Airline evaluation: Scoot Dreamliner enterprise course, Singapore to Melbourne

Scoot is Singapore Airlines’ low-cost, long-haul carrier. Alongside its Tigerair short-haul partner, it offers a combined network of 59 destinations over 16 countries across the Asia Pacific. It launched flights to Australia (Perth, Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne) from Singapore in 2012, but it tends to fly under the radar in terms of self-promotion.

THE PLANE

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

THE ROUTE

Singapore to Melbourne

THE LOYALTY SCHEME

KrisFlyer members can reportedly earn miles on Scoot and Tigerair flights, but my KrisFlyer number couldn’t be added to the booking at check-in, with no explanation given.

CLASS 

Business, seat 3K

DURATION

Eight hours, 25 minutes

THE SEAT

96 centimetre (38 inch) pitch, 56 centimetre (22 inch) width, 20 centimetre (8 inch) recline and adjustable headrest and leg rest. It’s a 2-3-2 layout with 28 business seats. 

BAGGAGE

30kg check-in baggage allowance and two pieces (up to 15kg) of cabin baggage.

COMFORT

Scootbiz looks and feels much like a regular business class in that it’s up the pointy end of the plane and the full black leather seats are as comfy as couches (minus the lie-flat bed option). There’s no champagne or fresh OJ (and the staff lack the style of regular airline business class attendants), but the pre-departure water offering seems appropriate for the late departure times (the Melbourne flight departs at 12.40am) out of Singapore. 

ENTERTAINMENT

Business-class passengers have complimentary access to ScootTV, which promises “Hollywood blockbusters, Asian tearjerkers and binge-worthy television” on BYO laptop, tablet or mobile phone. It was sleep time for me, but the professional techy guy sitting next to me said he couldn’t work out how to access it.

There are in-seat powerpoints plus wi-fi internet access that costs $US11.95/16.95/21.95 for one/three/24 hours (for connecting flights with no data limits. There’s something a little discombobulating about being online mid-flight, but it certainly helps get work done.

The in-seat Scoot airline magazine is a decent read and there’s the usual duty free shopping.

SERVICE 

Perfunctory and polite, but without the attention that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and important like it does on regular business class flights. Little extras like blanket, eye mask and toiletry bag cost $US10 and must be pre-ordered, for example. When I was told the meal is delivered three hours before landing (somewhat ridiculously given the red-eye flight) they were happy to hold off until I woke. 

FOOD

The illustrated laminated menu is tacky as all get-up and the mostly Asian dishes are far from being “absolutely drool-worthy”, but it’s adequate for a no-fuss airline. There’s a premium selection of pre-pay dishes and you can order (and pay for) combo and light meals (including alcoholic drinks, snacks, pot noodles and ice-cream) on-board. I had “premium” Singapore signature chicken and rice served with carrots and bok choy plus a side of potato salad and a fruit tub. The chicken was tender with hints of ginger and a small jar of chilli sauce gave it a kick. A glass of Wolf Blass Red Label Semillon Chardonnay was included.

Unbeknown to some flyers, water is free and free-flowing; just keep asking.

ONE MORE THING…

Scoot has some unique perks for economy travellers, too. ScootinSilence is a quiet cabin zone off-limits to passengers under 12 (aka child-free); and “MaxYourSpace” allows passengers to purchase neighbouring empty seats if they’re available.

THE VERDICT 

With prices that can often match economy class seats on the regular airlines, this is a great long-haul option for travellers who appreciate big seats, but aren’t too precious on detail.

Tested by Penny Watson, who flew courtesy of Scoot.

See also: The best seats in economy class and how to get them

See also: Airline review: Singapore Airlines’ new Australian route

The story Airline review: Scoot Dreamliner business class, Singapore to Melbourne first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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