, well AUD$146.50 actually, as when upgrading at the counter, there was a AUD$40 fee and an AUD$7.50 credit card fee. It also meant my choosing the S-t-r-e-t-c-h seat in economy was lost money as the fee isn’t refunded or taken into consideration….oh well I chose to pay it. The upgrade meant I would have a larger seat, inflight entertainment, in-seat power, a meal and drink all in the exclusive ScootBiz cabin. Lounge access isn’t available for ScootBiz passengers at Sydney Airport, so I purchased a wine near the departure gate to contain my excitement before the priority boarding began.
Scoot Airlines, based in Singapore, operates a fleet of five ex Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-200’s and ‘Barry’ the aircraft I was flying on to today was one of the original two aircraft when the airline begun its operations just over a year ago.
The 32 seat ScootBiz cabin is in a 2-4-2 configuration of slimline leather seats with a seatpitch of 38″ (96cms), seat width of 22″ (56cms) and a recline of 8″ (20cms). Each seat has winged headrests, a fold out tray table from the arm rest and in-seat power. I was was in seat 14A, the third row, strangely the seating starts from row 11, where rows 1-10 are, I don’t know 😉
My Singaporean seat-neighbour, Ron, pointed out the in-seat power, located under the armrest between our seats which is an excellent convenience to keep laptops, tablets and igadgets charged for work or entertainment during the flight. I wondered how Ron and I were going to share the one outlet, however as soon as the doors were closed, he moved over to a spare seat in the middle section so we could both stretch out.
Economy class section is broken up into two zones with three seating types. Standard Blue seats feature 31″ (79cms) seat pitch. The Yellow Super Seats and the S-t-r-e-t-c-h Seats, located at the bulkheads and in front of the doors, feature 35″ (89cms) of pitch and are available for a fee of between AUD$29-79.
Prior to take off one of the cabin crew came around and handed out password card for the inflight entertainment to that could be streamed to our own devices. there was a choice of about 18 recently released, international and kids movies and around 25 tv shows. If you didn’t have your own device a tablet with the same content could be rented for SGD$22. A few moments later another crew member came through the ScootBiz cabin and asked a few people what they would like for their meal. I flicked through the menu, but strangely she didn’t come and ask me. A few moments after the safety demonstration – done manually – we took off from the south and headed out across western Sydney.
Pretty much 15 minutes after take off the crew set about serving meals to the ScootBiz passengers and guess what I got? The Beef Focaccia I had ordered online for my original economy ticket! I didn’t mind, because it was what I had ordered, although it was one of the cheaper and lighter meals and not from the airlines premium meal selection. The meal included the focaccia, a small tube of Pringles and a drink – which I chose a 187ml J.P. Chenet Colombard Chardonnay. The beef was cooked rare, still succulent and tasty but, the focaccia itself tasted a little dry, nonetheless I did put that down to the loss of taste food gets at 30,000 feet. The Pringles came in handy later in the flight when it was time to settle in and watch a movie, with a purchase of another piccolo of wine for SGD$8. As I was paying by credit card, one of the lovely crew members who served me the drink, asked if I would like to leave the card in the galley, like leaving the card behind a bar and running a tab…wise idea? I’m not sure 😉 .
Along with my interest of the goings on in the aircraft, like everyone, I still love looking out the window as it never ceases to amaze me. Trying to make out the cities and towns below, to me, is like looking at a map. Today I was marveling at the ever changing scenery of the Australian continent, vein like rivers and creeks sprouting lush green vegetation beside them in the inhospitable desert.
Towards the end of the flight, the cabin crew came through with the Scoot catalogue for duty free purchases so, with my ‘tab’ still running, I picked a few novelty items 🙂
The flight arrived right on time into a wet and rainy tropical Singapore. Overall my experience was a positive one, while the food was slightly lacking in quality, the service was friendly and fun and for a day flight of 7hrs 40mins, comfortable enough. From a starting price of AUD$302,with fees and all the extras I purchased I paid a total of AUD$475, those fee were extras I decided to purchase, nothing was ever forced on me, so it really was a cost effective way to ‘Scoot -outta here!’ – even with those fees!
I booked my flights through Expedia.com.au
8 Comments Add yours
Ooh I was dying to read about this review FF!! I would have chosen a biz seat too. It’s a much more reasonable increase than normal business class 😛 Do they have any reclining beds at all?
No reclining beds, but its only a 7 hour flight!
its seems more like a premium economy seat rather than business seats
Worst airline we have ever travelled with, we travelled from perth to Hong Kong with a stop and plane change at Singapore. We arrived ok in Hong Kong and when we were getting ready to leave Hong Kong to fly to Singapore our flight was delayed 3 times and by the time we reached Singapore our scoot connecting flight to Australia had left. We got to the help desk and were told there were no more flights to Australia until tomorrow and we were very lucky that we didn’t have to pay for two more tickets as we didn’t purchase scoot through. I asked the scoot staff member what hotel do they put us up in and I was advised that’s your problem not ours even thou we didn’t miss our flight. We were also told you purchased cheap tickets!, my arse the tickets are cheap. You by your ticket you pay for a meal and drinks on each leg, you pay for luggage on each leg, we didn’t have enough time to collect our bags to get on the next scoot flight from Singapore to Hong Kong so we had to purchase scoot through. You add every charge up and they are not cheap flights. We will never fly scoot again and I say to you all learn from our misfortune.
Perth Western australia
I have not seen such a poor customer service before. I was flying to Singapore from Gold Coast with this company. My friend and I had some food with us. My friend is vegan, and there was nothing for her in their menu. Also, the food they offer generally seemed pretty boring and expensive for us. A stewardess came to us immediately after boarding, and said that we are not allowed to consume our own food on board, we need to buy food from them! She was very unfriendly, did not smile at all, and literally started a discussion with us. We explained that my friend is vegan and that there is nothing suitable on the menu. After a 10-minute discussion she said she will make an exception for us and allow us to eat our food. She also said that apparently it is her job to make us follow such rules. Well, even if that is really true, I don’t want to know who creates those rules. I have not seen such cheekiness in my entire life. I am also wondering if her boss has also told her to be so unfriendly with customers.
It got even worse on our way back. I went to the bathroom, and after 1 minute someone started knocking on my door. First it was a very quiet knocking, which then got louder and louder. You can imagine how uncomfortable I felt. However, I was thinking it is a child or so, I did not think their staff would do that. When I opened the bathroom door, a stewardess was standing near it. She told me in a very unfriendly way that we are descending and that I am not allowed to be in the toilet. She also did not let me to go to my seat, she insisted that I should take one of the available seats near the toilet. This was terribly annoying. I can not describe how hostile these stewardesses were. They did not even say goodbye to me after this story. I was going to tell them that I am never ever going to fly with their company again, but I decided to share my experience here instead and warn everyone who is considering buying their tickets. It is definitely not worth it! All other budget airlines offer similar or lower prices and much better service. This is the shittiest airline I have ever seen!
By the way, I forgot to mention that their airplanes don’t even have TV screens. If you want to watch a movie, they bring you something which looks like an iPad, and you have to hold in your hands. They do not have any USB sockets to recharge your phone either. However, according to the menu, you can recharge your phone for $10 or so. What they do have are the ‘staff call’ button and ‘light’ button located right where you put your arms, so that you cannot prevent from hitting these buttons unintentionally while sleeping or sitting. As to the food, I had to order some food on the way back. I ordered Beef Casserole for $11. The taste and quality was mediocre at best.
Overall, I was shocked by their service and it definitely spoiled my mood. Now who wants to fly with them and have the same experience?
I am sorry you had a bad experience. I hope your future travels are better!
Thanks for sharing on FreakyFlier.