Scoot 658, SIN – HKT

TR 658

SIN – HKT

Airbus A320-232

Economy Class, Seat 30F

 

Prologue

The early days of Singapore Airlines’ low-cost strategy saw operations split between Scoot (medium- to long-haul) and Tigerair (short-haul). This changed in the middle of last year when both carriers were consolidated under the Scoot brand to better compete in the hotly-contested budget aviation market in Southeast Asia. With it now also flying short-haul sectors on narrowbody jets, we join one of the popular holiday routes, Singapore – Phuket, on a recent trip to Thailand.

 

Check-In

Scoot operates out of Singapore Changi International Airport’s Terminal 2, where we arrived after a 20-minute taxi ride from the city. Having completed the check-in formalities online the night before and with no bags to drop, we were able to bypass the long lines at the desks and head straight to immigration clearance in what the airline terms “Scoot-To-Gate”. This avoided us having to report at the airport two hours in advance and was especially appreciated given the flight’s early morning scheduled departure time.

 

Boarding & Departure

Making the trek to gate E25, we were directed down a flight of steps after clearing security which could only mean a bus gate for this morning’s flight. Boarding had already commenced and passengers were directed by the cheerful agents onto two buses for the drive out to the aircraft parked at a remote bay, affording a lesser seen perspective of Changi as we navigated the airfield.

Our aircraft today was still wearing the Tigerair livery and the crew were waiting by the door atop the airstairs to welcome passengers. Being seated in the last row, we were amongst the first to board and were directed down the aisle by the purser. Thankfully, the ground agents had managed the boarding priorities back at the terminal when loading the buses and avoiding congestion in an already cramped cabin.

The young crew member positioned at the rear helped us stow our bags in the overhead compartment as we settled in our seats while boarding continued. The entire process took a little little longer than usual while we waited for the last bus to pull up, although it remained very orderly and relaxed until completion. As the crew busied themselves with the final cabin checks and the manual safety demonstration, we were soon pushing back from the bay and taxiing to the active runway for takeoff.

 

Seat

The Airbus A320-200 was configured in the standard, all-economy 3-3 narrowbody layout, comprising 30 rows of 6 seats for a total capacity of 180 seats. The black leather upholstery was beginning to show its age after four years of service, becoming wrinkled and scuffed at the edges but was otherwise comfortable enough for the short flight.

Seat pitch was the usual 28 inches for low-cost carriers and unlike some of the newer jets in the fleet, the literature pocket was still located below the tray table where it intrudes into whatever little legroom passengers have. To mitigate the limited legroom and the lack of recline in the last row, we swapped to the aisle seat where we could at least stretch out a bit into the walkway. The armrests could also be lifted up to create a little more space for two passengers travelling together, although solo travellers would be out of luck here.

The large, one-piece tray table folded down from the seat back ahead and was sturdy enough to support our 14-inch laptop.

 

Crew

Working the cabin this morning were four Scootees, who were reasonably friendly as they went about their duties. They sprang into action once the fasten seat belt sign was turned off after takeoff, working fast to conduct the buy-on-board service and a duty-free run during the short flight.

 

Meal

We elected to wait until arrival and have an early lunch in Phuket. Had we opted to eat on the flight, Scoot offers a buy-on-board service from its Scoot Cafe menu with the usual selection of hot meals, instant noodles, snacks and beverages.

Prices were comparable to other low cost carriers at SGD 12 for a hot meal and SGD 5 for instant noodles. Apart from passengers who had pre-ordered meals, the crew had fairly good sales this morning with the cart needing to be restocked with snacks from the galley.

 

Entertainment

Unlike the Boeing 787 Dreamliner that flies it’s longer routes, inflight entertainment on the smaller Airbus A320 is limited to the seat pocket literature. As before, the editorial content of Scoot magazine focused around the airline’s destinations and this month’s feature was on Southeast Asia’s growing craft beer scene.

 

Arrival & Deboarding

Backed by strong tailwinds, we were soon descending towards Phuket and landed on-time in Thailand where a short taxi had the aircraft docking at the new international terminal. As with its longer routes, we found Scoot’s short-haul service to be fuss-free and would fly with them again for the right price when booking in advance or during promotional periods.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: