Melbourne, Oz-tralia on a Shoe String
Flight Number: TZ26
Duration: 6h 55m
Aircraft: Boeing 787-8
Cabin Class: Economy
Seat Number: 31H
When you are an “avgeek” – abbreviation for aviation geek, “getting outta here” on any destination is good. Personally, the farther the flight distance and time to destination, the better. Whilst it is difficult to comprehend for the everyday-man, think about it from the perspective of someone who had yearned to be a pilot since five.
For the last decade, a job, with regional responsibility has and continues to provide me opportunity for travel. Yes, I detest Visa applications that require inputs on “Countries Visited in Last 10 Years”, only to be rudely interrupted with an error prompt.
Business travel is much different to traveling for leisure. The obvious difference between the two: the ability to be a carefree spirit for the latter; versus the former that is aimed at delivering planned objectives and targets.
Heavily addicted to travel, one would completely understand that I track my travels via flightmemory.com.
April 2016’s results was simply “wow” for the fact that I had travelled round-the-world [(Singapore-Moscow-Houston-Chicago-Cedar Rapids-Chicago-Los Angeles-San Francisco-Seoul-Singapore (for Business); and Singapore-Melbourne-Singapore (for leisure)].
According to google, the earth’s circumference is 40,075 kilometers. Having flown 49,234 kilometers, I had circled the globe 1.23 times, in 65 hours and 56 minutes, or 2 days, 17 hours and 56 minutes. Okay, let’s get on with the story shall we?! Geez….. 🙂
I am no saint, and as human, am flawed. I have high levels of expectations, and when I travel, I fly with only the best in the industry. Airframes used are almost always taken into consideration. So too, are product and service offerings.
Scoot is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Airlines. Scoot, just like its siblings – Tiger Airways (short-haul budget carrier); and SilkAir (premium regional wing of Singapore Airlines) is independently managed and a medium haul budget airline, complimenting a close tie-up with Tiger Air. Krisflyer miles can be accrued on flights from the entire family nucleus.
Scoot is to operate an all-787 fleet, a big move for the airline. Take a look below at the construction of a 787, as well as an overview of Scoot Economy and Business Class.
It was great that Scoot keeps it simple. Its humble beginnings of six Boeing 777-200 fleet have been retired, and today, only operates two variants of the Boeing 787 series. [Read more here: http://www.flyscoot.com/index.php/en/book-flights/scoot-787-dreamliner.html]
Product and service offerings? As with the typical budget airline business model, these have been unbundled and are priced at a fee. A model that gifts you the freedom of choice, paying for that desirable-necessity or the absolute must-have. [Read more here: http://www.flyscoot.com/index.php/en/book-flights/fares-and-fees.html]
Travel economics – more cash saved upfront is an investment towards future travel. At flyscoot dot com, electronic mails are communicated for the various deals and attractive fares on offer. These include promotions “on-the-fly”; new destination launch fare-deals; or deals timed to celebrate a festive occasion. These, all in-addition to the standard-Tuesday 7 to 9am promotional fare deals.
Time waits for no man. I reached for my calendar, and within two minutes decided that April 28th was a good day to get outta Singapore, for all but a 72 hour getaway down under. The moral of the story: strike whilst the iron is hot!
Such promotions has positive effects for travelers on a shoe string budget, and this was exactly how my low “Fly-Only” Scoot fares was clinched – at S$340 including taxes! Say what?! Yeah!! S$340 including taxes, with the Melbourne to Singapore sector priced at a ridiculous but surreal S$0.88.
Tickets booked, I eagerly awaited my vacation getaway.
April 28th, 2016: Scoot’s second Boeing 787-800, “Lickity Split” (Tail: 9V-OFB) would be my lucky first! Handpicked from her beautiful fleet of ten Boeing 787s, fate had it that she will be “the one” to give me my first experience into Scoot’s medium haul budget offerings. Whilst she got herself readied and spruced up, I decided to head for a cup of coffee at the nearby Killiney Cafe.
Gate E22 commenced boarding of TZ26 at 12.20am, an hour ahead of scheduled departure. Whilst most shops were still opened to accommodate a handful of these late night departures, I decided to head in to the boarding room, just to chill-lax.
Immediately after clearing Security, a sign politely reminds all Scoot-Travelers to be considerate and refrain consumption of food that had not been purchased onboard. On meal options, Scoot offers a host of delicious eats that can be purchased pre-flight or onboard. Its premium selection offer a variety of Singaporean flavours, including that wholesome Chicken Rice, an immediate satisfaction to those who yearn some “nom nom nom” at 40,000 feet.
[Read more here: http://www.flyscoot.com/index.php/en/inflight/food-beverage.html]
“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, welcome onboard Scoot, flight TZ26 to Melbourne, Australia. Our flight this morning will be 6 hours and 55 minutes.”
Resting in my seat at 31H, I was treated to a cabin lighted in a beautiful rainbow of colours, one of the soothing effects of the Boeing 787.
Before long, we were up and away, cruising at 43,000 feet, making a few turns to position “Lickity Split” south-east, towards Australia.
Seatbelt sign switched off, an announcement was made, informing passengers that they could, for a fee, upgrade their seats to the economy-stretch or economy quiet zone cabins, or business class. Attractively priced at no more than S$180, it certainly was good consideration, if one feels the sudden urge to fly in better comfort, pronto.
Friendly crew, affectionately referred to as “Scootees” frequently walk the aisles, pleased to accommodate any request or assistance, if required.
Need to keep warm and block out some light? Inflight amenities – eyeshades and a blanket are available for a small fee. Forgot to purchase something for a loved one? No worries! A host of merchandise is available via Inflight Duty Free.
Inflight Internet, or inflight movies are other options available for purchase, for onboard enjoyment. Both are mutually exclusive and sold separately, and in my opinion, competitively and reasonably priced.
Downloaded some entertainment on your smart devices but facing that battery drain? No problem! For an affordable S$5, you’d be able to borrow a charger to fuel-up your device.
It was great that Scoot has a solution to all our inflight woes of the first world. With an abundance of choices readily available at affordable prices, Scoot has certainly got its model right.
Being a frequent flyer, a flight of 7 hours to Melbourne, Australia feels like a 45 minute (185 mile) dash across to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
We flew into daylight some four hours into flight.
“Lickity Split” touched-down at 10.28am, 14 minutes ahead of schedule.
Beng Keat TAN (“BK”) writing freelance. BK
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