Flying from Australia to Singapore used to be limited to full service airlines but with the entry of Scoot Airlines into the Australian market, travellers now have more choice. Here is a comparison when flying from Gold Coast and Brisbane to Singapore
Singapore Airlines vs Scoot Airlines
Singapore Airlines operates passenger services to more than 60 cities in over 30 countries around the world and passengers can connect to over 30 cities in Asia through SilkAir.
I found Singapore Airlines’ website frustrating. I was able to choose a seat online for the first leg of my journey (from Brisbane to Singapore) but not for the onward flight to Europe or any of the return legs.
After several attempts I gave up. A phone call to the reservations department didn’t help either. The operator informed me that I would have to do this at the airport.
In contrast, Scoot Airlines’ website was simple to use. The layout is clearly designed for online bookings.
You can add extra baggage in incrementals of 5kg (up to 25kg), rent a tablet with or without Scoot TV (their online entertainment programme) or pre-purchase meals from the online menu and book a seat.
Other options are early check in ($4), ScootAboard or priority check in ($5) and ScootinStyle lounge access in Singapore ($33).
The aircraft and seating
My Singapore Airlines flight was aboard an Airbus 330-300, seat 50G. Seat pitch and width: 31 inches (distance between seat rows), 17.7 inches (between armrests).
My Scoot Airlines flight was aboard a Boeing 777, seat 52H. Standard economy seat pitch and width: 31 inches (distance between seat rows), between 18.9 and 19.7 inches (between armrests).
I chose to upgrade to a Super seat for $21 extra (prices vary depending on the seat). The seat pitch was 35 inches (distance between seat rows).
The Super seats in rows 61 to 64 ($33 extra) come in pairs and offer more privacy. S-t-r-e-t-c-h Seats are bulkhead seats with at least 35 inches of legroom and no seat in front of you. They cost between $59 and $76 more than standard economy seats.
Singapore Airlines: I was provided with a blanket, socks, toothbrush, eye mask and ear plugs. Mouthwash was available in the lavatories.
Scoot Airlines: You can order a blanket, pillow and eye mask set for a few extra dollars.
Flight attendants aboard my Singapore Airlines flight were polite and helpful.
The flight attendants aboard my Scoot flight seemed a little harried at times but were generally friendly and chatty.
Singapore Airlines: Breakfast was a choice of fried egg noodles with chicken and vegetables or baked eggs with Hollandaise sauce, grilled tomato and bacon served with fruit, fruit yoghurt, coffee and tea.
Before landing, we were served a snack of beef curry pie or fried rice with chicken and shrimps. For a full-service airline, the food was disappointing.
Scoot Airlines: The meal I ordered looked far more appealing in the photograph on the website than it was in reality. If you’re fussy about food, I’d suggest you bring your own.
Singapore Airlines’ entertainment system is fantastic. There’s a wide choice of entertaining programmes, from blockbuster releases to documentaries.
I caught up with an entire season of Game of Thrones. Economy seats have iPod and iPhone connectivity, USB connections and audio visual inputs.
ScooTV is a streaming inflight entertainment system that delivers movies and TV shows onto your own device or you can rent a tablet on board. The choice is somewhat limited.
The bottom line
Singapore Airlines offers more comfort, better food and entertainment system.
My Scoot flight was delayed for nine hours due to a snow storm in China. Many other airlines were affected on that day but Scoot, being a small airline had little chance of getting a replacement aircraft quickly.
If cost is an important factor, you can’t beat Scoot.
A search for flights online in October has return flights between Gold Coast and Brisbane on Scoot (with a standard meal, 15kg of luggage, sitting in a Super seat) costing A$593. For the same dates, return flights between Brisbane and Singapore aboard Singapore Airlines costs A$1131.
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