Tag Archives: airline

Flying London to Bangkok with Scoot

Flight LGW to Bangkok

Airline: Scoot

Earlier this year, Low-cost airline Scoot announced that they would start flying to Bangkok direct from Gatwick, the first time that the carrier has made such a long-haul flight leaving from a London airport. 

You can now fly to Thailand from the South Terminal, avoiding the chaos, delays and stress of a journey from Heathrow. 

I was very happy when I found a one-way ticket with this airline for the price of £407.

Scoot was established as the budget arm of the prestige airline Singapore Airlines and I was intrigued by the idea of a no-frills alternative to SAG. My experience was mostly positive with a few caveats.

Avoid lengthy queues by arriving five hours before departure.

This is one of the last scheduled departures from Gatwick, with only TAP (Portugal’s flagship) and Wizz Air making flights after this. So no wonder that the airport was mostly closed in terms of shops and bars by the time most people were checking in. Tip: buy something in advance unless you want to eat the really terrible food that is on offer at this time. 

Flight departure time: 23.05

There is currently one weekly flight; depending on how popular the route is there may be more. For now, it’s clearly a service that is going to be well-used. 

I managed to avoid standing around in the queue at check-in by finding a stand that was open at the terminal at 6pm. They were happy to print my boarding pass. I needn’t have worried about loading any luggage as the weight was under the max weight of 10kg. 

Come half past nine, and most people were still queuing for check-in.  A downside of a budegt airline that charges extra for checked luggage means most people were taking their luggage on board, also causing more queues to go through security and boarding the plane.  

We queued up at the gate, where we we intructed rather rudely that we had to wear a mask, these weren’t employees of the airline but airport ground staff. There was a wait until everyone had their passports checked and then we were ready to board.

We had to wait at the gate to have our passports checked by non-Scoot staff.

With people taking most of their luggage with them , there was a buildup of passengers waiting in the gangway, looking to stash their luggage anywhere they could. Staff were busy with boarding staff , so there was only so much they could do to help.  Meanwhile, I took my seat in 13C and I was starting to wonder if the plane would ever leave. 

The boarding process

The seat

The seat itself was fairly standard in terms of legroom but the headrest was not particularly pronounced and was hard to lean back in. It took an hour for the plane to be fully loaded and every one boarded.

Unless you pay for the extra-legroom, you will be sitting in a standard economy seat.

Entertainment 

In terms of inflight entertainment, you’re strictly limited to what you bring with you. In economy, you won’t have any screen. Suffice to say that if you want to browse the net, you need to pay them for that, even charging your mobile comes with a charge, no pun intended.

In all honesty, I wasn’t too disappointed by that, I was looking to get off to sleep soon after the plane reached cruising altitude. On the other hand, I could see my passenger feel that he was having to pay a lot in extras for using the wifi, charging his phone and then paying for a meal on board and drinks.

Food 

The flight was catered by it’s charming all Asian cabin crew,  and most of the food is chosen when you make  your booking. I was offered my food at midnight when they brought the trolley through, but then they gave me the option to have it during the second meal service ,this was an easy decision as I had already eaten a few hours before. The next morning,  I was given my diner and I have to say it was really tasty and better than any of the options avialble on similar budget airlines.

Next  I ordered coffee, which sadly was offered in a cheap poly-cup with no branding, as if to make up for this, they gave me a box of tiny but delicious cookies. Then when I clumsily set the cup on the floor, leaking most of the contents, I was given a replacement cup. Any snacks you buy can be paid for by cash or card. To be honest, I don’t think you can do this with BA. And even if you get change in SGD, its satisfiying to be able to use the leftover notes in your wallet .

The cabin crew

The staff are all quite young, and as I said before, exlcusivley Asian . I don’t mind this, to be honest it’s more authentic like this. The women in particular were beautiful, let’s not pretend that this doesn’t make a difference , it really does. I can forgive low level of entertainment if the staff are young, attractive and like their job. Staff on board were either Japanese, or Chinese, or perhaps from Singapore. But all were more than able to speak English to passengers.

Mostly attentive service from the flight crew.

The verdict.

The flight was a long and difficlut journey based on the length, the lack of comfort in the seat, and the fact that I was sat near small children. I can’t blame the airline for that last one, although it would be great if they could seat children a distance from most other passengers who just want to admire the ladies doing their work, stare out the window or make witty conversation. I would use Scoot for short flights, but going all the way to BKK in one long haul was a bit too much, especially in my crappy economy seat. Still, I arrived at my landing on time, and there were no other carriers making the same journey for a similar price. So there you have it. if you think you can withstand the lack of comfort, give Scoot a try for your next Thailand trip.

To book: https://www.flyscoot.com/en

Flight attendants

=Do you like flying? Although most people hate it, I think there are a number of reasons to love it. Apart from being the fastest way to travel, allowing us to get across the globe in less than 24 hours, it’s very cheap, probably the cheapest per mile of any transport. But for me the number one reason to love flying has to be the flight attendants. Sure, it would be nice to have a little more legroom and space, and I’d prefer it if the flight had fewer people (how are they always full even mid-week), but once I am onboard and I’m greeted by the sweet smile of a sexy young woman, my travel complaints all but disappear.

Snacks and dinner (as well as drinks which can be refilled several times) make the flight extremely comfortable, and when else do you get such attentive service? The narrow seating is actually a positive because it means that the flight attendants have to move closer to us. The other thing I should mention is that most of these women are beautiful and young. I don’t know about Easyjet or RyanAir, I haven’t used them for years. But if you take any Asian airline you won’t go wrong. It’s rare to see a male flight attendant, although it’s more likely on the long-haul flights. the uniforms are good, usually skirts and a tight-fitted jacket. Many flight attendants prefer to wear heels because of the height advantage. All of this means that I’m particularly motivated to fly and often board the plane early. Unfortunately, some passengers couldn’t care less about the service they receive onboard.

Do you greet the attendants when they are welcoming you onboard? Or do you ignore them and carry on looking for your seat? I’m astounded by how many people ignore this basic courtesy. And this rudeness continues onboard, with passengers ignoring requests to follow instructions, keep there seat-belts on, and generally behaving in a unpleasant manner. Like the character Nick in Crazy Rich Asians, (a self-professed airline geek), I always follow the safety demonstration in case their is an emergency, but many airlines don’t do this anymore, preferring to show a video on the seat TV screens, or totally ignoring it. A shame, as I particularly enjoy watching attendants mime the inflation of life jackets and showing us the emergency exits. I guess I’m not alone, because there’s a scene in Chungking Express where Valerie Chow strips out of her uniform and blows into an imaginary life jacket to seduce Tony Leung. The film also has Faye Wong dress up in a flight attendant uniform in the second part of the film.

Actually, a personal fantasy of mine is to fly alone on a small jet with a group of women from Korean air or JAL, just stopping off at airlines to refuel, and enjoying the food and drink onboard. I think there is a real niche out there for people like me who don’t care about where they go, only how they get there. I guess there is first class, which allows for a few passengers to enjoy better service and food, as well as boarding earlier. But my dream is to see these women in and out of their uniforms, to see what happens when the plane lands and the passengers leave. Mostly the attendants have several hours between flights and end up hanging around the airport. All this means you should feel much more positive about flying.