This flight attendant’s shutdown is brutal

“But why do I have to pay for a blanket when I have already paid for my ticket?” the agitated woman a row over from me on the flight out of Sydney demands to know.

“Because, madam,” the Scoot flight attendant responds, “this is a low-cost carrier, and that’s the deal with the low cost of the ticket. You pay for everything else.”

Her words summed up the reality of flying a low-cost carrier, when the excitement of landing a great deal and the anticipation of the destination outweighs what it is you’ve actually signed up for. In this case, we’re off to Berlin – from Sydney, there are 22 hours of flying ahead.

What makes this journey unique is the 10,000km Singapore to Berlin leg is about to become the second longest low-cost route in the world, at 12 hours, 55 minutes. Only Norwegian Air’s London to Buenos Aires route is longer, at almost 14 hours.

With Scoot promo fares sometimes as low as $800 return from Australia to Berlin, this is a game-changer for the traveller who wants to spend more on the destination than the journey.

The task on this trip was to test if flying this far on a low-cost carrier – without all the full-service bells and whistles – would be, as one travel colleague warned, “hell in the skies”.

The truth is, it wasn’t. Not even close. But it was decidedly different.




When you’re boarding a Scoot flight, it pays to be prepared. Picture: John BurfittSource:Supplied


The flight from Sydney leaves at 1.40pm, and my seat is in Scoot-in-Silence, the separate 33-seat cabin in economy, where children are not allowed. The seat is the same as the rest of economy at 78.7cm pitch and 45.7cm width – the same dimensions as Qantas, with Scoot’s seat just a touch wider.

Scoot-in-Silence lives up to its name. It really is quiet, but the plus-sized gentleman next to me fills his own seat and half of mine as well. Spying an empty seat across the aisle, I move myself, but discover later there can be a danger in doing so.

There are no seat-back screens on-board, but through ScooTV there are movies and TV available, for about $15 to screen on your own device. I opt for TV shows I had already downloaded onto my laptop before flying.

As part of my package, a meal arrives an hour after takeoff. The Signature Singapore Chicken Rice is so dry, it’s almost inedible. There’s a hearty menu on offer, ranging from snacks at $5 to meals up to $23 and soft drinks from $4 and alcohol from $8. I later notice in big letters across the back of the menu that no outside food is allowed on-board.

Shh! Scoot’s “Scoot in Silence” section.Source:Supplied

What’s most noticeable is the absence of the crew, who are rarely spotted in the cabin. When I later want a drink, I press the attendant button three times in an hour before someone finally takes my order. When I also ask about connecting the power in my seat – the socket is there, but you have to pay $5 to connect it – she says she will arrange it and return for payment, but I never see her again.

I later get up to move to the front row of Scoot-in-Silence to stretch my legs, and this is when I see the crew fly into action. An attendant appears and informs me I must return to my seat. “This is a Stretch seat and you pay for the extra leg room.” I later learn it’s an extra $40. I notice a definite pattern with the crew; engagement is kept to a minimum, perhaps to make it clear this is not a full-service carrier.

We land in Singapore five minutes ahead of schedule. This first leg to Europe was a good reminder of what flying with Scoot is all about. It’s a seat and while you can choose various bundles of baggage and food when booking, once on-board you pay as you go. Although the few times I was happy to pay for extras, no one was that interested in taking my money.

The Scoot Biz experience is more like premium economy on a full-service carrier.Source:Supplied


It’s past 1am and, after a five-hour stopover, time to take on the world’s second-longest low-cost route from Singapore to Berlin. For this leg, I am in ScootBiz, which is actually more like premium economy. This is a separate cabin of three rows of 18 spacious leather seats, with a 96cm pitch, 56cm width and 15cm recline.

This seat proves comfy and a huge step up from the economy seat. A Snooze Kit with a blanket, pillow and eyeshade is available for about $18, but I’ve brought my own.

Aside from the space, what’s most noticeable is the crew. They are present, and it’s service with a smile as they start the flight with a small bottle of water. After takeoff, I’m given a snack pack containing a chicken wrap, nuts and a cookie. I eat the wrap, which is tasty, then put the eyeshade down, and for the next six hours, sleep comes easily – this is the longest I have ever slept on a plane.

The Snack Pack in Scoot Biz.Source:Supplied

Upon waking, I finish the rest of the treats in the Snack Pack along with the miniseries on my laptop – power is included in this cabin.

A few hours on, an attendant appears with breakfast, stewed chicken with rice. Of all the meals on the journey, this was the best. As the morning light creeps through the windows, the captain announces we are 45 minutes from touchdown in Berlin. Even with a solid sleep, it feels like it has been a long flight, but I have no complaints about the comfort.

Just after 8am, the plane pulls into the terminal at Berlin Tegel. And so the Berlin adventure begins.

Scoot meals were hit and miss for this traveller.Source:Supplied


Any way you travel it, Australia to Europe is a long trek. But what I feared might have been tough going from Singapore to Berlin was actually fine. Yes, I was in biz for this longer leg, but even in economy, space was not the real issue. The real difference is what’s included and in the standard of crew service.

Would I fly them again? If the price was right in comparison to other carriers, yes. The on-board upgrade fee from economy into biz of about $150 is a great option.

The writer travelled as a guest of Scoot Airlines.


Signing up for Scoot emails offers all kinds of regular discount offers. Berlin can also be the perfect stepping off point to the rest of Europe. Carriers like Ryanair and EasyJet fly from the German capital to other cities, including London, Paris and Amsterdam. So, with the right deal, you could easily be flying return to London for well under $1000.


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Originally published as This flight attendant’s shutdown is brutal

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