Singapore Airport (Changi Airport)
What to Expect at Singapore Airport
Singapore Airport (Changi Airport) is considered by many to be among the best in the world. Indeed, Singapore Airpor claimed the prestigious prize as the world's best airport in the Skytrax World Airport Awards in Belgium for 2010. A truly modern marvel, Changi's top-notch services and facilities make the experience of being in an airport not only a bearable experience for travellers but even a pleasurable one. The airport has three main terminals, a luxury terminal and a Budget Terminal, all connected by 'people movers' and a free skytrain system.
More than 300 retail and F&B shops operate here, and there are plenty of amenities that will keep you busy including movie theatres, game rooms, playgrounds for kids, spas, free internet stations, even a 'nature trail' and gardens. An excellent range of public and private transport options connect Changi Airport with Singapore's city centre, with trips taking from 30 minutes by car or train to 60 minutes by bus.
Open since 2006, this terminal was purpose-built for handling the growing number of low-cost airlines that serve the region. It lacks the pizzazz of the main terminals but is easily accessible to them by free shuttle for those seeking a wider range of facilities/services.
That said, Budget Terminal does have a decent range of amenities including counters organising transport to the city, internet kiosks, currency exchanges, playground, shops and food and beverage outlets. It also has its own immigration/customs desks.
Changi Arrival and Departure - What to Expect
Flying into Changi Airport offers a bird's eye view of Singapore's vibrant and vital transport industry, from its large port dotted with ships from around the world to the airport itself with its gleaming terminals standing as a symbol to the city-state's high aspirations as a global centre for trade and travel.
When departing from Singapore, Changi offers an "off-airport" check-in service, where you can check in using the phone, internet, fax or SMS before arrival to the airport, then, after coming to the airport, simply pick up the boarding pass and drop your baggage at a designated airport counter. For airport check-in, it is recommended to arrive at least 2 hours before flight departure.
Immigration Halls are found at the ground floor of each terminal's arrivals areas. Forbes magazine, which rates Changi as one of the best airports in the world, says, "Singapore Changi Airport is known for high standards of service efficiency in immigration and security processing areas."
There are two or three currency exchange desks located at each of the three terminals, open 24 hours a day. ATMs are found everywhere throughout the airport.
Communications, IT & Postal Services
Free local calls are available within the Transit Malls. For overseas calls, international phone cards are available at the airport's 7-Eleven and Left Luggage outlets.
Free internet kiosks are available in the Departure/Transit lounge of Terminals 1 and 2. There are also a number of Ethernet Lan points, IR ports, and dial-up ports for those with their own laptops. Wireless surfing is also available for a nominal charge.
Two postal service kiosks are found at Terminal 2 and a mobile postal service called Post-on-Wheels is set at various locations around the airport.
IT and Business Services
Business services including typing, mailing of documents, photocopy and fax are available at the Business Centres located at the Transit Hotels in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
Eating & Drinking
Whether you need a quick snack, a coffee, a fast-food burger or a gourmet meal, there are dozens of outlets serving up a large variety of food and beverages. Each terminal has a food court area complemented by restaurants, cafes and kiosks.
Vegetarian and halal food choices are readily available. Terminal 2 has two music bar lounges open in the evening hours with live acoustic performances.
Changi offers pretty much the whole gamut of things to do for everyone from the nature-loving health nut to the gadget-and-game freak, from the active toddler to the stressed-out executive to the travel-worn elderly seeking a respite.
There's a Nature Trail with six themed gardens, 24-hour fitness and spa facilities, a swimming pool (at Terminal 1 Transit Hotel), plasma TVs showing cable news programmes and financial information, movie theatres/lounges, an entertainment deck (Terminal 2) with games, music and movies, and the Changi Aviation Gallery featuring aviation history information and displays and models of aircraft.
Facilities and Services
- Hair and Beauty Salons
- Napping Areas (rates from S$10/hour single occupancy)
- Rest Areas ('snooze chairs' with head and leg rests, available for free)
- Information/Customer Service Desks
- Left Baggage Counters
- Medical Services and Pharmacies
- Passenger Meeting Services
- Prayer Rooms
- Smoking Areas
- Special Needs Facilities
- Transit Hotels
- JetQuay - A separate, luxury terminal for members or available on a one-off basis for a fee, featuring meeting rooms, dedicated customs/immigration counters, personal concierge services, mini gym and spa, tabletop PCs and luxury retail outlets.
Family/ Kids Facilities
There are five separate play areas for children aged 1-12 at Terminals 1, 2 and 3.
A total of 24 Parents' Rooms in all three terminals offer private diaper changing stations and other baby-friendly facilities including a hot water dispenser for bottle warm-ups.
Changi Airport is retail heaven for those with the time and dollars to spend here. And spend they do! By some estimates, the airport's retail revenues are larger than the more famed shopping centres of Singapore including Orchard Road. A major upgrade in recent years added brands such as Prada, Gucci, Bulgari and Hermès to the mix, while the opening of Terminal 3 brought the world's first FIFA Official Store and Asia's first Ferrari travel retail shop to Changi.
Other shops have candies, chocolates, souvenirs/gifts, clothing/accessories, jewellery, perfumes and cosmetics, health products, electronics and cameras, computers, books/magazines, CDs, sports items, children's clothes and toys, watches, wine, liquor and cigarettes.
Taxis are available at the pick-up points at the arrival levels. Fares range from S$18-$38 for the 30-minute trip to the city.
Catch a bus at the bus stops under Terminals 1, 2 or 3. Operating from 06:00-24:00 daily with a fare of up to S$2; it takes about an hour to reach city centre.
Changi Airport MRT Stations are found under Terminals 2 and 3, with the first train arriving at 05:30 and the last leaving at 23:18. Fares are about S$2.70 for the 30-minute journey into the city.
Airport Shuttles, Limousine Taxis & Large Taxis
The airport's Ground Transport Desk offers a shuttle bus and a limousine taxi transfer service with rates from S$9 for the bus to S$50 for a 7-seat taxi.
Avis and Hertz car rental counters are found in the arrival halls of all three terminals. Hours of operation 07:00-23:00.
Make your arrival to Singapore stress-free by booking a hotel transfer service in advance. Reach the city centre quickly and easily with a deluxe air-conditioned car, minivan or coach with driver.
For more information and booking see Singapore Transfer Services.