Monday, 27 April 2015

Scooting Off On The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (Part 2: ScootBiz)

Welcome to my trip report on Scoot's 787 ScootBiz experience!






For my part 1: Economy Class Experience

My 2 weeks trip was coming to an end and what a way to end it by flying on Scoot's ScootBiz on the 787 Dreamliner. I have been unimpressed with the Y class cabin, so does the ScootBiz lived up to its reputation? I have seen photos from websites but I prefer to view trip reports from other travellers. Since I found none, it meant that I would have to experience it for myself. 


The ScootBiz's seating configuration on the Boeing 787 is 2-3-2. Looking at the photos, they seem more like Premium Economy not Business Class as advertised by the airline, and this also applies to the Boeing 777. I flew on the airline's Boeing 777 Scootbiz, it was comfortable with legroom space but didn't feel anything special about. So, without further ado, let me begin this last trip report for this March 2015 Adventure. 

Hong Kong

I had a little tour around Hong Kong for a few days to meet a few friends and then enjoy my last few days of my break. Here are some photos of them! If you haven't been there, you will enjoy it. 


Tsim Sha Tsui's Clock Tower


Along Nathan Road, just outside Isquare. 


The popular Australian Dairy Company at Jordon. 


Tai Cheong famous egg tart!


Photo taken at Stanley Mall! 


This is along Stanley. 


Beer and Pizza on this cooling day. 


Billions of Blue Blisterning Barnacles!!! (Tintin)


Enjoying the view at Pacific Coffee at The Peak. 


Greece's Prime Ribeye Steak, it's delicious. 


Dessert after that at the Sift. 

Hazelnut Cake


Chocolate Cake


The View of Hong Kong! 


Milk Pudding at Yee Shun Milk Company 


Egg Omelette Rice at Coco 


West Main Toys Shop at Fortune Metropolis 


At Jordon, this is where you can find good food including Australia Dairy on the right at this junction.


I had a delicious meal with my friend at Mak Man Kee Noodle Stall.



Yee Shun Milk Company's famous Egg pudding - delicious! 


Have to take the tram around the city area. 


Another view of Hong Kong! 


Hong Kong Convention Centre at Wanchai.


I was at the airport around 11.30pm. My intention was to rest at the lounge at the arrival hall until 4 or 5 in the morning.




My stay for the night! Do check out my review.



Checking which aircraft was on its way, I was slightly disappointed that 9V-OJA was taking me back to Singapore, was hoping for -OJB since I flew OJA on my previous flight.





Morning passed by quickly and it was time to leave the lounge. The staff wasn't very nice. The difference in level in service between her and a Korean stuff (anyone) is massive, sorry to say. 

I made my way to the check-in counter and the economy class was filled with waiting passengers and you know what's the best thing? Only 1 counter was opened and obviously the Scootbiz passengers get to check-in first. I felt kind of sorry for them as I joined the Scootbiz queue and it took less than 5 minutes to collect my boarding pass and luggage checked in. 

Photo was taken around 4 plus in the morning, most check-in counters were closed and the immigration only opened around 0515 I think. 


Economy Class passengers joining the queue. Why isn't there an online check-in for this airline? That's a question many of us are wondering. 


This is my queue, fortunately the wait was short. 


Can you see the problem? 


Got my boarding pass and I hang around for a while before heading over to the air side once the immigration counters were opened. 


Since it was closed, I did some walking around. 


I have never seen such an empty Hong Kong Airport! First time for me, feels peaceful though.

I made my way slowly to the gate by walking since the passenger train was not in operation until 0620. 



Passenger train is not in operation, it means exercise to Gate 40. 


Walking was very pleasant that morning, and the travellator does help especially for those still in their "lala land". 




Here is my gate and at that time my aircraft hasn't arrived. 




Here she is, the beautiful Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, 9V-OJA.



Taken in 3 different lighting! That's a good thing about departing at this hour.





Hello 9V-OJA! Its nice to meet you once again!



Flight route: HKG-SIN

Miles: 1587


It was getting crowded at the gate when the departure time came closer, we were expecting no delay since boarding commerced about 20 minutes before departure time. For once at least for me, I didn't have to join the long queue. I joined the shorter queue which only a few of us were at and we boarded first. The excitement of flying the Boeing 787 once again got my heart beating faster than usual and not only that, flying on a different cabin this time.

Date: 27th March 2015
Airline: Scoot
Aircraft: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
Registration: 9V-OJA (2nd time on this aircraft)
Route: HKG-SIN 
Seat number: 5A (ScootBiz)
Delivered on 23rd January 2015
Line number: 240
Engines: 2 X Roll Royce Trent 1000
Gate: 40
Load: 50% in J (3 passengers moved up front - guess they paid for the upgrade) 
Duration: 3 hours 21 mins 
Departure time: 0705
Push back: 0700
Take off: 0717
Schedule arrival time: 1050
Actual arrival time: 1045
Departure runway: 07L
Arrival runway: 02C 

The aero-bridge is connected to the 2nd door of the Boeing 787 and its either you turn left for premium cabin or right for Economy Class cabin. For most of the time, 90% of my flights, I would turn right, so for a change, I felt happy to be turning left this time. The Scoot girls were there to welcome us on board. It wasn't as warmth and friendly as the Korean girls, but I didn't care. I felt like a 5 years old playing with his toy. I went around the cabin to take some photos and one of the friendly crew was there to answer my enquires. Good start of the flight so far! 


A Scoot girl at the door welcoming the passengers. 



Here are some photos of the Economy Class



The crew set the windows to dimmed mode. 


The Scoot-in-Silence cabin, just 5 rows of seats with better legroom space and I recommend these seats. 


About this ScootBiz Seat 

The leather seat is comfortable and more importantly the legroom space is what I needed. Unfortunately, it doesn't reclined much, and I feel that when the front passenger recline his seat, his seat would be quite close to mine and that would make me feel slightly uncomfortable. I wouldn't rate this product highly, its more of a premium economy class product and comparing with its competitors, it probably loses out to them. For example: Jetstar and Air Asia X. 

The absence of the IFE is obvious, I am disappointed that the airline chose not to have it installed and surprisingly ScooTV is not installed on the Boeing 787s, only the Boeing 777 has it. Perhaps Scoot has plans to install it at a later date? Stay tuned for more updates on this one. WiFi is available at a cost though, check out my later part of the trip report. 

USB port is not installed on the aircraft and that is a huge disappointment. Passengers are all over the world, and as the USB port is international, it would be very useful for the passengers especially the foreigners (Non-Singaporeans) to charge their devices while using the airline's network or doing their own activity with their phones


The button to call the crew and switching on the light are located at the side of the seat, but your legs won't be near them. 


The AC adaptors point was not turned on, you need the green light in order for it to work. I had to ask the crew to turn it on. Take note: Its free for ScootBiz passengers, Y class passengers have to pay $5 to use it. The life jacket is located at the bottom.


To recline your seat and legrest, use these buttons. 


The ample legroom space. 


The adjustable lights for you and your partner.


On the Boeing 787 cabin, you only have the " Fasten Seatbelt" sign display. 


Strange to see those warning signs there. 


Photos of ScootBiz Seats 

It looks very strange not to see Personal TVs on the back of these seats. Its either WiFi or use your own mobile phone or tablets for your entertainment.


The seats look very basic. 


Seat 5A - the last row of ScootBiz and also my seat for this flight.


At least 38' inch of legroom space 





Middle seat on this ScootBiz Class. 




The partition separating the two cabins. During cruising, the curtain will be in used. 


The stripes on the seats make it more attractive. 


The cabin crew looks around to make sure everyone is comfortable.


All seats are able to recline including the last row. 


Legroom space 


Only 50% of the seats were filled. 


Photo taken from row 5 middle seat. 


Photo of me taken by the a friendly crew. I find her one of the better crew on board my Scoot 787 flights. 


While the crew were getting ready for departure, I helped myself with some photos. What do you think of the cabin? 


I would pay more for these seats especially on longer sectors.


The aircraft was climbing while this photo was taken.


This is the most the seat can reclined. 


As you can see, one of the seats is at the reclined mode and is pretty close to the seat behind. 


The Electronic Dimmed Windows - currently only the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has it. 


The Electronic Dimmed Windows (One is dimmed, the other is not) At this moment, the passengers had control of the windows. 


Its a good thing this cabin was half filled, which allowed me to take these shots. 


The flight was midway through to Singapore.


The lovely colourful lighting was used.


The Boeing's interior certainly makes the dull looking interior of Scoot looks nicer.



Time to say goodbye! Some last shots before I leave. 


ScootBiz 2-4-2 vs Economy Class 3-3-3 configuration


From this angle, the cabin looks very attractive. 



The 2-3-2 seating configuration is certainly more comfortable than 3-3-3.


The first row has more legroom space than the rest. When I did my booking on this flight (Change dated), the front rows were taken. I will try them the next time I fly, possibly in 2016.


In-flight meal 



I picked the Soya Sauce Chicken Rice which I was told it was good and it comes with a Toblerone Chocolate and a free drink, Milo. The drink order took place during boarding time. 

The Soya Sauce Chicken Rice is not bad for an airline food but the portion is small and I finished it in no time. If you want to order another meal, you have to pay for it.

ScootBiz - 1st meal free
Economy class - You can either pre-book or pay on board (Cash and Credit Cards accepted) 

Booking with ScootBiz comes with the following benefits: 

- Free Seat Selection
-Complimentary food and drink
20kg of checked luggage allowance 
- Up to 15kg (2 bags of carry-ons)
- Priority check-in and boarding 
- ScooTv In-flight entertainment streamed to your laptop or tablets (Boeing 777 aircraft only) 
Free use of In-seat power
Flexibility of changing name, date, time and of booking before 2 days in advance (change fees and fare top-up apply )

Scoot's WiFi connection

Remember in my part 1, I mentioned about the Scoot's WiFi connection? Here is my short review on it. 


There are 3 choices. If your flight is 3 hours or more, the 1 hr and 3 hr deal may suit your need. Flying while enjoying the internet is pretty cool, right? It certainly helps to get the time passed by quickly. As for the 24 hours package, unless you have multiple flights with Scoot, I don't think I need to use that much of it, but then the price between that and the 3 hours package is not that much of a difference. Once you are signed in, there will be a timer that keeps track of your internet access and it does stop at the exact time. For example: you log in at 0859, the internet stops at 0859 the next day (for 24 hours package). 

I think a better way to attract passengers to fly with the airline again would be allowing them to buy a package which allows them to use until the hours are over. For example: I buy a 3-hour package, I use it for about 10 minutes then stop and in case some areas are not allowed to use WiFi connection on board, the timer will automatically stop and continues once it can be used and I click on the continue button. So if I use only 30 minutes of surfing on this flight, I can save the remaining time for other flights (maybe for a period of a year), this will encourage passengers to fly with this airline again, does this makes sense? 

The flight time is around 3 hours, you can use the WiFi during this period. 


T-Mobile is in cooperation with Scoot regarding this In-flight WiFi. The connection is good enough for normal surfing such as tweeting, facebooking,emails, visiting forums and ..etc.

Keep this page open, to keep track of the timing. Do take note that only one device can be used even though you receive 2 User IDs and passwords, I was told just in case one couldn't work, the other would. 

If the WiFi on board isn't working and you have already purchased it, you can contact the airline after arrival for refund. 


Did a test on the WiFi connection, not too impressive. 


The first thing I did was to check my aircraft's location and there I was, surfing internet at 40000 feet! 



Once I used up my 1 hour package, I was sent to this page, so make sure get your work done let's say about 5 minutes before disconnection, to avoid frustration.


Only 3 minutes left for Wifi and we had some time left before the aircraft touched down.


The connection was smooth with reasonable speed, I had no problems at any point of time with it. 

A few improvements can be made. First, there should be a warning when the connection is coming to an end, perhaps 2 would be good . It won't be nice for the user to suddenly find himself out of connection while doing his work or something important. Secondly, the user-id and passwords are quite long and not all know how to copy and paste, instead why not allow the user to log in to his own account to activate the WiFi instead. Like the Korean carriers, users with accounts with the airline get priority of special fares and news from the airline. This might be a win-win situation for all. 

User-friendly is the key to make things easier for everyone so if there is a chance to do so, why not? Since the WiFi is still quite new, the airline could also have an offline page (maybe there is) of a survey on how it can improve its services especially on the WiFi. Once its done and the passenger has network connection, it would be automatically send out. Passenger's feedback to the airlines, not just Scoot should be used as a platform for great things. 

Here are some of my window-shot photos! 

The view from row 5A, not ideal for wing-engine shot photos. Either row 7-8 in Scoot-in-Silence class would be better. 

Engines were started and we taxied past the Airbuses.


The 787 Dreamliner offers huge electronic windows. 




A long taxi to runway 07. 


Passing by United Airline's Boeing 747-400. 


Spotted Cathay Pacific's Boeing 777-300ER, Spirit of HK, B-KPB.


Waiting for clearance for take off! 


Off we went, the weather wasn't very good but the take off and climbing was smooth.



Almost out of the clouds


Surprisingly smooth. 



I love the wings of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. I like to thank the Boeing engineers and all those who work their socks off to make this aircraft possible. Without you guys, we won't have this great aircraft around. 



Electronic dimmed mode was activated by the cabin crew, we can still view the world passing by.




At this point, we have started our descend. 





Flew past some mean looking clouds


Beautiful view of some islands along the flight path to Singapore.


Doing a turn while flying in this fine weather. 



On final approach! 


Touched down and there was it, my holiday came to an end. 





This Airbus A330 reminds me of my time in Seoul! Next time, I will fly with this airline there directly.


At the parking lot, 9V-OJA deserves a rest! 


Take off and Landing Videos 



Thanks to the very kind crew (should have gotten her name), I got a quick cockpit visit, thanks to the Captain and First Officer who were busy filling out the paper works, completing their day at work. They look absolutely exhausted and I am really grateful to them for allowing me in. 

These photos were possible, thanks to the Captain.



Photos of the cockpit of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner




If you like to visit the cockpit (ask the friendliest cabin crew), its possible but depends on the Captain or First Officer. Usually its the Captain that makes the decision. Try to ask on the route which the aircraft returns to its home base, usually 
there is time for a quick visit. 

 If you ask for a cockpit visit on the outbound flight at a foreign destination and the same crew are flying the aircraft back, chances is slim. If I am one of the crew members, i wouldn't allow due to the amount of preparation to turn the aircraft around. Don't be disappointed if your request gets turn down both ways, sometimes this happens. If it does, try again on your next flight. Sooner or later, a nice flight crew will make your day, so don't give up! 


My rating:

On ground service: 7/10 (HKG)
Hong Kong Airport Experience: 8/10 
In-flight experience: 6/10 
ScootBiz Seats: 6/10 
Seat comfort: 7/10 
Cleanliness: 10/10 
WiFi connection: 8/10
In-flight meal: 7/10
Punctuality: 10/10
Aircraft condition: 10/10
Overall rating: 79/100

Conclusion

The original airfare I paid for this airline is a bargain and I strongly recommend you to confirm the dates before booking. If you have to make changes to the dates, be prepared to pay for it. Airfares are cheap only if you don't make changes to it! That's the price I had to pay just to chance them but overall I am glad I completed what I wanted to do and that is to experience both the Scoot 787-9's Economy and ScootBiz class and sharing the information with you. 

How did I find it? 

I find the cabin interior of both classes quite underwhelming and at least for me, the lack of In-flight Entertainment Screens on the back of every seat is a disappointment. Yes, that saves the airline some cost and weight (not an issue for the aircraft), but it comes to a price for the passengers, both pros and cons. The pros = Cheaper airfare and if flying on late night flight, sleeping would be an option for most passengers, IFE system would probably be redundant. The cons = No IFE system which means have to use one's own device. Paying $5 for the AC power point may not be popular among the passengers and furthermore the foreigners may need an adaptor for it since theirs may be different from Singapore's, so that's why USB port comes in handy - its international and to my disappointment, the airline doesn't offer this. As for the in-flight service, keep your expectation low, the service on both flights was below the likes of my previous flights with the Korean carriers. In-flight meal is expensive and for the portion, I wouldn't pay for it. 
At least with the new aircraft, its nice to fly on it and I won't hesitate to fly with this airline again probably on ScootBiz Class on my future travels to 5th freedom hubs such as Bangkok and Hong Kong then connecting to an airline of my choice to explore the other parts of the world! 

Hope you enjoy this trip report! 

Click here for my part 1.

Coming up next: Oman Air, Batik Air, KLM, Air France, Malindo and Air Asia

Cheers
Charles Ryan Teo

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