PSA: Scoot’s ridiculous complimentary seat selection “perk”

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PPS Club and KrisFlyer Elite members enjoy free seat selection on Scoot flights- but this is one benefit you're better off not having!

At the start of 2022, Singapore Airlines tightened its integration with Scoot by enhancing the Elite mile accrual rate on Scoot flights, and introducing pre-flight and onboard benefits for PPS Club and KrisFlyer Elite members.

Benefits include the following: 

✈️ Benefits for Travel on Scoot
 PPS ClubKF Elite Gold & Silver
Additional 5kg baggage allowance✔️✔️
Complimentary Standard Seat Selection✔️✔️
(with Priority check-in)
Booking Flexibility Waiver
(one-time flight or date change fee waiver)

Frankly speaking, there isn’t a whole lot to get excited about here:

  • There’s no free checked bag; you only enjoy the additional 5kg baggage allowance if you purchase a check-in bag
  • There’s no lounge access- and if you think that’s asking too much, well, Qantas offers it to elites flying on its low-cost arm Jetstar
  • Scoot is already offering a free one-time change for all bookings made up till 30 June under its COVID flexibility policy

Therefore, the only real perk is priority check-in and boarding. 

But wait, what about the complimentary Standard seat selection perk- did you forget about that? Not hardly. In fact, it’s the kind of “benefit” I wish I didn’t have…

Scoot’s complimentary seat selection “perk”

Scoot A320

For my upcoming “A Day In The Private Room” trip report, I booked a Scoot flight back from Jakarta to Singapore. It wasn’t my first choice to be sure, but it was the cheapest option with a timing that suited me.

A Day In The Private Room: Trip Planning

Shortly after booking, I received an email from Scoot telling me that as an elite member, I’d be eligible for certain benefits including complimentary Standard seat selection. 

The perks have already been added to your booking. There is nothing further you need to do besides selecting your Standard seat.

So I clicked the button in the email and logged into my booking, only to see I’d been pre-assigned 30F, at the very rear of the aircraft, next to the toilets, with limited recline. 

That’s…not ideal. But no worries, I told myself. I have complimentary seat selection, all I need to do is assign myself another seat.

Well, no. I clicked on 14F, another Standard seat, and saw that 31,000 IDR had been added to the bill. 

Granted, that’s only S$3, but that’s not the point. The point is that the perk isn’t complimentary Standard seat selection, it’s complimentary Standard seat assignment.

The system assigns you a seat, and if you don’t want it, you’ll need to cough up to change it. Maybe I just got unlucky, but it feels almost extortive in my case: don’t want the last row? Pay up! 

⚠️ Addendum

Based on the comments section, some of you have encountered similar issues, others have been able to change seats without an additional fee.

Thanks to .!. on The MileLion’s Telegram Group, we may have an answer why

1) Same thing happened to my booking. Got assigned last row on a 787, so useless. Dont want to be behind everyone else at BKK immigration queue

2) it seems like the logic built into it is that (in my case ex sin) there is a $7 ‘credit’ for seat selection. You can change seats for free as long as it is a $7 seat (standard seats not all the same price, ranged from $7-$9 from memory). That seems stupid because the elite status perks is standard seat selection, not a certain portion of standard seat selection

3) The above becomes more stupid on the 787 because there aren’t any $7 standard seats – cheapest was $8…

4) I called the call centre, they assigned me new seats and waived off the charge

5) but… The call centre absolutely insists (i had it from 4 out of 4 agents) that only the elite status holder gets the free seat selection, no one else in your booking gets it. So dumb when it is clearly on their website that the perk applies to the whole travelling party in the booking. (On online chat, to “prove” it the agent sent the link to the highflyer page and insisted (twice!) that I should read the page, even after telling them it’s the wrong stupid link). After dealing with scoot call centre, you’re begging to deal with SQs call centre even if it’s the old 4hr wait time…

tl;dr: it seems the system is set up to give you a S$7 credit towards seat charges (hence the 80,000 IDR “handling fee discount” you see in my screenshot above). If you happen to choose a seat which is in this range, you won’t pay extra. Here’s the thing though: not all Standard seats price the same! The ones towards the front cost more than the ones at the back.

I might have been able to shift from Row 30 to Row 29 at no additional cost, but I think it’s sheer sophistry to advertise this as complimentary Standard seat selection and then set up the system in a way that only allows you to pick a subset of Standard seats. Complimentary means complimentary. 

In fact, I’d arguably be better off if I didn’t have elite status, since my seat would be assigned at check-in and agents typically fill the plane from front to back, avoiding middle seats for solo travellers where possible.

Fortunately, I realised it’s possible to de-select your preassigned seat and not choose a new one. Under Manage Booking, click on the seat you’ve been assigned to remove it (it’ll change colour from dark blue to light blue), and click “Continue”.

The system warned me about the folly of my actions, but after logging out and logging in to my booking again, I saw that 30F had disappeared. 

I’ll take my chances and roll the dice at check-in. I mean, my seat can’t possibly get any worse than what I have right now. 

Unless of course they give me 30E…


PPS Club, KrisFlyer Elite Gold and KrisFlyer Elite Silver members enjoy complimentary Standard seat selection on their Scoot flights, but it’s not so much selection as it is assignment.

The system assigns you a seat, and if you don’t like it, you either have to pay to change it, or deselect it and wait till check-in to be assigned a seat. In that sense, you’re no different from a regular passenger!

It’s one of those benefits that sounds decent on paper, but falls apart in the execution. And look, elite benefits on Scoot are thin as it is. Would it be too much to ask for the ability to really choose your seat? 

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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