In a press release on Tuesday, the formal ‘tie-up’ was announced. Frankly, a long time coming considering that the SIA group have wholly owned Scoot since conception, and the integration of TigerAir and Scoot was completed on 25 July this year.
Why has it taken so long? We speculate that intense negotiations over the rate at which Scoot will be paid by SIA/Silk for codeshare passengers have held up proceedings. And as Scoot’s passenger volume has grown significantly recently, pitched to overtake the parent at least in economy class within the next few years, their negotiating position may be significantly stronger than it used to be.
So now you will be able to book one ticket, through the Singapore Airlines or SilkAir website, that will take you all the way through to or from any of 30 ‘new’ destinations, currently only served by Scoot. And you’ll be travelling with an SQ or MI codeshare flight number instead of the usual TR.
Amritsar, Athens, Clark, Dalian, Gold Coast, Haikou, Hangzhou, Harbin, Hat Yai, Honolulu, Ipoh, Jaipur, Jeddah, Jinan, Kaohsiung, Krabi, Kuantan, Kuching, Lucknow, Macau, Nanjing, Ningbo, Palembang, Qingdao, Quanzhou, Sapporo, Shenyang, Tianjin, Tiruchirappalli, Wuxi, Xi’an and Zhengzhou.
So what’s the big deal?
Seamless connectivity. Say for example you want to travel from London to Krabi via Singapore. Now you will be issued with boarding cards for both sectors in London (no need to visit the transit desk in Changi), and your bags will be checked all the way to Krabi (no need to pass immigration, collect your baggage and then check-in again).
But Scoot is a “no-frills” low-cost-carrier, right? Yes, but as a passenger travelling on a Scoot flight as a Singapore Airlines or SilkAir codeshare, you are afforded some full-service perks.
Scoot’s lingo for perks. As a “premium” customer you will be offered a meal and a beverage (note… only one!) a blanket (but only on flights over 4 hours – highlighted above), and some baggage allowance.
On a short flight – booked directly with Scoot, these perks typically cost around S$40 (longer flights are more). So you may want to factor that in when considering the benefits of booking the codeshare.
The baggage allowance side of things is a little more complicated.
“Baggage allowance depends on the most significant carrier for the through-checked portion of the journey: 30kg for Singapore Airlines and SilkAir, 20kg for Scoot.”
In other words, whichever airline you spend the longest part of your trip on, dictates your baggage allowance, right? Well, you’d think so anyway. Alas, it’s not quite that simple.
Most Significant Carrier
Most Significant Carrier (MSC) is an IATA-defined principle. It’s really boring, and overly-complicated. Air New Zealand have the clearest guide to it we have seen online, if you’re really interested.
In essence, for the purposes of SIA / Silk codesharing with Scoot:
- For a flight routing which crosses from one ‘IATA Area’ to another, the first airline to cross the boundary is the MSC.
- For a flight routing which exists entirely within an ‘IATA Area’, the first airline to cross from one ‘IATA sub-area’ to another is the MSC.
- For a flight routing which exists entirely within an ‘IATA sub-area’, the marketing carrier is the MSC.
So you would think the ‘most significant carrier’ on an Athens-Singapore (TR), Singapore-San Francisco (SQ) itinerary, booked as one ticket under SIA codeshare and with SQ flight numbers on all boarding cards, would be SIA. It would be Scoot, as they are the first carrier to cross from IATA Area 2 to IATA Area 3.
On the return flight though (SFO-SIN-ATH), the MSC would be SIA, as they are the first carrier to cross from IATA Area 1 to IATA Area 3.
If you travel entirely within an IATA sub-area on an SQ/MI codeshare ticket, for example from Palembang to Singapore to Bangkok, firstly with Scoot and secondly with SIA, SIA is the MSC because they are the marketing carrier.
Confused? So are we…
Hopefully the prevailing baggage allowance applicable to your booking will be clearly stated at the online booking stage, or on the manage booking portal, but be prepared to accept that the Scoot allowance may take precedence, even when that doesn’t seem sensible.
At the moment it’s a little unclear how it will work in business class, or for KrisFlyer Elite Gold / PPS Club status members, in terms of access to the Singapore Airlines SilverKris or KrisFlyer Gold lounge whilst in transit at Changi.
If travelling in business, or as a Gold member on a Qantas / Jetstar codeshare flight that was booked through Singapore, Sydney or Melbourne, you are allowed access to the Qantas lounge, even if your next flight is on Jetstar, so long as you are travelling on a QF codeshare flight number.
We doubt Singapore Airlines will be so generous. Even if they are – the Terminal 2 SilverKris lounge is nothing to write home about! Look out for our review on that in January.
We’ll update this article as more information becomes available.