ScootBiz becomes ScootPlus

ScootBiz becomes ScootPlus

Scoot has renamed its ScootBiz offering to ScootPus. According to the Singapore budget airline, the name change seeks to better reflect the product customers will experience on board.

It also states that “ScootPlus is a fuss-free, upsized Scoot experience, equivalent to a Premium Economy product.”

Premium Economy product. This is something that I can fully understand. As a fan of the airline’s ScootBiz, I enjoy the perks and recognise that while there’s a “Biz” tagged at the end, it’s not quite business class. After all, the price of a ScootBiz ticket is often lower than an economy ticket on Singapore Airlines.

But, not everyone interprets it that way. During my flights, I have overheard on occasions other ScootBiz passengers rambling about the lack of amenities, such as complimentary blanket or pillow. They were expecting business class services and disappointed with the lack of amenities.

So the name change may just help to correct any mismatched expectations.

So, what’s in the name change –besides the name change?

For starters, let’s just look at the similarities.

  • Wide premium leather seats with double leg room: This is the main reason why I pick ScootBiz and will choose ScootPlus in the future. The bigger seat width and extra leg room make long-haul travel more comfy.
  • 30 kg check-in baggage: Good for a budget airline and buying loads of goodies home for the return leg.
  • 15 kg cabin baggage: Always good to have more.
  • Choice of meal and beverage, inclusive of alcoholic beverage choices: I actually enjoy Scoot’s meals. To me, nothing beats having chicken rice or nasi lemak after being away for a week or more.
  • Priority check-in and boarding: Yes, it’s great to be able to check-in and board first.
  • In-seat power: Without built-in in-flight entertainment, this helps to keep my mobile devices charged up.

Now, for the difference. ScootPlus comes with 30MB of wifi access. That’s OK for simple email without attachment but certainly not enough for me. Nevertheless, it’s a nice gesture.

What isn’t mentioned is whether in-flight entertainment access code is still provided. ScootBiz used to include an access code for watching in-flight movies on the passenger’s device.

Another unknown is whether there is any price difference.

Overall, I think it’s a wise move for Scoot to rebrand ScootBiz to ScootPlus. I’m looking forward to my next Scoot flight — whenever that may be.

Looking for cheap flights? Here are three sources to consider before making your purchase!

Looking for cheap flights? Here are three sources to consider before making your purchase!

As an avid traveller, I am always on a look-out for cheap deals. Here are three of my go-to sources before planning a trip.

Google Flights

If you do not have a fixed destination in mind, Google flights is a good site for you to explore different destinations based on your budget and travelling time. At the site, after keying in your ideal dates, leave the destination empty and click “Search”

Google Flights

You will then be presented with the following page where the cost to each of the destinations are presented. To refine the search, you can filter based on the number of stops, airlines, times, no. of bags and duration.

Summary of cost per destination with specific filters

For this example, I have selected Osaka as my chosen destination and am presented with the overall potential cost my ticket will be. I have the option to “Track prices” and to also book from the specific sites through the links.

Booking options for selected flight

A feature on this page that I really like is that the bottom where it has a cost comparison on the range of cost of flights to this destination. It gives me a glimpse of the ‘deal’ I’m getting.

For example, if I’m heading to the destination during a peak season, and I see that the cost is in the ‘low/green’ range, I know that I’ve scored a great deal!

Do note that for budget carriers like Scoot, the listed price does not include baggage and credit card fees (usually $20/pax).

Cost comparison of flights to selected destination

Skyscanner

Similar to Google flights, Skyscanner allows users who do not know where they’d like the option to explore. All you need to do is to enter the destination field as “Everywhere”. Skyscanner will then list down the country and estimated cost to the country based on non-stop flight prices.

Exploring destinations on Skyscanner
List of prices of flights ranked lowest to highest by country

Skyscanner provides a good overview of the flight prices and often list additional travel booking sites it searches through as well. However, for the Scoot flight from Singapore to Osaka, the flight price listed in Skyscanner was higher than Scoot’s. Also, Google flight redirects the booking to the actual site while in Skyscanner, the booking is done through the Skyscanner site although the booking is fulfilled by Scoot.

The additional costs, including credit card fee, somehow amounted to $405.18 instead of the $380 it would have cost if I had booked directly from Scoot (including credit card fees).

Booking a Scoot flight using Skyscanner

I’d personally use Skyscanner just to view the range of prices and compare them especially if I’d like the cost to be listed from least to highest.

ITA Matrix

ITA Matrix is less user-friendly but is powered by Google. It provides users with more details on the specific flights it searches through, including the booking type. For a similar search from Singapore to Osaka (24 – 31 Aug 2019), the cost breakdown is as follows:

Breakdown of cost with ITA Matrix

You will notice that the cost is generally higher than the search from both Skyscanner and Google flights.

My analysis is that it doesn’t use real-time data and may have been a screenshot of its last captured data. Hence, cost may be higher and does not take into account a price-drop from the carrier. It is, however, good if you would like to purchase the ticket from a travel agent or the carrier’s agent. See “Fare construction” data just above Total Airfare & Taxes.

Final thoughts

Google flights and Skyscanner are great sites if you are exploring destinations that you may not have considered before and the data on cost and flight timings are also presented in a very intuitive way. For the ITA Matrix software, it is good for looking through data, including multi-city flights, as it provides you with the travel codes and estimated costs.

In addition to the above methods, I would also like to strongly recommend subscribing to the Telegram channel SG Travel Promos where you can be notified on latest travel deals out of Singapore.  

Now that you’ve learnt about the three tools above, why not begin planning for your vacation?

Flying Singapore Airlines while booked on a Scoot flight!

For those that frequent Australia, this might not be new for you – you may receive a notification from Scoot a couple of weeks before your flight to be notified that your flight has been changed to a chartered flight by Singapore Airlines due to tighter aircraft utilization across Scoot’s network.

On a recent trip to Sydney, my return flight to Singapore was changed to a Singapore Airlines flight and here are some of the unique things about flying on this flight.

Check-in counter

The check-in counter was switched from the Scoot check-in counter to the Singapore Airlines check-in counter at Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport Terminal 1. Staff at the check-in counter were Singapore Airlines staff and were not in the bright yellow/black shirt we usually see Scoot staff in.

Meals and snacks

Having not purchased any meal during the booking for this flight, the note in the notification email on the vegetarian/ halal options did not concern me. The note on how water will be served and readily available on the flight did appeal to me though. Also, they indicated that passengers on this flight were able to bring onboard our snacks and drinks on the plane.

The surprise for me, however, was that all passengers on-board the flight (whether you’ve purchased the meal or not) were each given a meal option. An elderly couple seated in front of me were really surprised when the air stewardess approached them for their food choice whilst they were serving the food. She was also kind enough advise the couple to keep their prepared meals for a later time as the 8 hour flight only had that single food-service option.  

Entertainment

On the way to Sydney, I was on ScootBiz, which provided a scaled-down entertainment service through the use of my personal device. That service, however, is usually not provided to passengers flying Scoot economy. To my delight, the entertainment system was turned on throughout the duration of the flight – say ‘yay’ to movies, games, and music! This was definitely a treat for me as I managed to catch-up on some of the latest movies. Two passengers seated behind me also commented as we left the plane that they were spoilt by Scoot and hoped that their return flight to Sydney was also going to be a chartered one.

Final thoughts

The chartered flight back to Singapore was definitely a pleasant one – but what about those add-on items which I’d purchase? Scoot advised that all purchased add-on items, including seats chosen, extra cabin baggage, and scoot priority, will be refunded within 4 weeks of departure of flight.

While I enjoyed my flight, part of me wished that I had purchased ScootBiz for my return flight – ScootBiz passengers were upgraded to the business class seats on the Singapore Airlines flight! Now, that would definitely have been a greater treat.