Low cost air travel is an ordinary part of life these days. Travellers are accustomed to cheap seats, cheap service and cheap food that resembles something left in the fridge for a week… but not all low-cost carriers are created equal. One carrier that has carved a reputation for doing things a little differently is Scoot. A subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, Scoot has what many other airlines lack – a personality.
I first flew with Scoot a few months after their launch in 2012 and loved it, despite a few minor teething issues. Since that trip the airline has rapidly expanded from it’s initial Singapore to the Gold Coast and Sydney routes to take in destinations such as China, India, and Thailand, and they’re by no means ready to rest on their laurels. The airline recently took delivery of their first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. This new aircraft will be operating on the Perth to Singapore route.
Having been a while between trips, I decided to give it another try and see whether it was as good as I remembered. Rather than experience Economy again, I chose to book a seat in ScootBiz – a hybrid of Business and Premium Economy. I was pretty curious what a low-cost business class would be like.
Want to know the verdict?
Gold Coast to Singapore
Located up the pointy end of the plane, ScootBiz features full leather seats that offer at least 38″ (96cm) of legroom, 22″ (56cm) of width, 8″ (20cm) of recline and fully adjustable headrests. Being over 6 foot tall I appreciate having a little extra legroom and will take it whenever I can get it. Other perks include an in-seat power outlet. Seats are configured in a 2-4-2 layout, so you’re never far from the aisle.
Here’s the kicker. Since you’re paying roughly a third of what you would on a full service carrier for a premium seat, certain elements haven’t made it onto the plane – namely a television screen. Instead they offer ScooTV inflight entertainment, which can be streamed to your own laptop or tablet (iPad users need to download the Gogo Video Player app before the flight). It features a decent selection of recent release movies and television shows, with content refreshed every two months.
Scootbiz passengers can access ScootTV for free. Economy passengers can pre-purchase ScootTV access for SGD$15 or purchase on-board for SGD$16.
Scoot is a low-cost carrier, but despite this the seat doesn’t feel cheap. The charcoal leather seats are comfortable and well maintained, and the smaller cabin area creates a much more intimate feel. It’s a bit like champagne on a beer budget. As with the adjacent ‘ScootinSilence’ cabin, ScootBiz is a designated child free zone (children under the age of 12 are not permitted to travel in either section).
Service, from on the ground to in the air, had definitely improved since my last trip. The staff in our section were well trained in the Scoot philosophy, and no request was too difficult. I think because Scoot have crafted a somewhat cheeky personality from the start, they can get away with things that other airlines can’t. Our male flight attendant, for example, has two tone black and bleached blonde hair. You don’t find that elsewhere. The pre-flight briefings were also pretty amusing, with the word Scoot sandwiched in several times – e.g. ‘we’re getting ready to Scoot’. There was a slight language barrier with the Australian accent, but it was nothing that couldn’t be overcome with a bit of simple re-phrasing.
In a nutshell, service was great.
Food & Beverage:
Being in ScootBiz means that you receive a complimentary hot meal and a drink. The standard menu offering is reasonable, but we chose to pre-order a premium meal. Premium selections come with a deluxe meal, two sides and a drink. I chose the Nasi Lemak, which was served with fresh fruit, an orange juice (my choice of drink) and a tub of Haagen Dazs. It was surprisingly tasty for an in-flight meal.
20kg of checked baggage
15kg (two pieces) of carry-on baggage
ScootBiz is a brilliant option if you’re looking for a little more legroom or comfort, and the price is very reasonable. The offering isn’t on par with Qantas or Virgin Australia, but it was never intended to be. Instead ScootBiz is an accessible way of getting from point A to point B in comfort without maxing out the credit card, or selling a kidney. I’m a fan and have already started planning a follow up trip.
Learn more about ScootBiz
– I travelled at my own expense.