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Tuesday 11 September 2012

Scooting Off To Sydney

Welcome to my trip report on Scoot!


When Scoot was launched, the air tickets were quickly snapped up by both Singaporeans and foreigners as they were ridiculously cheap. Sydney and Gold Coast were the airline's first two destinations. Even though you have to pay for additional services such as meals, luggage and other services, it is still cheaper than flying on the premium carriers such as Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Qantas.

I did a bit of checking of suitable dates to go and September came into my mind as I had some free time then. Initially, I planned to go there for 3 days but decided to extend for another 8 days to do some domestic flying and visiting some good friends in other cities since I realised I had more free time during that period.

I took advantage of the $88 offer and booked myself on the return flight with Scoot on the 29th August to Sydney and the return flight on the 1st September. Later on, my plans changed and because I wasn't allowed to change the date on my return flight, I decided to forfeit the return and instead booked myself with Jetstar on MEL-SIN routing. I would have to find a way to Melbourne which wasn't a problem for me, that means I get to fly more. 

Not just that, I would get to compare between Jetstar and Scoot. In addition to these flights, I booked myself on Virgin Australia's B737-800, E90 and Airbus A330-200. The routes are SYD-OOL, BNE-SYD and SYD-MEL. 

Scoot's website

Scoot's website had improved at that time. I had no problem checking my booking and making any adjustments I wanted. My regret was I not paying more for the yellow seats (more leg-room space), as I didn't expect how tight the seat pitch of the blue seats was. For those who are at least 6 foot and above, I would highly recommend the yellow seats especially on sectors that require more than 3 hours.

It is amazing that for an airline like Scoot, there was no online check-in option which some passengers like myself could avoid the long queue, I hope this will be implemented in the near future.

My overall experience with this website is a pleasant one, definitely, it can be improved. 

Rating: 7/10

My ride: 9V-OTC 

 Flight route: SIN-SYD

Miles: 3908 

Carrier: Scoot
Flight number: TZ002
Date: 29th August 2012
Routing: SIN-SYD
Seat number: 33A
Load: 275/400
Aircraft type: Boeing 777-200ER
Departure Gate: F33
Engine type: 2X Roll Royce Trent 884 engines
My 1st time on 9V-OTC (Ex 9V-SQC)
Line number: 86
Plane delivered: March 2012 from SQ
Registration: 9V-OTC
Flight duration: 7hrs 20 mins
Schedule departure time: 0210
Actual departure time: 0215
Schedule arrival time: 1145
Actual arrival time: 1140
Departure runway: 20C
Arrival runway: 34L

On the day itself, I had work. As you know, time always passed by slowly when you are working and what exactly happened. I was feeling so excited, and couldn't wait for my flight to come. Another friend of mine, Calvin happened to be flying on the same evening, on Korean Air to Seoul. Unfortunately for him, his flight was delayed for more than 5 hours, but eventually he got to his destination with his mum.

As for my flight, it departed on time without much problem. Later on, I found out that the flight was not full as many folks had gotten rows for themselves.

Here are some photos before departure.

The check-in counters were not full and it only took about less than 5 minutes to get the check-in done.

Soon, I met up with Calvin and his mum at the departure area. It was only when they found out that their flight was delayed until 0645 due to the typhoon near Korea. Luckily for me, I was heading in the opposite direction. The last time I was in Australia was about 20 years ago and definitely, it was great to go back for some catching up!

Photos of the gate F33

The queue was reasonably long when I got there. However, within minutes I was in the gate area waiting for my boarding. Looking out of the window, I saw 9V-OTC, Scoot's Boeing 777. At that point, I couldn't wait for my flight to get started.

Boarding started not long after, everything was in order. I remembered when I saw the seating plan, the middle seat was supposed to be empty. I do not know why, this seatmate of mine left the aisle seat empty and sat beside me for most parts of the flight, leaving me quite annoyed. If he had moved to the aisle which was probably his seat, it would have been a win-win situation for both of us. Thinking about it, I should have politely asked him to move. His wife and probably his mum was sitting the row in front, perhaps he could have asked the lady in front to change place with him. The change could have taken place if he had opened his mouth. Well, that's life for you.

My impression on board

I saw a couple of nervous crews who were standing near the door looking very blur, I was amazed, to be honest! During the flight, I found out that the crew were new and this was their first flight was for them, so that was understandable. Anyway, the yellow and blue seats match the cabin, pleasing for my eyes at least. The reason why they are 2 colours is that the yellow seats are paid seats while the blue is normal. I would recommend the yellow seats for more legroom space, and there are different prices for that.

Here are the prices for flight duration of 7 hrs and above:

Normal seat(blue): $7 (You got to pay a fee if you want to change it again.)
Super seat (yellow): $30 (This is the front of the aircraft)
Stretch seat (yellow): $99

I thought the normal seat would be bearable so I chose that, the next time I fly with Scoot's Y class, I have to try out the stretch seat. I did seat for a while to have a feel and its definitely much more comfortable for my legs.

                Here are some of the cabin photos taken during the flight.

                                            This is my seat

During the flight

I ended up at an aisle seat for quite a while as the lady who is the wife of the guy that I sat with, took the whole row to sleep. I told her that she could have the seat until landing, I wouldn't mind sitting elsewhere for the time being. I wanted to take the video of the landing which I did. 

While awake, I spent a reasonable amount of time near the rear gallery and got to know a friendly crew, she's a local crew whom we share some information about the airline and comparison with others. That's how I knew about the load factor and how new some crew were. I think they did quite well especially the nervous one whom from time to time I kept a lookout at her and she seemed to gained confidence. Some of the crew looked familiar and it turned out they were ex-SQ crew.

What's inside the seat pocket?

As for the in-flight meal, I didn't order any. I heard too many negative feedbacks about the meal that I decided to give it a miss.

About the flight

It was slightly bumpy at certain points, but it wasn't too bad. The only thing that I realized is that the local flight crew on Singapore-based carriers tend to switch on the seatbelt sign more frequently than the foreign ones. I have to compliment the pilots for making an excellent landing, one of the smoothest landings in fact. 

                         At this point in the flight, I was very tired. 

The toilet is in top condition.

In-flight product

I don't like the 3-4-3 configuration on the 777, as its very cramp. The airline has more comfortable seats (yellow ones) which cost a bit more but trust me, on a 5-7 hour flights, that extra legroom space matters. 

Will I pay an extra $100 for good legroom space? Yes, certainly on flights for more than 3 hours. On my previous rides on the 3-4-3 configured aircraft, I would choose the aisle seat, but as I wanted to take some landing-shot photos, I chose the window, 33A for this flight, thinking I might get lucky with a middle seat vacant. Usually, if you want window seats on this type of aircraft, it is better to choose one in the last few rows.

The seat pitch was tight and the width was quite narrow; banging into my neighbour a few times, was also hoping that he would move to the aisle seat, but didn't happen. 

Overall, I will give this a 6/10 for my rating.

In-flight service

I was impressed with the crew's overall performance, especially with the new ones. Having to start their flying career on a 3/4 full Boeing 777 can be quite a task for them, but they handled well and I wouldn't mind bumping into them on my future flights with this airline. By then, they would be more experience. My rating: 8/10 

                                            My window shot photos


Is Scoot worth flying? Yes! For the price I paid, it was worth it. I don't think you can get any such fares elsewhere. So if you come across such deals and have the time, go for it. This airline has some decent in-flight service, however, I feel that the airline can add on by installing drop-down screens in each section for passengers to keep track of the flight progress and improve the quality of the in-flight food. With the new Boeing 787-8 and -9 entering the fleet in 2015, this airline would definitely give an upper edge over the non-787 operating carriers especially the Low-Cost medium-haul carrier such as Air Asia X. 

My ratings:

Check-in experience: 9/10
Scoot's website: 7/10
Service: 8/10
Aircraft: 10/10
Cleanliness: 10/10
Punctuality: 10/10
Comfort: 6/10
Overall: 60/70

Thank you for reading my trip report!


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