Monday, March 17, 2014

FlyScoot TZ 301 Bangkok to Singapore (Bangkok International Airport)

FlyScoot TZ 301

After a short holiday in Bangkok, we flew back to Singapore with FlyScoot, flight TZ 301.  Click here for pictures of our flight to Bangkok on TZ 302.  In this blog post, I will show many pictures of BKK Suvarnabhumi Airpot as well as some pictures of the Scoot flight TZ301 back to Singapore.

Late checkout
We had a late check-out at our hotel, Courtyard by Marriot.  That was very nice.  This was only possible because occupancy was rather low, due to the recent Bangkok protests.

Public Taxi
From our hotel, we took a public taxi to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport.  Most airlines fly from this airport now.  Last year, we few with AirAsia - they operated out of Bangkok Don Muang.  On this trip, we found that the taxi drivers were very, very reluctant to turn on the meter.  Instead, they would quote you a price and insisted on it.  We didn't want to argue with them, since we had two young kids, and even then the price wasn't out of the world.   The distance was about 20km.

Our taxi fare from hotel to BKK Suvarnabhumi cost 500 baht (including tolls).  A previous experience indicated that the cost using meter would be about 300 baht, and tolls about 100 baht, so in total it would have cost 400 baht if it was done properly.   We had the same experience when we arrived at BKK.  The taxi driver did not want to turn on the meter and charged us 500 baht net for the ride from airport to Courtyard Marriott.

Approaching the airport.  The tall and thin structure on the right was the control tower.

Airplanes on the tarmac.

The Concourse area for drop-off was very long.  Scoot operated from Gate 4.  Singapore Airlines from Gate 5. Watch out for traffic!

Scoot Check in Row G
Here we are at the terminal.  BKK Suvarnabhumi had only one huge terminal.  Scoot check-in was Gate G.

You could upgrade on this flight to ScootBiz for 2,000THB + 200 cash. In total, that is about SGD $88.

The single terminal was very big, and you had to potentially walk very long distances.   Beware, if you have difficulty walking.

Check-in was smooth.  We cleared security lines and immigration fairly quickly.  Perhaps it was a Sunday? Also, I am sure the recent protests had really affected passenger traffic.  This was in the transit area, after immigration and security.

VAT Refund for Tourists Office located somewhere.

The Terminal was rather new, but rather soulless, I felt.  It felt like a very big and functional place.  Also, the air-conditioning wasn't great.  It felt rather hot.   There were these luxury shops.  Didn't buy anything.

Shops and elevators.  Looked like caverns.

More shops.  All the well-known brands are here.  We were looking for some food, so we kept walking.

Directions to the various Airline Lounges.

Food!  Concourse F

Finally, we found a cluster of eateries and restaurants near Concourse F.  Earlier in the day, I had gone on the Internet to search for restaurants.  However, the airport website was terribly unfriendly as it was largely in Thai.  I couldn't find the restaurant listing at all!  I hope this is useful for you, if you are travelling via this airport.

Eateries.  They weren't crowded, except for Burger King.

Some of these eateries sold local food.

More local and Asian cuisine.

A Japanese ramen restaurant.

There was a pub that was rather popular among Caucasian travellers.

Ice-cream, donuts and other comfort food.

A cafe - this was rather popular.

My kids had a lot of Mister Donut in Bangkok. The prices at the airport were of course much higher.

Concourse F.

We finally settled for Burger King - the safest type of food for the kids.  It was crowded!

Prices.  Not exactly cheap, however, this is the airport.  285 Baht for a standard Whopper Meal.  This is about SGD $11.50 (at current exchange rates).  Very expensive.

Looks like a large cavern?

Coffee, after dinner
We had some time to spare after dinner.  We bought some water - 30baht per 600ml bottle, to refill our kids' water bottles.  Then we found a place to sit down for a hot drink.  My wife and I shared this large Chai-Tea Mocha at Simply W, which was located directly opposite the pub.

We find the drinks and desserts in Thailand to be generally too sweet for our likely.  So we will always ask for "less sweet" or "less sugar" or "not so sweet".  The counter staff could understand.

Nightfall - Time to head to the Gate
It was time to head to the gate for the flight. You can see that it was already dark outside.

The gate for the Scoot flight was right at the end.  Looks like Scoot chose the farthest gates, presumably the cheapest.

We passed the CIP Lounge on the way there.

Not sure how much it costs to use the CIP Lounge.  I didn't check.  The lounge looked very uncrowded, maybe 5 passengers in a lounge.

At the Gate
We arrived at Gate G5 in good time. There was already quite a crowd.  There isn't enough seating space for the Boeing 777.  If you want a seat, go early.  Many passengers ended up sitting on the floor.

The plane arrived on time.

I was quite tickled - 'Maju lah' was the name of this Scoot Plane.  Majulah is a Malay word that features prominently in the Singapore National Anthemn (which is in Malay).  Majulah means "onward".

Boarding Delay
Even though the plane arrived on time, there was a 20 minute delay in boarding due to some technical problems.  Here we are at the aircraft gate.

Walking into the Scoot cabin.  The yellow seats were more expensive, featured as 'upgrades' on the Scoot website.

If you are very tall, it would be well worth your money to get one of the Scoot yellow seats right at the front of each cabin section (Emergency exit seats).  Otherwise, you'd be very cramped.  See my video below.

Scoot operates the Boeing 777-200, with a 3-4-3 configuration.

The aisles are very narrow.

Video to show you Scoot's legroom (or lack of!)

Here are my legs.  I am not tall, at least by Caucasian standards.

Here is the aisle.

And my leg reaching out.

Flight was uneventful.   We arrived at Singapore Changi, about 20 minutes late.  Here we were waiting for our luggage.

We would take a taxi back home.  By the time we boarded the taxi, it was past midnight.   Plenty of public taxis at this time.  Don't worry, the Singaporean taxis are all very law abiding.  They will definitely use the meter.

Overall, it was a good trip and a nice short getaway for us.

Thanks for reading!

Back to my Bangkok, Thailand page.

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