We traveled on both Scoot and Air Asia for our most recent trip to Penang. Although I have been on Air Asia before (Asia X to be precise), this was my first time on Scoot (formerly Tiger Air before being incorporated into Scoot).
For the trip up, I used the UOB Krisflyer Credit Card to make my booking. One will need to register an account and link the Krisflyer card with the account to enjoy the benefits on Scoot for the card. These include:
- Priority Check in and Boarding
- Additional baggage allowance (additional 5kg on booking)
- Standard seat selection (only for cardholder – valued at $10)
- Admin fee waiver (only for cardholder – valued at $10)
- One time booking flexibility waiver
For more perks on the UOB Krisflyer card, do refer here:
On the day of travel, I can’t seem to find a Priority Check in Counter (is there one from Scoot to start with?). Nevertheless, there were many empty self-check in kiosk and I had my boarding pass printed in no time.
Baggage drop was quick, and we were in SATS premier lounge for our breakfast.
Boarding was done from a level 1 gate as we had to take a bus from the gate. There was only 1 check in line and again no indication of priority boarding. I guess priority boarding in this instance makes no sense as one will be boarding a bus instead of the plane! :p
The only perk of ‘boarding a bus’? Planes close-up!
The plane looked full and I was lucky that we managed to get seats at the front. The flight was uneventful, and we arrived into Penang almost on time (thankfully no delay from haze). I did not pre-book any meal as I anticipate that we will have our breakfast in the lounge.
The only thing I noted on the flight was the weird smell in the cabin just after taking off and before landing (a weird toilet smell). We were also asked not to wear any earphone / headphone just before taking off and landing (first time given such an instruction).
Coming back, we were again lucky that the haze did not cause any flights cancellation from Penang International Airport as I understood that many flights were cancelled or diverted from Ipoh Airport. We did have a scare though as we arrived at the airport with just 55 minutes to spare before scheduled departure. We were delayed by a bad jam, further worsened due to our Grab car being hit from behind (and the culprit doing a hit-and-run). Thankfully, no one was injured.
This flight was purchased using the BIG points I have had since 2016 when I converted a load of near expiring Starhub points. I topped up about $100 in total to purchase more BIG points for 4 one-way tickets including meal, baggage and seat selection.
Despite my fear of bad delay (the plane was not even at the gate at 715pm!), we were only delayed by no more than 20 minutes.
The flight was not as full as our flight to Penang. This time, I pre-booked meals (in anticipation of not going to lounge) and I was thankful I did due to the delay from the jam and accident.
Meals were ok, nothing much to shout about but enough to fill the tummy. We had the roast chicken, chicken rice and chicken briyani.
Seats on both planes were comparable – I had trouble squeezing my legs in, with Air Asia probably slightly better in pitch (max 1 to 2 inches). I feel was right! From seat guru, Scoot’s pitch measures at a pathetic 28” while Air Asia’s won by a ‘massive’ 1 inch!
28″ vs 29″ – hahahahahaah
For a short haul flight, either budget carrier is fine (anything sub 2 hours). Anything more, it may be better to go with a full-service airline.