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Flying With Scoot Review: What It’s Really Like

Flying With Scoot Review: What It’s Really Like

Trying to decide if flying with Scoot, the Singapore-based budget airline, is worth your money? I’ve flown multiple red-eye flights with Scoot, so here’s a full review and breakdown of what to expect.

Prices listed are in Singapore Dollars (SGD).

When Scoot launched in 2012 with flights from Singapore to Sydney, I was brimming with youth and happy to give up some creature comforts to travel on a budget. In 2018, I again flew Scoot to Taipei and back on their newer Boeing 787 Dreamliner, this time for work.

While definitions vary, I personally consider any flight >8 hours as long haul, so my experiences with Scoot are borderline medium haul (SIN-TPE 6 hours; SIN-SYD 8 hours). They were all red-eye flights, however, which is to be expected since budget airlines don’t pay for prime landing slots.

I’m putting my conclusion up front before diving into the details: Scoot Airlines is seldom the cheapest unless you’re willing to go bare-bores, and that’s tough on Scoot long haul routes like Singapore to Berlin / Singapore to Athens.

Booking flights with Scoot: ticket prices & add-ons

Flying over Australia during a red-eye to Sydney

With three main budget carriers in the Asia-Pacific region (AirAsia, Jetstar, Scoot) there’s plenty of choice when it comes to prices and flight timings.

Scoot fares and “promotions”

Scoot offers four fare classes: Fly, FlyBag, FlyBagEat, and ScootBiz. The price difference for the first three is simply the additional cost of 20kg check-in baggage and inflight hot meals. Price varies by flight.

Scoot also tends to run regular flash sales via their Facebook page or e-newsletter, but they’ve led to far more complaints than happy customers. Often, the deals aren’t being applied properly during booking or they don’t apply to most dates. I simply browse flights on Skyscanner or Momondo instead.

Tip: You may see fares from OTAs (e.g. Via or CheapTickets) that are cheaper than booking direct. This may not really be cheaper if the OTA adds its own fees. Furthermore, if you face any changes or cancellations, getting the OTA to fix it can become a nightmare.

Scoot add-ons

Seat Selection. I wouldn’t bother with this unless flying with companions, or on a long haul flight. Price varies by flight and choosing a standard seat costs $20 for Singapore-Berlin.

Scoot Stretch seats / Super seats. On my return flight from Taipei to Singapore, I was unexpectedly assigned a window seat on the exit row, which is typically designated as a Stretch seat. It was so comfortable being able to extend my legs that I quickly fell asleep! Price varies by flight.

Snooze Kit. $18 for a flannel blanket, eye mask, and inflatable neck pillow. Bring your own!

Wifi. From $7 for a pathetic 20MB. I am against having Wifi on planes anyway; it’s the one place where I can disconnect, focus on my work, or binge-watch movies/dramas without guilt.

Travel insurance. Please, please, please don’t get the travel insurance that airlines prompt you to add to your flight booking. Learn why you should get proper coverage instead.


Comparing ticket prices

To show you how much you actually save by flying Scoot on popular routes, here’s a comparison of nonstop flights on routes that are flown by parent company Singapore Airlines, as well as other carriers. Flights were found using Skyscanner.

Singapore-Melbourne

7 days in March

SIN-MEL
7 days in March
ScootJetstarSingapore
Airlines
Emirates
Airfare$431.64$408.10$688.80$640
20kg check-in baggage$46*2 = $92$40*2 = $80Included
Meals$15*2 = $30$13*2 = $26
EntertainmentBYOBYO
Credit card processing fee$20$10*2 = $20
Total:$573.64$534.03$688.80$640

If you can travel carry-on only, you can potentially save a lot by flying Scoot (or Jetstar, which is cheapest in this case). In fact, I’d happily put this sum to extra legroom seats like Scoot’s Super seats.

Of course, budget airlines love to spring that surprise “credit card processing fee” on travelers. Furthermore, Scoot and other budget airlines aren’t the best bargain for every destination. For a short-haul flight:

Singapore-Hong Kong

5 days in April

SIN-HKG
5 days in April
ScootSingapore AirlinesCathay Pacific
Airfare$256$310.70$248

Cathay Pacific is one of the most comfy airlines I’ve flown (I even prefer their A350 to Singapore Airlines’). If baggage, meals, and credit card processing fees are thrown in, even Singapore Airlines comes out cheaper than Scoot. Does it make sense? No. Does it make me happy? Oh yes.

Finally, Scoot’s long haul flights from Singapore to Berlin and Athens are unique in that they are the first nonstop flights on these routes. Comparing it with other flights with a layover:

Singapore-Berlin

12 days in March

SIN-TXL
12 days in March
ScootQatar AirwaysAir France-KLM
Airfare$692.66$813.90$854.40
20kg check-in baggage$61*2 = $122Included
Meals$23*2 = $46 (Max *4)
EntertainmentBYO
Credit card processing fee$20
Total:$880.66$813.90$854.40

Here, Scoot costs more than full-service airlines, but it has the advantage of nonstop flights. Whether that’s worth paying extra is your call.

Important: This price comparison doesn’t take flight timings into consideration. Remember that if you leave or arrive at strange hours, you’re still paying for it with additional transport fares, a lost day/additional night’s accommodation, and so on.

 

Flying with Scoot

Check-in and boarding

Scoot’s web check-in is limited to Singapore and a few other destinations, while airport check-in counters only open 3 hours before a flight. Because of the limited number of check-in counters Scoot opens, expect a long queue even before the counters open.

Scoot’s on-time performance, however, is abysmal. As with any budget airline running frequent flights on a small fleet and tight turnaround, Scoot flights are often delayed due to technical issues. Yet, Scoot will not issue refunds for flight delays and cancellations. One friend’s flight was delayed by over 10 hours and he received no service recovery apart from a voucher to book another flight.

Flying in Scoot economy class

Scoot currently has two planes in its fleet: the Airbus A320 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It was formerly using the more comfy Boeing 777, but those have been retired. Standard seats in Scoot’s planes don’t come with a headrest, so it’s vital that you bring your own neck pillow and other items to help you get through a long haul flight.

Thanks to the tight 3-4-3 configuration, navigating the narrow aisles was essentially a matter of making sure no one else was actually walking along it as well. Luckily, the Super seats are up near the front of the plane and close to the lavatory.

Lights out

The Super seats are much better value for money than the Stretch seats, but they’re only available on a few planes. At 168cm (5′6″), I had a roomy 15cm (6″) of free space between my knees and the seat in front.

While the economy class seats on Scoot’s old Boeing 777 planes were quite cushy, those on their Boeing 787 Dreamliners are a literal PITA. Truth is, I have a pretty flat butt, and in less than an hour on the 787 my sit bones started to ache. If you need extra cushioning, consider bringing an inflatable seat cushion like the Klymit Cush.

Another issue with Scoot planes that hasn’t changed all these years: the reading light and call buttons are positioned on the armrests, making accidental presses of the buttons annoyingly frequent. Thankfully, Scoot’s in-flight service is brisk but not unfriendly. The flight attendants remained cheerful despite the fact that the poorly-positioned call button on the armrests led to numerous annoying false alarms.

Scoot meals

Previously, I ordered the Beef Lasagna (left) and Soya Sauce Chicken Rice (right) Scoot meals. There are now far more meal options, but Scoot doesn’t hide the fact that they come straight from a freezer and microwave.

Do not, under any circumstances, order the Beef Lasagna, because you will end up getting this: layers of charred tomato, salt-drenched pasta, and random bits of meat glued together by cheese with the smell and texture of burnt plastic.

The Soya Sauce Chicken Rice was better: mine came with three quail eggs (which is a real treat compared to most microwave sets) and enough chicken to satisfy. If you manage to yank the plastic seal off the package without upending everything on the tiny tray table, that is.

While you can choose between mineral water or Pepsi, the “dessert” is standard: a packet of freeze-dried “fruit crisps”. I had a conspiracy theory about these, because they taste like artificially flavored Styrofoam bits meant to dry out your mouth so you’ll buy more drinks. But then I found out that the Scoot planes come with drinking water on tap, so you can fill up their water bottles for free…although flight attendants advise against this.

Other paid food options include Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Nissin instant noodles, and beer.

 

Thinking of flying with #Scoot? This detailed Scoot airlines #review will help you decide if the #budget #airline is worth your money (and sanity).
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Scoot vs AirAsia and other budget airlines

We know that budget airlines are budget airlines for a reason – but how do the various budget airlines compare? Of all the budget airlines I’ve flown, here’s my ranking from best to worst: Norwegian, Jetstar, AirAsia, Scoot.

For an 8-hour flight, flying Scoot was actually very bearable – in my opinion the extras are all reasonably priced, and the hours will fly by if you have a tablet/laptop to entertain you. As the only low-cost airline with direct flights to Sydney and the Gold Coast, the savings over standard airlines is significant.


Scoot’s prices may be tempting at times, but not always. If you do get a cheap flight on Scoot, make sure you bring plenty of entertainment and accessories to keep yourself comfortable throughout! What else would you like to know about flying with Scoot?

29 Comments

  1. Karen
    4 years ago

    I flew Scoot from Gold Coast to Singapore in May 2013. Check-in staff were rude, but I thought, I guess that’s what you get with a budget airline. There was a delay before take-off, and I needed to take medication. I asked a steward if I could have a cup to get some water. She said that cups were not free and I would have to purchase a drink. I asked if I could, and she said I would have to wait until the food service. I had to wait about an hour to get my cup during food service so I could take my medication.
    This is relatively minor, but I determined not to fly this airline again. You know how they say, “If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel”? I feel the same about Scoot.

  2. Nicholas Wee
    4 years ago

    Well well, same story I realized when things seem too good to be true. They offered discounted prices for a return flight for a Singapore – Hong Kong trip scheduled for November 1 to 4th 2014. A month later, they emailed to say that the return flight is cancelled and they offered a return on the 5th instead. As I do not want to change my travel plans, they can only offer a refund in the form of cash vouchers after 8 Weeks and I have to use it within 6 Months. Excellent underhand tactics to lock in your cash. Enjoyed flying with jetstar so many times and nothing comes remotely close to this.

    • Taylor Green
      4 years ago

      Agree with those who are advising to avoid Scoot at all costs.
      I booked a flight to Singapore and when they cancelled that flight I was not offered a refund but coupons. I don’t want to fly with these cheats at all, so the coupons are basically wasted. I was stuck on the phone to the call centre in the Philippines for over an hour, mostly on hold. When they did find a chance to talk to me they accused me of lying to them! I’m still waiting for the return call, but as it’s been over a month I don’t think I will hear from them.
      AVOID!!

  3. fergal mac namara
    4 years ago

    WARNING: DO NOT USE THIS AIRLINE. IF ANYTHING GOES WRONG (AND IF IT DOES IT WILL USUALLY BE AS A RESULT OF THEIR NEGLIGENCE) THEY WILL LEAVE YOU HIGH AND DRY.
    My daughter was left stranded in an airport at midnight on her own because of their failure to book her connecting flight even though they had confirmed this connection at check in. From reading all of the negative reviews I can’t see how they get away with treating people like this and more to the point why are people still willing to take the gamble of flying with them.

    YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. CHOOSE ANY OTHER AIRLINE BUT AVOID SCOOT

  4. Paul Young
    5 years ago

    I booked a flight from the Gold Coast to Bangkok leaving 23rd April returning 18th May with about 3 hour stopover in Singapore each way I checked my itinerary Sunday only to find they have changed my flight to returning on the 19th May with overnight stopover in Singapore at my expense, I was at no stage advised about this, I rang the call centre and was transferred to the Philippines where an operator advised me that a supervisor would contact me within 24 hours to rectify the situation, it has been 48 hours and still no response. Travellers beware you get what you pay for. I will be contacting my credit card company.

  5. Noraini Shepherd
    5 years ago

    Reference booking WB99GN.In the past we have used either Singapore Airlines, Jetstar or Air Asia. This time my wife chose Scoot Perth/Singapore plus return booking 7th April Singapore/Perth 7th April. I felt it important that you should know about the Perth/Singapore leg of the Journey. My wife said that your staff was wonderful, polite and better than any other we have flown with. Please acknowledge receipt of these comments. We fly Perth/Singapore 4-5 times per year and will certainly be using Scoot for future flights. Sincerely and thank you. Mike Shepherd

    • Ronnie Gomez
      5 years ago

      Well done, Mike… You’re lucky to have a hassle free trip with Scoot. But you can be sure that out of those 4-5 trips you are bound to run into some trouble and then you learn about Scoot’s customer service – it is pathetic and their policy is to always refuse to give any kind of compensation for smb who has been mistreated in some way. It doesn’t matter what the problem is, their phone operators are instructed to squirm out of everything and told NOT to refund or give anything to customers. Really, don’t waste your time calling if you have a problem.

  6. C S Teo
    5 years ago

    I read the comments made by the contributors and wish to add my personal experience which happened more than one year ago but it is still not resolved. I booked a flight to Gold Coast. After keying in the credit card details, Scoot’s system hang. I thought the whole process was aborted, and go through the whole process of booking and made the payment. Ten minutes later, I received two acknowledgments. At that time I realised there were double booking. This was in July 2012. I called and emailed Scoot and received the standard reply. Since then, I made 6 phone call and at least 10 email. Last week, I followed up again, after a lapse of a few months, and I sent a cc to Singapore Airline. I feel SIA should not let its to be tarnished by the questionable service level provided by Scoot. Sad to note that SIA allows this level of services of its subsidiary to go on.

  7. sally
    5 years ago

    this is my experience WHICH IS NOT A GOOD ONE

    Have just had the worst experience with scoot call centre team in phillipines. Rang up to book flights to bangkok for me and my 4 year old daughter. We had a 1600 credit due to food poisoning on last flight.

    It took 8 months, numerous emails, phone calls, doctors certificates for scoot to allow this credit. Finally rang to confirm it took another 5 phone calls and was finally told that we could use this at anytime and due to the circumstances that when we booked we would be upgraded.

    When I rang tonight spoke to the first customer (I use this term lightly) I was told that to fly on dates requested would be 1100 each, when I told her that I had gone on sky scanner and the exact same flights with scoot were only a 660 each she told me she could not match this. I then requested to speak to her supervisor over this, I was put on hold for 52 MINUTES until I hung up. I rang the call centre up and again requested to speak to a supervisor this time I was put on hold for 38 MINUTES until I hung up. Rang back again and again asked to speak to a supervisor, got the same representative Sam who then put me on hold for a further 15 MINUTES. Again rang back and was put through to a supervisor after 10 min.

    This next hour would have to have been the most frustrating and aggravation HOUR of my life. Understand the use of scripts for staff this lady would not listen to my concerns had no emphathy re customer service. Kept saying we can not do that, we can not do that! I ask who I could speak to, I asked to have a copy of the recordings of my conversations as I want to lay a complaint with the ACC in Australia. She stated it was against company policy. When I ask where I could find complaints, policy and procedures she stated that she could not give them to me as she was not a direct employee of scoot, though a company that worked for scoot. I asked for a email or contact number of scoot, she stated they scoot does not have one, they only have an email department (what is this).

    She referred me to this emai department, as I was entirely frustrated at this point I told her that she would have to email them and I wanted to expedite this process, in turn she told me there really was no reason to do this as they will only reply the same as her.

    After stating this was not appropriate, She stated they will get back to me in 24 hours, I find this highly unlikely as it took them on average a month each time to get back to me before hand re compensation

    I am very disappointed that there is no recourse other they to lay complaints to the ACC

    Hopefully you can help me after three hours and 8 months of this horrible, unprofessional customer service

  8. Aw Foong Chen
    6 years ago

    My experience of flying with Scoot was a most unpleasant one. In March my wife and I booked business class online a flight to Gold Coast. I was charged $2,360.22 including so called “premium meals” and $27.00 for my travel insurance which I never asked for. The insurance was rejected on ground of my age being over 70 years of age. I have been in correspondence by emails with them for the past 4 months for the refund but up until now no refund was made despite their so called Support Team’s assurance and re-assurance that this would be done. I am still in email exchanges with them for this over-charge of $27.00. And what was the “premium meal” they offered? On the outgoing flight it was mere continental breakfast consisting of toast and a cup of tea or coffee. On the return flight when the business class cabin was less than half-full, they upgraded en bloc passengers with small children and babies from the economy class to fill up all seats in the business class. Not a very pleasant experience when you had to put up with crying babies and noise all the way of the journey.In line with the falling standard of service of SIA, this subsidiary company of SIA is also faring just as bad.

  9. Lynn
    6 years ago

    Have to agree with Dave.
    I have spent countless minutes waiting for them to pick up the phone and many more trying to explain their problem to them.
    I will never, ever be screwed by this airline again.

  10. Gaylynn Allisos
    6 years ago

    I booked a flight from Goldcoast to Singapore on the 3rd March departing on the 16th August. I was informed 2days ago that this flight along with a lot of others has been cacelled. I was offered alternative flights on the 10th and 17th but due to a connecting flight to Europe on the 16th neither were suitable. All I have been offered as a refund.is a flight vouchure that must be used within 6mths. BUYER BEWARE.

    • Dave Ford
      6 years ago

      Scoot is the worst airline flying in Australia at the moment. Terrible customer service and really not worth the trouble.
      Gaylynn should contact the Queensland Office of Fair Trading immediately, as I have heard of one person getting a refund in cash from Scoot when they got screwed. The OFT helped out to get the cash refund.
      Bottom line is don’t buy tickets from Scoot!

    • Lou
      5 years ago

      I have the exact same problem. I have received that email today, but have a connecting flight to europe so its not an acceptable flight. I have been trying to ring the customer service number, and it doesnt work either. Very bad airline!

      • Aaron
        5 years ago

        Scoot is by far the worst airline flying in Australia today, and I have flown pretty much all of them.
        You are taking a huge risk when book with them and have any kind of appointment at the arrival destination. If they can’t get you there, too bad for you and don’t expect to reason with the customer “service” people. They have been trained to deny any responsibility and refuse any claim for compensation. I spent a lot of money sitting on the phone waiting and then talking to a zombie who called me a liar for claiming to call them the day before.
        If it hasn’t been mentioned yet, Scoot is by far the worst airline flying in Australia….. buyer beware.

  11. aussiesydney
    6 years ago

    flight from singapore to sydney, (my return trip) i had no issues.. left on time and arrived on time, one thing i would say is the steward call button is in the worst place u could think of.. everyone was accidently pushing the button, , i know i may be one of the few ones but i didnt have an issue with scoot at all and would recommend for flying.. possibly they have improved since the beginning of the post…

    • Eddie
      6 years ago

      Just remember that it is a gamble every time you take Scoot. Sometimes it’s ok, such as with aussiesydney, but if there is a problem, prepare to be screwed.
      Customer service is pathetic and don’t expect any kind of help from them.
      If everything goes well, congratulations, you got a cheap flight…… if there’s a delay, or other, then that’s too bad for you…… suck up the loss and think carefully next time you fly.

  12. darren
    6 years ago

    i have a question… if you take a laptop do they have in flight charges.. i have a 9 hr flight ahead of me and battery life of about 2hrs…and yes i am travelling economy from syd to bankok,

    • 6 years ago

      Charges or chargers? Either way, in-seat power is only available on ScootBiz. Better take a book…

      • aussiesydney
        6 years ago

        lol..sorry it was a typo…I did find that out once I boarded…thank you for the comment..I read a lot on the net about travelling with scoot..in truth I found everything was unfounded..left on time arrived 15 min late but that was due to singapore terminal. in flight was smooth and staff were great.buy pillows before u travel and stock up on chips and munchies before u go…..have yet to see how it all goes on the return flight..ill keep u updated..thank you again for the reply

  13. Eddie
    6 years ago

    I’ve flown Scoot. Yes, prices are very low compared to others, but you are taking a big risk flying with them. Do some research. If they are late (which they commonly are) and you miss a connection, they will not help you. If you pay for extras – entertainment, meal, etc – it is a lucky draw. Several people on flight told attendants they booked meals, etc but no record on the attendants’ list. This airline is only for the serious budget flyer who is willing to take the risk of being shafted in some way.

    • 6 years ago

      I have to agree with you about them being constantly late – they’re running too many flights to too many cities, on a tiny fleet (though apparently more planes are on the way).

  14. Pete Ridge
    6 years ago

    Thanks for the review and the great photos. I just took advantage of the $99 special. There was a stink on a forum about that convenience fee so I put up the Scoot Scam so others could see. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5Ay2XZip5I

  15. Neera Gupta
    6 years ago

    I have been at war with Scoot for over 7 months now. I was unable to take my return flight due to ill health. I bought another ticket and I was told that they will give me a refund as long as I can supply them with a medical certificate. After months or going back and forth with them they still haven’t resolved my issue. They have asked me to resubmit my MC 4 times already and then finally they said it’s not acceptable as it doesn’t state the condition. So now after 7 months they are expecting me to get those details from the doctor in a foreign country! Additionally the below average service, non functional entertainment system (for which they charge), unpalatable food makes the journey very painful!

    You may say, you get what you pay for. Well that’s not entirely true in today’s environment of stiff competition where companies need to pay more attention to their customers. I have flown many budget airlines (Tiger, Air Asia, Jetstar, Indigo) and have had very good experience. But as for Scoot they are definitely not getting my business for sure!

    • paT
      6 years ago

      I am not too sure if travel insurance covers the cost if I missed my flight due to illness. I know that expenses for medical cost is included. I need to check on this next time I fly.

  16. Ana
    6 years ago

    Hi,
    Great to chance upon yr review. We had just booked our flights for Gold Coast. Let’s hope we are able to change all the beef lasagne orders to soy sauce chicken meals instead! Thanks for sharing this info!

    Re False-alarm service calls, I encountered the same issue on KLM during our return flight from Europe early this month. I must have annoyed the crew throughout that 15hrs flight! Lol!

  17. 6 years ago

    Hmmm …. I definitely give it a go if it were just me flying. I think I’d be a bit wary of flying with kids. Imagine all the false alarm calls for service!!

  18. 6 years ago

    Well it will be interesting to see how Scoot matches up ..i have always flown Air Asia probably 10 times in the last 4 years , Gold Coast to Thailand via K/L so i decided to give Scoot a go …. fingers Crossed ….

  19. SARAH
    6 years ago

    The food part of your review is spot on. I cant see why Scoot cant use the caterers from SQ or even Air Asia. The problem with the call button on the seats is a strange one, being part of Singapore Airlines one would think that these types of problems would not happen.
    My gripe is the lack of crew training and cabin anouncements by crew who cant be understood.

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