Flight Review – Scoot TR869: Bangkok Don Mueang to Singapore by ScootBiz – Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner

My ScootBiz flight was done before a seemingly-popular YouTube video about a similar ScootBiz flight was uploaded by Paul’s Trip Reports, which I felt like what was an unfair comparison by stacking unrelated Scoot services and costs together, along with a very bold “WORST airline of the year” claim. You can watch the video here:

While you’re at it, or have finished watching the video, you can compare it to my own experience, so sit back, relax, and enjoy reading about my most enjoyable flight on ScootBiz from Bangkok Don Mueang to Singapore so far.

Scoot operates from both airports in Bangkok, which you would see even before you have completed your booking. For easy reference, Scoot’s A319/A320 flights depart from Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), while B787 flights depart from Don Mueang Airport (DMK). Again, this is stated everywhere from the booking page to your itinerary, so remember to look at your itinerary before heading off to the airport.

Check-in for my Scoot flight was at Row 6 of Terminal 1.

Not much of a crowd here, for a 787 flight.

The Paul’s Trip Reports video claim that there is no dedicated “Business check in” line, but here I am, checking in at the dedicated ScootBiz/Priority Check-in counter. Yes, it is in use for Economy Class passengers in the main queue if there are no ScootBiz passengers in the ScootBiz queue, but isn’t this the case for most airlines anyway? This is definitely not a knee-jerk reaction to the video – I’ve similarly checked in at the dedicated ScootBiz counter about a year ago too.

My boarding pass for my TR869 ScootBiz flight back to Singapore, with a stamp on both portions of the boarding pass for BoardMeFirst, Scoot’s branding for priority boarding. Again, the Paul’s Trip Reports video says that there is no priority boarding for ScootBiz, but this proves otherwise.

Heading for immigration.

There was a bit of a line for the first few counters near the entrance, but I walked to the end of the row of counters where there was nobody in front, so immigration was done in 2 minutes.

Security was annoying though, with the rest of the crowd from a certain other country congregated there, with people of the said certain country not willing to take off their gold chains, empty their tea flasks and all, but that’s another separate problem faced everywhere in Asia and Europe nowadays.

Heading past the duty free shops towards the gates.

9V-OFD “Goin’ Scootin'” for my flight was already at Gate 24, coming in from Tokyo Narita.

Heading to the pier for Gates 21-26.

Lots of AirAsias around here.

The rather civilized Gate 24.

9V-OFD “Goin’ Scootin'” at Gate 24, standing by for departure to Singapore as TR869.

Shortly before departure calls were made, all passengers seem to have sensed it and lined up for boarding.

The gate would open about 40 minutes before departure.

However, I took a seat near the counter, and waited for them to call for ScootBiz passengers to board first.

And true enough, they did.

Boarding calls were made by the ground staff for “Business Class passengers” (Scoot’s ScootBiz product is actually more of Premium Economy) and “Priority Boarding” (BoardMeFirst) to board the plane first.

One of the first passengers to head down, thanks to priority boarding enforced by the ground staff.

A comfortable walk down to the plane with almost no one in front of me.

Passing by the Scoot-in-Silence cabin of the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.

My seat for the journey to Singapore on Seat 2A.

As I took my seat, a stewardess came by with a cup of mineral water, and to take my dinner order as I had not pre-selected my meal online (this was a Bid 4 Biz flight). Meals are included for ScootBiz passengers.

Again, an unfair comparison as the Paul’s Trip Reports did not emphasize much on the cost of the free meal, but instead chose to nitpick on the S$50 Singapore-Athens Long Haul Meal Bundle, totally unrelated to the Bangkok flight, which would be the price to pay if you’re on Economy Class, not ScootBiz. Furthermore, that’s the bundled cost of 2 separate meals – the Premium Meal Combo which includes a main meal, 2 sides and a drink, and the Light Meal Combo which includes a light meal, a snack and a drink. (Heck, you couldn’t even buy the S$50 Singapore-Athens Long Haul Meal Bundle on the Don Mueang – Singapore flight even if you really wanted to.)

It would be more appropriate for him to nitpick on Scoot’s S$17 pre-book Nasi Lemak + Ritter Sport + Coke/water combo or something, which is a fair and expensive comparison especially when compared with AirAsia’s RM10 Nasi Lemak + coffee/water on the pre-book Santan menu.

I asked the friendly stewardess what she would eat, and she mentioned that she would pick the Nasi Lemak, Braised Chicken with Rice or Beef Stew, all which are new menu items. I decided to go with the Nasi Lemak, after not trusting my instincts when I picked the disastrous Lasagna last time.

The reading light and call buttons are located by the side of the armrests instead of above it, so there wasn’t any boarding bell concert calls from ScootBiz.

Don’t know what this boarding bell concert on Scoot 787s is? Take a seat in Economy Class while resting your arm on the armrests to find out.

The view of the ScootBiz cabin from my seat.

The overall view of the ScootBiz cabin.

Row 1 offers a pretty generous legroom, however there will not be any floor storage space.

The generous-enough legroom at Seat 2A.

What’s left of my boarding pass after the main portion has been taken away by the gate.

As the window shades can be centrally controlled by the crew, the windows were at a slightly tinted shade during boarding.

Wanted to charge my phone immediately, however, the power socket was not switched on till after the seat belt signs has been switched off after take-off.

Pushing back from the gate.

The aircraft was pushed back all the way to the taxiway.

The ground crew saying thank you and goodbye with a wai after their job was done.

Goodbye Don Mueang.

Two A330s parked side by side. Would love to try the Thai Lion Air Premium Economy one day.

Taxiing to the runway.

The cabin lights were slightly dimmed and changed to blue and white for take-off.

Goodbye Bangkok.

Stations on the BTS Sukhumvit Line North Extension are clearly visible.

The rapid progress of the BTS Skytrain network, stretching far and wide ever since the early beginnings of a city transit system.

The progress of Lat Phrao Intersection BTS Station, slated to open in 2019, with the new viaducts flying over the intersection flyovers.

The huge railway land belonging to SRT, with about half of it used for the upcoming Bang Sue Central Station development, and the other half with donated land for Chatuchak Park and the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market.

The grand scale of Bang Sue Central Station can be truly appreciated from the sky.

Somewhat looking forward to Special Express trains moving their Bangkok operations to Bang Sue Central Station.

As compared with the size of Hua Lamphong Railway Station and the perpetual congestion in, out and within the station, you can see why SRT desperately needs the new, bigger Bang Sue Central Station.

The Grand Palace and Sanam Luang area as seen from above.

Great view of Bangkok city from the sky.

Phaya Thai, Ratchaprarop and Makkasan stations on the Airport Rail Link City Line to Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Goodbye Hua Lamphong.

Pra Padaeng, Bangkok’s “Green Lung”.

Bhumibol 1 Bridge and Bhumibol 2 Bridge, crossing the Chao Phraya River twice.

Fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner + Bangkok’s “Green Lung”.

A great view of the BTS Sukhumvit Line East Extension.

E23 Kheha BTS Station and Kheha Depot from above, with the viaduct having an allowance for the future extension to Bang Pu.

Goodbye mainland Thailand.

Shortly after seatbelt signs were turned off, access codes for ScooTV were handed out for those who wish to have some entertainment.

The ScooTV app for Android can only be downloaded from the in-flight WiFi. However, you do not need to pay for WiFi to download the free app as it is within the free part of the Scoot in-flight portal.

Hmm… Family Guy is in the TV – Young Ones section?

Keyed in my name and the provided access code to access ScooTV.

And… perfect. ScooTV works this time, not like the last time I flown ScootBiz.

And here comes my dinner.

Opted for white wine to go along with my Nasi Lemak, not the most traditional choice.

And here’s the Nasi Lemak of Scoot. The rice was a little mushy, but had the lemak taste to it which tasted quite alright. The ikan bilis and sambal is the slightly red-er paste on the far left, and the single quail egg is buried in the sambal. Overall, it tasted pretty alright, something that you might have cooked as a kid in secondary school for Home Economics – the look and texture might be a little off but the overall taste is there.

The view out of the window during dinner, as it was a little difficult to juggle holding my phone to watch ScooTV while eating.

The ScootBiz toilets were clean with a nice tinge of colour to it. Wonder if the Boeing Sky Interior changes in the toilet as well, but I had no plans to remain in here throughout the 2-hour flight.

The cabin lights were changed back to blue and white while preparations were made for landing, and were darkened shortly before landing.

Touching down in Singapore with condensation on the windows.

Lots of condensation appeared once the aircraft was on the ground, guess it must have been really humid outside.

As the ScootBiz cabin was in front, ScootBiz passengers could disembark first. However, Economy Class passengers already came into the cabin before the doors were open as Scoot does not close back the dividing curtains after touch down.

Arrived at Gate E28 of Terminal 2.

What a long walk to immigration.

However, as Terminal 1 was just around the corner, I decided to walk there instead and take the Skytrain back to Terminal 2.

A relatively empty walk since all passengers decided to follow the signs to walk to arrival.

Boarding the Skytrain for the 2-minute train ride to Terminal 2 arrival and transfer.

And… I’m here in about 5 minutes from the plane. As I walked down this ramp, I saw the first passengers who alighted from the plane with me instead, so I guess it did not really offer a lot of time savings, but it does save you about 3 minutes of walking effort if you’re feeling lazy.

Heading down to immigration.

Waiting for my bag at Belt 31.

Overall, ScootBiz was fantastic for the minimal price paid (less than S$200 for “Business Class” from Bangkok to Singapore anyone?) and the full suite of frills provided from 30kg check-in baggage and priority boarding to a full meal and in-flight entertainment. The crew’s standard was on par with Singapore Airlines Economy Class, service was efficient with the immediate offering of ScooTV access codes after the seat belt signs were switched off and serving the first person’s meal following shortly after, and all of the crew were definitely polite to everyone from aerobridge to aerobridge.

Perhaps if you’re a regular Business Class traveller, you might find Scoot’s ScootBiz product upsetting, but here’s the thing – it’s promoted as ScootBiz everywhere, not Business Class. On their website, Scoot only calls ScootBiz simply an “an enhanced flying experience”, with no mention of it being equivalent to Business Class, or even the term “Business Class” anywhere. They’ve even specified the frills included and the seat dimensions. As a frequent low-cost traveller, ScootBiz is probably a premium cabin that I might be willing to pay for on short-haul flights without thinking too much, and since I wasn’t expecting much, it probably affects my perception of how good the cabin is. But nevertheless, it was a great way to fly with service standards on part with and at a price cheaper than the parent company on Economy.

I have no reason to complain about anything on this amazing ScootBiz flight, unless I decide to pull facts from other Scoot flights which are longer in range and are of a different cabin class to apply on this short-haul ScootBiz flight, which is a totally unfair comparison.

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