What we liked:
· The price. We already listed the AUD amounts above, but know that we're talking cheap as chips here. These were promotional fares, but rack rate isn't far off at around $199 for economy and $499 for ScootBiz.
· Upgrade options from economy. Since our flight to Singapore wasn't very full, we scored an upgrade to business class for $99, plus $40 in fees. While the upgrade was not offered, we noticed a small sign in line and inquired at the check-in desk. After handing over our credit card, we were handed our ScootBiz boarding cards.
· The seats are surprisingly comfortable. Basic black leather recliner seats in business and brightly colored fabric seats in economy. The legroom was ample considering it's a budget carrier, even in economy. Each seat has a small footrest to make the ride a little more comfortable.
· In-flight entertainment was great. We were offered an iPad loaded with movies, TV shows and games (remember, this is in ScootBiz).
· The service was good. For an airline with ties to Singapore Airlines, we expected attentive service and warm smiles. We got both. The flight crew was very young and, in some aspects, needed to iron out their kinks. As a whole they nonetheless delivered.
· Singapore Slings. Yes, the iconic drink was offered in the in-flight menu for S$9 ($6.50 US). it was a premixed aluminum bottle of the gin-based drink and got us in the Singaporean mood.
· Flights from Singapore to Australia are overnight flights so each ScootBiz passenger also gets a comfort kit $14 for economy passengers that consists of a fleece blanket, eye mask and inflatable neck pillow.
What we didn't like:
· The meals. As we mentioned last week, the in-flight meals were the exact same that was offered in economy, only part of the cost of the ticket. Each tray consisted of a hot main dish, fruit cup and a choice of adult or soft drink. It really looked like a TV dinner. The taste was standard, but presentation left a lot to the imagination.
· We were delayed getting out of Singapore. This is an issue with having only two aircraft in a fleet. Just yesterday they took delivery of their 3rd Boeing 777-200.
· Cleanliness of the aircraft wasn't priority. Each way, our seats had sticky stains all over them. Perhaps a black leather seat shows more spills, but these should be cleaned up before hauling passengers again. On our flight from Singapore we noticed a bottle of water on the floor of the cabin before anyone else boarded.
· The menu was very extensive. However, when we ordered some items we were informed that those items hadn't been catered onboard.
We enjoyed ourselves. The price was amazing and we couldn't resist taking advantage of the introductory fares. The cabin and flight crew were all very impressive. We were even fortunate to have a few seasoned cabin crew setting the standards. For example, in our way to Australia we noticed a flight attendant that looked very comfortable not only doing her job, but teaching the younger crew how to make things "just right." After a quick conversation, she admitted that she's flown as a "Singapore Girl" for Singapore Airlines for 25 years. So cool.
Would we fly them again? If the price is right, yes. It just leaves more money to shop and eat in Singapore. We would suggest giving them a little more time to tweak the service and let the dust settle on such a new airline. With a growing network and a few more flights under their belt, the Scooties will be making the skies a bit more friendly and affordable.
Pro tip: If your name is Barry, and you happen to flying on the aircraft named 'Barry', you get a complimentary upgrade to ScootBiz. Hint: That's the plane that regularly flies out of the Gold Coast. To all you Barrys out there; Get Outta Here! *Info corrected 08/17 The upgrades to passengers named Barry were only for the launch flights out of the Gold Coast and are no longer offered. So, no changing your name just to score a comfy seat!
[Photos: Rayme Gorniak/Jaunted]