Singapore Changi Airport Guide
Changi is Singapore’s main airport and a major aviation hub for South East Asia. It is about 17km north-east of Singapore’s city centre. As of 2014, Changi Airport serves more than 100 airlines operating 6,600 weekly flights connecting Singapore to over 300 cities in about 80 countries and territories worldwide.
Changi has three terminals with a fourth currently being built and due to open in 2017. The airport has a development policy of always building new facilities ahead of predicted congestion issues and even as new terminals are being built, the airport continuously upgrades and expands its existing terminals. Changi Airport has facilities to cater to every type of passenger so whether you’re solo, on business or with kids there’s something to suit your needs.
Upon arriving, simply follow the signs to baggage claim and go through immigration and customs.
The Immigration Halls are located on the ground floor. As is the norm all foreign visitors are required to complete the disembarkation card and have valid travel documents and visa (if applicable) before proceeding for immigration clearance. If your airline has not automatically transferred your baggage to your next flight, you are required to clear arrival immigration and claim your baggage before checking in for your next flight.
The baggage claim area is on the ground floor, after Immigration and before Customs. You can also collect bulky baggage such as surfboards in the same area. Free trolleys are available next to each carousel.
If you are arriving at Changi Airport and having a short stopover before embarking on a Star Cruise ship in Singapore you can enjoy a convenient transfer. Check-in with your baggage up to 48 hours prior to your cruise departure at the FlyCruise Counter located in the Arrival Hall of Terminal 3, and your baggage will be delivered directly to your cruise cabin. On the cruise departure day, you only need to clear immigration at the Singapore Cruise Centre and subsequently board the cruise ship several hours before it departs. Of course if you choose to take advantage of this service you will need to make sure you have everything you need for your stopover in your carry-on baggage.
The Crowne Plaza Changi Airport is located within the immediate vicinity of Changi Airport. Linked to Terminal 3 via covered walkways, the 9-storey hotel has 320 guest rooms; a 100-seat Crowne Plaza Club Lounge; and executive class amenities. Guests are also able to access Terminals 1 and 2 via the Skytrain Service that links all three terminal buildings. The hotel is quite expensive as airport hotels tend to be but the rooms are very quiet with no aircraft noise, comfy beds and spacious rooms.
British Airways Lounge, Terminal 1 – welcomes BA First and Club World, BA Executive Club Gold and Silver members and eligible members of OneWorld partners. Operating Hours: 3pm-11pm daily. Location: Departure Transit Lounge, Level 3. The lounge occupies the same space as the previous First Class Lounge operated by BA and Qantas under their now-dissolved joint venture.
Dnata Lounge, Terminal 3 – welcomes Garuda Indonesia holding Platinum Frequent Flyer, Qatar Airways holding Gold and Silver card, Sri Lankan Airlines holding Gold Frequent Flyer and Veloce Logistics. Operating Hours: 24 Hours. Location: Departure Transit Lounge, Level 3.
Emirates Lounge, Terminal 1 – welcomes Emirates First & Business Class and EK Platinum & Gold Skywards members on EK/QF flights (excluding codeshare). Operating Hours: 6:30am-10am, 12pm-3:30pm, and 6pm-1:40am. Location: Departure Transit Lounge, Level 3.
KrisFlyer Gold Lounge, Terminal 3 – welcomes KrisFlyer Elite Gold members and Star Alliance Gold members departing on SIA or Star Alliance flights, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Gold card holders travelling on SQ. Operating Hours: 24 hours. Location: Departure Transit Lounge, Level 3. Buffet food stations and television areas are located inside, while internet workstations are placed in the outdoor garden area. Complimentary Wi-Fi internet access available in the lounge.
Qantas Singapore Lounge, Terminal 1 – welcomes eligible members of OneWorld partners and Emirates Skywards. Operating Hours: 2:30pm-11pm daily. Location: Departure Transit Lounge, Level 3. Refurbished in 2012 and a great offering with plenty of shower suites available, internet workstations and a wide selection of food & beverages.
SATS Premier Lounge, Terminal 1 – welcomes Air China, Air Niugini, Biman Bangladesh, China Southern Airlines, Japan Airlines, Lion Air, Myanmar Airways, Philippines Airlines (Business Class & Gold members), Regent Airways, Shenzhen Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Uzbekistan Airways and Xiamen Airlines. Operating Hours: 24 hours. Location: Departure Transit Lounge, Level 3.
SATS Premier Lounge, Terminal 2 – welcomes Air India (Business Class), Etihad Airways (Business Class & Gold Card members), Korean Air (First & Business Class and frequent flyer members), Lao Airlines, Malaysia Airlines (Business Class & Gold Card members), Royal Brunei Airlines (Business Class & Gold Card members). Operating Hours: 24 Hours. Location: Departure Transit Lounge, Level 3.
SATS Premier Lounge, Terminal 3 – welcomes Asiana Airlines, China Eastern Airlines (First & Business Class), Jet Airways (First & Business Class), Saudi Arabian Airlines (First & Business Class), United Airlines (First & Business Class), Vietnam Airlines (First & Business Class). Operating Hours: 24 Hours.
SIA SilverKris Lounges, Terminals 2 & 3 – welcomes all Star Alliance (First & Business Class), SilkAir Business and Economy Class passengers holding PPS membership card, Singapore Airlines First and Business Class and Economy Class passengers holding PPS membership card. Operating Hours: 24 hours. Location: Departure Transit Lounge, Level 3. Facilities include internet PCs, wireless internet access, meeting room, bar, and television. The staff have a reputation for not being particularly friendly and the food is only average.
Skyview, Terminal 1 – welcomes Business Class passengers and Frequent Flyer members of Air China, Air France, Air Mauritius, Airport Angels, Bangkok Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta Airlines, Diners Club, Dragon Pass, Finnair, KLM Royal Dutch, OneWorld Alliance (invitational Emerals, Sapphire & Ruby) and Priority Pass. Operating Hours: 24 hours. Location: Departure Transit Lounge, Level 2.
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge, Terminal 1 – welcomes Thai Airways (Business Class and ROP Platinum & Gold members), Star Alliance Gold members (holding Star Alliance carriers’ same day boarding pass only) and BKK Elite card holders. Operating Hours: 5:45am-8:15am, 10:15am-8:30pm (subject to fit schedule changes). Location: Departure Transit Lounge, Level 3. Good variety of fresh food and beverages.
Recommended Transfer Experiences
Singapore Airport is one of the best places to be when you’re hit with an unexpected flight delay or long stopover. There is a huge array of facilities, services, shops and dining and you will definitely find something that interests you during your transfer. Here’s our recommendations based on your transit time at Changi Airport.
2 to 3 Hours
Surf the internet or send out some emails with free internet services throughout the terminals. Just look for the ‘WiFi@Changi’ wireless network on your laptop, tablet or smartphone and you’re one click away from being online. Changi also provides free internet terminals at several locations throughout the airport.
Enjoy some time in the Butterfly Garden at Terminal 3. The butterfly garden is designed to be a tropical nature retreat for passengers to have a quick rest and relax. It is home to more than 1,000 free flying butterflies, and close to fifty butterfly species native to Singapore and Malaysia were specifically selected to be bred in the butterfly garden.
Get a free foot massage at the Foot and Calf Massage Stations across all terminals.
3 to 4 Hours
Try out a fish micro-massage at Fish Spa & Reflexology at Terminal 1. The price is SGD$22 (AUD$22) for twenty minutes worth of small fish nibbling on your feet in the warm water pool. Pair it with a quick reflexology massage (the specialty of the human employees), and you’ll be napping before take-off. Open 24 hours.
Refresh with a quick shower at the Ambassador Transit pay-per-use lounge. The lounge has shower facilities, massage therapy and a gym with charges applicable for the services. Located at the Departure Transit Lounge, Level 3.
Have a go at the free Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games at the Entertainment Deck at Terminal 2.
4 to 5 Hours
Soak up the sun at the rooftop swimming pool at Terminal 1. The Balinese-themed pool is even equipped with a bar if margaritas are on your mind. Guests from the transit hotel are entitled to free usage of the facilities. Non-residents are able to use the swimming pool and spa, including shower facilities, towel and a complimentary non-alcoholic drink from the poolside bar for a fee of SGD$13.91 (AUD$14).
Catch a movie for free at the Movie Theatres at Terminals 2 & 3. You can enjoy movies of different genres at Terminal 3 or the latest releases at Terminal 2.
Discover one of Changi’s themed gardens across all terminals. A walk through any of the beautiful gardens in Changi offers the opportunity to de-stress and take a breather from the hustle and bustle of travelling. There’s the open-air rooftop Cactus Garden in Terminal 1 and a choice of the Enchanted, Sunflower or Orchid Gardens in Terminal 2.
More Than 5 Hours
Take a nap at one of the quiet Rest Areas. Rest Areas are great if it really is just a quick rest and some quiet time you’re after. The chairs are not particularly comfortable for the long-term however so if you want to catch up on some serious zzz’s you’re better off getting a room in the Transit Hotel.
Sign up for a free Singapore Tour at Terminals 2 & 3 and take in the sights and sounds of Singapore on one of the free two-hour guided tours which run daily at regular times. Registration must be made at least 1 hour before the start of the tour.
To register for any of the tours, simply approach the staff at the Free Singapore Tours (FST) Registration Booths located near the escalators to North Arrival Immigration in Terminal 2 and next to Transfer Lounge B in Terminal 3.
Note: Eligibility to participate in the tour is subject to visa entry requirements stipulated by the Immigrations & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore.
Weary after a long flight? You can book a comfortable room without having to clear immigration at the Ambassador Transit Hotel. Equipped with a television, en suite bathroom and more, you’ll have everything you need for a comfortable stay. There’s also a wake-up call service at your requested time, so you don’t have to worry about missing your flight.
Short on time? The Ambassador Transit Lounge has napping suites as well as beauty & spa services. It also offers business facilities and internet access, so you can do a quick catch-up with your friends and work colleagues. There are so many other things to do in Changi Airport that many people forgo the lounge experience. While the $35 entry fee may seem a little steep, what is worthwhile is paying $9 to use the shower facilities which includes a package of basic toiletries for you to use, before moving on to whatever else interests you within the airport.
- Lounge use – per entry: Adult SGD$35.31 (AUD$35) per five hours, Child 6 to 12 years SGD$17.66 (AUD$18) per five hours, Child 5 years and below is free of charge.
- Shower inclusive of basic toiletries: SGD$8.56 (AUD$9) per person
- Nap Suite: Minimum 3 hours SGD$35.31 (AUD$35). Extension per hour SGD$9.42 (AUD$10)
- Gymnasium @T2 inclusive of attire and shower: SGD$23.54 (AUD$23) one time usage, inclusive of shower SGD$15.30 (AUD$15) one time usage
- Refresh & Replenish Package: inclusive of 3 hours nap and 2 hours lounge usage SGD$58.85 (AUD$58)
* Please DO NOT clear through the Immigration counters as you will not be able to return to the transit areas after that. Passengers are not allowed to retrieve their baggage during their transit so you should put all the items you require for your transit in your carry-on bags.*
To & From Airport
Singapore Changi Airport is easily accessible with many modes of transportation available to and from the Airport.
The airport shuttle service offers transport from Changi Airport to hotels in the city. Approach the Ground Transport Desk at the Arrival Halls for bookings, which is open 24 hours a day. For a one way trip between the airport and the hotel the rate is SGD$9 (AUD$9) per adult and SGD$6 (AUD$6) per child below 12 years of age. You should be dropped off at your hotel within 25 – 35 minutes of leaving the airport, depending on the route the shuttle takes and whether yours is the first stop or otherwise. Note that the shuttle does not go to hotels on Sentosa unless passengers charter the whole minivan.
Public bus service 36 goes to the city. The first bus arrives at around 6.00am and the last leaves at midnight. A single fare costs below $2 and takes about an hour. Bus stops are located at the basement bus bays of Terminals 1, 2 and 3. You will need to have the exact fare as no change will be given. Please note this bus does not have much room for luggage, and locals will be getting on and off as it is a normal passenger bus, not a dedicated Airport Transfer.
The car rental counters are located at the Arrival Halls of Terminal 1, 2 and 3. Avis, Budget & Hertz are available from 7am to 11pm.
Ground Transport Desk
The Ground Transport Desk is a 24-hour counter catered to handle all passengers’ transportation requests and queries. It is located in the Arrival Hall of each terminal.
Transportation options available at the Ground Transport Desk include:
- 4-seater Airport Limousine (SGD$55 (AUD$54) per trip to any destination in Singapore)
- 7-seater Large Taxi (SGD$60 (AUD$59) per trip to any destination in Singapore)
- 9-seater Mini-Bus (SGD$60 (AUD$59) per charter to any destination in Singapore)
- Airport Shuttle Bus (SGD$9 (AUD$9) per passenger to selected downtown hotels. Please check with counter staff for route information)
The counter also acts as an information counter on all available modes of transport at the airport.
Taxis are available at the taxi stands at the Arrival levels of each Terminal. The journey to the city costs between SGD$18 (AUD$18) and SGD$38 (AUD$38) and takes approximately 30 minutes. Fares are metered and there is additional airport surcharge for all trips originating from the airport. Singapore taxi drivers have access to an app which gives them access to live info about flight arrivals and lets them know when there is a need for taxis at the airport. Great to know that you won’t be left waiting too long.
The Changi Airport MRT Station is located at the basement of Terminals 2 and 3, accessible from the Arrival and Departure Halls via escalators and lifts. To get to the city from the airport, hop on-board the train and transfer to a west bound train at Tanah Merah Interchange station. The train service that leaves Changi Airport station at 11:18pm daily will connect you to the last west bound train service at Tanah Merah station. The train to the city is a regular train: the MRT is very busy at peak hours and has no dedicated storage for luggage.
Getting Around the Airport
All three terminals at Changi Airport are interlinked by the Skytrain which operates both at the transit and public areas. This service is free and takes approximately 1 to 4 mins to travel between the terminals with the average waiting time for the Skytrain being from 1 to 3 mins. The Skytrain operates from 5.00am to 2.30am.
Facilities & Services at Changi
Baby Care Room
Changi Airport has Baby Care Rooms scattered throughout all three terminals, where you’ll find the privacy to attend to your baby. They are always very clean and equipped with a hot water dispenser, fold-out change tables and feeding cubicles. There’s also a nappy dispensing machine in each room in case you get caught short.
Baggage Storage Services
Should you wish to shop free of luggage or if you need to leave the airport, you can visit the Left Baggage counters in all three terminals. This payable service is available 24 hours daily and rates start from SGD$3.21 (AUD$3) for a cabin bag for the first 24 hours.
There are convenience stores and supermarkets located at: Terminal 1: 7-Eleven and Cold Storage. Terminal 2: 7-Eleven, Cheers and NTUC Fairprice. Terminal 3: Cheers and NTUC Fairprice.
Hotel Reservations Counter
If you have arrived in Singapore and do not have a prior room reservation made in any hotel, the Hotel Reservations Counters at the airport will be able to offer you an immediate room reservation service. Counters are conveniently located at the arrival hall of all the terminals, and are available 24 hours, seven days a week. This is a complimentary service and customers only need to pay the first night’s room charge at the point of booking. The remaining room charge, if any, will be paid to the hotel upon check-in.
If you feel unwell or require medical assistance while at Changi Airport, you may go to the Raffles Medical Clinics, located at all terminals. All terminals also have either Guardian or Watsons Pharmacies.
Passenger Meeting Services
Experience the Plaza Premium Airport Meet & Greet Services. Their services include personal escort through airport formalities and airlines procedures, baggage and document handling. Limousine and hotel bookings can also be arranged upon request. Advance booking is required a minimum of 24 hours prior to arrival time at www.plaza-network.com/meetandgreet
Basic Meet & Greet Service from SGD12 (AUD12) for one person, up to SGD60 (AUD59) for a group of more than 30 people.
Basic Meet & Greet Service plus Baggage Assistance from SGD48 (AUD47) for one person.
Basic Meet & Greet Service plus Baggage Assistance and one way Limousine Airport Transfer from SGD112 (AUD110) for one person.
Internet & Business Services
Services including typing, mailing of documents and 24 hour photocopying and faxing are available at the Business Centres located in all terminals.
There are more than 550 internet kiosks available for passengers to use free of charge. Wi-Fi is also available through the Wireless@SG network.
News & Financial Information
Keep yourself updated with the world financial news from BBC World, CNBC, Channel NewsAsia and CNN news service. You can also catch up on the latest stock and equities information provided by Bridge Information Systems and Reuters. Plasma televisions are set up for you to catch up with daily news updates at terminals 2 & 3 in the Departure Transit Lounges.
Changi Aviation Gallery
The gallery has hands-on interactive displays about ‘on-the-ground’ activities that take place at the airport, and aviation in general. Located at Terminal 3 the Gallery provides aviation enthusiasts with insights into Changi’s ground operations and the history of aviation in Singapore.
Suitable for children up to 12 years old, the playgrounds are located at:
Terminal 1: Departure Transit Lounge West, Level 3. 0
Terminal 2: Next to Family Zone at Departure Transit Lounge North, Level 2.
Terminal 3: Next to SATS Special Service Lounge at Departure Transit Lounge Central, Level 2 and outside Gate A16-A20 at Departure Transit Lounge South, Level 2.
The Slide @T3
Take a ride on The Slide@T3. Standing at a height of 12 metres high or four storeys tall, shriek your way down the slide while reaching top speeds of up to 6 metres per second! From 4 October 2010, for every $10 spent at Changi Airport in a single receipt, you can redeem one ride at the slide located at the Terminal 3 Arrival Hall on Level 1. Children under 7 years of age can whiz down the one-and-a-half storey tall slide at Basement 2 where no minimum spend is required. Both slides are open daily from 12pm to 10:30pm.
Canopy is a forest-themed indoor playground. Children aged 18 months to 12 years old can choose to bounce on the trampoline or slide down one of the tunnel slides while parents take a break and do some plane spotting. Located at the Viewing Mall on Level 3, Terminal 1.
Catch a free movie at the cinema, play some X-Box or PlayStation and visit the MTV booth. Located at the Departure Transit Lounge on Level 3 of Terminal 2.
Families can relax and make use of the various facilities available including baby changing rooms and feeding stations. Children can occupy themselves watching cartoons on the televisions or having a go at the playground. Terminal 2, Departure Transit Lounge Level 3
An interactive experience, the Enchanted Garden “magically” comes to life with motion sensors that trigger sounds of nature and blooming flowers.
Families can take a break and catch up on their favourite TV shows on the comfy couches. Terminal 3, Transit Lounge Level 2.
JetQuay CIP Terminal
JetQuay CIP Terminal is privately run and located next to T2. JetQuay provides private check-in, baggage handling, and immigration clearance services. It is the second luxury airport terminal in world to open after the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt Airport. However, unlike the Lufthansa First Class Terminal, JetQuay is an elite, dedicated CIP (Commercially Important People) terminal that can be used by any passenger travelling in any class, on any airline, through any of the main terminals (T1, T2, or T3). Whether you are travelling for business or leisure, JetQuay lets you escape the airport crowd with a relaxing, seamless and hassle-free experience.
If you’re travelling with kids or the elderly, you can focus on them, while JetQuay take care of everything from check-in processes to Immigration Clearance.
Some of the JetQuay’s facilities include:
- Free IDD calls and Wi-Fi
- Nap rooms and private meeting rooms
- Business centre and boardroom
- Lockers and showers
- Complimentary food and beverages
Rates and a full list of services can be found at www.jetquay.com.sg
Shopping and Dining
Singapore Airport, aptly described as a shopping mall with runways, boasts 300 retail stores and 120 food and beverage outlets. From convenience stores to furnishings and housewares, there’s plenty of choices to burn a hole in your wallet. Hundreds of cafes, bars and lounges, fast food restaurants, food court options and restaurants with Halal, vegetarian and kid-friendly options.