An Honest Review: Is Bidding For ScootBiz Worth Your Money?

An Honest Review: Is Bidding For ScootBiz Worth Your Money?

Kenneth Lou

In case you’re wondering, I’m actually writing this article from the comfort of my ScootBiz seat while sipping on a Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc and eating my curry biryani chicken rice.

ScootBIZ Seats
Pictured above: Me and my fiancée chilling in ScootBiz’s large, albeit old leather seats

If you’re wondering why the weird flex, it’s also because I saw this question on our Seedly QnA where someone asked about hacks for bidding for a ScootBiz upgrade:

Question About Scoot BIZ Bidding On Seedly Q&A
Pictured above: A question from a confused Scoot customer

Seeing that I’ve already tried this whole ScootBiz bidding thing, I thought that I should share my own perspective and maybe some tips and hacks based on my experience.

Let’s be clear: ScootBiz is definitely not in the same league as the business class on full-service airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Korean Air, Japan Airlines or any of those fancy Star Alliance flights. It’s more like a premium economy-level kind of situation, but it gets interesting because of the dynamics involved in how you can bid for an upgrade.

And as always, this is a non-sponsored post, although I wouldn’t mind if they paid me…

(Editor’s note: Ahem.)

TL;DR: ScootBiz Is A Premium Economy Experience At One-Third Of The Price

A regular Premium Economy seat on a full-fare flight would cost you S$998 from Singapore to Hong Kong. (promotional rate till 30 September 2019)

SQ Premium Economy rates
Pictured above: An example of a promotional airfare for SQ Premium Economy

For my ScootBiz upgrade, I paid S$190 (fare price) + S$105 (bid price) = S$295 from Singapore to Taiwan.

Scoot BIZ Worth It 1

If I booked ScootBiz from the start, it would’ve cost me S$397 (about half the price of a premium economy seat on a full-fare flight).

Edit: A Return flight for ScootBiz bidding total would cost you $190 + $105 + $105 =  $400 from Singapore to Taiwan. Quite similar to the actual ScootBiz return rates.

Price aside, ScootBiz doesn’t come with inflight entertainment (you’ve to use an app or your laptop to enjoy this perk), the food you get is a lot less fancy, and you do not get free-flow alcohol and drinks.

ScootBiz Bidding Largely Happens For Mid-Distance Flights

Before we go any further, I must caution that this strategy works best for mid-distance flights (between 3 to 5 hours, for eg. Singapore to China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan) where the ScootBiz seats are most likely to be left empty.

It is highly unlikely for this to work for long-distance trips like Singapore to Australia, Berlin, or Greece as most of the ScootBiz tickets would already have been booked – it’s a long-distance flight, so it’s understandable that most people would want a more comfortable seat.

My ScootBiz Experience To Taipei

I decided to try bidding for a ScootBiz upgrade on my most recent Taipei trip and placed two bids.

The minimum bid amount was $105 (this amount changes depending on the route and availability):

  • The outbound flight ScootBiz bid failed (It was a 1am red-eye flight from Singapore which arrived in Taipei at 6:30am)
  • The return flight ScootBiz bid succeeded (It was a 4pm flight from Taipei which arrived in Singapore at 9pm)
ScootBiz Upgrade Email
Pictured above: Flown Scoot recently? You might’ve received this email before…

Should You Bid For A ScootBiz Upgrade?

The short answer to this question is YES.

  • Assuming flights of the same distance, the price of a ScootBiz seat is about one third that of a premium economy seat on a full-fare carrier
  • You only get charged if you win your bid and not when you place it
  • You get to experience premium economy levels of comfort on your flight (so why not?)

And like I mentioned earlier, you should definitely consider bidding for this upgrade for longer flights (minimum 2 to 3 hours) because speaking from personal experience, the comfort and level of service are really much better than economy class.

Note: ScootBiz is only available on the 787 Dreamliner series of Scoot flights

How To Successfully Bid For ScootBiz Seats

  • Book a regular Economy seat for your Scoot flight at least 1 month in advance
  • Pray that the ScootBiz seats on your flight don’t get filled
  • Look out for a Scoot email one day before your flight titled – “Bid for ScootBiz for your booking ABCDEF”
  • Bid a maximum 40% above the minimum bid for red-eye flights (because many people will be trying to push for a more comfortable seat to sleep in it and if anything above 40% would be the normal ScootBiz price)
  • Bid the minimum bid for day flights (because less people would worry about the comfort as they’re most likely watching Netflix or videos on their phone, instead of sleeping)

The Benefits Of Sitting At ScootBiz (Which I Really Love)

BenefitMy Review
Priority Check-in and BoardingI especially love this, because when there’s a huge crowd and you board first and alight first, no need to fight anyone
Comfortable Business Class Leather Seat with twice the legroom of standard seatThis is real, and wow, such comfort is really appreciated
20kg Check-in baggage allowance for every passengerReally useful for buying stuff, however you cannot plan ahead
15kg (two bags) of carry-on baggageNot much use here because you already plan to bring up carry on luggage
Free meal, drink and snackThis is really basic but the food set comes with a drink, alcoholic or not
Inflight EntertainmentScootTV which is bit of a hassle to set up by the way, will share more below

Other Good Things Which They Do Not Mention

  • Better service: the attendant was really helpful and nice; even took a picture for us using my phone and asked about my day
  • Toilet access: the ones in the front of the plane are used by far fewer people so you don’t have to worry about waiting in line for a toilet
  • Dark zone: they dim all the lights for the whole zone (to allow passengers to sleep better) as compared to the Economy section (which remains relatively bright throughout the flight)

Bad Things Which They Also Do Not Mention

  • Old seats: the seats are a little older than normal (I think in general the 787 Dreamliner Scoot fleet is on the older side)
  • ScootTV: ScootTV is not that amazing and it’s also a hassle to set up. I gave up after the Flash player stopped working, plus I did not have the ScootTV app
  • Expensive blankets: blankets are available for $15 each, which I totally LOL-ed at. I had initially convinced my fiancée that there was going to be a blanket but turned out not to be the case

Try ScootBiz If You’ve Got Cash To Spare

I love ScootBiz largely because you get a larger seat and you get to board and disembark earlier than the rest of the passengers.

The big question here is: will I do it again?

I vote: YES.

But I will always only book Economy seats and hope that the ScootBiz bidding happens, so that I can bid for a discounted ScootBiz seat. It’s nice to enjoy a little luxury even when flying via a budget airline.

A Sneak Peek At ScootBiz

Comfortable Business Class Leather Seats (With Twice The Legroom Of A Standard Seat)

This is the best part about a ScootBiz seat, and pretty much the reason why you’re paying a premium.

The leg rests in ScootBiz are extendable and you get to recline back, up to 8 inches – which is on par with most full-fare airline’s premium economy class seats.

ScootBiz Seats
Pictured above: The seats may be huge, but they’re a little old as well

Inflight Entertainment aka ScootTV

This was a real hassle to set up and you need to have the app on your mobile phone for this to work properly.

ScootBIZ Inflight Entertainment
Pictured above: ScootTv’s a real hassle to set up because it’s not as straightforward as turning on the screen in front of you

Free Meal, Drink, And A Snack

Nothing amazing here.

Just open up the regular Scoot Cafe menu and choose a meal that is worth around $15.

Food and drink on ScootBiz
Pictured above: Mmmm… Nothing amazingly special here

Free Power!

You get access to a power outlet but I didn’t get a chance to use it because I only have my USB cable with me…

Unlike full-fare flights which provide USB ports to charge your phone, I suppose this option is better for those travelling with a laptop?

ScootBIZ Power Plugs
Pictured above: Free power! But no USB port though…

Priority Check-In And Boarding

This is probably one of the best perks about ScootBiz.

Here’s what it feels like to board the plane ahead of hundreds of other passengers…

Source: giphy

Yup, it’s amazing.

About Kenneth Lou
Co-founder of Seedly. Passionate about helping people make smarter financial decisions.
You can contribute your thoughts like Kenneth Lou here.

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