Scoot 287, KHH – SIN

TZ 287

KHH – SIN

Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner

ScootBiz Class, Seat 1D

 

Prologue

Founded as the long-haul, low-cost offshoot of Singapore Airlines, Scoot has rapidly built up a following in the Asia-Pacific region with its low fares, modern product and a fun-loving service culture dubbed ‘Scootitude’. The airline’s distinctive yellow jets connect Singapore with 25 destinations, including several under-served by legacy carriers. We join its Kaohsiung – Singapore service on a recent trip to the Taiwanese port city.

 

Check-In

   

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Kaohsiung International Airport is a compact facility located 20 minutes from the city center by metro, serving mainly regional destinations. We arrived about 2.5 hours before the scheduled departure time and quickly found the check-in desks for our flight.

 

Having purchased an upgrade, we were able to skip the general queue and use the dedicated counter for ScootBiz travellers and passengers who had purchased the PlusPerks and First-on-Board add-on bundles. The ground agent initially had some difficulty confirming our particulars, but this was quickly resolved with seats assigned and boarding passes issued with the assistance of a supervisor.

 

Boarding & Departure

   

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Tonight’s flight was departing from gate 32 at the western pier of the terminal building a short walk from immigration and security. Boarding was scheduled for 1845 hrs and we made our way to the gate area which was clearly too small to accommodate a fully-loaded Dreamliner, especially after transit passengers began arriving after clearing security.

 

Despite this, the gate agents moved quickly to manage the crowd and implement priority boarding procedures for ScootBiz and First-to-Board passengers. We were met at the end of the jetway by 2 flight attendants (affectionately referred to as Scootees) and directed to turn left towards the front of the plane.

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Stowing our carry-on baggage in the B787’s spacious overhead compartments, we settled into our seats at the bulkhead row as the crew hurried with their preparations prior to pushback. As the Scootees went about confirming meal preferences, a pre-departure beverage of water was served to all passengers in the ScootBiz cabin, which was a nice touch for a low cost carrier considering some full-service airlines offer no service until after takeoff.

 

Seat

   

The ScootBiz hardware is a conventional recliner seat comparable to today’s premium economy than business class products. On the B787-8 operating today’s flight, 21 seats were spread across 3 rows in a 2-3-2 layout. Each offered a 22-inch seat width and 38-inch seat pitch, with our bulkhead row having the added benefit of no seats ahead to recline into the legroom. A padded legrest, 8-inch recline and adjustable headrest made for a relatively comfortable position for lounging during the flight.

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The intuitive mechanical seat controls are fitted on the outer armrest, with the shared center console opposite housing the flight attendant call buttons and switch for the overhead reading light. Each seat grouping is also fitted with electrical outlets for every passenger, although the downside was that the 250W of total power had to be shared amongst devices. Scoot had also disappointingly not fitted USB ports to the seats, which we feel is a mistake given the prevalent use of smartphones and tablets by passengers who may not pack in the wall charger.

 

The center console also accommodates a small cocktail table and the folding tray tables stowed beneath the armrests. These had a smooth (even slippery) plastic texture and we thought the airline could have gone for a non-slip surface which would prevent items inadvertently shifting during turbulence.

 

Crew

The ScootBiz cabin was taken care of by 2 Scootees on tonight’s flight. While not as polished as their full-service airline counterparts, the onboard service was efficient and friendly with the crew working fast to deliver meals and conduct a duty-free run despite turbulent weather keeping the fasten seat belt sign turned on for most of the flight. Being a night flight, the crew dimmed the cabin lights and retreated to the galley after meal service, but remained prompt in attending to passengers’ requests.

 

Meal

   

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Included in the ScootBiz fare was a complimentary choice of meal, which passengers could pre-order before the flight or select onboard from the Scoot Cafe menu. As our upgrade was only confirmed 24 hours before departure, we were not able to try the premium selection items and instead opted for the Beef and Mushroom Lasagne. This was served shortly after takeoff and came with a choice of drink (we selected the Australian chardonnay) and a chocolate bar.

 

We liked that the meal was served hot and was fairly tasty with meaty chunks of beef, mushrooms layered between the cheesy pasta. At a buy-on-board price of SGD 15, we thought the portion could be bigger to make for a more substantial meal especially on longer flight sectors. We also did not like the clear plastic wrapping on the casserole, which was impossible to tear off after being heated by the crew.

 

Entertainment

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As with most low cost carriers, inflight entertainment is limited to the seat pocket literature in the form of the Scoot magazine, which had several interesting editorials on the airline’s destinations and travel tips. Scoot offers no seatback entertainment system, choosing instead to have a streaming-based system that passengers can access on their smartphones or tablets via Wi-Fi. An iPad is available for rental for passengers without their own devices.

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Called ScooTV, the service is complimentary in ScootBiz and a chargeable add-on in Economy class. We obtained an access code from the crew which was valid for the entire flight duration, then proceeded to connect to the onboard Wi-Fi hotspot and launch our web browser to view the content offered. Utilizing a very intuitive and user-friendly interface, the selection was limited but adequate with some Hollywood and Asian blockbuster movies and television features. We chose a Taiwanese variety show and found the stream to be smooth with no lag and advertisements sometimes sneakily inserted by other low cost carriers.

 

Arrival & Deboarding

A heavily padded schedule and strong tailwinds meant flight TZ 287 arrived in Singapore nearly 50 minutes ahead of schedule. The flight deck crew landed our Dreamliner smoothly on Changi International Airport’s runway 20C, which made for a short taxi to our gate at Terminal 2. In typical Singaporean efficiency, both jetways were quickly docked to the aircraft and doors opened in less than 5 minutes with the Scootees bidding goodbye to passengers to conclude a pleasant flight with Scoot.

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