Scooting to Singapore

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Asia » Singapore
August 13th 2018
Published: August 13th 2018
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I got an Uber from my aunt's house down to the airport. She was willing to drop me off, but she would have had to cancel work and that would not have made economic sense relative to the price of the Uber. It was a bit of a challenge to get an Uber though, because there were none nearby when I called one and the issue with Perth is that it has such sprawling sparsely populated suburbs so if there's no Uber nearby it can be tricky.

I got a driver eventually and I had left plenty of time to get to the airport but the nearest driver was 15 minutes away so he can't have made much profit given Uber's margins with coming all that way to pick me up. Apparently he rejected the ride the first time and only took it when he saw it come up again. I noticed today that you can see your own star rating on Uber and I have 5 stars so that probably helps.

Perth's airport is one of the strangest airport set-ups I have ever seen. There are two entirely separate terminal complexes, which is not that unusual, but the weird thing is how domestic sections and international sections are dotted about with the main terminal being international but with an odd domestic section just for Virgin Australia and terminals 3 and 4 (which actually function as one terminal) having terminal four numbered just for Quantas to have their own terminal and another domestic and international mix. The airport has clearly had to expand over the years and they've been forced to do it in a rather disorganised way. Much like many of Australia's sprawling cities which is what makes Australia more difficult and costly to travel in, everything is so far apart and pretty much everyone drives around.

Anyway, I certainly don't expect Singapore to have the problem of being too spread apart. I'm flying to Singapore with Scoot Airlines, or as they refer to themselves. They're a budget airline and you can always tell the budget carriers because they refer to themselves as rather than just using the name. Scoot is a Singaporean budget carrier in the budget long-haul market with flights to Australian and Asian cities, and relatively recent flights from Singapore to Europe - Athens and Berlin TXL so far - which looks like a promising option for getting from Europe to Asia and Australia. My parents and brother used Scoot to go from Europe to Perth and it's much cheaper than the traditional airlines. Whether or not budget intercontinental travel is a good thing or not can certainly be debated.

When it comes to my Scoot plane, I was very happy to get a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It's an excellent aircraft and possibly my favourite one to fly. I also actually quite like the Scoot livery it's very yellow and covers the plane in a nice curving line over the plane and Scoot in big bold letters. I really like a livery with more colour on it and of course, it's on a 787! There were a lot of people on the flight though, the most of any of the flights I've done so far on this trip. And the 787 isn't even that big of an aircraft, especially relative to the Emirates A380 that was on the ground. (There was a South African A330 on the ground too, the days of quad jets are numbered). It's just that apart from my almost completely empty A350 to Bangkok, every other flight I've done has been on an A320. The 320s are everywhere in the Asia/Australia region!

As an aside, my newly lightened big backpack with all that stuff posted to myself is only 13kgs too and at check in, this was the first time on this trip that I've been questioned about my one-way flights and what I was intending to do. I'm surprised I hadn't been questioned about that before because every single flight on this trip except the Warsaw-Bangkok has been and will be a one-way (and an almost 4-month gap between flight out and return is the sort of thing I would have expected to evoke questioning too).

Overall I'm impressed by Scoot. The aircraft look good, they've not gone the Ryanair route or the Jetstar route of making their aircraft as cheap looking as possible. You can see it's a budget, but the cabin is tastefully done and the facilities are as I think a good LCC should have. They've gone for almost too cheesy with the puns in the in-flight magazine and the overuse of the word Scoot and Scooting and derivatives, but I don't think it's overdone. Scoot has achieved my seal of approval! With one, quite big, eexception: "consumption of outside food is not allowed" What the actual...? It's a plane, it's not a bloody restaurant! I'm aware that they're trying to drive more custom to their 'Scoot Café' but really? No way in hell I was buying Scoot's overpriced food. I do not know any other airline that does this. Minor complaints too of course, the attendant call button is located on the armrest in such a way that it's far too easy to accidentally press it with your elbow. I also thought they left the cabin lights on for too long while they flogged their food and duty free, but that's me.

Don't bother reading those last few paragraphs, it's just me being excessively verbose in reviewing my flight because I've got nothing else to do.

Upon landing at 11:30 you'd have thought I'd just get out of the airport and get to my accommodation as quickly as possible. Well, I've become so dependant on my phone now that first I stopped to buy and install a local sim card before going anywhere. For S$32 I got 100GB to use over 12 days. Take note, telecom companies of the world. That's how much data I want.

I got a Grab from the airport, hence the immidiately need for a sim. Normally I'd find a method cheaper than S$19 to get around but not now. The driver gave me a tour of the Singapore skyline with Marina Bay Sands and various Singaporean buildings as we drove into the city centre. I'm clearly in a very different place to anywhere else I've been on this trip. I'm staying in a capsule hotel in a pod which is very plastic and beepy and quite cool, but it's 2AM now and I'm going to sleep. I look forward to exploring the sites of Singapore this week, but I think I need a bit of a lie in first thing tomorrow...


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