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✔️✔️
BoardMeFirst
(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…

Conclusion

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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Boogie night

Maybe I just got unlucky, but it feels almost extortive in my case: don’t want the last row?

Had the same experience on my scoot flight. Got the last row seat. Maybe they fill krisflyer elites from the back

Shane

Ditto.. got assigned last row. Some perk yeah?

Siyuan

Same here. Back row.

chk

Supposedly higher survival rate in airplane crashes compared to front or middle seats. That’s the elite “perk” or “advantage”. 🤷‍♂️

But that last row, like Aaron, no thank you.

David

Same. Last row on both my scoot flights this year

ZYX

It’s not a perk, it’s a punishment warning you the consequences of not flying SQ.

asprino

spot on

Alex

Something very wrong with Scoot

kkk

you probably got unlucky, or due to currency fluctuation… I got my one time seat change for free.

How to change for free?

How do you get a one time seat change for free?

Kee

I experienced the same. Last row is not a perk!

wes

Actually I was able to assign a seat further up front at no cost. You can select a seat as long as it’s not one of those that you need to pay extra for!

Eugene

I could change at no cost as well. Just not immediately. When I logged in for my SYD flight I was charged $1 per seat to change even within the same seat type. But when I logged in around 2 weeks after booking my flight, I could change at no cost.

Bear

Same for me, I changed my seat free of charge, as long as it was the same “class” of seat (the ones all the way upfront cost a few bucks more and I’d have to pay for the difference). Seemed fair to me.

bryan

same here. i could move up few rows but within the same price range of seat selection. so i end up not on the first row, but moved maybe 15 rows forward from original selection. if i selected the first row seat, additional costs incurred.

Patrick Tan

Every other seats, even the one next to the last row seat assigned to you, there are charges.
I will never take Scoot again. Bad trick and dishonesty.

Alison

another money making tricks!

Falco

I agree it’s more punishment than perk, but maybe not exactly as you describe. In my case, I was able to select some seats free of charge once (however, only some of the standard seats were free – same cost as already applied for this “perk”, other standard seats had a small mark-up of 1-6$. So perhaps you may have been able to change for free to another seat – just not the ones you tried. However, so you can only select a very small percentage of sub-par standard seats, and then when Scoot changed the flights, the selection disappeared… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Falco
Anthony

I lodged few negative complaints against Scoot’ mishandling in March 22. Till date, nothing has been done by Scoot despite promises that they committed……please response!

Yin Yu

i have experienced the same and i actually bother to contact Scoot to clarify. The officer confirmed that i have to pay if i want to change to the new seat. Having the same explanation like you do, i asked them how it is a complimentary seat selection when it was pre-assigned? And I don’t have a chance to choose the “complimentary” seat at all. I told them it is better not to offer me right from the start. It is a not a benefit but a punishment. After long debate (or maybe just me complaining), he changed the seat… Read more »

SQFG

i respectfully somewhat disagree and there are upsides to it.

Yes, the system always auto assigns you the last row at the back, but crucially – the standard seat selection is treated as a credit as you point out (probably intended to be at the lowest of the standard seats) . I can see where your pet peeve comes from, but I am actually pleased it allows me to use that amount against the nice comfy seats close to the front.

asprino

nice comfy seats” on Scoot? seriously?

SQFG

As with anything in this world, everything is relative I come from a line of women where being taller than 5’1 makes you the giraffe in the family. So yes, seriously, from my vantage point.

Jan

I would agree with you, but i wasn’t able to change it. Every change resulted in a fee. After deselecting 40 was back there on the next day. Managed to ask the ground staff to change it during the checkin.

Overall very confusing and annoying perk.

Last edited 4 months ago by Jan
Merpati

Did the same thing. But trying to call SQ or Scoot is like striking a lottery.

Alison

Very frustrating !

Alian

Really ??? While I agree on cost offset this also disadvantage you because you are paying more than you should. As in the article because it only preassigns you $7 credit when it could be $9 you loose out $2 in forward section offset cost. So it’s not beneficial to you

Zach

I had the same ‘wtf’ moment when i flew with Scoot last week. The ‘complimentary’ seat was pre-assigned lol. Like what’s the point. I did the same thing and removed the pre-assigned seat and took my chances with the check in agent.

What kind of joke is this Scoot?

Joseph

the standard seats were categorized into few zones. free self re-assign can only do until certain rows.. one has to call to Scoot to ‘appeal’ to the front row..

how i know? i did it twice..

best part? i had to screenshot, email to proof that it is one of the Krisflyer Elite perks..

Ee Ling

Same here! Got my complimentary seat of last row (42) on my upcoming SIN-BKK (thanks Scoot) and so I tried to change and was actually able to select row 18 for an additional $1 for some reason so I did. BUT THEN I tried to change my flight to one day earlier and even when the fare on the new date is the same as my original, the system tried to charge me for the seat selection AND priority boarding (Board Me First) both of which was KEG status benefits. And you cannot untick those benefits and are hence forced… Read more »

QAZ

That sounds totally wrong, you absolutely should write in to ask for that to be refunded, it is robbery!

asprino

good luck with it, this is Singapore

Ortloc

You need to wait 24 hours before you can change seats without a charge. I believe this is stated somewhere for KFEG flying on Scoot.

Do note that the first 14 rows (?) are still chargeable though.

JHH

Surely this is a technical fault. No way seat assignment isn’t the same as seat selection

Dub

Ditto. Was assigned the middle seat in the last row on SIN-SYD as KFEG with no option to select another seat for free, as if a 7.5 hour flight on Scoot wasn’t punishment enough..

Anon

I thought it was just me and there was a bug with my booking! SIA acting like the thugs they are as usual 🙄

beezelbub

I am QF Platinum and pre-pandemic used to fly weekly to KL via Jetstar. So on a budget fare SIN-KL, I enjoyed the Qantas Business Lounge for years until the Qantas First Lounge opened and enjoyed that also for a couple months, before Covid happened and it closed. C’mon SQ, do better – its your own hub for gods sake. I haven’t been to the new SQ First Class or Private Room but suffice to say I have low expectations and the food offerings would unlikely beat Qantas First’s.

noob

SQ just keeping the riff raff out of lounges. Unless they build a Scoot lounge, KF Gold lounges will be overwhelmed.

Cindy

my party of 2 kids and 1 adult in the same booking also got the last row and in separate sections *facepalm*. i caved and paid the $3 bucks per pax for the seat change but could only do this on the phone as the online kept showing me $8 per pax.

Mike

I had exactly the same thing happen to me on Scoot to SG. Last row, limited recline. Good on you for highlighting this.

Tom

FYI your use of the word “sophistry” is not quite correct in the article – they are not arguing this point but rather advertising it. Better to use simpler words if you do not fully understand their meaning.

Addison

Hey Aaron, I had the same experience but what I did was I call them up and they managed to change the seat for me. Even got row 3A. I think the contact center guys are aware how lousy the pre-seat selections are that they change it for free and are really cool about it.

FYI- I used the live chat box too but I think calling seems to get through faster and make sure to get the confirmation email again.

Addison

Remember to say the seat selection is stupid and that you don’t feel like you should be paying. Only accept it if its FOC 🙂

Last edited 4 months ago by Addison
sammy

111

Last edited 4 months ago by sammy
sammy

Update:
Managed to get a free change of my seat from pre-assigned last row to front row by calling hotline.
They are saying that scoot is still considered as a different entity from Singapore airline so Kris Flyer Gold information cannot be recognized by their system.

Abc

Yet when you book a flight on Scoot and put your KF/PPS number in with the appropriate status, a pop up appears informing you of your status privileges. Maybe their call centre can’t see it, but their system definitely can.

Robs

lol i got assigned 27F. wtF is correct.

Robs

interestingly, what they seemed to have done is apply a $7 credit, which would be correct given that the selection of a standard seat is supposed to cost $7. however when applying the credit, the cost of a standard seat went up to $10, which made the difference of $3 chargeable. i wonder if it’s a glitch in the system?

ZP K

Just landed in CGK via scoot. First time utilising these PPS perks. I web checked in and got assigned the last row. Went to airport to check in and asked for seat change. Advice: do not web check in – once you do, the system will always assign from the back. Therefore, either scoot fix this in their system or avoid it all together!

Horrible experience

Encountered the same issue last Thu on my SIN-CGK flight – selected a standard seat which costs $8, offset $7 and paid $1 (I was expecting it to be free but oh well it was $1). But when I tried to check in online, it showed “pending payment” so I had to queue up at the manual counter at the check-in which was a pain. Was told there’s a $1 payment pending, argued with the staff KFEG is entitled to free seat selection but she just brushed it off with “pay $1 now or you risk forfeiting the entire flight,… Read more »

Dallan seah

I had the exact same experience going to Vietnam. This is more punishment than perk.

Zach

Aaron’s post reflects my experience exactly, and unfortunately unlike some of the other comments on here: 1. Even after weeks of waiting, I was not able to change the seat to another one of the same type/class. Any changes required payment of the full seat selection fee. 2. No luck with the Scoot contact centre agents (both online and on the phone) I spoke to either, on both occasions I tried to fix this. Told them I’m PPS but they said you only get seat *assignment* not seat selection. 3. No luck also with trying to change the seat at… Read more »

Jan

Had the same issue. SIN-Phuket. System assigned row 40. Deselected, next day it was assigned again. After 3 times I gave up. I didn’t see any 7$ discount. Any attempt to move to the front was indicating 11$ charge (if I remember correctly) . Flight on May 19th.

Lany

I experienced the same in relation to my KL trip in mid may, was confused as hell. Didn’t bother to call the call centre. This article has helped me understand better and that I wasn’t the only one! What a lame “perk”.

Joseph foo

No refund of unuse ticket .

noob

“Let’s inconvenience customers; it’s only S$3, they’ll just pay up. We managed to charge them before for using credit cards. Just like “da bao” food costs S$0.50 more, they’ll get used to it, especially wealthy elite members!”

10,000 scoot customer service hours changing flights later… “looks like we underestimated how kiasu Singaporeans are”

Probably a revenue maximization scheme thought up by those damn consultant people who fly around in business and stay in 5 star hotels 🙂

Tiak

I faced the same situation and commented in Aaron’s article on 11 Feb 2022 on KFEG perks. I gave my feedback to Scoot in the survey form they sent to me after the flight, but looks like they simply can’t be bothered.

dragonfruitisyummy

Same.

Assigned last row seats.

Selecting any other seats results in additional costs.

At least, my friend and I get to sit next to each other.

Otherwise, us two could have been given seats rows apart.

Why are they pre-assigning seats. They should let us choose, even if its the lowest bucket.

Budget airline so cant for too much I guess. LOL

Alian

Well nothing solves a problem like a class action suit. Promise one thing but deliver another.

Brian L

I actually loved Scoot’s policy choice here. I usually buy up to exit row or scoot in silence tickets and my status effectively gets me a 20-35% discount on that selection, which is a benefit that really matters to me. On a scoot flight to MEL, the credit was $14, which offset my $40 scoot in silence selection.

D K

I would usually not travel with SCOOT but had no choice as I had to utilise by AMEX travel credit. I encountered the same problem but was wonder if they would allow a FOC change of seats at the counter at check in? I managed to get priority check in using the business class counter at Perth – all thanks to KFEG, but I saw another foreigner with NO status and economy class ticket barged his way and got checked in anyway by faking ignorance. There was no priority boarding though for KFEG or even when I was travelling with… Read more »

Johnson

Looks like a small plane where the entrance and exit is at the back?

Dan

Encountered exactly the same thing. After numerous hours on the call, Scoot rattle on and on about the how you have already selected the seat once (it was assigned not chosen mind you), how seats are of a different pricing even tho to me they look like the same (light blue). I had no choice but really to call SQ call centre.. pulled my PPS(S) status… provided a feedback… and Scoot called back… saying it was their mistake and from 30F it went to 8D. I dont like to do this but hey… if Scoot does not want to provide… Read more »

Patrick Tan

Scoot is just daylight robbing the elite Krisflyer Gold Card flyers. They did the same trick to me for my coming Sgp-Jkt flight. Assigned also seat 30F to me.
I thougt there was complimentary seat selection, but every different seat selected, even next to the last row 30F, there is a charges of minimum S$4.00.
Looks like Scoot is assigned the worst seat to elite flyers and try to rob you in daylight for some money. Dishonest and untrustworthy.

L M Parry

Don’t know about seating arrangements BUT what is this Singapore Airlines doesn’t entertain any queries about Scoot though definitely earn the revenue. I had an issue with Scoot November 2021 in the good old’ Covid days but had to cancel due to sudden 72 hour quarantine restriction in Australia. So my planned 5 day trip including travel time would be only to enjoy the quarantine facilities there.
It was near to impossible to contact Scoot (SIA?) so have been charged for this with American Express.
I am now taking both to the Small Claims Court.
WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST?

Bemused Scoot Passenger

Hi Aaron, the title of this article resonates with me well. I too got assigned a seat on the last row for my flight to/fro KL. That wasn’t the end of my nightmare with Scoot. As you pointed out, there was a complimentary change for Scoot flights. I had trouble changing it online so I called into the hotline (another nightmare in itself) to change the date for my flights. Problem is, the operator’s system showed a fare difference after the date change, as it took into account the value of all the perks given to me as an Elite… Read more »

No more scoot

Same scenario as you. Guess what, they got back to me finally and said refund can only be done in scoot vouchers!

Coco

The worst airline that I had the experience with ridiculous cancellation flight without any notice, they still insisted they sent it But I really not receive any notice from them about cancellation until I call the customer service about manage booking, they told me my flight was cancelled. This is the worst and irresponsible airline I ever met. Not booking with them anymore.

M B

Same thing happened to me all the time regardless on which routing of Scoot. Agree this is a real non benefit! Hope someone from Scoot reads this blog and does something about it.

Daniel

Flying 30B today, was informed that I was assigned this seat as I’m a KrisFlyer – it’s not a penalty as I can change seat for a reduced fee. . .

Stan

I have the same issue for my flights to/fro Hanoi. Roll eyes till eyes fall off!!!

Cookies

Booked a Scoot flight yesterday for myself + 2 travel companions and added my KF number (I’m KFEG) to the booking. Checked today and was fully expecting to be assigned the last row, but it turned out the system assigned us 15ABC instead (squarely in the middle of this A320, which ain’t bad)… Has there been a change in policy? Would be interesting to get more DPs on this

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