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Frequent flyers rejoice: Scoot axes baby bassinets from bulkheads

By David Flynn     Filed under: Scoot

It's happened to every frequent flyer at least once in their life.

You snare the bulkhead row in economy – a location prized for its legroom and personal space, as well as a quick exit if you're travelling with carry-on only.

But also parked in the front row is at a baby in a bassinet. You cross your fingers and pray to the Patron Saint of Frequent Flyers (we're told it's the little-known Saint Status) that the flight will be a quiet one, but you know the odds are against you.

Thankfully, Scoot's steering the odds back in your favour.

During the Singaporean start-up's inaugural Sydney flight this week – which will be followed by the launch of Singapore-Gold Coast flights on Wednesday June 13th – we noticed there were none of those tell-tale metal bassinet-mounting studs in any of the bulkhead walls.

Check out our review of Scoot's seats, from business to economy (including the 'super' and 'stretch' options) with all you need to know about pitch, legroom, seat layout and more!

Bassinets begone!

Steve Greenway, Scoot's Head of Commercial, revealed to Australian Business Traveller that the airline decided not to fit bassinets at the bulkhead or indeed anywhere in the aircraft.

So instead of babies and their parents being automatically assigned to the bulkhead row they'll be found anywhere on the plane, perched on their parents' lap or in a seat of their own.

Let's be clear: this is not a Malaysia Airlines-style baby ban. Scoot will seat babies anywhere. They just won't be grouped together in the bulkhead rows.

Why this is a smart move

The bulkhead rows, especially near the front of plane, rate highly with frequent flyers.

But most airlines designate bulkheads as bassinet-mounting locations, making the front row of each cabin a place which travellers book at their own risk.

Scoot's decision to allocate babies to any seat on the plane protects the value of this premium row in economy, which it sells as a 'Stretch' seat for A$60 on top of the cost of your ticket with the promise of maximum legroom compared to the standard 31 inches of economy.

It's also a win for travellers in Scoot's small business cab, especially the back row. On most other airlines you'd still be within a earshot (or burst eardrum shot) of the bassinet.

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About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

 

Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 7/6/12 by aero-seat

Thank goodness Scoot! This is definitely a smart move. This means that they could still be there but less likely. That makes me want to try out Scoot sometime soon. 

2 on 8/6/12 by Deano

I wonder what the parents of your roving international reporter John  Walton (who took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old), would think about not having access to a bassinet. No one sets out to fly with infants to annoy fellow passengers, but they are humans who need to travel with parents and we don't need to make parents feel bad about the fact that sometimes children don't like being on a plane.

1 on 9/6/12 by John

Well, interestingly enough, I just asked them. They said that they actually preferred to pick a row down the back of a cabin without a bassinet.

The idea, they said, was to lie me down on a seat (or, frequently at the back of the plane, a good couple of seats in a row of 4 or 5 centre seats), swaddle me up and seatbelt me in.

Apart from the fact that it's pretty damn hard for whoever's in the window seat to get out with the bassinet in place, the last thing they wanted was for me (and them) to be woken up in mid-sleep by another baby screaming.

My take: I reckon airlines should turn the back of long-haul planes into special baby zones (sell it with easy access to crew, lavs, food, story time, colouring books, etc), then buffer the rest of the plane with the people buying the very cheapest seats (Air NZ Seat Only, Delta Basic Economy).

That leaves frequent flyers, full-fare passengers and people who buy extra-legroom seats up the front, insulated from baby noise.

 

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