From Penang to Singapore in a whizz: a review of Scoot Air

Going to Singapore and looking for a cheap, reliable flight to get you there in no time? We flew Scoot from Penang to Singapore and have all the answers to your questions in this hands-on review.

scoot penang to singapore
Scoot's aircraft parked at Singapore's Changi Airport (picture credit: Kit Yeng Chan)

Penang and Singapore: two islands linked by intriguing British colonial history and, these days, plenty of low-cost flights.

Good connections are possibly the main reason why many Penangites move to Singapore. Indeed, the prosperous island nation was once part of the Malayan Federation, and in recent times has represented the closest surrogate to life in a “first world” nation. In other words, many Malaysians still consider Singapore as a better alternative to earn higher incomes and secure safer lives.

But what are the best low-cost flights from Penang to Singapore? We recently flew with Scoot and had a very positive experience. We are familiar with this Singaporean low-cost air carrier, which we previously used to fly from Athens to Singapore at an incredibly low price.

Interested in using Scoot to fly from Penang to Singapore? Please read on for an honest review of our in-flight experience.

Scoot booking and online check-in

We have used Penang Airport quite a lot recently. For our Qatar Airways direct flight from Penang to Doha, we checked in online to avoid long queues at the airport.
Scoot allows passengers to check-in online up to 72 hours before their flight. But this time we ran a bit late with last minute preparations and showed up at the airport without having checked in online. Luckily we arrived within the recommended 120 minutes before the flight — we reached at 9 am, and our flight was scheduled to depart at 11.10am.

 scoot penang to singapore
Boarding Scoot flight from Penang to Singapore (picture credit: Kit Yeng Chan)

Scoot Penang to Singapore: check-in procedures in Penang

To our delight, the Scoot counters — which are located on the first floor of Penang Airport, just inside and to the right from Gate 5 — were already operating, and there was just a small queue waiting before us.

Scoot’s ground staff was courteous and professional while checking our travel documents. The stewardess also made sure our luggage complied with Scoot’s hand carry regulations. These are pretty generous: you can bring up to 2 bags, whose maximum length must be 54cm, and a combined weight of 10kg (that’s 3kg more than AirAsia — not bad). The perfect match to carry our usual travel set-up: one 40 and one 50 liters backpack, and two laptop/camera bags filled with electronics — yes, we need cameras and laptops to keep bringing you news from our adventures around Asia.
But if you can’t stay within Scoot’s luggage limits, you can just pay a bit extra and get 20kg checked baggage allowance.

SMART TIP — As there are many flights at similar times, and few gates in a single terminal, Penang Airport is famous for long queues at immigration before international flights. It’s very recommended that you go through immigration control as soon as you receive your Scoot Air boarding card to avoid delays or, horror, miss your flight. There are plenty of similarly priced cafes, shop, and toilets also once you have crossed immigration and are waiting at the gates.

Scoot Penang to Singapore: the flight experience

We were all seated and prepared to take off in perfect timing, and the Scoot aircraft rose above Penang island exactly at 11.10am. This was probably thanks to Scoot’s quick and efficient boarding procedures which started at 10.35 am.

Scoot Penang to Singapore is a short flight of about an hour and 20 minutes. We landed smoothly in Singapore at 12.25am, even 25 minutes before schedule. Perfect for those who, unlike us, didn’t have to wait for a transfer and could just zoom to Singapore’s immigration.

 scoot penang to singapore
Queuing up to leave Scoot flight from Penang to Singapore (picture credit: Kit Yeng Chan)

The aircrew was quick and professional in both directing passengers to their seats and carrying on with safety information and take off procedures. I also have to say that I really like the Scootees uniforms, especially the air stewardesses, as they look quite funky and retro, with those dashes of bright yellow over black that reminds me so much of Barbarella. A touch of style that other low-cost air carriers lack.

Landing was as smooth as taking off, and we probably wouldn’t even notice if the aircrew didn’t ask us to put our chairs back up. Quite a different experience compared to a Ryan Air flight from Morocco to Milan Bergamo we took recently — I cringed when the wheels hit the ground, and the over-speeding aircraft rocked me all the way forward. I almost hit my face against the front seat.

Eating aboard the Scoot Flight from Penang to Singapore

We got a combo with Teriyaki Chicken, a soft drink, and a packaged chocolate. Simple, but pretty good and definitely filling: it came served in a sealed plastic container that really kept the food fresh and hot. It’s not nice to get lukewarm plane food, but Scoot got us two perfectly juicy meals.

scoot penang to singapore
Scoot’s in-flight meal and magazine aboard the Penang to Singapore flight (picture credit: Kit Yeng Chan)

The number of chicken chunks was average for a filling meal and served next to well-cooked white rice. All of this costs Sing$15 — maybe a tad bit expensive for Malaysian customers, but I suppose good value for Singaporeans and their higher value currency.
Most important, unlike food served by other low-cost airlines, Scoot’s meal wasn’t heavy and didn’t get me sleepy.

The Verdict: Would I Scoot Penang to Singapore again?

Would I fly Penang to Singapore with Scoot again? Yes, definitely. The flight left Penang on time and landed in Singapore 25 minutes ahead of schedule — not many other companies can claim this performance record. Food was good, the aircrew was competent and nice, and all embarking and disembarking procedures flawless. A very good experience at a premium price. Consider Scoot for your next flight Penang to Singapore.

scoot penang to singapore
A tropical garden inside Changi Airport in Singapore (picture credit: Kit Yeng Chan)

Hey Hey, blogging transparency! Scoot sponsored our flight from Penang to Singapore, but all the opinions expressed in this post are exclusively our own. And trust us: we would never recommend something we wouldn’t use or pay for ourselves. 


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Marco Ferrarese has lived in Penang since 2009 and is an expert on Malaysia and Borneo. He authored chapters on Malaysia and Brunei for the Rough Guides and published several books. He has written on travel, culture and extreme music in Asia for a variety of international publications and shares his Penang intelligence on the Penang Insider.
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