Scoot: A review
Low-cost airlines are something I have a lot of time for ever since I went back to being a journo (see: financial destitution).
Subsequently, I have concertinaed myself into every kind of cheap seat for a short-haul flight to Asia and I am here to tell you, there is a big difference between carriers.
In the same way that fashion brands have their luxury line and their department store budget collection, airlines are the same. Singapore Airlines has Scoot and in many ways, it’s still better than other airlines’ best efforts.
Firstly, the aircraft are new Boeing 787s so they feel fresh as a daisy; possibly even more so because of the yellow and white colour scheme.
The staff could just as easily be primary school teachers with their sunny, patient dispositions. What’s more, they actually seem to like each other. I walked past a whole bunch of them hugging and laughing at the airport.
The seats are set in such a way that there is legroom, regardless of your ticket price. Unlike Jetstar, where they try to squeeze every last centimetre out of selling the sky, Scoot have a much more humane approach. Even tall people could book the regular seats without fear of irreversible deep vein thrombosis.
While there is no seatback entertainment and the food and drinks are standard issue, apart from a few Asian items like curries, noodles and Heaven and Earth jasmine green tea (which is to be avoided at all costs), who really cares when you’re only paying $299 from Sydney to Singapore? Also, the eponymous in-flight magazine is excellent so that’s enough to distract you if you run out of pages in your novel (oh the utter bliss of uninterrupted reading time).
For the sake of eight hours on an aircraft, I don’t care if I don’t have 700 movies to choose from or a celebrity chef menu. I just want to get there safely, on time, and with service from crew who don’t appear to hate me. Genuine warmth has not been my experience on competitor airlines where the price point seems to dictate the service level.
Scoot would be my first choice of budget carriers flying out of Australia simply because they’re affordable and inherently classy. I don’t feel like a downtrodden proletariat when I fly with them (unlike on Tiger where you know you are the lowest of the low in the priority queue of arrivals and departures).
My advice flying out of Sydney? Pack some snacks and drinks, load up on books and use the flight to decompress into holiday mode.
And on the return SIN – SYD flight at the unholy hour of 1.45am? Have a few drinks, down a sleeping tablet and you will wake up in Sydney with plenty of money leftover for the taxi ride home to your bed.