[Airline Review] – Scoot (TZ298) Economy Class, SIN-DMK (9 Dec 16)

Boeing 787-900 that I took for the SIN-DMK leg

On the Ground

Scoot departs from Terminal 2 of the Singapore Changi Airport. Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 looks a little dull and dark. It seemed like the Terminal is in need for a make-over, unlike Terminals 1 and 3, which makes use of natural light to make the terminal building look brighter. Check-in counters that Scoot uses are located toward the end of the terminal. When I checked the Terminal flipboard, it was indicated that checking-in will be done at row 11 for this flight. However when I tried to check-in at the Internet check-in counter at row 11, a staff with an unhappy expression pointed to the row behind the counter. I walked around the counter and saw another Internet check-in queue at row 12. The queue for Internet check-in was comparatively shorter than that for passengers who did not perform Internet check-in. I always advise my friends to check-in on airlines website wherever possible as the “regular” queues tend to be longer.
Flipboards like this has been gradually replaced with LED TVs worldwide
The queue for passengers who did not check-in online is always long. I recommend to always perform online check-in
The queue for web check-in is relatively shorter, in fact alot shorter
Counters for passengers who have done web check-in at row 12
The staff at the check-in counter did the standard procedures for check-in, as I do not have any baggage to check-in, merely collect my boarding pass, the process was done rather swiftly. The staff did not forget to remind me of the departure gate and the time that I need to be at the gate. As with the other terminals, Terminal 2 is also a shopping haven at the airside. There are no lack of shops ranging from luxury brands to cafes to bookshops, one can easily find shopping around the airside a great way to spend time after immigration.
Shopping at airside in Terminal 2

The Cabin

Scoot boasts themselves to be the only airline that uses only 787 in their fleet. The aircraft that is plying being Singapore and Bangkok is the 787-900, which has a total of 375 seats, organised in three class, ScootBiz, Scoot-in-Silence and Economy Class. The Economy Class cabin is decked out with bright blue seats, with the bright LED lights and the large windows, the twin-aisle cabin looked very clean and refreshing. One feature of the window shades on the 787-900 is the electronically controlled dimming of the shades, which worked very well during my flight to DMK onboard Scoot. I noticed at takeoffs and landings, these shades seemed to be centrally disabled to ensure that passengers keep the window shades “up”.
Boarding Scoot 787-900
Aircraft safety card found in seat pocket
Control to dim the window, a feature onboard 787-900
Lights above the seat
Mood lighting while boarding
Cabin onboard Scoot Economy Class
Cabin ambience onboard Scoot Economy Class
Colourful lighting onboard Scoot 787-900 aircraft
The lavatory onboard the Economy Class is of a decent size and is comparable with most legacy airlines. The amenities are very basic and limited to only hand soap, tissue and toilet rolls. Scoot is operating on a budget mode, hence only the basics are provided in the lavatories.
Toilet bowl
Very basic amenities in the lavatory
Large mirrors used to add to a sense of spaciousness
Coat hangers found on the back of the door

The Seat

I booked in the Economy Class seats for this short 2 hour flight from Singapore to Don Muang (Bangkok). The seat pitch in the standard Economy Class seats on Scoot is 31″ and measures 18″ wide. The seats in Economy Class onboard Scoot is 3-3-3 configured. I find the legroom to be very good and I had ample legroom space (I can even cross my legs on my seat).
Bright cabin configured in 3-3-3 arrangement

The seats are very basic, with only a reclining button and three buttons (Call attendant, cancel call for attendant and light control buttons) on the armrest. As Scoot is operating on a budget mode, there are no In-Flight Entertainment Systems nor seat to seat phones. Headphone jacks are not present, neither are any socket outlets for passengers to charge their phones. Behind the seats, one can find the seat pocket with the Scoot Inflight Magazine, menu for ScootCafe, menu for inflight entertainment (to be purchased separately and streamed onto one’s mobile phone or tablet via the Scoot wifi onboard), as well as the safety card for the aircraft.

Excellent legroom onboard Scoot Economy Class
Very basic controls on the armrest. However the placement of these buttons are bad as I kept accidentally hitting the light button
Seat recline button on the side of the armrest
A very basic seat back with only tray table and pockets. Scoot uses streaming into passenger’s mobile phone or tablet to keep costs low
Seat pocket contents
Even the seat pocket is very basic

Service

Scoot being a budget carrier, one would naturally expect minimum service from the airlines. I would rate the service a mix. The inflight service exceeds my expectation. The service started with the pursuers greeting passengers boarding the aircraft with sincerity and warmth. The pursuers were seen wearing a smile when they were patrolling the cabin, be it for safety checks or to sell food and drinks. I purchased a bottle of mineral water from one of the pursuers and she returned promptly with a smile and the product that I purchased. When disembarking the plane, pursuers are seen thanking passengers during disembarkation. While the contact time with the pursuers are minimum, I can still see the friendly and cheerful image that the airlines has pride themselves with.

Due to the lack if IFE, safety demonstration is done “live” by flight attendants

However the ground services is horrendous, especially the call centre. I saw a Facebook post by Scoot on the delay in timing of my flight to Bangkok the day before my scheduled flight. However this notice was taken down minutes later on Scoot’s Facebook page as well as their website. Despite their website stated that all affected passengers will be notified by email and/or SMS, I did not receive any notification via the stated means by Scoot. When I completed check-in on Scoot’s website, the timing I got was the original departure timing. I called the call centre to verify if the flight has been delayed due to confusing communications. The service agent insisted to get my booking reference to check, despite questioning him the need since I have the flight number and the departure date. Afterall I am only confirming the timing of the departure. The staff kept insisting on obtaining the booking reference. Sensing that the conversation will go nowhere, I asked to speak to his supervisor or the manager. The staff replied that there are no supervisors nor managers on duty, any sane person would have rejected this claim by him. When questioned the truthfulness of his claim, the staff then reluctantly provided me with the timing of the flight without asking for my booking reference. I find the Scoot has failed in their promised (as stated in their Facebook page) that affected passengers will be notified (which they have not) and having someone manning the service hotline that treats customers as uninformed.

Afterthought

For a short 2-hour flight, I find Economy Class in Scoot to be comfortable. The leg room in the most basic seat is sufficient. For a longer haul flight, I would think twice about flying Scoot as the lack of IFE make flying a chore. The service onboard exceed my expectations, however not so for the ground staffs from the hotline agents to the staffs processing my check-in. Will I fly Scoot again? Probably not.

 

The flight was very smooth and comfortable

 

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