With a limited route network, Scoot must run a pretty tight ship on the services it does operate, right? e-Travel Blackboard finds out on a flight to Singapore.
Seat: 15H (aisle)
Journey time: 4 hours, 20 minutes
Check-in: My local escort, Andrew, says the economy check-in line at Taoyuan Airport is the longest he’s seen this year. Fortunately for ScootBiz passengers, they’re able to whiz past the crowd thanks to a premium cabin check-in counter. Aside from expedited processing, there’s no discernible difference between business and coach, though I do notice how perfectly groomed each staff member is.
Luggage allowance: Twenty kilograms is the normal checked baggage allowance for ScootBiz passengers. Premium cabin fliers are also permitted two carry-on bags (up to 15kgs), which come in handy for all of those Taiwanese souvenirs.
Seat comfort: The comfortable leather seats on the Boeing jet have a pitch of 38 inches (96cms), width of 22 inches (56cms) and recline of 8 inches (20cms).
Cabin conditions: ScootBiz dispenses with the more colourful (and branded) layout of its economy class for a more corporate appearance. It’s smart looking, but only time will tell if it’s smart marketing. The 2-4-2 cabin is clean, and reflecting the airline’s young age, looks almost brand new.
Staff service: Scoot’s onboard staff offer professional service in a courteous manner. And while they may not be as slick as the cabin crew of parent company Singapore Airlines, they appear just as able as any of their low-cost carrier contemporaries.
Onboard catering: It has to be said that Scoot’s standard hot meals are nothing extraordinary. But to receive one main course, a bread roll, a can of Pringles, and a coke for around AU$13 is very good. And for just a few extra dollars, passengers can upgrade to a more gourmet premium meal. Just be warned that Scoot doesn't cater very well to vegetarians, with the only options on this leg being a standard meal minestrone, and a cheese and mushroom sandwich meal. A wide range of light snacks and beverages are also available.
Inflight entertainment: Scoot gives passengers with mobile devices (not including smartphones) access to a limited selection of visual entertainment courtesy of a ‘wi-fi’ service. However, those intending to use tablets will need an app, which has to be downloaded before flying. For passengers travelling without laptops or tablets, for a small fee, Scoot offers fliers ready-to-go iPads. Looking for some light entertainment, I opt for the film Due Date, which makes me glad I made my flight. Later on, I flip through the Scoot inflight magazine, which turns out to be a pretty good read.
On-time performance: Due to unexplained circumstances, we’re 30 minutes late taking off, but we land in Singapore just ten minutes behind schedule.
Flight rating: 3.5 planes out of 5. Scoot doesn’t pretend to be a full service carrier, even in its premium class. What it is though, is a very good budget airline, as proven by its placing among the top five low-cost carriers in Asia just twelve months after launching.
e-Travel Blackboard tip: Although more and more airplane bathrooms are providing perfume, on medium to haul flights it still pays to carry your own roll-on deodorant.
e-Travel Blackboard flew courtesy of Scoot.