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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Scoot Airways review: Incheon (Korea) to Changi (Singapore) by way of Taipei (Taiwan)

TL:DR, but please read

Scoot is a cheap charter airline and you get what you pay for.
Weigh your options because of the limited flight schedule between Incheon/Korea and Singapore, there may be issues if..for example, Scoot gets in another accident.

I would probably never fly it again, but if, for example, you're a budget traveler or student, it may be a good option for you.

For a flight that is 6+ hours direct, I would probably not risk taking a charter again...


The flight from Incheon to Singapore by way of Taipei went off without a hitch. The flight attendants were all really kind and professional. They had flight attendants that spoke Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese...and maybe Malay/Bahasa? I wasn't sure what the other language was that I heard.

The flights were on time and were actually early.
After the flight to Singapore, I was ready to recommend Scoot to my friends.

One thing to note is that you DO need to deplane in Taipei and go through transit security. At the time you arrive from Incheon in Taipei, nothing is open, just so you know and can be prepared. Second thing, on the ticket and at the time of booking, they'll tell you that outside food and beverages are not allowed, this only applies from Singapore (because of the unique security process there). You can definitely bring food and beverages with you from Incheon (almost everyone had Lotteria bags) and Taipei (if you can find some at the weird hour)

However...on the way back, it all changed.
Scoot customer service is really bad.
Our flight was delayed 4+ hours because Scoot hit and Emirates plane the day before. That's kind of a weird situation, but is a good test of a company's customer service and preparations.

None of the passengers could find their itineraries using the computerized kiosks at Changi.
Scoot was the only airline with lines that wrapped around all of the ribboned queue areas in the check-in desks, with customers spilling out of the lines.
The staff is poorly trained and gave me really different different information. For example, you have to tell them you're going to Incheon/Seoul because the flight number for Incheon is the same as the one that goes to Taipei...however, the check-in staff member told me they do not fly to Seoul. I was panicking because...that's definitely what I purchased and also because, well, I flew the Incheon to Changi flight merely 4/5 days earlier. I was also panicked because of their accident and because they kept sending me multiple emails about my rescheduled flight, so I thought maybe I read something wrong and they had actually cancelled the service.
Customers leaving from Singapore were not provided a meal voucher or a complimentary meal/snack box. However, I was told by the check-in counter staff that we get one once we check-in and go inside the airport to the gate, we would get a meal voucher. However, when I got to the gate, they told me that they don't have any vouchers and that I needed to go to the level 2 to get a meal voucher. However, they said that by that time there was not enough time to get one because of 1) how the airport security is set up (you don't go through security until you get to the gate and they only open the gate an hour before the flight time and begin boarding 45 minutes before flight time) and 2) because it's too far away from the gate. There's also no airlines desk outside of the gate...such bad organization.
Additionally, my friend was quoted 118 SGD for a checked bag and I was quoted 87 SGD for a checked bag. I still have no idea which is correct.
Then, when we get to Taipei, they provided meals for local Taiwan passengers, but those of us that arrived from Singapore and had less than 1 hour before the next flight (at 10 PM) were not provided any meals.
They also only accept SGD for food purchases, which I didn't have...
Given the fact that Singapore is so small, I am not sure why they don't accept any foreign currencies for meals.
The flight attendants from Taipei to Incheon really did not like dealing with passengers that didn't speak Chinese. You could tell it by their facial expressions and eye rolls. It may be because there were probably about 4 Koreans on our flight and only about 10-20 speakers of other languages (judging from the line at Korean immigration), so maybe their staff didn't actually speak any language other than Chinese (?). They kept speaking to me in Chinese even though I told them I don't know Chinese multiple times...in English and also in Korean a few times.
They also kept blaming the delay on "administrative" reasons in Singapore...which is quite dishonest.

After the first flight, I really thought it was a good option for a cheap flight to Singapore, but after the flight back, I am very hesitant to recommend it. I know that the situation of an accident is relatively rare, but I would be very hesitant to really trust that they'd be able to handle anything more severe OR even anything more routine.

I have actually taken Scoot before from Taipei back to Seoul. That time, they were REALLY, REALLY late because of "mechanical malfunctions." I think we ended up having to wait an additional 4-5 hours? That was also stressful because at that time the typhoon was scheduled to hit Taiwan within the next day, so we were worried we might be stuck in Taipei an extra day or so with no where to stay. At that time, the customer service was also questionable. In the Taipei airport, there's like this little holding area between the boarding gate and the little tunnel thing to the aircraft. Inside, there's a little bench. Four of us were stuck sitting there for about 2 hours waiting for them to "fix" the problem, only to be told later that we weren't supposed to be in that area...which makes no sense because they literally wouldn't let us leave that holding area.

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