If you are the type of person who expects their travel to consist of as little interaction with strangers as possible, to be seamlessly efficient, coldly polite and as generic and non-invasive as feasible – considering the cramped quarters you're enduring – then the inaugural flight of Asia's newest low-cost airline Scoot would have been a total surprise.
The special "Scoot" logo (above left) and checking in for the inaugural Scoot flight to Sydney. All images taken on an iPhone using Instagram
It was kind of like being trapped in a psychedelic flashback to an early 80s generic American sitcom set in on airline; heaps of bright colour and even more blindingly bright smiles.
The bouncy cabin crew – who actually “shuffle danced” to celebrate the first flight; at least one of them possibly trained to be a K-Pop star – plus the thumping “fun” club music in the waiting lounge and the abundance of egg-yolk yellow could have been a bit much for passengers who weren’t expecting it, but it was a launch and a celebration after all.
The Scoot cabin crew get down (above left) and the interior of the plane echoes the fun logo colour with a touch of blue. All images taken on an iPhone using Instagram
For more friendly and cheery types – especially the kids – the dancing just added to the festival atmosphere, enhanced by the star power of The Noose crew.
Once the dancing was over the punters looked hopefully towards the boarding gate ... Yes! It was time to jump aboard the first Scoot flight to Sydney.
Boarding began with a trickle of bemused passengers, who became more confused on discovering that a security check was still going on.
Oh well, teething problems right? Ah ... Those teeth were obviously a full set of wisdom molars.
Finally boarded, the bunch of camera-happy VIPs were eventually convinced by a bunch of very stern cabin staff – that were obviously not part of the dance team – to put away their various electronic devices, and the 'scoot' was on.
Well, no, actually it wasn't quite yet.
After moving a bit, then stopping, then moving back to where the plane had started, and then sitting around for a good 20 minutes, the crowd of increasingly confused punters were told that there was a “warning” light of some sort flashing and that since “safety was one of Scoot's most important principles”, we were all going to have to wait for Engineering to have a look.
The first passengers on the inaugural Scoot flight got to use a bright yellow blanket for free (above left); safety tips are a big focus of the airline (above right). All images taken on an iPhone using Instagram
By this stage the flight was officially an hour overdue; a bit more waiting in the dark without any entertainment and then up went the lights. Right, it was going to be a substantial wait then.
Out came the phones, iPads, broadcast quality (read enormous) cameras – this was an historic occasion after all and the flight was packed with journalists – and everyone switched back to non-flight mode to Instagram, Tweet and Facebook their situation.
Ooops ... Probably not the best flight to have a drama on, but the bouncy cabin crew bounced back with “milk & cookies” – literally – to apologise for the wait.
After another half an hour or so, the first Scoot flight was finally underway ... It left the ground almost exactly two hours late. Finally in the air and most passengers were earphones in, blankets up, eye-masks firmly in place before the plane's wheels left the ground.
But before you could say snooze ... Out whipped the wig, the makeup, the wacky accent and a camera ... Ah, The Noose on Tour. While I’m sure it’s going to be a fun snippet when it finally ends up on TV, the timing might have been a bit unfortunate for those poor bedraggled passengers trying to catch a bit of shut-eye, although fans of the show loved it.
The inaugural Scoot flight arrived in Sydney a bit late but to brilliant Autumn weather (above right). All images taken on an iPhone using Instagram
So, back to our travellers who expect a generally cold but politely efficient experience whether or not they're flying full-service or low-cost. How did they cope with all the cheering, clapping, dancing, bouncing and over-abundance of yellow? Were they won over?
Does it matter? If you're the opposite of one these rather dour individuals; if you have a sunny disposition; if you like cheering, clapping and the colour yellow; you'll love Scoot. The cabin crew are also particularly good with young kiddies, so for families looking for a holiday overseas, check out Scoot’s destinations, it’s just announced that there will be routes from Singapore to Tokyo via Taipei from the last quarter of 2012.
And even if yellow isn't your favourite colour, you've got to love the price, not to mention the smiling service from most of the crew. There’s also heaps more leg room, so if you like a bit more space this will make you happy; and the seats all function the same as most major airlines – unlike on some others – so you can tip back and enjoy a snooze … Just watch out for a camera.
For more on Scoot and to book one of its super cheap flights – there are some absolutely amazing deals to be had – head to www.flyscoot.com.