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First look: Scoot B787-9 delivery flight

2 Feb 2015 by Clement Huang
Scoot has celebrated the delivery of its first B787-9 aircraft, nicknamed “Dream Start”. The low-cost carrier flew the newest member of its fleet from Snohomish County Airport to its base in Singapore via Osaka on Saturday, where it was greeted by the customary water cannon welcome upon arrival. Dream Start – Scoot's new B787-9 As previously reported (see here), Scoot has a total of 20 Dreamliners on order, consisting of ten B787-8s and ten B787-9s. The carrier intends to deploy its new B787-9 to Perth and Hong Kong from November 5, 2014. Scoot delivery team Business Traveller Asia-Pacific was travelling with Scoot on the delivery flight. This is our first impression from the Everett – Osaka leg. Upon entering the Dreamliner, all passengers were given the opportunity to check out the new cabin products. As previously reported by Business Traveller Asia-Pacific (see here), Scoot has configured its B787-9 with a total of 375 seats across two cabins. This includes 35 seats in the carrier’s premium cabin, ScootBiz (2-3-2 layout), and 340 in economy (3-3-3 layout). For the delivery flight, I was allocated seat 4F in ScootBiz, located on the centre aisle. ScootBiz seats My first impression of Scoot’s premium seat was a positive one. With a width of 22-inches,  the seat was comfortable and the generous use of leather provided a touch of luxury. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that the seat could rival the regional premium economy products offered by some full-service carriers. Meanwhile, the seat also comes with a 38-inch pitch, and eight inches of recline. ScootBiz seat in full recline with extendable legrest In terms of amenities, each ScootBiz seat is equipped with an in-built power outlet, tray table located at the armrest, adjustable headrest, recline controls, and switches to activate the reading light and call for assistance. A pillow, blanket, and Boeing amenity kit were also provided on the delivery flight, however these will not be part of Scoot’s typical service offering. Traytable on ScootBiz Wifi service is available to purchase throughout the aircraft, with the low-cost carrier offering three different plans. A one-hour pass costs US$11.95, while a three-hour plan will set you back $US16.95. For passengers flying long-haul that wish to stay connected for the entire duration of their flight, a 24-hour package is available at US$21.95. Finally, inflight entertainment is provided free-of-charge to all ScootBiz customers, with content streamed to their own mobile devices. Reading light & call for assistance controls in ScootBiz seat Moving on to Scoot’s economy product on the B787-9, the seat comes with a pitch between 31 to 34 inches, along with a six-inch recline. Customers that have travelled with Scoot before will know the reason behind the varying seat pitches. This is because the LCC offers a small selection of “Super” and “Stretch” seats that cost more than standard economy. Standard economy class seats These “preferred seats” boast more generous seat pitches that guarantee better legroom for passengers. Unlike the standard economy seats that are simply blue in colour, Super and Stretch seats on the B787 can be identified via their blue fabric with yellow patterns design. They also sport adjustable headrests. In addition, there is a no-child cabin known as “Scoot in Silence” that is only available for passengers above the age of 12 (see here). Economy seat meal table Unlike its premium counterpart, the tray tables in economy are located on the back of each seat (save for the front row seats where the tables can be found within the armrest). Seat controls are located on the side of the seat, and there is a reading light as well. Streaming inflight entertainment can be purchased as an add-on, while the same also holds true for wifi. THE FLIGHT Upon reaching cruising altitude, the seatbelt sign was turned off and I was free to wander around the cabin. Complimentary wifi access cards were provided to all passengers, and I had the opportunity to test the service. I should mention that having over 60 passengers connect to the internet simultaneously may not be the most accurate platform for one to experience the service, as I did find browsing speeds to be excruciatingly slow. Clearly, the inflight wifi service was never meant to accommodate so many users at the same time. Appetiser on the delivery flight Dinner service began at 0100. The appetiser was a garden salad with either Ranch or Balsamic dressing and a seafood platter consisting of large shrimps, smoked salmon, and fresh crab claws (yes, fresh crab!). The crustaceans were lovely and fresh, but I found the garden salad to be unimpressive and bland even with the added Ranch dressing. Stir-fried shrimp with oriental vegetables The main course was served at 0140, with the stir-fried shrimp being my preferred choice over the tenderloin steak. After a relatively successful appetiser, I had high hopes for the main. I was therefore slightly disappointed when I received a tinfoil-covered dish. Not one to judge a book by its cover, I peeled off the foil and looked within. Overall, the presentation of the main course was appealing, however, I was truly disappointed by the taste. The broccoli was so overcooked that it basically collapsed on my fork, while the shrimps were under-seasoned. I wished that I had kept a piece of lemon from my appetiser to squeeze onto the shrimps. Fresh fruit platter A final course of fresh fruits and cheese thankfully concluded the meal service on a high. The fruits were juicy and sweet, while the cheese were pleasant and mild. VERDICT I was suitably impressed by the new cabin products on Scoot’s new B787-9. With the added passenger benefits afforded by this fuel-efficient aircraft, the Singapore carrier has set a new standard for low-cost travel today. For more information, visit flyscoot.com Clement Huang
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