What It’s Like Flying On ScootPlus Vs Scoot-In-Silence — We Took A Trip From Singapore To Australia & Tell You What To Expect
Is it worth paying for peace and quiet?
The plane has taken off and my seatmate whips out the puke bag from the seat pocket. No, he’s not about to do a Merlion (thank goodness). Instead, he folds the bag into a makeshift phone holder, wedges it in the closed tray table and starts watching his Netflix show on his phone, hands-free. “I learnt this on TikTok!” he exclaims, pleased that he's found a way around the lack of inflight entertainment screens on our Scoot flight.
Ah, anything to make flying more comfortable. I've tried travel hacks like foot hammocks, noise-cancelling earphones, and more. But these days, with airlines rolling out various perks to make the flight a more pleasant one — even in Economy! — I'd be lying if I said that I'm not intrigued.
One of these airlines is Scoot, who has Scoot-in-Silence, an Economy cabin quiet zone where only travellers aged 12 and over will be seated. There's also ScootPlus, the low-cost carrier's answer to a Premium Economy-esque offering. 8Days.sg has been invited to travel between Singapore and Gold Coast to experience flying in ScootPlus and Scoot-in-Silence, and here's how it panned out.
Scoot flies to Gold Coast from Singapore direct three times weekly until Jul 17, 2023. Following the suspension of Scoot’s flights to Gold Coast, travellers heading to Gold Coast can still do so on Singapore Airlines flights via Brisbane.
However, the offerings and aircraft that we review here — the Boeing 787 Dreamliner — are also available on Scoot flights to other parts of Australia such as Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, as well as popular destinations such as Tokyo and Taipei.
Scoot-in-Silence: Singapore to Gold Coast
We’re on a red-eye flight to Gold Coast in the Scoot-in-Silence zone. These are essentially Economy seats that customers can choose by topping up the standard fare (at press time, it’s $39 for one way to Gold Coast). In this dedicated quiet cabin, there are no kids below the age of 12.
It's located between the ScootPlus and standard Economy cabins, and is separated from each with a curtain once the aircraft is in flight. Once the curtains are drawn, you feel like you’re somewhat cocooned in a different world. There are after all, just five rows — in a 3-3-3 configuration — in this cabin.
Is it really quieter, though? Now, Scoot-ing in silence without the presence of kids under 12 sounds great in theory, but there are factors in play here, some that are out of the airline's control. Two words: Sound travels. I can still hear a couple of kids in Economy fussing for a bit. Thankfully, it’s a red-eye flight and far-reaching babies’ cries were not an issue — I still nodded off for a bit anyway.
What else can you expect? In terms of onboard offerings, it felt largely like a standard Economy cabin in terms of seat size and legroom. Scoot-in-Silence passengers also share the same bathrooms with Economy passengers. However, if you’ve pre-ordered meals, you’re served before Economy passengers, so that’s a plus if you’re hungry, not so much if you value sleep over food.
There are no inflight entertainment screens so it’s best to load up your device with a barrage of shows — TikTok-phone holder hack optional. However, there are no USB charging points, so don’t forget to pack a portable charger or be prepared to pay to use the in-seat three-pin charger.
Is it worth it? It feels like I had a slightly more peaceful flight in Scoot-in-Silence — not just in terms of noise levels, but by virtue of the fact that it's a smaller cabin with fewer people shuffling past you. But it may not be that different if you’re lucky enough to score a standard Economy seat away from crying babies. Still, for longer flights, we’d rather not leave things up to luck and would top up for a Scoot-in-Silence seat. That is, if a ScootPlus seat isn't available.
ScootPlus: Gold Coast to Singapore
First things first: Don’t think of this as Business Class, but a premium economy equivalent on Scoot. Despite the absence of a lie-flat bed, the experience is as its name suggests, definitely a plus to be travelling in ScootPlus.
ScootPlus passengers get priority boarding and check-in, bigger cabin and check-in baggage allowances — 15kg and 30kg respectively (in comparison to Economy’s 10kg cabin baggage and extra charge for check-in baggage).
The airline's most premium offering is located at the front of the aircraft, and is configured in a 2-3-2 layout. There's a dedicated washroom for ScootPlus passengers, so that's another plus.
One of things I was most pleasantly surprised by is the seat. ScootPlus seats are full leather seats that are considerably bigger and wider than Economy, and with a lot more legroom as well. It even feels roomier than some Premium Economy seats on full-service airlines.
While seats don’t fully recline to lie-flat beds, the 15cm of seat recline and a leg rest means I can comfortably stretch out during the flight. I get more shut-eye than than I did in the Scoot-in-Silence cabin.
Each ScootPlus ticket comes with a choice of meals and beverages (yes, alcohol included). Amiable cabin crew take food and drink orders before the plane takes off. I opt for the Oriental Treasure Rice, similar to claypot chicken rice, and a juice. It's not the most IG-worthy meal, but the rice is more flavourful than many airplane meals than I’ve tried.
The portion size is sufficient for small eaters, so ravenous folks may need to order more food from the inflight menu at additional cost. Each passenger also gets a small cup of water at the beginning of the flight, but if you’re parched like I was, hand the cabin crew your reusable water bottle and they’ll gladly refill it.
Like in Economy, you’re left to your own devices — literally — to stay entertained onboard. The main difference, though, is that you can use the in-seat three-pin power points located at the bottom of the seats at no additional cost, so you can charge your phone or tablet if you need to.
ScootPlus passengers also get 30MB of Wi-fi to use onboard, though logging in and staying connected proves to be tedious. After sending out a couple of messages, I give up and keep myself occupied by watching shows I downloaded on my iPad instead.
Is it worth it? Yes, especially for longer flights. Despite the spotty Wi-fi connection, the ScootPlus experience exceeded my expectations. It's perhaps even on par with some regular airlines' premium economy offerings in terms of comfort, and at cheaper prices too.
This trip was made possible by Scoot and Tourism and Events Queensland.