Well, Salty and Mrs Croc choose Singapore as a tropical holiday destination this year. This trip is a treat because I shelled out hard earned filthy lucre (garnered by shaking down little old ladies in my brilliant career as a debt collector) to purchase ScootBiz class fares. Now, I did this knowing full well that Scoot is the most budget of budget airlines, and having read the reviews, and doubting very much that anything had changed with Scoot since they recently announced a multi-million SGD loss for their operating year. But I could not help myself. I paid less at their New Year fare sale to fly the two of us up and back in ScootBiz than Qantas or Singapore Airlines wanted for a basic economy fare. Temptation got the better of me I suppose and I even accepted an insane 2am departure back to Sydney.
Well two years into the Scoot experiment with daily service to Sydney, and I have to report that not much has improved from the previous reviews. Travelling on ScootBiz is like riding ‘business class’ in a Greyhound bus across America (if there were such a thing). It gets you there after 5 days, but you know the journey has not been fun. In essence you feel trapped on a ramshackle vehicle that has seen better days and you keep looking around for the winos who are going to steal your belongings when you are passed out from sleep deprivation somewhere in Nebraska.
I shouldn’t be too hard on Scoot. You get exactly what you pay for: a basic seat slightly bigger than a full service airline economy seat with good legroom and minimal reclining features. There is no entertainment; the food is not fit for a pet (and I mean that!); and a cup of hot water costs 5 SGD. But you get there and are a bit less beat up than sitting cramped for 8 hours with your knees aching. The planes have seen better days judging from the wear and tear on them, but Singapore Airlines does the maintenance so you know that they are unlikely to drop out of the sky. It is a very long 8 hour flight up from Sydney, and my suspicion is that part of the length is associated with a ‘go slow’ fuel burn strategy to reduce consumption. But it is a daytime flight up and the views out the window are really outstanding. (I shudder at the thought of the return journey departing Changi airport at 2 am.)
So, the moral of the story is: don’t expect much, because you aren’t paying much. Your airfare pays for the plane, the fuel, and a tiny bit of service (and even then Singapore Airlines is losing money on your business) but in exchange you get a bit more space and a reasonable amount of leg room. Anyone know how to smuggle your own can of dog food on board? Woof, woof.