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Old 10th September 2017, 03:35 PM   #1
yflyer
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Default Scoot 787 Dreamliner to Athens & Greek islands: Mykonos and Santorini

Scoot, the low-cost carrier (LCC) in the Singapore Airlines Group, recently launched their first long haul destination: Athens. This was inaugurated on 20 June this year, using newly delivered 787’s equipped for long haul, with features like a forward overhead crew rest area.

Other long haul routes are planned as well, with Honolulu likely to be next. This is an exciting prospect: budget airline services to far-off holiday destinations in Europe and the USA.

But while Scoot, and other budget carriers, are well established for short and medium haul sectors, what is the passenger experience like flying Scoot on an 11+ hour long haul sector like SIN-ATH?

Greece first appeared on our vacation radar in early August, when I was researching full service and budget airline destinations for an upcoming holiday. Scoot had just begun their new long haul SIN-ATH-SIN service – currently the only nonstop flights between Singapore and Greece. Athens was an intriguing possibility: Given that we had up to 8 days max for our holiday, Greece was just about as far as I was willing to go, plus the fact that Mrs yflyer and I had never been to Greece, a land of great natural beauty as well as historical, and philosophical, significance.

Apart from booking air tickets, one of the first steps I took was to post a request for Greek holiday advice on SQTalk. And help came…thanks, N_Architect, SQflyergirl, kapitan and all the others for the advice, which helped shape the itinerary for this holiday. All bookings were made in the 2 weeks prior to departure, with our arrival in Greece scheduled for the end of August, the tail end of the peak summer tourist season.

Mrs yflyer wears a Fitbit and uses it as a step counter, with a target of 10,000 steps a day. (I don’t wear one myself – regulars on SQTalk will know that my preferred means of exercise is a long run…). We did a surprising amount of walking on this trip…so much so that I joked that this vacation was actually a workout regime for Mrs yflyer in disguise: She blew past her 10,000 step target on many of the days in Greece, often covering 15K or 20K steps in a day…

Now you don't have to walk so much during a vacation in Greece, but we found it a great way to see the sights, and also justify all the calories consumed (Mrs yflyer and I tend to eat a fair amount on our trips…).

Here are some questions that this trip report aims to answer:

1. What is the long haul experience on Scoot?
2. What is the difference in experience between ScootBiz and Economy?
3. What is a reasonable itinerary for an 8 day holiday in Greece?
4. Should you take a ferry or plane between the Greek islands?
5. Is the end of August / start of September a good time to go to Greece?

Our trip began past midnight on a warm evening at the end of August…

INDEX

- Flight - TR702 SIN-ATH in ScootBiz
- Athens - Hotel Grande Bretagne, Athens Walking Tour and Acropolis
- Mykonos - Old Town, Kiki's Tavern, Psarrou and Platys Galos beaches, Hotel Tagoo
- Santorini - Oia, Fira, Imerovigli, Amoudi Bay, Sunset Cruise, Fira-Oia walking trail
- Flight - JTR-ATH on Aegean Airlines
- Athens - Hilton Athens, Dinner at Vassilenas
- Flight - TR701 ATH-SIN in Economy

Last edited by yflyer; 13th October 2017 at 08:18 PM..
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Old 10th September 2017, 03:51 PM   #2
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Scoot TR702 to Athens is a 2.45am departure out of Changi T2.



Quite a few Scoot services depart between midnight and 6am...



While I would have preferred a 10pm or 11pm departure to Europe, a 2.45am departure isn't that great a hardship, as the idea on these flights is to sleep as much as possible, then wake up in the European morning...

We were flying to Athens in ScootBiz: While the tickets we bought were fairly inexpensive economy round trip tickets, a few days before the flight, Scoot sent us an email offer to bid for ScootBiz, using a friendly graphical slider interface to set the bid amount. I bid just over S$300 per pax for a one way upgrade, and was thrilled to receive an email 24 hours before the flight, saying that our bid had been accepted.

Check-in for ScootBiz at a manned counter was quick...the regular Y check-in queues were not busy at 1am either.



Changi Airport at that hour was very quiet. While there were pax around, most shops had closed, and most pax were sitting/resting by the gate holding rooms. There were options on the Scoot booking website to buy lounge access at the SATS Premier Lounge prior to the flight, but we opted not to do that, and headed straight to the gate.

Last edited by yflyer; 26th September 2017 at 01:26 PM..
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Old 10th September 2017, 06:56 PM   #3
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At the gate, one of Scoot's new long haul configured 787-8 Dreamliners, registration 9V-OFI, nicknamed "Mous-Scoot-ka"...



Boarding began with ScootBiz passengers, and we were first down the aerobridge...



The ScootBiz cabin is at the front of the plane, just behind the cockpit, configured 2-3-2.



Unlike the regular Scoot 788's, these long haul 788's have only two rows of 3 seats in the middle bank of seats, with some space taken up by the forward crew rest area.



Very generous legroom in the bulkhead ScootBiz seats in the middle bank.



The window-side bulkhead seats are missing a window, but you do have one window to look out of. Note the absence of bassinet mounts in the bulkhead, or anywhere in the ScootBiz cabin for that matter...if you have a baby and need a bassinet, you will need to fly Y.



Another view of the window-side ScootBiz seats.

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Old 10th September 2017, 07:06 PM   #4
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ScootBiz seats have adjustable winged headrests...



Fairly basic seat controls...just buttons to control the recline and calf rest.



This is the seat in fully reclined position, with calf rest extended.



The seat padding itself is on the firm side.

Overall, this was a comfortable seat that I would happily sit in for a long haul flight.

Comparing this with other seats, it is a huge step up from economy, and is similar to SQ's Premium Economy seat (A pic of the SQ A380 PEY seat here for comparison), although they are no match for today's fully flat long haul J seats, or even the angled lie-flat regional J seats.

Last edited by yflyer; 25th September 2017 at 09:00 AM..
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Old 10th September 2017, 07:09 PM   #5
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Seat controls are similarly basic: Light on/off and cabin crew call button.



A/C Power with universal power plugs is enabled for ScootBiz pax. (Y seats have A/C too, but you have to pay to have them enabled.)



The folding tray table is in the armrest.





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Old 10th September 2017, 07:13 PM   #6
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Some of the items you can buy onboard...



Apart from souvenirs, other items on sale include blankets, neck pillows, eye-shades and ear plugs.



Note that ScootBiz seats don't come with pillows or even blankets. In true LCC fashion, if you feel cold and need a blanket, you will need to buy one, even in ScootBiz!

The blanket is a soft, yellow, lightweight design which was selling like hotcakes on this flight.



No individually adjustable air vents...someone at SQ/Scoot really does not like these adjustable vents -- none of SQ's new birds have them either.



The middle overhead section of the ScootBiz cabin has no overhead bins (This is where the forward crew rest is located)...



The ceiling does look a little as if there were bins though, and at least one passenger tried to pull hard on the plastic to "lower the bin". Thankfully he didn't pull too hard...

Last edited by yflyer; 10th September 2017 at 07:22 PM..
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Old 10th September 2017, 07:15 PM   #7
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The safety card...



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Old 10th September 2017, 07:19 PM   #8
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The ScootBiz "welcome drink", if you could call it that, was a plastic cup of water...



Our very gracious and attentive cabin crew member on this side of the ScootBiz cabin came round to take/confirm food and beverage orders for the flight...

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Old 10th September 2017, 07:47 PM   #9
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I am so excited for more.

I am looking at this route also. Mẩy be for next June.
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Old 10th September 2017, 08:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SQueeze View Post
I am so excited for more.

I am looking at this route also. Mẩy be for next June.
More coming up, SQueeze!
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Old 10th September 2017, 08:24 PM   #11
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A quick peek into the economy cabin, which is subdivided into a "Scoot in Silence" section, and the main Y cabin. And even in the main Y cabin, certain desirable seats, either bulkhead, emex or otherwise, with extra legroom, are associated with extra charges.

The Y cabin is laid out in 9-abreast 3-3-3, which is also how full service carriers typically layout their Dreamliners (With the one exception being JAL, which configures 787 Y as 8-abreast 2-4-2.)





Typically the seats where extra charges apply have yellow squares on them, vs plain blue upholstery, and the cabin crew make announcements to the effect that changing seats from the regular blue seats to these special seats can only be done if you pay an additional upgrade charge onboard.



A summary of types of seat, and indicative upgrade prices, are listed in the Scoot magazine.



The Scoot inflight magazine itself is a glossy, content-packed publication, which to me seem to have richer content and material than SQ's SilverKris magazine.


Last edited by yflyer; 26th September 2017 at 01:31 PM..
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Old 10th September 2017, 08:27 PM   #12
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There is a toilet forward of the ScootBiz cabin which was mainly used by ScootBiz pax throughout the flight.



It was your standard 787 toilet, identical to the Y toilets.



None of the usual business class niceties like flowers in the bathroom. If you are accustomed to flowers in the toilet, you'll have to bring your own...
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Old 10th September 2017, 08:30 PM   #13
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A short taxi to runway 02C and a very smooth take-off to the North.



From the front of the plane, the 787 climb out is eeriely quiet...

Last edited by yflyer; 10th September 2017 at 08:49 PM..
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Old 10th September 2017, 09:01 PM   #14
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The ScootBiz meal service format on the SIN-ATH sector is a light meal/snack after take-off, followed by a hot meal 3 hours prior to landing.

There is a Buy-On-Board (BoB) menu with a wide range of selections, although most of the selections apply to Scoot's regional flights, with only a small subset available for long haul purchase.



The long haul section of the menu...





For ScootBiz, the BoB snack selection was what was listed above, however, the premium meal selections themselves were different, and a cut above what was offered in the menu.

After take-off, the ScootBiz light meal came in an attractive drawstring bag...



The contents...



The main item was a meat and vegetable wrap, which was quite tasty...



You were also entitled to a complimentary bottle of orange juice with the light meal, but no other beverages were offered.

As part of the hot meal served in the second meal service prior to arrival, ScootBiz pax were entitled one complimentary beverage, including alcoholic beverages, so we requested that our ration of alcohol be served as part of the first light meal instead, and the cabin crew were ok with that...

Mrs yflyer asked for a bottle of white wine with her light meal...



...whereas I felt like red wine...



...and also paid for a whisky, before settling into my seat to sleep...


Last edited by yflyer; 26th September 2017 at 01:34 PM..
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Old 10th September 2017, 09:10 PM   #15
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Before going to sleep, I briefly checked out the IFE, available only as a streamed online service via the onboard wifi. (There are no individual video screens onboard the aircraft).



For ScootBiz pax, you were given a wifi access code which entitled you to watch the onboard movies and television at no charge. Movies and TV were complimentary in ScootBiz, but cost USD 9 for economy.



The access code did not include public internet, though, which you need to pay extra for.



Note that some setup was required before video streaming could be enabled on Apple, Android, PC or Mac devices, and at least for iPhones, one step required installation of an app from the app store, a step which required an internet connection.



Once setup was completed, the Scoot UI itself was quite friendly and easy to use...

The iPhone UI...



The Mac browser UI...



On my Mac, the picture quality was not HD quality, but perfectly watchable...


Last edited by yflyer; 26th September 2017 at 01:35 PM..
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