I am pleased to introduce a new parter: Airmodels.net

728x90 - Popular Military Aircraft

Thursday 14 December 2023

Scooting Off To Penang On The Airline's A321NEO

 Welcome to my Scoot 2023 trip report! 

This is one of Scoot's Airbus A321NEO aircraft (9V-NCI) which was towed from a remote parking lot.


I decided to fly to Malaysia at this time mainly to try out Myairlines on Penang to Kuala Lumpur route but unfortunately, the airline went bankrupt and up till today, I am still waiting for my refund. I booked Air Asia as my replacement flight so once that was decided, I need to figure out which airline to fly me home. Firefly came into my mind as I wanted to do a trip report on Subang to Seletar (XSP), so that was an easy decision. As for the flight to Penang, I had a few options such as Singapore Airlines, Air Asia, Scoot and Firefly. Firefly is an interesting option as I haven't flown on the airline's 737-800 aircraft which was transferred from the parent airline, Malaysia airlines. However, I decided to go for Scoot as it was operating the Airbus A321NEO (New Engine Option) on the flight I wanted. Do note that the A321NEO flies on certain days so you need to check on  the airline's website for the aircraft used, of course, aircraft change can take place anytime. My last flight experience with this airline was before the merger of Scoot and Tigerair, so at that time Scoot was only operating the wide-body, the Boeing 777-200ER and then followed by the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and 7 years later, I would fly with Scoot, this time on the airline's new A321NEO, one of my favourite narrow-body aircraft. What makes this even more unique is this would be my first experience on a high density configured A321NEO, a whopping 236 seater aircraft! So without further ado, let's begin this trip report.

About Scoot in 2023 

Scoot merged with Tigerair in July 2015 and inherited the Airbus A320CEO fleet from the latter. This merger was to consolidate the low-cost airline business under the Singapore Airlines group. Meanwhile Silkair's operation was absorbed into Singapore Airlines therefore the number of airlines was reduced to just 2, Singapore Airlines and Scoot. Once the merger was completed, Scoot's IATA code was changed from TZ to Tigerair's TR while maintaining it's branding and callsign (Scooter). 

Currently this airline operates a mix fleet of Airbus A320CEO, A320NEO, A321NEO and Boeing 787-8 and -9 Dreamliner and has placed an order of 9 Embraer ERJ-190-E2 in which the first will join the fleet in a lease arrangement in early next year. 

The current network of Scoot (December 2023) (Photo: Scoot) 

Airline's website and mobile app 

The airline's mobile app is easy to use but there are issues with the app. First, my booking was not automatically saved on the app and even when you log into your krisflyer account, it will auto log out after a period of inactivity, this can be troublesome especially for those not using the Face ID to log in. 

Secondly, when I tried to manage my booking, sometimes I managed to access my booking and when I was not lucky, I would be sent to the homepage and have to log in again. Hopefully the IT department can sort out this issue. 

Thirdly for those using the Ipad, as you can see below, the screen size for the Ipad version is not available and what you see below is the mobile phone size. 

I decided to choose the seat near the engine and wing for photography purpose. 

I chose the FlyBag option for this flight.

Once I made my payment, I received my booking. The process went smoothly. 

One advantage of booking with Scoot for me is the ability to earn miles on my SQ's Krisflyer account. As I had to complete a flight to earn the birthday miles (1K), this was the perfect flight to do so.
Anyway,  I decided to switch over from EVA Air's mileage programme. I will explain why I decided to do the switch of airline's frequent flyer program in my upcoming SQ's A350 SIN-FRA trip report. 

Once the booking was done, I switched back to the mobile app version. 

On the day of departure 

As my flight was departing from terminal 1, I took the MRT train to Changi Airport, headed for Terminal 3 and take the skytrain over to terminal 1. Even though it was troublesome, everything went smoothly. 

The ride to Terminal 1 took about 2-3 minutes. 

Unfortunately, I missed this train and had to wait for 5 minutes for this same train to return. 

One day I would fly on one of the longest routes in the world, SIN-JFK/EWR (New York).

This Christmas tree was decorated with teddy bears but I prefer christmas ornaments. 

Scoot offers self check-in and to be honest, I prefer doing the check-in at the counter. 

Here we go! 

Boarding pass received and we collected the luggage tag and tag it to our luggages.

Once that was done, we check in our luggage. After a little bit of trouble with the machine, we were on our way. 

This is the Gate C Pier. 

This is the snooze lounge where passengers can rest before their flights. Do remember to board your flight! 

The assigned gate for my flight. 

I purchase the Board First so that I can take some photos of the cabin. The boarding process initially was in a mess with many passengers already started queueing up, however one of the staff stepped up and fortunately I managed to board early. 

Welcome on board Scoot's Airbus A321NEO!

My ride: 9V-NCI 

Airbus A321-271NX (Leased from SMBC)
Name of aircraft: Ong Lai (Pineapple) 
Configuration: Y236 
Engines: 2 X PW 1133G-JM 
MSN: 10492 
Built in Hamburg (XFW) 
Age: 1+ Years old (December 2023)

My flight route: SIN-PEN 

Miles: 373

My seat: 14A 

Date of departure: 4th December 2023 
Airline: Scoot 
Flight: TR424 
Route: SIN-PEN
Aircraft: Airbus A321NEO 
Registration: 9V-NCI 
Seat: 14A
Terminal: 1 
Gate: C17 
Schedule departure: 1230 
Boarding: 1158 
Push back: 1235
Take off: 1245 
Load: 95%
Flight time: 1 hour 
Actual flight time: 57 mins 
Schedule arrival: 1355
Actual arrival: 1341 
Take off runway: 20C
Arrival runway: 04

My in-flight experience 

Once on board the aircraft, I realised the reality of flying on a high density configured A321NEO, with only 8 seats short of the maximum number of seats allowed on this aircraft. It didn't feel too bad once seated but of course if the flight is longer than 2 hours, I would think of other options. The seat pitch is around 28-29 inches tight however I find the seat itself to be quite comfortable. Looking around the cabin, I noticed this set of cabin crew looked stress and I can understand as they were kept quite busy on this almost full flight. 

The Captain came on the speaker and did the introduction and updating us on our flight route with a mention of possible bumpy ride along the way. However, the ride was smooth from take off to landing at Penang. The weather on this day was better than I expect. I was looking at the weather report at Penang the day before and they mentioned about thunderstorms however when we approached Penang, it was sunny. 

I am surprised that only online streaming is available but not the Wifi for internet access, only the Boeing 787 has it. Anyway, in-flight BOB (Buy on board) service was offered together with those who pre-ordered their meals, I decided to give it a miss as I can't justify the cost of paying over the odds for the in-flight meal, personally I find it too expensive for my liking. 

Our aircraft landed smoothly at Penang and unlike my previous trip (SQ's 737 MAX flights), I was greeted with a magnificent view on approach in good weather, do check out the photos below. 

Economy Class photos 

About the seats 

This is the Recaro SL3510 slimseats configured in a 3-3 configuration with a total number of 236 seats on this aircraft. These seats has a seat width of 17.7 inches and have a seat pitch of 28-29 inches. There are certain rows such as the emergency row offering slightly more legroom space. With the exception of row 17 and 18, the Economy class seats can recline up to 2 inches. The airline's Airbus narrow-body aircraft including this aircraft do not have usb and power socket.

This is the first row of the cabin

First row usually offers slightly more legroom space. 

These seats bring back memory of my Avianca flight's experience on the A320. 

This is the standard overhead compartment. Airbus now offers the larger size.

This seat is mine! I wasn't too exciting about it, however it was tolerable for this short flight. 

This is the standard cabin of the Airbus A321NEO.

There is no back pocket storage which you normally find at the back of each seat. The literature storage is located above the foldable tray and you can store your items there, my 11 inch Ipad fits in nicely. Do remember to take your belongings after the flight!

The slim seats allow the airlines to fit in more seats and that is great for the bean counter but bad for the passengers! 

During the flight, I went to use the lavatory located at the rear of the aircraft.

This is the front view of the cabin 

The emergency offers a good amount of legroom space. 

This is the rear view of the aircraft. 

The rear of the Economy Class cabin 

There are 3 lavatories at the rear. I used the lavatory with the crew's seat. 

That is how the rear looks like (Photo: Airbus)

I used the lavatory with the crew's seat. It wasn't hard to open the door. With this cramp configuration, I can imagine the crew not feeling enthusiastic about his/her work space. 

Why is there still cigarette disposal even though smoking is banned? 

Well, according to the FAA, these ashtrays are a mandatory requirement just in case there is a lighted material which can be dispose immediately and it doesn't have to be a cigarette. For now, they can be used to throw small materials such as sweet wrappers and tissues. Anything with cigarette or someone attempting to light one up, will face consequences including a potential ban of flying with the airline and these ashtrays come in handy to dispose it immediately. 

The rear door of the aircraft. 

The lavatory inspection 

As expected, the cabin is quite small but I have no issue fitting myself in it. 

More photos of the Economy Class seat 

Every seat has a headrest cover which shows the Standard Chartered Bank advertisement. 

Legroom space was bearable.

The foldable tray holder is large enough for a 15 inch laptop. 

Finally on board Scoot's A321NEO, my 4th time on this aircraft. 

What's inside the seat pocket? 

Safety Card

In-flight magazine 

Food and beverages menu 


In-Flight Entertainment (Online Streaming) 

This is the what the airline offers on the streaming wifi. 

The airline operates the Pokemon Jet (9V-OJJ) which I was fortunate to catch it arriving at the assigned gate that day. 

Have you flown on the Pokemon aircraft? 

This is the WiFi Charges for 2023 (Only applicable on Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights)

The flight map

The airline should have installed the in-seat power on all the aircraft and NOT charge the Economy Class passengers for using them. 

Flightradar24 definitely wins in terms of flight map and details. 

No complimentary drink or snack offered and you have to purchase them either pre-order during the booking process or on board. 

Window shot photos (Take off to landing) 

It is considered a rainy season in Singapore from December to March. 

As our aircraft pushed back, this beautiful Pokemon aircraft appeared! 

After the engines were stabilised, we taxied to runway 20C. 

Finally runway 20C/02C was opened that means less taxing for the flights in and out of Singapore. 

Our Pratt and Whitney engines roared as we started our acceleration and lifted off powerfully into the skies. 

It was a smooth take-off. 

After a few turns, we reached 10,000 feet and the seatbelt sign was turned off. 

The weather for the rest of the flight was like that, blue skies and smooth flight. 

We started descending with 20 minutes of flight time to go. 

The scenery at this point was breathtaking. 

Beautiful isn't it? 

I enjoyed the beautiful view during landing. 

Welcome back to Penang! 

It was certainly a beautiful day! Now to the weather experts, where was the thunderstorm as predicted?

We parked beside Batik Air's Boeing 737-800. 

My flight summary 

Welcome to Penang! 

I stayed at the St Giles hotel @ Wembley and it offers a beautiful view from the 21st floor. 

My rating 

Airline's website/mobile app: 3/5 
Airport Experience at SIN: 4/5 
In-Flight Service: 3/5 
In-Flight Experience: 3/5 
Cleanliness of the cabin: 5/5 
In-Flight Entertainment System (Online streaming): 3/5 
In-Flight Meal: 0/5 (Not available) 
Punctuality: 5/5 
Seat Comfort: 3/5 
Cabin interior: 3/5 
Overall rating: 32/50
Percentage: 64%


This was my first time on a high density configured A321NEO, without the mid lavatory making it troublesome to answer nature's call especially if you are sitting in the middle of the aircraft. The location of the lavatories are at the extreme end of the aircraft and during the flight, it can be troublesome especially with the crew on duty with a single aisle. At least there are 3 lavatories at the rear which makes the queueing process faster and but there is only 1 in the front. So let's hope that majority of the passengers used the toilet before boarding the flight! This aircraft type flies up to 5 and a half hours on regional routes and for those flying on this aircraft on the longer routes, good luck to them! Would I want to fly again on this high density aircraft? If I have a choice, the answer is no. 

For Scoot's in-flight service and product, I find it to be alright, not the best but certainly not the worst. The price of the in-flight meals are on the steep side but at least there is online streaming available. Many travellers are price conscious so if this airliner offers great deals, you can expect the flights to fill up and for most, the most important is to get from point A to B on time. Sometimes there are delays but that is inevitable for air travel, there can be unexpected events that can cause a chain of delays due to aircraft issue or bad weather. This would then be a test for the airlines to recover their service after all the airlines are supposed to transport the passengers to their destination on time. This airline, just like the other airlines, received a lot of negative feedback especially when things go wrong. 

Overall, I find this flight to be pleasant and I don't have any doubts about flying with this airline in the near future. 

Hope you enjoy this trip report! 

For my next trip report with Air Asia's A320 from PEN to KUL, click here

Have a good one!

No comments:

Post a Comment