Is gold cheap at Changi Airport
With Flyscoot Airlines from India to Gold Coast
One of the forbidden things about vacationing in Australia is the airfare from India. An important reason for us to postpone our family vacation here. However, with my last trip from Invite Queensland TourismI've discovered a way in which it might turn out to be a bit cheaper than I budgeted for. What it means is that it is time to prepare for my Australia vacation. Time to book some tickets Flyscoot Airlines.
Queensland Tourism in collaboration with Flyscoot Airlines (also called Scoot Airlines) invited a couple of us to visit Gold Coast City, I'll admit I never really considered this airline before as I wasn't too familiar with them. Even the thought of traveling a long distance with low-cost airlines was not exactly attractive for a family vacation. However, this particular journey of mine made me reconsider my decisions. For the price you pay, Flyscoot definitely wasn't a bad deal. How come? Let me share this with you.
About Flyscoot Airlines
Owned the popular Singapore AirlinesFlyscoot is a low cost long haul airline. Some of you may have heard of Tiger Airways and may even have flown to Singapore with them. Well, they have now teamed up with Flyscoot. In India they operate in 6 cities including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Lucknow, Amritsar, Kochi and Trichy. They have flights that take you all the way to Berlin or, in my case, the Gold Coast. Of course there is a stopover in Singapore frankly, that's more of a treat than a threat!
Flyscoot is a low cost airline, so many of us may not have considered this for our long journeys. After taking a trip with them I realized that even if you paid for some of those frills - like luggage - it still couldn't be a bad deal. For example, if I were to book from Bengaluru to Gold Coast in 6 months, it would turn out my base rate is USD 487. This includes my returns and taxes. Add a little for luggage, the total return trip would be USD 612. Cute isn't it? So if you are wondering what the experience will be like, let me share mine!
Booking with Flyscoot
Technically, since I was invited by Flyscoot airlines for this Gold Coast experience, I skipped this step. However, I downloaded the app on my phone to make a fake booking so I can better understand it. Flyscoot tariffs are displayed as the flight price - this is nothing more than the base price for a destination. Remember, this does not include baggage allowance or in-flight comfort such as seat selection and food. All of these are add-ons that you can buy - either through the app when booking or at the airport.
It is highly recommended that you add some of these basic bells and whistles at the time of booking your Flyscoot tickets have some great deals online. These are usually cheaper than what you would otherwise have to pay at the counter. The simplest bells and whistles is the FlyBag scheme, which gives you 20 kg check-in bags and 10 kg cabin bags. There are also FlyBagEat and ScootBiz that you can include depending on your needs.
If you take some of these benefits, they are considered Kris Flyer (Singapore Airlines Frequent Flyer Program)They can even earn some points; they can make your booking either through their mobile apps or even their desktop websites. Keep an eye out for special offers that can help you lower your tariff.
Check-in with Flyscoot
With my ticket sorted and a pre-assigned seat, I was all set for check-in for Gold Coast. Even though I was on time for check-in at Bengaluru Airport, I was about tenth in my queue, which turned at least three curves behind me. A family, solo, and biz traveler, Flyscoot seemed like a popular airline choice.
Gold Coast wasn't a non-stop destination and I had a 13 hour layover at my favorite Singapore airport, Changi. This was the case even on the return, except that the stay was only 7 hours. I had no intention of taking my luggage and was pretty happy that Flyscoot offered me through check-in. This meant I just had to lug my carry-on bag around while the other bag would hit me right on the Gold Coast.
Check-ins with Flyscoot in Bengaluru and Gold Coast was pretty slick but pretty crowded in both locations. It would work fine if you were on time so you can go through it smoothly. Baggage control is pretty strict and if you are even slightly overweight they have objections. If you have a fellow passenger with you, you can of course look for your combined baggage weight together. In a way, this would work well as a family as not everyone has to buy the extra luggage. You may only need 40kg in total, which means you only pay for luggage with two of the three or four tickets you buy.
Service on board by Flyscoot
I had the opportunity to travel on two planes during this Gold Coast visit. The leg from India to Singapore and back was with Airbus 320, while that from Singapore to Australia and back was with 787 Dreamliner. I didn't mind the Airbus 320 as it was a short distance of only 4 hours. However, it was the Dreamliner in the longer term that actually affected my change of mind when flying Flyscoot. I share my experiences with both of them.
Seats on Flyscoot
The Airbus did not have separate sections like Biz Class. However, the seats were padded and comfortable. Legroom was just enough for a dwarf like me, but had it been a giant like my husband, an aisle seat might have been more comfortable. You can also upgrade to specific rows near the exits for extra legroom.
In the case of the Dreamliner, I was treated with the Biz Class One Way and I have to say they were very comfortable. Wide and padded, they allowed me to sit back and raise the footrest, as I do in most biz classes. An extra padded headrest pampers you especially when you want to sleep. In fact, the seats were so comfortable that I curled up like a ball and slept the 7 hour trip to Gold Coast. That honestly helped me avoid getting jet lag!
The economy class of the Flyscoot Dreamliner was definitely wider and better than that of the Airbus. It had a little more legroom than the Airbus, but you could only recline your back.
Meals on board
While you can always buy your meals on the flight, it is better to book them in advance as you can get it a bit cheaper. My trip had pre-booked vegetarian meals for me. This ranged from rice and lentils to pasta. There was a huge bar of Ritter chocolate and a selection of drinks with the meal. The biz class also offered some wine.
While it was fresh and hot, I personally didn't enjoy the food. Flyscoot has a variety of foods to choose from and maybe some of the other dishes were good. Because of my flight times, I would rather sleep through the night than wake up dead at night or in the morning to eat.
Flyscoot had read its on-board magazine Freizeit for some. They didn't put any screens on the seats. Instead, you need to download the ScooTv app to view the on-board programs. Note, however, that these come at a price unless you are traveling on Biz class. The app allows you to stream the films directly to your mobile screens. Wi-Fi can also be purchased for in-flight consumption. Flyscoot also offers some onboard shopping for you to indulge in. These are displayed in the catalogs on board and you can pay with your credit card.
Warm and receptive, the flight attendants continue to Flyscoot to try to make you comfortable. While their seats will allow you some sleep, remember to bring your own travel pillow and blanket as you will not have them on board. If you need one, you will either need to purchase one on board or possibly book it in advance.
P.S: The picture shows the ladies celebrating a day out of uniform on our return from Gold Coast. The chirpy ladies celebrated it by selling ice cream on board and wearing their favorite outfits. Otherwise they are dressed in yellow and black.
Transit at Changi Airport, Singapore
Remember, I mentioned that I found my layover in Singapore more of a treat than a threat. For one thing, I was completely entertained without spending a dollar. With its abundance of gardens and entertainment centers, you will definitely not get bored here. From butterfly gardens to sunflower gardens to game consoles, there is enough to pass your time. If you are in Singapore for more than 5 hours, you can even take a free Singapore city tour without actually needing a transit visa.
There is plenty to do for the shopping enthusiast, browse around and for these sleepyheads all you need to do is go to one of their lounge areas and take a seat. While some of these lounge areas are free, you can also book an airport hotel room for a shower, breakfast, and nap. Remember to download the iChangi app for free 24-hour WiFi access.
With Changi Airport as Flyscoot's headquarters, it is very likely that your flight will pass through here. Trust me this is a plus for you Changi Airport is nothing short of a different destination.
My views on traveling with Flyscoot
Given the airlines' budget status, I was pretty ready to rough it up. My experience with some of these European low cost airlines has been pretty crude. However, Flyscoot turned out to be better than expected. It's true that you have to pay for everything - food, luggage, or in-flight entertainment. However, I got my basic comfort on board, especially with the longer duration of the Dreamliner. When I weigh these benefits against the price I would have to pay, I feel like I'm getting the better end of the deal. Also compare the cost of a full-fare flight - there is a significant saving, especially for a family vacation.
I'd like to know what you think, I'm in the process of convincing Ash to say goodbye in October. The fares are good, the flight is perfect and the Gold Coast destination - well, I haven't had enough of it. More on that, but for now we keep our fingers crossed for another trip with Flyscoot from India to the Gold Coast.
P.S: As mentioned earlier, I was invited to visit Gold Coast by Queensland Tourism, in partnership with Flyscoot Airlines. This howeverdoes not affect the views in this post, which are truly and honestly my own.>
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