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Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been more than 8 months from the last time we’ve set foot on a plane and travelled. So, you can imagine our excitement when Scoot invited us onboard their aircraft (safe distancing measures in place) to check out the new Scoot Inflight Portal, ScootHub. We know how much you miss travelling too which is why we wanted to share our experience and show you how flying has changed ? Whether you’re travelling for essential purposes or dreaming of your next trip, we hope this article will give you a sneak peek of how flying will be like in the new normal. As the way travel evolves and how customers’ expectations of hygiene standards change, it’s comforting to see airlines like low-cost carrier, Scoot, innovating their processes to meet the needs of passengers.
Boarding Scoot’s plane for the first time in months
Travelling in the new normal was certainly a very different experience for us. From the start of the boarding process to the end of our journey, we were greeted with hygiene and precautionary measures that we’re already so used to in our daily routine yet it felt unfamiliar when we were about to board a plane.
When checking in, every passenger has to undergo temperature screening, and contactless options such as online or mobile check-in are available too. Having gotten used to these safety procedures, it certainly didn’t bother us at all. If anything, it shows us that when flying after the pandemic, we’d have to plan ahead and factor in the additional time taken for these procedures, designed to keep passengers and crew safe.P.S. Check out more of Scoot's COVID-19 measures here!
Even though we were only going on the aircraft but not flying anywhere, we were pleasantly surprised to be given a boarding pass. After months of not flying, it felt surreal to be holding a boarding pass in hand once again ? The pandemic has definitely made us miss and cherish little bits of travelling like this.
We were then ushered to the boarding gate escorted by Scoot’s staff and we felt excited just being in the transit area. It was nice to see that the transit area wasn’t completely empty; that there were some travellers who were catching their flight to other destinations ? It gave us hope that soon, we’ll be able to travel again. As we waited for our turn to board the plane, we were reminded to observe safe distancing and only occupy the assigned seats. Scoot also shared that they employ stringent hygiene measures for their aircraft - including fogging all planes and wiping down all surfaces in the cabin with a disinfectant for flights that arrive in Singapore. Surfaces that are frequently touched by passengers such as overhead bin latches and lavatory handles are treated with an antimicrobial coating, reapplied monthly.
Then, the moment that we were waiting for arrived - it was time to board the plane! Needless to say, we were thrilled. Boarding of the plane was done in an orderly fashion as the staff called out our row numbers.
Upon entering the plane, it felt different yet familiar. Due to safe distancing measures, we were assigned seats.
Scoot’s cabin crew (also known as Scootees) were all dressed in PPE (personal protective equipment). Even though they had face shields on, we could still feel their warmth and friendliness.
Each seat was also given a complimentary care kit for personal sanitising needs which included anti-bacterial wipes, hand sanitiser and a surgical mask. It’s really convenient to have these essentials, especially when you tend to forget to bring them along. Hand sanitisers were also readily available throughout the cabin for passengers and crew.At this point, we could only wish that we were travelling for real ? Scoot’s hygiene and precautionary measures had definitely exceeded our expectations and made us feel assured for our future trips!
ScootHub, Scoot’s Inflight Portal
The main highlight of our “flight” was none other than ScootHub, Scoot’s brand new inflight portal! In case you’re wondering, it’s a digital portal that will serve as a one-stop shop for all customers’ needs on board Scoot flights from December 2020 onwards. Scoot may well be the first to offer such a comprehensive range of functions. You’ll be able to place meal orders, do some inflight shopping, read travel content, play games, track your flight’s path, and eventually book activities at your destination through the portal ? Here are some of the features that made our experience on the low-cost carrier more seamless, especially in light of COVID-19.
Low touch pointsOne of the things that we loved about the inflight portal was that it could be easily accessed from our own mobile phones. This meant that surface contact and physical interactions between passengers and crew were significantly reduced.
P.S. Read more about ScootHub's, Scoot's new inflight portal here!
Connecting to it was easy too! All we had to do was scan the QR code and it took only about 10 seconds for us to get connected to ScootHub. We were pleasantly surprised at how fast the Wi-Fi connection was, even though we were onboard an aircraft. Do note that the Wi-Fi is a localised network for ScootHub and not for surfing.Return of several onboard services
Thanks to the low-touch service, Scoot is able to bring back onboard services that passengers have loved and missed like onboard F&B, duty-free shopping and inflight magazine. Previously, Scoot had suspended inflight dining due to the pandemic. We could order a variety of hot meal combos, snacks and drinks from Scoot Cafe using the portal with a peace of mind. What’s more, Scoot is exploring new dishes on their menu focusing on local hawker delights so do keep a lookout for that. We tried the Chicken Congee and it was yummy and comforting, especially in the rainy weather ? It was also served in leak-proof bento boxes made of more sustainable materials, which are also able to accommodate other gravy-rich dishes like laksa and mee siam.
What we loved was how efficient the whole process was. We could browse ScootHub conveniently at our own time, add the items we wanted to the cart and proceed to order. Within minutes, the cabin crew received our orders on their fulfilment device and delivered the items to us promptly. It definitely cuts down the usual time taken to order a meal onboard!. #HHWT Tip: When ordering from ScootHub, be sure to look out for the signs indicating dietary restrictions like “Halal”, “Gluten-Free” and “Nut-Free”.
We also took the opportunity to do some inflight duty-free shopping on KrisShop. What’s great is that instead of waiting for the crew to call for duty-free shopping at a specific time, we could shop at any time using the portal. There was an extensive range of travel essentials, cosmetics, accessories including Scoot merchandise that we could browse from and purchase from the comfort of our seats. We didn’t want to miss the chance and purchased some Scoot merchandise like the eye mask and neck pillow for our future travels and it was promptly delivered to us ? Payment via credit card on the portal is targeted to be available by end March 2021. In the meantime, payment for food and beverages is to be made by credit card to cabin crew.Read travel articles and make plans for your trip onboard!
Instead of having physical inflight magazines, the Scoot Inflight Portal has a section called “What’s On” where you’ll be able to read inspirational travel content. We fuelled our wanderlust by reading about things to do in Western Australia, including Rottnest Island. Do note that the travel content in this section will suit the destination you’re travelling to. Check this out - from April 2021, you can even book activities, attractions, transport (and more) at your destination during your flight. This means that you’ll have more time to enjoy your destination from the moment you arrive as there is no time wasted in planning your trip while you’re there. It’s definitely a seamless journey that’s perfect for spontaneous travellers!
#HHWT Tip: If you’re the type of traveller who loves looking at flight maps (like us!), then you can do so on ScootHub too. Though we weren’t travelling anywhere, we can’t wait to use this feature to track the flight’s progress on the live map for our future trip. By end-2021, there will be attractions, tours or experiences (from various travel and hospitality brands) pinned on the map and as you scroll through the map, you’ll be able to click on the pinned location to find out more.The portal is environmentally sustainableWith the removal of physical copies of the Scoot Café, Scootalogue and inflight magazine, Scoot is now able to reduce its paper consumption by 156 tonnes (equivalent to over 2000 trees!). This will result in over 13 tonnes of fuel saved and eventually, reduce over 41 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission a year. Inflight services and games Through the portal, you can also request for inflight services such as onboard seat upgrades (currently suspended to facilitate contact tracing but will subsequently be available). For those travelling on Scoot’s Boeing 787 Dreamliners, you can also purchase in-seat power directly through the portal if you need to charge your gadgets during the flight.
There are games on the portal that’ll keep you and your kids entertained during your flight too! You can look forward to colouring activities, puzzles, fun-packed adventures and brain teasers like Sudoku and 2048 ?Though we spent just a short time onboard Scoot’s flight, it certainly helped to fuel our wanderlust for a bit and made us appreciate travelling even more. With Scoot’s commitment to safeguarding its passengers’ health and the introduction of the new inflight portal, ScootHub, it boosted our confidence for a safer trip and a more seamless journey. We also loved that ScootHub is convenient and easy to use. Can’t wait for the day we can travel again!This article is brought to you by Scoot.