Last month, we made a very last-minute decision to go to Gold Coast for a short trip. We decided to give the new budget airlines, Scoot Airlines a try.
We booked our ticket less than a week before flying. In total, we paid $1090 for 2 adults + 1 infant (defined as less than 2 years old) for iFly+Bag option (which includes 15kg of check-in baggage per adult but no food). For infants, the fee is $50 per way, much cheaper than what we paid for MF to fly to Korea on Singapore Airlines the last time. Of course, on a budget airline, infants do not get a bassinet.. But MF hated the bassinet and refused to get into it anyway.
When I was packing, I was really worried that we would exceed the baggage allowance because we were bringing a stroller along. But it turns out that strollers are not included in the baggage allowance, so we could have brought 30 kg of luggage plus a stroller, much more than enough, and we could even push the stroller all the way until just before boarding the plane like for any full-cost airline.
From Singapore, Scoot departs from Terminal 2.. Which is great because you get to enjoy all the fantastic facilities there. In particular, the Family Zone in T2’s transit area is superb.
There are two comfortable nursing rooms, hot water dispenser, TV lounge and games for children.
There is also a large playground where MF had lots of fun climbing and sliding around until it was time to board the flight.
As for the planes, you can choose to pay a bit more to upgrade to the yellow seats with larger leg space, or even more for the S-T-R-E-T-C-H seats which are the seats on the very first row. However, when travelling with infants, we are not allowed to take the S-T-R-E-T-C-H seats. We just stuck to the cheapest blue seats.
It turns out that the blue seats were comfortable enough with lots of leg space. We didn’t feel like we were on a budget airline at all! My friend who recently flew with Scoot to Sydney with her toddler spent most of the flight sitting on the floor because her toddler had occupied her seat, and she said it was really roomy.
From Singapore to Gold Coast, we were very lucky because the flight was not full. The plane had a 3-4-3 seat configuration. We were given the two seats next to the window and the third seat on the row was not taken, hence MF got a free seat! It was an overnight flight, so he was able to sleep pretty comfortably throughout the whole flight.
Initially, I let MF stretch out and sleep between us:
After some tossing and turning and rotating, MF ended up sleeping with his legs sticking out to the aisle:
For $50, I say MF really made the money we paid for him worth. On the way back, we were on a full flight and had no such luxury. It was a day flight anyway and MF didn’t sleep so much. He spent most of his time walking up and down the aisles. That is the great thing about taking budget airlines: You don’t have the crew pushing trolleys up and down the aisle serving drinks all the time, so the aisles are pretty much free for kids to roam.
For budget airlines, there is no in-flight entertainment. Which I didn’t mind at all because when you are travelling with a young kid, chances are you won’t get to use the in-flight entertainment at all. You can loan an iPad from Scoot Airlines for a fee, but we brought our own (loaded with tons of kids games and videos). It was a life-saver for the 7.5 hour flight back.
As for food, you need to bring your own baby / toddlers food. You can buy stuff like lasagna or nasi briyani on the flight, but MF doesn’t eat those stuff, so I brought along cereal and bottled baby food. Scoot doesn’t prevent you from bringing your own food on board, so people brought stuff like McDonald burgers and Subway sandwiches.
Drinks are a bit more problematic because of the restrictions on carrying liquids on board. But again, this is where bringing a kid along is great. When you travel with kids, they allow you to bring your kids’ water bottle (full of water) on board. It was enough for the flight to Gold Coast since we were sleeping and hardly drank anything. But on the way back, it wasn’t enough and we still ended up buying water at S$4 per bottle on the flight. Here’s a tip: When travelling from Singapore, you can bring empty bottles past the baggage check-point. Just before boarding the flight, there is a water cooler and you can fill up your water bottle and bring it onto the flight.
One of the main concerns we had travelling on a budget airline was the possibility of flight delays. My parents are frequent flyers on Tiger Airways and their flights are NEVER on time. 1 hour delay is the minimum. So I was pleasantly surprised when our flight left right on schedule from Singapore. From Gold Coast, however, we were delayed an hour and we were stuck on the plane for that whole hour. When travelling with kids, it is no fun to be stuck on a plane for even a minute extra. I purposely made MF sleep just before the plane so that he wouldn’t fuss around during take-off, but due to the delay, he woke up just before take-off and refused to sit properly with his seat belt.. SIGH. But overall, considering the price we paid and the overall comfort of the planes, it was just a minor inconvenience.
Overall, we were very happy with our flights on Scoot Airlines, which turned out a lot more comfortable than we expected. Even before we landed back in Singapore, hubby and I were already planning our next vacation with Scoot: Taipei and Tokyo in the same trip. (Scoot airlines is making plans to fly to Tokyo via Taipei in future.) But that would be in another 2 years’ time.. When our second kid is older.
Ready to Scoot? Visit Scoot’s website!
And no, Scoot Airlines did not pay me to write this. We paid for the trip with our own money and this is purely my own recommendations to all the parents out there based on my personal experience.