Changi Airport, Singapore
When you have to transit in Changi International Airport, Singapore, for few hours or one night, take Changi Express magazine with you. You may find this fortnightly magazine everywhere around the airport, as it is the Singapore Changi Airport`s guide and it is free!!!When you have one night to spend in the airport, explore the airport by yourself, especially when you miss free city tour (it will be closed at 5PM). My favourite thing to explore will be the airport`s gardens. There are 6 gardens in the airport, and the most beautiful one for me will be orchid garden (see my other tip).You can go to terminal 1/2 with the sky train even with the trolley too. Just get one changi express, look for the airport map at the back, ask where you are to the airport staff, and explore the airport by yourself. You will enjoy!!
When you have at least an hour transit to spend in Changi Airport, spend some time in Orchid Garden. The most beautiful place in Changi International Airport. It will be located in Terminal 2, level 2, facing the way to gates F50-F60, in front of Pacific Coffee Company and Cedele. You can reach terminal 2 from terminal 1 easily with the sky train along with your trolley(s).The view will be breathtaking. Many beautiful orchids will be there and you may see the Oki Fish (like Golden Fish) in the 2 pools inside the garden. There will be many seats inside the garden itself and all around the garden. Check out the pictures!! You will never regret on spending your time in there alone while waiting for your flight.
Singapore Changi has been consistently one of the best airports in the world.
Airport Code = SIN
The old airport was Paya Lebar. Changi is built on reclaimed land and approaching the airport is over the sea and golf courses below with a spectacular city skyscrapper skyline in the near distance.
There are two major terminals and a third terminal is opening soon. So important to note whether your plane is in terminal 1 or terminal 2 which are coonected by a free skytrain.
There are plenty of shops and eateries, sports viewing televions, events, free online and local call service, swimming pool, etc to keep you occupied if you check in early or in transit. You can even sign up for a free city tour if you are in transit for more than 4 hours.
From the airport, use the taxi, bus or MRT to get to downtown. For taxis, there are various taxi surchages and so no worry of being overcharged by taxi drivers.
At departure, you can also get your GST refund.
The longest flights in the world are the Singapore Airlines non-stop to Los Angeles and Newark. It uses long range A340-500 versions specially fitted with fewer seats to trade capacity for increased range. This results in a more comfortable flight. Singapore Airlines only has a special small fleet of 5 of these 500 series A340. It would not be too much of a surprise if these planes were sold and replaced with the new Boeing 777-200LR version as Singapore Airlines operates other versions of the 777 and has ordered the long range 787-9.
Note the A340's are becoming all business class starting in May and will be completely converted by September, 2008. No more economy (economy plus) class.
Definitely the most friendly and welcoming airport I visited on my trip was Changi. That says alot, seeing that I arrived at 2 AM. The MRT doesn't start working until 5:30, so I had some time to kill in the airport. Equiped with free internet and video games inside the passenger terminal and a Starbucks outside... lets just say if you give me coffee and video games and I am a happy man. The immigration personel reminded me of meeting a long lost friend they were so nice and happy.
The shopping is excellent, and the airport itself follows the route of Singapore in being about as cleanas you can get.
My guess is that the big majority of all tourists arrive in Singapore via Changi Airport. It's the fifth biggest airport in Asia (only 18 are bigger in the whole world) and had during 2008 more than 4300 flights departuring and arriving every week.
More than that, it's also the airport with best order that I ever visited. (I would love to send the directors from the biggest airports i Sweden, Denmark and Norway here so that they could learn something...). You simply can't get lost here (only problem would in that case be to know which terminal (1 to 3) you should go to.
But when arriving it's really simple. You just walk straight out and it's impossible to not find the way.
Onboard the flight when arriving you'll fill in the embarkment form, which feels as unnecessary as everywhere else. You'll type your name about 14 different times, then put an "x" for the answer "no, I've never been declined to enter Singapore" and then you're done. Oh yes, you'll have to sweat for about five minutes too before you rembember the name of the hotel you'll be staying at...
Passport and visa control can take some time, but as long as you don't drag your feet after you when you're leaving the flight the line shouldn't be too long. Although I always wish that I had a singaporean citizienship every time I get there, as they can just pass by all the lines (automatic clearance...).
After the control you're in the duty free area, and then it's the luggage room. Normally the bags comes really fast (yes, about half the time it takes to get the bag at any swedish airport...) and then you're 30 meter from the exit. If you're unlucky (or like me, aparently looking like a life threatening terrorist...) the security staff will stop you just before you exit to scan through your bags again.
Going from the airport is easy. You can either take the MRT train (metro) directly into town, or take one of the one billion taxis that are waiting outside the airport. The line with taxis sometimes feels like it starts already in the city center. :)
My beautiful girl always picks me up, so unfortunately I don't know the cost for a taxi. Would guess around 20-30SGD (10-15 euro).
Best thing with the airport? It's huge, but still in such order. You never get lost, it's easy to find your gate, there are so many tax free stores and it's clean all over the place. Plus, most of the time it goes really quick to check in.
The budget terminal at Changi is pretty good. There is free internet access and a special gadget recharge lounge where you can recharge your mobile and other devices such as IPOD's and MP3s.
Of course there's a duty free shop for perfumes, a newsagency, a 7-eleven, a chocolate shop, duty free liquor & tobacco, general merchandise, a sports shop, delicatessen, Hang Ten and Tiny Toons. There's also a number of places to eat at, which looked pretty good. There's even a prayer room.
If you've got a fair amount of time to fill in, visit the Woodblock Rub - a popular Singaporean artform from the 50s and 60s.
There was definitely a lot more here than I was expecting.
There's airport shuttle services from the aiport and a cab to the city will cost around $18 - $32 SGD.
Okay, so let's start with how to get to this fantastic country!
From Europe there are plenty of flight companies that goes here, so you can choose from a wide range of options depending on if you want great service or a cheap price. Or both of them.
On my five trips during 2008-2009 I've gone with in total six different companies. From Sweden the cost range from €650 and up to €900 (of course you can find way more expensive too if you want...) and so far most of them I would say that half of them have been good. On all of them both food and drinks (alcohol and non-alcohol) are for free.
Singapore Airlines: The best and most wellknown company, so of course also the most expensive one. But if you're booking early you can find good prices with SA too. Service is amazing, with stewardesses taking care of you during the whole flight. During the whole flight they walk around with drinks (water/juice/cola) for everyone who wants, and if it's still not enough you can just ask them for more. Good range of movies and tv-shows to watch in the video system. TV-screen on each place. And for sure the best tasting food I've ever gotten on a flight. +++++
KLM: The Dutch company was a positive surprise. Costed around €750 t/r. Okay food, the travellers got plenty of drinks (water/juice) often during the trip and the service was good. Huge difference in service on the flight from Sweden to Amsterdam and from Amsterdam to Singapore though. For some reason crap within Europe. On the long distance flight there was a good range of movies and games in the entertainment system. TV screen on each seat. If you go with them often it can be a good idea to become a Flying Blue member, but to even get close to gain anything on it you'll need to fly to Singapore once a month... crappy bonus system if you ask me. ++++
SAS: The Scandinavian company have economical problems and there is no doubt about why when you fly with them. Crappy service, if any at all. I'm glad I just took the flight within Europe with them. Plenty of space in the seat though. ++
Thai Air: Is supposed to be a fantastic company and the service was really good too! But how they thought when they decided to not have a TV screen on each seat I'll never understand. 12 hours flight from Copenhagen to Bangkok, and the only entertainment I got was two movies on a rather small screen five meters away... Have never been so bored in my whole life! Doesn't matter that the price was low when the whole flight is about to kill you... 2 plus only because of the good service. ++
Lufthansa: Quite good service although not even close to the one I got with the Asian companies. Just went with them within Europe. They had a great sale for flights to Singapore last winter according to their home page, but when trying to book the flights all of them were suddently sold out, no matter which flight and date I tried to book. Very strange... ++
Turkish Airlines: Have just started to fly to Singapore from Europe via Istanbul. Great, low, price (€650 from Gothenburg t/r) but it's not really worth the torture onboard (well, apparently it is as I've just booked a new trip with them...). Service is crap, to say the least. Then the flight was also delayed with 1-3 hours from both Gothenburg and Istanbul, in Turkey we sat on the flight for 1,5 hour before finally taking off, and with no explanation. The food made me stomach sick for three weeks.
TV screen on each seat and a quite good range of movies. Didn't have much fun with the turkish ones without english subtitles though...
Also watch out for with whom you're actually flying, as Singapore Airlines has just started to cooperate with Turkish Airlines. Meaning that you can book an expensive trip with Singapore Airlines, but end up on a crappy flight with Turkish Airlines. My advice, stay away from the flights taking off from Istanbul. Just wished I had followed that advice myself... +
I've just found this website.
Tells you all about transfers from the airport to the city. It says the airport shuttle leaves every 30 minutes after midnight. But for the little bit extra that you pay & with a sleepy child for company it is worth catching a taxi at that time of the morning. But it's all on the webite.
Have a great trip.
There is also the Plaza Premium Lounge in the new Terminal 3. (plus one in transit in Terminal 2)
Friends of mine used that for an extended stopover in Jan this year & are still raving about it. It has food, drinks , chairs , internet and papers, plus a napping facility.
Singapore's Changi airport has won several awards and is considered to be one of the best airports in the world. Easy to navigate, spotlessly clean as all of Singapore and with all facilities you can imagine. Beside Singapore Airlines, the airport is served my most Asian airlines as well as others from all over the world. Look out for Air Asia, Tiger Airways and Scoot for cheap flights.
Geting from the airport ino the city centre is pretty easy. Public transport is good in Singapore, especially the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) railway system. Though you will most probably need to change trains to get to your destination, it is easy to navigate and very cheap. The MRT station at the airport is located between Terminals 2 and 3. Depending on destination, a ticket may cost you around 1 to 2 SGD (2010). Buses have slightly cheaper prices, but are only suitable for less popular areas or for a connecting ride from your MRT station to your final destination. They are not as easy to navigate as the MRT and ask for the exact money in coins.
Taxi rides are much more comfortable of course, but compared to the MRT they are also much more expensive. For westerners however, a 30 SGD ride (2010) into central Singapore is still cheap. Nevertheless, be aware of the different prices offered by different companies.
Opinions are divided, with some preferring Hong Kong's airport to Changi, but I must say I've never been to a better airport than Changi. Short walking distances to the gates, plenty of seating areas, food&beverage outlets on every corner with a large variety are the main selling points for this airport.
Adding to this, the efficieny of the airport, you can be in a cab to town within thirty minutes of disembarkation from your aircraft. Customs are quick and baggage service is incredible; your luggage is usually on the belt before you pass customs. Free internet&gaming services in the departure hall only add to the high service level.
There's a great transit hotel where you can sleep, get a massage or freshen up with a nice shower, or, if you'd like, you can take a dip in the rooftop pool. And if you're into shopping, there's plenty of shops to keep you occupied.
Changi has it all!
Changi airport has gotten bigger this year with 3 main terminals and 1 budget terminal. The 3 main terminals are connected but as they are huge, there's a lot of walking to do. Do take note that the transit hotel is only available in Terminal 1 and 2 at present.
So if you're taking the next flight out on a budget airline, you will have to retrieve your luggage and head on to the budget terminal
I spent a couple of hours in transit at the airport on my to and from Cambodia. This gave me time to visit the Butterfly Garden at Terminal 3. It's free to enter and it was so much fun to experience tropical butterflies at such close range.
After being regularly subjected to the hell that is Heathrow T3, it comes as a shock to discover the delightful new T3 at Singapore Changi Airport.
The arrivals hall is out of this world - and almost deserted because they process the passengers so efficiently:
* Multiple jetways to disembark the aircraft
* No queue for immigration
* Luggage already on the carousel when you get through
* Controlled Taxi Queue
* No dodgy tour reps or taxi touts
The departure hall is just the same - spacious, quiet, clean, and with excellent facilites including the best restaurants I have seen at an airport. Brewerkz and Imperial Treasure dumpling restaurants are fab ! Also a swimming pool and cinema available if you have a long transit time !