Singapore’s Changi Airport is a marvel of efficiency and technology, providing a world-class visitor experience. This is confirmed time and time again, as Changi is the most awarded “Best Airport.” Most travelers roll their eyes at the mention of a layover, but you can do a lot worse than spending time in Changi Airport.
Above video: The world’s largest kinetic sculpture, located in Terminal 1, is mesmerizing. It is made up of over 1,000 raindrops working in harmony, representing the airport – many people coming together to help people on their journey.
Changi Airport has three terminals (T1, T2, T3) connected by an air-conditioned, fast-moving, automated Skytrain. In-transit passengers can move between terminals without having to go through immigration. A fourth terminal is currently being built that will be open in 2017.
Passenger Services at Changi Airport
Changi Airport is a veritable playground of facilities and services that will keep travelers occupied during layovers.
Shopping & Dining
With over 750,000 square feet of retail space throughout the three terminals, shopping is a major pastime for airport captives. Brand such as Prada, Hermès, and Asia’s first Ferrari travel retail shop grace the airport. Many of the outlets actually absorb the 7% GST whether you are flying or not. In fact, the shopping is so good, it even draws local residents to the airport for retail therapy.
You can also shop tax and duty free before you even arrive at the airport! If you are on a flight departing from Changi, you can shop online before you get there and collect your duty free items at the transit lounge of your departure terminal before boarding.
There are more than 100 dining options throughout the three terminals. These include cafés, restaurants and bistros, fast food and food courts, bars and lounges, as well as vegetarian and halal-certified dining establishments.
If shopping your layover away isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other activities of interest for all ages.
- The Entertainment Deck (T2) is an integrated multi-media entertainment center with a movie theater, gaming consoles and Kinect Sports, music chairs and music videos.
- Movie Theaters offer 24-hour free Fox Movies Premium Channel screenings (T2) and movies of other genres (T3).
- The Social Tree (T1) is a 360 degree display of 42” screens where travelers can post photos or videos of themselves on the screens or leave behind in a memory capsule
- An Interactive Art Station (T2) offers wood block rubbing and an exploration of mystery Asian icons.
- Changi Aviation Gallery (T3) is an interactive display of airport operations and aviation history is fascinating to young and old.
- Children’s Playgrounds (T1, T2, T3) are available to help dissipate the energy of youth during the rigors of international airline travel.
- Singapore’s Tallest Slide (T3) is a four-story shriek-fest for the traveler who needs to wake up after a long flight. Age and height restrictions apply.
Facilities & Services
Along with the services you would expect at an airport – Baggage Services, convenience stores and money exchange – Changi Airport offers more uncommon facilities and services that make international travel easier and more comfortable.
- A Free two-hour Singapore Tour is available if you have at least five hours between flights. The Singapore Heritage Tour operates four times daily and the City Lights Tour once daily. Simply sign up with your boarding pass at least one hour prior to the tour of your choice (T2, T3).
- Shower, Fitness & Spa Services are available in 24-hour paid lounges (T1, T2, T3). Shower facilities, nail care, foot reflexology, massage therapy and a gym will rejuvenate you after a long flight.
- Transit Hotels (T1, T2, T3) allow you to book a room for a short rest without having to clear immigration.
- A Swimming Pool (T1) – yes, a rooftop Balinese-themed swimming pool at an airport – is free for transit hotel residents. Others pay a small fee for use that includes the Jacuzzi, shower facilities, a towel and cold drink.
- Passenger Meet & Greet Services can provide a personal escort through the airport formalities or hand deliver documents for a fee.
- Multiple Baby Care Rooms (T1, T2, T3) ease the stress of traveling with a young child.
- Prayer Rooms (T1, T2, T3) offers a quiet place for religious devotions.
Changi Airport Nature Trail
One of the most aesthetic features you’ll find in any airport is the lovely gardens of the Changi Airport Nature Trail. Five amazing gardens, each with a unique personality, allow you to relax in the midst of nature.
Changi Airport Automation
As the sixth busiest international airport in the world, Changi Airport connects Singapore to over 300 cities in more than 70 countries, with over 100 airlines. In 2013 Changi Airport handled more than 57 million passengers with a flight taking off or landing every 90 seconds on average. It takes more than 28,000 employees to handle all the airport services, and with those significant numbers, operational efficiency is a top goal.
The Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) initiative has tested automated and self-service functions in an effort to enhance operational efficiency and improve the traveler experience. Components such as self-service check-in, automated baggage drop, immigration clearance and departure gates have been tested over recent months and are beginning to be implemented.
Changi Airport is a major hub, so if you travel to Asia, you just might be lucky enough to have a layover there. Make the most of it and enjoy your time in Changi.
If we can assist you in your travel plans, please contact Covington Travel.
All images courtesy of Changi Airport.