|Route||London Gatwick- Bangkok Survarnabhumi|
|Flight Number||TR 753|
|Seat Number||37C- Aisle Seat, left side of aircraft|
|Flight Time||12 Hours 5 Minutes|
|Baggage Allowance||30KG (1 bag checked luggage) + 10KG (1 cabin bag)|
|Price||£773.00 GBP/ $914.99 USD (One way)|
On Tuesday the 2nd of August, I took a flight operated by the Singaporean budget airline, Scoot. The flight was scheduled for a 23:05 departure from London Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal and due to arrive into Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport at 17:10. I decided to get to the airport 6 hours early to avoid the queues as Gatwick is a small airport, little did I know, there were no long queues at all. I saw this when I arrived at one of Scoot’s check in counters. The flight was operated by a 787-8 named “Bo Jio” which Google says is a Singaporean slang for “Fear of missing out” or “Did not invite”.
About Scoot Airlines
Scoot is a Singaporean low-cost carrier that was founded in 2012 as a Singapore Airlines subsidiary airline It operates flights to Europe and Asia and flies the 787 and A320 families. Scoot is a founding member of the Value Alliance, which is an Asia-Pacific Low Cost Carrier airline alliance. As it is a budget carrier, you have to pay for everything. On their website, while booking there is a selection of which package you will fly on, Fly (Just the seat or the bare fare and 10KG Cabin Bag), FlyBag (The seat and 20KG of checked baggage + cabin bag), FlyBagEat (FlyBag but with an onboard meal) and ScootPlus which is the Scoot equivalent of business class without the full recline, a decent meal and IFE. Scoot also offers the option of flying in a cabin without children over 12 years of age, called “ScootInSilence”, which comes at an extra cost. Fun fact: Scoot calls their cabin crew “Scooties”.
Advice for flying with Scoot:
- If you aren’t flying ScootPlus or willing to pay so that you can charge your electronics, then bring along a portable charger. As Scoot will make you pay to charge your phone.
- Buy a meal and eat it at the airport before flying as Scoot charges for food & beverages and doesn’t allow the consumption of outside food.
- I strongly suggest that you download some films or music before flying with Scoot as they do not provide any inflight entertainment.
Check-in & Airport Experience
Scoot departs from Gatwick’s South Terminal, where there were 8 check- in counters open, only 5 of which were operating. Checking in took a while, mostly because the staff were new to working with the airline. Even though luggage was over the 40KG mark, the employee didn’t seem to notice. As Gatwick is a rather small airport, getting to security and getting through it was a breeze. The airside of the South terminal was rather overcrowded, so I bought myself a rather pricey £4.99 meal deal from a WHSmith store and sat on the floor next to an internet café and ate it. After 3 hours of sitting and waiting, our gate was finally announced. Gate 19, which is a long walk from anywhere in the airport. I was one of the first to get to Gate number 19, the gate agents quickly scanned our passports and boarding passes, after which we were told to sit in the waiting area. 15 minutes later, the waiting area was full and there was an announcement saying that our flight was going to be delayed by 15 to 20 minutes, no reason was stated.
40 minutes later, still nothing, not even an announcement and other passengers started to get irritated, a few went up to the gate agent and asked about the situation, which the gate agents said that they didn’t know what had happened. After a few minutes, I heard some clapping, cheering and laughter. I turned around to see that the flight crew had just arrived, they looked equally as disgruntled as we did. The delay meant that our flight would now take off on the 3rd of August instead of the the 2nd.
Take off& Seat Review
10 minutes later, they started boarding those in ScootPlus and families with young children. After that, everyone else joined, there were meant to be zones in place that were not enforced. The crew didn’t seem to be very friendly, unlike other airlines, they didn’t direct passengers to their seats or ask to see boarding passes, they also didn’t seem to be bothered with helping passengers with their bags. My seatmate, who was 55+ years old asked a flight attendant to help her with storing her suitcase, the response that she got was a snappy “Put the bag up” from the air hostess!
Bo Jio is registered as 9V-OFJ and joined the airline in August 2017 and is only 5 years old, although the interior gave a different message. The first thing I noticed upon boarding was the worn-out interior, the placards and signs on cabin walls were peeling and the seats were mostly stain-ridden. I was seated in 37C, an aisle seat, near the galley and unfortunately the lavatories. My seat was scratchy and had a very thin layer of padding, two very obvious things about the seats are absent of are an IFE screen and a headrest. One thing that I can compliment Scoot on is the generous recline given, and thanks to that, I managed to get some sleep before landing..
Being 5 ft 7, I found the legroom a little inadequate, passengers of size would find the seats cramped. The cabin was generally in a bad state, the airplane was showing its age and had not been well maintained or cleaned on the interior. The seat pocket only had a sick bag, a safety card and someone’s used facemask that was scrunched up into a ball. We started taxiing, when the purser made an announcement saying that face masks were mandatory on board, which was not mentioned at the gate, check-in or on their website. This resulted in many passengers pressing the call button and panicking. Around 60% of the passengers did not have masks, so the crew handed them out. A while later the crew started the very short and hasty safety demonstration. The captain also apologised for the delay as there was a “transportation issue” and unlike other pilots, his voice came out clear through the intercom clear and very easy to understand. We rolled down the runway at a breakneck speed and we were up in the sky and above the city of London and soaring towards Bangkok!
Flight in General & Photo Gallery
The flight in general was uneventful, although the captain did turn on the seatbelt sign quite often when there was turbulence. One thing that I can praise Scoot on is the attentiveness of their flight crew when it comes to safety. Every time the seatbelt sign came on during the flight, they would make an announcement telling us to keep our seatbelts fastened and to stay seated. The “scooties” would also check all the passenger’s seatbelts whenever this happened. The cabin lights were dimmed for most of the flight and they set the mood lighting to purple, which was a relaxing touch.
About 7 hours into the flight and after I had finished watching 4 episodes of The Office US, the crew went around with the trolleys to serve passengers their meals. I had pre-ordered the Oriental braised beef and Rice via their online app. Their food selection on the LGW-BKK route includes Nasi Lemak, Oriental braised beef, Yam Rice, Herbal Chicken with mixed brown rice, Ragout of Chicken & Potato (essentially chicken and potato stew) and Dahl Curry and Basmati rice. There is also the option of a light meal, on the route that includes a “Mystery Snack Pack” with snacks and drinks which the other passengers thought were leftovers from previous flights and a Pandan Chiffon cake set with a bottle of water. Each meal is accompanied with a bottle of water and a rather tiny box of chocolate “lava” cookies, which turned out to be drier than a dead bush.
The Oriental braised beef didn’t taste very nice I found it extremely chewy and tasted a bit like plastic, the vegetables were very soft and the rice was extremely stick, to the point where I could mould it into a ball with my spoon very easily. I only managed to eat a quarter of the meal before giving up on trying to chew the meat, I’m no Gordon Ramsay, but I think it’s obvious from the picture that the meal didn’t tasted great. A few passengers had made the better decision and had decided to sneak on board a meal from the airport, surprisingly the scooties didn’t seem to care very much and didn’t stop anybody from tucking into their Tesco Meal Deal.
I also decided to order some Japanese grape jelly and a cup of tea, hoping that it would be better than the Oriental braised beef. The grape jelly costed me 5 Singapore dollars/ £3.04 GBP/ $3.59 USD and the tea was priced the same. The jelly was very sweet and didn’t taste too bad, however the tea was cold and very strong. On this particular route, Scoot accepted card payments, cash payments in Singapore Dollars, Thai Baht and Great British Pound Sterling, but only gives change in Singapore Dollars. Shortly after the meal service I surveyed the lavatories, to my surprise, they were very clean and well stocked unlike the seats.
Descent & Landing
The captain announced the descent into Bangkok 1 hour before estimated arrival time, which was now an hour and a half later due to the delay. As I was seated on the left side of the plane, the view wasn’t too great, the right side of the plane gives a better view when landing in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi. The lady who was seated next to where the window would be was kind enough to swap with me so that I could poke my camera through to the next window and take some photos, as well as film the landing. There were still some 20 minutes to go until we would touch down, when I heard the passengers behind me laughing, I turned to my right to see that water was dripping onto the heads of the passengers in 37J and 37K. I managed to capture the leaking on my phone, you can watch it below:
We landed at 18:51 local time in Bangkok, an hour and 41 minutes late. The landing was very smooth and I didn’t even feel it, we then taxied past the many parked Thai Airways aircraft, including their 777-200/ERs and A380s which are currently up for sale. It’s a shame to see all these aircraft parked here. We parked next to a Japan Airlines jet, also a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner at Gate G3. The captain welcomed us to Bangkok and again, apologised for the delay and thanked us for flying with Scoot. While disembarking I managed to get a glimpse of the “ScootBiz” seats, unfortunately I was ushered quickly out by the rather impatient flight attendants, although this was understandable as they still had to fly to Singapore before their shift could end. You can also watch the landing on the Aviation for aviators YouTube channel, the video will be linked below:
Arriving in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport is a rather pleasant experience, the airport is clean, quite modern and has decent facilities. The airport’s immigration area had just received a recent upgrade so the line was shorter than usual. After the breeze at Passport Control, I picked up my checked luggage from carousel number 17 and got a taxi into Bangkok.
As Scoot is a low cost carrier, I found that £713 GBP/$914.99 USD for a one way ticket was quite expensive, especially with the poor product quality. The check-in was a bit slow but the staff were friendly, I found that there was very little communication between the gate staff and passengers during the lengthy delay of 1 and a half hours. The cabin crew seemed like they didn’t want to help customers or provide a decent quality of service but were committed to safety. The inflight meal was atrocious, the seat wasn’t comfortable and quite cramped although a generous amount of recline was provided which was greatly appreciated. The cabin crew put safety first, and would double check our seatbelts and stop catering service once the seatbelt sign was on. The flight was mainly uneventful, but there was some leaking towards the end, the landing in Bangkok was very smooth and I felt like I was in safe hands while flying with them.
|Recommended?||Yes- ticket was a lot cheaper than the other airlines during the peak period|