Thursday, May 26, 2016

Scoot Airline: Fly Cheap to Singapore and Australia from Chennai, Amritsar and Jaipur!

Scoot Airline is the new entrant to India’s international budget travel market on the Asia-Australia region, competiting with Air Asia, Tiger Air and few other budget airlines dominating the region. Scoot is based out of Singapore (and owned by Singapore Airline) and has started India operations recently. Out of curiosity, I spent some time on Scoot’s website checking the fares to see if they are cheaper than the rivals. This post shares my findings. In summary I find scoot fares at par with Air Asia at best for ex-Chennai, not super cheap at this moment, but a good deal for ex-Amritsar tips. But it is good to have this option in our mind- if there is a sale you might get cheap tickets. But note that I have not personally booked tickets on this airline and haven’t flown it. This post is purely based on information I spotted on Airline’s website.
Things you should know about Scoot Airline’s ex-India flights

Cities operating from: Chennai, Amritsar (seems already operational) and Jaipur (from October)
Frequency- couple of times a week, set to be increased over time
Destinations covered from India:  Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong and few more
Note: Only select destinations are served from select origins on a given day, not  from anywhere to anywhere. Check on the site for cities you have in mind.

What are the cheapest fares you should expect on Scoot Air: (All inclusive with 20kg check-in bag and when booked well in advance. Nothing else (Seat, meals, insurance etc) selected)

Below are the cheapest fares advertised on Scoot website, but be sure to add about USD 40-60 per person round-trip for 20 kg check in baggage (in most cases you will need it, it is hard to go to Bali, Australia etc for a week with only hand baggage, unless you have family there) plus.
Chennai-Sydney (return): 36000 INR Approx (if booked 6-9 months advance)
Chennai- Bali (return: 26000 INR approx.)
Chennai- Singapore (return): 13000 INR (without check in bag or anything)
I find that rates are cheaper only for few popular destinations such as Singapore, Sydney, Bali etc. For many other less popular destinations, rates are not cheap.

Q1: Are the scoot rates cheaper than Air Asia and Tiger Air?
A: Ex-Chennai: No. Ex-Amritsar: Yes. At this moment lowest fare I could find on Scoot website seems at par with lowest fare I have seen (n booked) on AirAsia, Tiger Air etc. But depending on any ongoing sale, your origin, destination, date etc, for some scenarios Scoot might be cheaper than competition.

Since Air Asia or any other international budget airline doesn't connect Amritsar, for those who can fly out of Amritsar it will be lot cheaper than whatever options they have today.

If you have a fixed date and destination and have to travel anyway, then on that date you might have cheaper fares on Scoot than rivals. If there is no sale or cheaper seats are sold out, Air Asia ticket might be expensive for some dates and destinations. Do check all before booking.

Q2: What all I should be aware of while booking on Scoot Airline?
  • A seat selection fee of USD 9 or so will be added per leg per person. You need to remove it manually if you wish to save these dollars
  • Similarly 20kg check in luggage and few other add-ons might be added by default- keep an eye at every step.
  • Because Scoot Uses Singapore as a hub, similar to Tigerair a transit fee (Scoot-thru) is levied mandatorily.
  • Not much Indian veg food options on menu
  • I checked on travel portals like MMT, Cleartrip to check if Scoot flights are shown. At this moment NO. May be soon this will be fixed.
  • TigerAir gives a 24 hour No-Questions-Asked cancellation option. Not sure if Scoot offers the same.
  • Air Asia offers free of cost name correction while scoot air charges for the same.
  • On board WiFi is available on most Scoot flights, obviously on purchase basis. I hope it is better than the limited Wifi (3MB, WhatsApp/Twitter only) AirAsia provides
  • Please factor possible Singapore visa expense as well. (Not required for short transits, but needed if you plan to stay. SG visa is issued usually for a shorter duration than Malaysia, which gives 1 year multiple entry visa.
I still like the AirAsia interface. Scoot and Tigerair can pickup a tip or two from Air Asia, such as
-          After selecting origin, list only those cities served from that origin
-          Currency selection option
-          Internet banking payments

Q3: In what way Scoot is better?
  1. Looks like Scoot doesn’t charge extra for credit card payment. (I went till payment page where nothing was added for credit card option, but I have not made any booking yet to be 100% sure) while other airlines charge a few k for credit card or even netbanking transaction
  2. Scoot is owned by Singapore Airlines and you will get some Krismiles when you fly scoot. (adds to your points if you are SQ frequent flyer)
  3. If you have 5+ hour connection time in Singapore, you can try Changi Airport’s Free city tour! Changi Airport is also way better (best in the world) than other transit hubs such as KLIA2
  4. While AirAsia largely operated its own fleets, some ScootAir connectivity might be served by TigerAir or SilkAir (or may be even Singapore Airline), as ScootAir focuses on long haul.
Tiger Air has discontinued its Chennai outbound flights and these will now be catered by Scoot
Bye Bye tiger air from Chennai
Summary: Having one more player gives more options and will bring down prices a bit across budget carriers, so Scoot India launch is a good move. I am based in Chennai and have flown on cheap tickets from Air Asia (to Australia already and few more lined up) and Tiger Air. Scoot is a welcome addition but their fares as of now are cheap but NOT so super cheap so super cheap that I would jump with joy and book a bunch of tickets right away. I will keep an eye on them for sure. However, for those who can fly out of Jaipur or Amritsar, Scoot is a great opportunity to fly to Australia at cheaper fares. It is going to be way cheaper than any option they had so far (next best option from Amritsar to Sydney is twice as expensive as Scoot). Also it might be worthwhile to see if Scoot retains the low price and how other carriers react. is the official website for Scoot Airline. I wish all the success for Scoot in India- may they introduce more flights at cheaper fares...

Disclaimer: All information as observed during the preparation of this blog post on airline’s website. Pricing and other aspects of air travel are subject to change at regular intervals. Please use your discretion.

Similar: Travel Hack- Making the most of AirAsia Sale * Tiger Air experience * AirAsia WiFi experience  * 10 Precautions to take when booking cheap tickets * Comparison of 7 European Airlines *


Rajiv said...

Ex-Amritsar flights seem to have interesting fares! Also, Malindo Air, which is not a LCC operates from Amritsar. The fares are attractive & service pretty cool I have heard!
But man, who designed their website. The colors are a pain to look at!


Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Rajiv- thanks for highlighting about Milindo- I missed considering it..

Yes, even tigerair website could have been made better- guess it is the same team managing both