“ Singapore Changi Airport (Chinese: 新加坡樟宜机场; pinyin: Xīnjiāpō Zhāngyí Jīchǎng; Malay: Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Changi Singapura; Tamil: சிங்கப்பூர் சாங்கி அனைத்துலக விமானநிலையம்), or simply Changi Airport (IATA: SIN, ICAO: WSSS) is a major aviation hub in Asia, particularly in the Southeast Asian region, and is the main stop-over point for the kangaroo route with over 3.6 million passengers per annum on the Singapore-Australia sector alone. Located in Changi on a 1,300-hectare (3,200-acre) site, the airport is about 20 kilometres (12 mi) east-northeast of the commercial center of Singapore. The airport is operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and is the home base of Singapore Airlines, Singapore Airlines Cargo, SilkAir, Tiger Airways, Jetstar Asia Airways and Valuair. It is a major hub for Emirates Airline, Garuda Indonesia, and Qantas. Collectively, the airlines account for about 4,054 weekly flights operated by 80 airlines to over 184 cities in 57 countries. An important contributor to the Singapore economy, it employs over 13,000 people and accounts for over S$4.5 billion in output. „
I titled this review as Singapore Changi Airport - Second Best in the World because Hong Kong International Airport is simply the best in the World. Singapore Airport, though I have to admit, a very good one, is only the second best in my mind.
Travelling to the Airport
Travelling to the airport is easy. You can either take the MRT (the subway), the bus or the taxi to the airport. I have not tried travelling to the airport by bus so can't really comment on that.
It is easy to travel on the MRT as all the information are displayed in four official languages (English, Chinese, Malay and Hindi). It can take you to the city centre in about half an hour and the price is quite reasonable. The only thing you have to take into consideration is that the MRT tends to be quite crowded especially during the rush hour so you may find it difficult to squeeze into the MRT if you are carrying with you a big luggage.
Taking the taxi is the probably the easiest way. You will not have difficulty to locate a taxi in the airport. One thing you have to note that is that there are sur-charges for travelling to and from the airport and there will be extra charges if you are entering the CBD during rush hours or if you are travelling after mid-night. The sur-charge can be a large sum of money. Some of the cabs take credit card so don't worry if you don't have enough cash.
Eating in the airport
There are a big food court inside the airport and there are also a wide variety of other choices as well, Burger King, McDonalds, Starbucks, Coffee Club are all there. If you would like to buy some food as souvenir for your friends, I would highly recommend you to take a trip to the cake shop, Bangawang Solo, which can be found in the airport (before you pass the immigration). The pandan cake is the best and I was ALWAYS asked to bring some back by my family and friends if I traveled to Singapore. The cookies and other products are of good quality too!
Wifi is available in the airport and the other parts in Singapore through Wireless@SG. You have to register before you can use the Wireless@SG service. I was told that you could either register in a counter at the airport (which I have absolutely no clue where it is located after spending almost half an hour in the airport and asking people at different counters) or register using a Singapore mobile phone number. I have not been able to locate the counter in the airport. I have also asked my Singaporean friends to get an account for me using their mobile phones but I was not able to use that either... Frankly I am quite frustrated with all these Wireless@SG thing and I hope you have better luck than I did. Separately, internet stations are available so you can always check your emails there.
There is one extra service provided in the Singapore airport which I think is unique to them. You can find a number of foot massaging machines next to the boarding gates. You can use the foot massaging machines for free! It is the best service you can get after walking for a long distance to the boarding gate or you have simply been shopping around before going to and inside the airport.
If the wifi service is easier to access, I will definitely give a 5 star.
thousands are stranded and some may not have ebnough money tosleep properly in hotels so I am going to offer free accomodation for stranded tourists, max 2 to stay at my house but they must not be smokers and should like cats. hp 90042895 offer just for this period only due to volcanic ash erruptions in Iceland.
Singapore airport is really strange - it is one of the few airports where it is actually a joy to be there even if you're just sitting round waiting for your flight!
I visited the airport recently after flying back home from Australia and I wasn't looking forward to the few hours wait for my connecting flight. I can genuinely say that time flew by (no pun intended!) whne I was at the airport as there was as much, or as little as you wished to do available.
Dotted around the airport were a number of free massage chairs. Unfortunately they were all taken up during my visit by other visitors but it made me think what a great way to relax and chill out after a lengthy flight.
There are all the usual duty free shops and the like around the airport along with cafes and bars. There seemed to be ample seating throughout the complex. The whole place just had a really relaxed feel to it.
During our visit we enjoyed a glas of wine at one bar and were then serenaded by a female vocalist who was accompanied by a keyboard player - you don't get that at Heathrow Terminal 5!
Changi airport is Singapore's only airport and it is by far and away the best airport in the world. Period.
I could leave it at that, enough said. However i shall justify my claim as it is quite a bold one. Changi airport is typical in its singaporean style, it is efficient, frighteningly so at times. Wether you are arriving or departing everything is done in a prompt and quiet fashion, all the information you need is given to you before you know you need it.
In all my times passing through Changi i have never had to que for more than 10 minutes, wether it be for check-in or baggage reclaim. On numerous occasions it has taken less than 15 minutes from touching own to steping into a taxi.
The catering services offered at changi are however not the best in the world, but do offer good food at not a huge cost, as is typical in singapore.
For passengers in transit, even between terminals, which at many airports is a daunting prospect, the skytrain takes no time at all, the wait is negligable and is off course free!
Duty free at changi is superb, with all the usual low to mid range goods one would expect from an international hub, while it also offers well over and above the required amount and range of luxury goods.
a remarkable service that i have not encountered anywhere elsewhere is the pool and spa on offer. This service does come at a small price, but if you are spending more time than you can while away in duty free/the bar, then a swim is not a bad option. as usual, it is pristine
All in all, Changi international airport is pristine, runs flawlessly with none of the inner workings ever visable to the traveller. it is peacefull, realxing and calm. simply the best in the world, bar none.
I should specify immediately that this review has a specific focus; the benefits of SIN as a transfer airport. SIN is located conveniently in the heart of south east Asia, and is frequently used as a transfer point to travel to/from Australia and the Middle East. In my case, I had booked a plane ticket from Brisbane to London Heathrow, and had two transfer spots en route; Singapore and Abu Dhabi. I spent approx 2 hours in SIN and it made a significant impact on me. My experience is detailed below.
Having entered the transfer lounge, my fellow passengers and I were immediately and clearly informed as to how long we had in the airport, where we could go, and where we would need to report back to. Good start!
Wondering down the corridor two things are noticeable; the size of the airport (seems to stretch beyond the eyes reach) and the immense calm. You could hear a pin drop. There were plenty of people milling about; yet everyone seemed to be going about their business with a quiet dignity. It's impossible not to feel relaxed and similarly calm. The vast amount of space means it is an ideal place to stretch your legs and really feel you've had a half-decent walk; perfect when you've just spent the past 9 hours cooped up on a plane.
Now ladies, the important part: the toilets. My god they're good. Air conditioned, modern decor and non-offensive lighting (no gaudy flouro strip lighting here). Lovely smelling soap and hand lotion, and plenty of worktop space to put your bag down and touch your make-up up. Whilst these details may seem trivial, believe me, when you've just spent 9 hours on a plane, and know you've got another 16 to go, it really makes a difference if you've got a decent place to refresh yourself and prepare yourself for the next leg of your journey.
Next stop, the free internet access. The airport has wifi, but for those travellers without a laptop, there are approx 8 computers available to use free-of charge. There is no queuing system as such, and fellow passengers tend to drift towards the area from various corners of the airport, so you need to be on the ball in order to secure yourself a PC. I had to wait about 10 minutes - not too bad. Once on, the PCs are modern and the internet speed is quick. Perfect for sending a quick email home with a travel update.
With a little time left to kill I wondered a little further in to the airport and discovered the koi carp pond. Now this is a great idea. If you weren't feeling suitably chilled out by now, this is bound to clinch it. Beautiful water features, informative plaques about the fish, and a few seating areas. Great for taking a load off. Def beats sitting in a bog-standard lounge.
I can wholeheartedly agree with the other reviewers on this airport - despite only transferring there, I can honestly say it is the most impressive airport I have been to. If only every airport was a good as this one. The world would be a much calmer place.
Singapore Changi Airport is more like a hotel than an airport. Given that it's just an airport, it's quite difficult to explain how it can be so good, but it's on a different scale to other airports around the world, and certainly than any airport in Britain. Arriving and Departing was a pleasure, although there are somewhat different experiences depending on which terminal you use.
I arrived in Terminal 3, the newest of the terminals, and was speechless at how clean it was; fountains, greenery, sweets at immigration, fast and efficient baggage handling, and quick security checks helped the 17-hour journey I'd just embarked on finish on a good note.
Whilst in Singapore, I flitted to Thailand for a few days, and had a slightly different experience; we departed form Terminal 2, a slightly older version of the fantastic Terminal 3, but returned to the budget terminal. The budget terminal is, effectively, a warehouse with the necessary bits of an airport stuck in it. That said, it helped to keep the costs of the flight down, processing was still very quick, and there were no major reasons to complain.
For waiting, Changi really excels. Comfy armchairs with built in speakers are dotted around in front of various different flat-screen TV's showing different TV channels, there are internet terminals in abundance with comfy seating, a wide variety of not-extortionately priced eateries, and a generous selection of lounges and shops.
Perhaps the only negative part of my experience of Changi airport was an altercation with a shop worker, who forbade me from buying alcohol because I was transferring through Qatar (allegedly an alcohol-free state). I insisted that I wasn't entering the country, and the bag wouldn't be unsealed, so it was fine. She refused to serve me, and I had to go and complain to the information staff before she eventually conceded and sold the alcohol. Still, this isn't really a fault of the airport, more of the individual franchised shop.
All in all, if you're travelling to/from/through Changi, you can sleep easy knowing you'll have a pleasant experience filled with creature comforts.
Changi airport quite simply the best airport in the world by miles! Their is not a single airport anywhere in the world that is on par with this phenonominal, diverse, and exemplary run airport. The fact that they are moving with the times is clearly evident, by their ability to comfortably cater for the biggest aircraft in the world the A380. The airport is a brilliant representation of the country Singapore. Efficient, orderly and self sustaining.
They constantly get recognition worldwide for their outstanding achievements in all faculties of aviation. Punctuality is of utmost importance, as well as constantly looking at ways to improve the airport. The shopping variety and food outlets are in a league of their own. Every award and compliment Changi airport recieves is fully deserved. They do not just talk the talk, they walk the walk in sensational fashion.
Customer satisfaction is of the highest priority. They will never let a customer be unhappy. They want to tend to their needs and help them in all ways possible. Their is always somewhere to sit and relax in all areas of the airport, tv entertainment is available to all travellers.
If a small island can produce the best airport in the world, it is a wonderful testament to the hard working citizens of the country and striving to be the best.
I recently had to spend 14 hours here as my connecting flight was delayed
In just 20 minutes on the super efficient MRT I was in Singapore and was able to check out the main sights of the city. I think there was also a tour from the airport for connecting passengers but I prefer to do things on my own so I can't comment on this.
The airport itself is just as clean and modern as the rest of Singapore. There are a huge variety of shops both land and air side and a good choice of restaurants. It is also easy to get between all the terminals on the skytrain monorail. The staff are super friendly too and really willing to help.
The best thing about the airport is the number of free activities to keep you occupied airside. There were numerous free internet terminals and free wifii throughout. There's a movie theatre showing new movies about every 2 hours, there's also free xbox and playstation booths.
The only negative point I would make is that there didn't appear to be any particularly comfortable seats, but this might just've meant I didn't look hard enough!
Singapore Changi International Airport is the best airport I have visited. It is in keeping with Singapore as a whole - clean, modern and comfortable. Check In is very efficient and the staff were very friendly, we had no problems at all. Once through security there are a lot of shops to look around and even free internet access. There was also some free games machines such as the Xbox 360 to help while away the time! The time passed quicker than normal whilst waiting for our flight. Access to and from the airport from Sinagpore City is very easy. There is direct access on the MRT rail system (which in itself is clean and easy to navigate). The journey from the Airport to the City is short and quite cheap. Another bonus about the airport is if you have a stop over in Singapore and have a few hours to waste there is a shuttle sight seeing service available to give you a taste of what Singapore has to offer.
This airport is arguably, the most comfortable airport in the world for transit passengers. I have been to many air-ports around the world from the US to Japan to Dubai, and as far as convenience and comfort for transit passengers goes, Changi is definitely the leader. I have had to transit at Changi for 8-16 hours on many an occasion, and even thought that can sound a very tiring and gruesome experience, I can safely say that the airport kept me occupied almost 100% of the time.
Here are a few reasons why:
1. Free wired and wireless internet if you have a laptop. Free internet kiosks aplenty, if you don't.
2. Free city tours: If you're in transit during day time hours you can pick between taking a narrated tour of hte city, or get dropped and picked to/from three popular shopping locations in the city. If you have enough time, you can opt for both. Since visa restrictions in S'pore are very limited, you don't have to be a US/UK passport holder to be able to step out of the airport without having a visa for Singapore. And the tour narrators are very friendly.
3. Left baggage: You can leave your baggage at the inner or outer halves of the air-port, for a very reasonable fee. This is good if you're carrying a few large pieces of luggage which you do not want to have to drag around your city tour. I personally found this very useful.
4. Shower, Fitness and Spa Services: These are not free, but the prices are not too bad.
5. Public Napping Areas.
6. Movie Theater.
7. Gaming kiosks: I'm not a big gamer, but for those of you who are, there's something in there for you too!
8. Free local calls: If you have any friends in S' pore you want to get in touch with, calling out of the airport is at your fingertips, again free of charge.
9. Shopping and Restaurant facilities (of course). Not all of these are 24x7, but most outlets are open at least 18 hours a day. I've found electronics in particular to be pretty competitively priced. But you can get better bargains from shopping centers outside the airport.
10. The airport also features a Nature Trail (few outdoor areas such as a cactus garden) if you want to relax and take in a breath of fresh air.
11. Last but not least, and one of my personal favorites, the foot massage machines! There were many of them installed a couple of years ago, but my most recent visit found there to be very few left. Some may not smell the best, but the sensation to tired feet is fully worth trying it out.
So, if your travel requires you to have a longish transit in S' pore, don't sweat it! It won't be as bad as you might imagine.
Changi is a wonder!
The best way to describe the place is as an extension of Singapore - clean, modern and efficient.
I have been through Changi a number of times now and have yet to run into any major problems - Changi is the only airport I have been to where the Immigration officials give out a mint with your visa(This is true, they all have a bowl of mints at their booths!).
Getting in and out of Changi, into Singapore couldnt be easier. Depending on which terminal you arrive at you may need to take the free shuttle bus to Terminal 1, where the MRT station is located, public buses also stop regularly at the airport. There is also a taxi rank.
There is also a good choice of places to eat in the airport, wester and asian, with a few fast food places thrown in the mix.
Remember to save some Singaporean dollars for the duty free shops for those last minute things.
A good tip is to make sure you save your reciepts of your spending in Singapore so you can claim back the tax at the airport, once you have your boarding card.
My only quibble is that the wifi is a bit dodgy, it is supposedly free, but you need a mobile phone to get a username and password to access the service.
Changi airport is situated around a twenty-minute drive out of Singapore City centre. Covering two new terminals (1981 and 1990), serving over sixty airlines, 174,000 flights annually, 140 different destinations and around 29 million passengers this is one of the largest airports in Asia. This is a multi-award-winning place and they like to sell themselves as being almost a destination in their own right! All thats well and good but what is it like to actually fly into and out of? Before I explain can I just say; if I ever get stranded at an airport, can I please request that it be this one! ~IN AND OUT~ Whichever direction you fly in from, the approach to this airport is, in a word, stunning (as long as the weather is clear of course)! This far point of the Malaysian coastline with all its little islands set against the sea is breathtaking and a view I have yet to tire of. Although the runways are set slightly away from the coast the final approach is over the water and that can be a little hairy for the first time or for those of you of a more nervous disposition than myself! Once you have landed the ground staff seems pretty efficient and I have yet to find that the aircraft Ive been on has been held up getting to the gate by queues. Disembarkation also always seems to be fairly swift with waiting times kept to a minimum. Staff are always on hand on the "airport" side of the aircraft doors should you have any questions or queries. Both terminals feature an enormous central "hub" area with 4 wide walkways leading off them leading to the departure/arrival gates. Half of these wide, light and seemingly endless areas are covered by "moving" walkways and the other half is for those who want to move under their own steam! This design, the central hub with the gates on the "spokes" means that the furthest (in time) you would have to walk to your plane/from your plane is 11 minutes. Everyt
hing in the terminal buildings is clearly signposted and there are more than ample screens showing departures and gate numbers. Generally speaking, flights are called around an hour before the scheduled departure time, but many are called even earlier than that. Each boarding gate has its own "boarding lounge" and entry to these is gained after you have passed through each gates own security checks. These include additional passport checks, the obligatory carry-on baggage scans and the walk through the metal detector. Personally I find these checks give me an extra peace of mind and they really do not delay the flight in any way. In fact, in my opinion, they speed things up as the staff know way before the flight is due to leave which passengers are missing… As the airport is literally as far south as you can get in Singapore, take-off is again over water. I have yet to experience this in daylight but the views across the harbour with all the little boats lit up is amazing. Im a good flier but on leaving Changi back in 2001 is the only time I have ever been scared on an aeroplane – we took off in the middle of a thunderstorm (complete with ligtening flashing past the wings) of the kind that would certainly halt flights here in the UK! Now I know they are used to some pretty extreme weather there, but I dont ever want to be there during anything that would ground flights! ~GENERAL FACILITIES~ In most cases, facilities are the same at both terminals. However there are a few differences so I shall point these out as I go along, which will hopefully help to make things clearer! With over one hundred stores split between the two terminals, SHOPPING seems the perfect place to begin! No matter what youre after and seemingly at whatever time of day or night you can probably get exactly what you are looking for here or have a lot of fun trying. Everything in all the shops is "tax free" a
nd most things are either comparable in price to the UK or, in some cases, total bargains. There are familiar names in the stores, theres a mini supermarket in each terminal, one of which is a 7-11 and WH Smiths is here too! For those of you with a sweet tooth there are four chocolate stores in each terminal as sweet delicacies are one of Singapores specialities. There are also souvenir outlets a plenty all selling what seemed to me to be excellent quality gifts all at very reasonable prices. You dont need to venture into Singapore itself to be able to pretend that you have! Yes theyll be pricier than if you did go into the city but as the Singapore Dollar is worth so much less than our Pound I found everything to be bargains nonetheless. Batik patterned products were especially good value. As a smoker I bought my cigarettes here in one of the Liquor and Tobacco stores; 200 Benson and Hedges smokes cost me the grand total of S$16.80 (around £6). Just remember that from Non EU countries the UK has a very strict limit on what you can bring back and one carton is all youre allowed. I also saw astounding deals on spirits, Absolut vodka for example is around S$20 (£7). Again you can only bring one litre of any spirits back, as well as one litre of wine. When youve exhausted yourself doing the rounds of the shops the only thing youll be stuck to decide is where to sit down and grab a bite to eat and a drink! Both terminals are very well served with a wide variety of EATERIES; from the "posh" sit down restaurant to the humble kiosk, with cafes, bar lounges and fast food outlets in-between. Again here there are familiar names, with Starbucks and café Delifrance both represented. There is also a food court in T1 which serves Chinese and Malaysian food (can I recommend the laksa at this juncture, a spicy noodle soup). I would also like to recommend the Travellers Bar and Lounge in T2! Licensed and reasonably priced with polite and friendly staff i
ts a perfect place to sit for a while and watch the world go by; theres also live music played here every night from 7 until 11pm. For those of you who want to do things the completely free way, scattered around each terminal are myriads of drinking fountains. Yes the water is completely safe to drink! Staying with the theme of RESTING and RELAXING this is where this airport really comes into its own. Theres a swimming pool on the roof of terminal one, along with a Jacuzzi and a gym. Massages are also available at a cost as well as aromatherapy sessions, you can even, for S$30 per three hour block get some proper sleep in a bed! For those with less money to throw around (like me) there are plenty of other ways/places to de-stress. Every rest area (situated by the central window areas) come complete with smart leather "snooze" chairs with head and foot rests. Need I say any more? Smokers are well catered for here. There are designated smoking rooms in both terminals each with their own glass fronted "outside" area complete with wooden benches and plenty of ashtrays/rubbish bins. Now I know how much smokers are frowned upon wherever you go in the world and how smoking rooms can tend to be shoddy, shabby and generally disgusting. This however is Singapore, the land of the scrupulously clean! The rooms/external areas are kept very clean by a team of dedicated staff and whilst the majority wouldnt dare throw a cigarette butt on the floor, those that do find the offending article is swept up practically before it has hit the ground! There are two other outside areas at Changi, this time for both smokers and non-smokers. On the roof area of terminal one is the award winning CACTUS GARDEN complete with open-air bar. Not to be outdone, terminal two has a SUNFLOWER GARDEN on its roof. If you dont fancy sweating yourself into an early grave by leaving the wonderfully air conditioned terminal buildings (Singapore is horrendously
humid) there are plenty of other places to relax amongst some pretty fine flora, fauna and water features. Terminal one has a Bamboo Garden as well as two large pools complete with waterfalls. T2 has two Koi Carp pools, ferns encircle one and orchids surround the other. Both of these ponds are perfectly landscaped and each features a wooden bridge, on which you can sit and watch the fish. For those of you who dont like just sitting and watching the world go by there is a good selection of ENTERTAINMENT available. There are two movie theatres (one in each terminal of course), where up to date films are shown for FREE and a gaming centre in T1 and entertainment centre in T2. These are both essentially the same thing as both house a wide selection of video games and other interactive pursuits of the electronic age! In various areas around the terminals are large wide screen televisions. These are divided up into "news" (BBC world, CNN and CNBC) and "sports" (ESPN, Star Sports and Supersports). The last time I was there at the end of March, soccer was being shown on the sports screens and the BBC were showing the latest war news. All the seats in these areas are very comfy and generous in size. Kids are not forgotten either, the TNT Cartoon Network shows in a special children’s area in terminal 2. Of course, in this part of the world, the INTERNET isnt going to be forgotten. Dial-up is available at around thirty odd connection points spread over the two terminals for passengers who have their own laptops. This is provided free of charge via Changis own ISP. Free Broadband connection is also provided to these same customers. Dial-up is available free for all those of us without personal computers at the Internet cafes, but this is only for passengers to send quick e-mails. Broadband Internet is also provided at a cost of S$2 per 15 minute block, but this is free between 11pm and 6am. Photocopying, printing and International f
axing services can also be carried out. ~SUMMING UP~ Changi airport has to be the most relaxing airport I have ever had the pleasure to "transit" through. Whether its terminal one or two you arrive in/depart from they both have a very light and airy feel to them. Of course the superb air conditioning systems play a vital part here, as do the numerous large windows and good lighting. Both terminals are full of plants and water features, as I have already covered, which just adds to and enhances the overall ambience of the place. There are toilets aplenty complete with hovering attendants. These I have found tend to be very polite if a little unsmiling. They almost look at you as if to say “Don’t even think about making a mess”! Singapore as a place is very strict about litter so everything is spotlessly clean, as you would expect, but given the presence of the airport police, who seem to dress in what reminds me of "army" uniform, complete with fully automatic machine guns…well would you drop even a crumb on the floor?! Security is excellent in my experience and I think spending a little longer in the departure gate lounge is a small price to pay to know that your awaiting aeroplane is as safe as they can make it. Incidentally, these lounges come complete with public telephones and televisions that are invariably tuned in to the local news, in English of course! Given a choice and having travelled through both terminals I would have to say that I favour 2 slightly above number one. Whilst both are, to my mind, what airports across the globe should be like and I can fault neither in any way, shape or form, terminal two wins simply because of the Koi ponds. Terminal two also seems to me to be a little less busy than the other, perhaps because a lot less airlines use it. Would I use this airport again? Would I use any other in this part of the world! Id be quite ha
ppy to be stranded here for a while… Anyway, I have to go back sometime, Ive yet to sample the "free" city tour that is available. Now I just need a five-hour stopover… For your information – 1 Singaporean Dollar = roughly 33 pence.
Changi Singapore airport is best airport worldwide till the boarding time comes. The concept of security screening at each gate generates every time a long line there and then, using a single airbridge to board the aircraft, the priority for First and Business class as well as families with small children is never used. Beside this Changi is a friendly airport with a lot of shops and food outlets. Trees, flowers and waterfalls gives you the last sight of this beautiful city. Moving from terminal 1 to terminal two is a breeze with its fast train connection. Baggage delivery on arrival is so fast that always you are able to leave the airport within 30 minutes from gate arrival.
Over the past few years I have done a lot of travelling and if there is one airport that stands out for me, it is Singapore’s Changi Airport. I have now reached the stage that not only do I look forward to using this airport, but also I even plan it so I have time to enjoy the many features of this wonderful place. ~~~ A few Facts ~~~ Located on the Eastern Tip of Singapore about 20 minutes drive, traffic permitting, from the city centre. For those of you that are geographically minded: Latitude 01 21' 23" North, Longitude 103 59' 28" East. The Airport covers 1,300 hectares, of which 870 were reclaimed from the sea. The two runways are 60Metres wide and run parallel for 4000Metres. Operations commenced in July 1981 with Terminal 1, Terminal 2 opened in November of the same year, and Terminal 3 is under construction and is due to open in 2006. Acting as a major air hub for the Asia-Pacific region, currently more than 60 airlines covering over 140 destinations use this airport. This includes Singapore Airlines, Changi being it base of operations. ~~~ Facilities ~~~ Changi has some of the best services and facilities in the world: - The business traveller can visit the Business Centres located in the Transit hotels. Free Internet access via Wired (802.3) and Wireless (802.11b) ethernet LAN For the general traveller there are lots of ways to relax and while away the hours until your next flight. Visit the Entertainment Centre, watch a movie / TV, listen to Piano concerts and if you have more than five hour try the free 2.5 hour city tour. Also Available: Children’s play area, Baby Rooms, Shops, Explorer Lounge, Mini Supermarket, Cyber cafe, Restaurants, Transit hotel, Money Changers, Phones and Postal services, Shower, Swimming Pool, hair and beauty to name but a few. I shall comment on those facilities I have used in the main part of this op. To keep
you amused during your ‘stay’ at Changi there are a number of events to entertain you: a Live game show you can take part in, cultural dancing from Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and USA even a Jazz festival ~~~ Get on with it! ~~~ OK, now that I have given you a taster for what is available, I really should tell you about my experiences here and maybe impart a few tips along the way. Although most of my experiences with Changi have been as a Transit passenger, I have visited Singapore it's self. ~~~ Arrival ~~~ Disembarking from your inbound flight, you walk up the entry ramp and enter the well-lit transit corridor on Level 2 of the Terminal. The floors are carpeted and all facilities and services are clearly sign posted. If your flight ‘docked’ at the far end of the Transit corridor, there are travellators available to speed your journey. On either side are the glass fronted departure gates & lounges, more on these later. Be warned Changi airport is vast; it can take 20 minutes or more to walk from one end of a transit corridor to the main Transit Lounge and passport control. Before you enter the main transit lounge, Singapore visitors will be directed down to Level 1 of the terminal via ramps, stairs and escalators. On Level 1 you will pass thru immigration, baggage reclaim, customs on your way to the exit. Additionally the lost luggage and Night-stop counters can be found on this level. Joining the queue at passport control I prepared for the traditional long wait, I was surprised to be dealt with rapidly by a pleasantly smiling and polite customs officer who asked me the standard questions as to the reason for my visit, length of stay etc. Into the baggage reclaim area, checking the Flight Information screens for my flight number I quickly found the correct belt, which the luggage from my flight was already wandering around. After ‘recla
iming’ my luggage I passed thru the Green customs channel and made my way to the taxi ramp. I joined the rapidly moving queue and was pleased to find myself in a taxi heading for my hotel in less than 35 minutes from getting off the plane. A few arrival tips: -Lost Luggage, if you are unable to find your luggage there are a number of Lost & Found Counters – the staff are very helpful. -Duty Free: If you are over 18, have arrive from countries other than Malaysia and have been away from Singapore for more than 2 days you can bring 1 litre each sprits, wine or beer -Make sure you have you departure ticket available are passport control ~~~ Departure (Check in) ~~~ The departure procedure probably has changed since September 11th, so I will not say too much except that if you have flown out of one major airport then the procedure is fairly universal. However in the case of Singapore Changi Airport the staff are always polite and efficient. Departure tips -Check with your airline for specific hand luggage specifications, only on item of hand luggage per traveller -Ensure you have no sharp objects in your hand luggage, knives, forks, needles, hairpins etc -Since September 11th a $6 Singapore security charge has been added to the $15 airport tax, you should be able to pay this when booking your flight ~~~ The Transit Lounge ~~~ The Transit lounge is large, occupying the whole of Level 2 and a fair amount of level 3 of both terminals 1 and 2. You can walk between these terminals within the Transit lounge. For the purpose of this opinion, I shall be describing the terminal 2 transit lounge as this is the one that UK travellers will arrive at. Terminal 1 has similar facilities and structure. Level 2 is pretty much given over to retail therapy with over 100 stores catering to all possible tastes at duty free prices. You will even see a familiar UK high street name –
WH Smith’s. You can splash out on Toys, cosmetics, designer clothes, books, sweets and all kinds of luxury goods. My wife enjoyed this part of our stay here, we (I) purchased her a pair of designer trousers to replace those that our daughter threw up on for $45 Singapore. At this point I should tell that all major credit cards are accepted, along with hard currencies such as US dollar, Singapore Dollar, Japanese Yen, British pounds, Hong Kong Dollars and Australian Dollars. Not all stores will accept all these currencies, and not at the same exchange rate. The Money changers are on Level 2, they always change into Singapore dollars before changing into any other currency. When we were there in December 2001 the rate was $2.5 Singapore to the UK pound. I found that getting a small amount of Singapore dollars ($200) aided our usage of the airport. Apart from shopping, Level 2 is well equipped with Mobile PC access points, an Internet café, many comfortable seats, a smoker’s room. Smoking in public placed is prohibited in Singapore, as is chewing gum! There are a number of tranquil spots – the Orchid Garden and Koi pond are my favourites, my daughter and I spent a pleasant 30 minutes sitting on the wooden decking watching the fish while my wife made some purchases. As I have said before there is a free bus tour of Singapore for those spending more than 5 hours in transit, these operate between 10am and 7pm. All phones are International direct dial, you can make collect calls (reverse charge) via the Singapore operator by dialling 104, or use the country operator. Best of all, all calls to Singapore numbers are FREE. Level 3 can be reached by escalator, however you have to use specific escalators to get to particular facilities on level 3, follow the signs on level 2. The Business Centre can be reached from the escalator closest to gates F50-F59, also up this escalator you will find the open air area,
Transit hotel – very useful for longer stays, the health and beauty center, the Entertainment center with lots of electronic games, the childrens playroom and movie theatre. My favourite part is the showers, after 13 hours on a plane we needed a shower. A Shower will cost $5 Singapore per person, free for infants & children. You get soap, a big tower and unlimited hot water. There are free hair dryers in the dressing area which you share with 4 other shower rooms which is a minor issue. The only other issue here is that the shower head is a little low for me, the showers are designed for the smaller stature of the asian traveller. Two escalators in the central part of level 2 take to the mini super market, which stokes a limited range of international sweets, drinks, snacks and essentials – Toothpaste, plasters, ladies sanitary products etc.. One of the First/ Business class lounges is situated in this section. The main food court is here serving a variety of meals from Burgers to sushi. Be warned that prices are on the high side. There are a number of eateries around Level 2, including a sushi/fish bar and a café bar. Other ‘pit stops’ are located in the transit corridors – opening times vary. The Escalator closest to Gates E20 to E28 takes you to the main First/Business class lounges. ~~~ Departure Gates ~~~ All departure gates are located either side of the transit corridors that ‘radiate’ from the main Transit Lounge on Level 2 of the terminals. Each departure gate has it’s own lounge with ample seating for the passengers, drinks machines are also available. Each lounge has large windows to the outside world, so you can watch your plane being prepared. A glass wall separates the gate lounge from the transit corridor. Transit corridors do have a limited amount of seating, lots of phones and refreshment ‘pit stops’. Departure gates open approximately 45 min
s before the aircrafts’ scheduled departure time. I find it is best to be outside the gate about an hour before departure time. Once the gate opens, your passport/ticket will be checked. You will have all hand luggage x-rayed, this includes coats, belt bags etc. Infants in buggies will be searched. You will be asked to walk thru a metal detector and you may be electronically frisked. Sharp objects such as metal knives, forks, combs, nail files etc will be confiscated. Your boarding card / passport will be checked again before you are allowed into the seating area. Boarding starts approximately 15 mins before departure, travellers with Children and disabilities are allowed to board first along with business/first class passenger. Economy travellers board when their seat numbers are announced. ~~~ Conclusion ~~~ As I hinted at the start of this opinion, I am rather fond of this airport. It is clean, well laid out with superb facilities. Despite the size of the airport it is light and airy, with plenty of places to relax, seating is plentiful and comfortable. There is always something happening and lots to do, despite all this; Changi has never been crowded in the same way as Heathrow or Gatwick. I just hope that the designers of terminal 5 at Heathrow took a good hard look at Changi airport before putting pen to paper. A few costs Costs: All costs are in Singapore dollar$, exchange rate was £1 = $2.5 Shower per person $5 Burger& Fries $10 Noddle Soop $10 Designer Trousers $45
Having just returned from New Zealand where I had a wonderful holiday, I must tell you about Singapore Airport. It is everything that Heathrow isn't. First of all let me tell you if you are catching another flight and are in-transit the signs are very clear and point you in the right direction. You may have quite a long walk ahead of you but the ambiance of the airport makes your journey seem shorter. There are lots of moving walkways and shops along the way. Shops in the main area are well set out with varied prices. Many holding 'from Singapore' lines, t-shirts, bangles and baubles, all well made and very well presented. There are some 'designer' shops which do not display prices, so if you have to ask you can't afford. The 'duty free' shops are well stocked and beautiful singapore girls are there to help you make your choice of perfume and spirits and they will even carry your basket to the counter and ask the flight number to help move the queues along at the checkout. There is a 'no-smoking' policy and everywhere is clean and spotless. A garden area is set up in the middle with a pond of Koi Carp. A band of musicians were playing music when I was there and it had a wonderful atmosphere. There is a 'quiet lounge' which has subdued lighting and relaxing chairs and the weary traveller could relax and not be aware of the hubub happening just outside. The toilet facilities are beyond belief, so clean and tidy and no queues, there are plenty of them which I suppose helps. I spent two hours here on my journey both outward and return and it was a pleasant stopover.