Singapore Changi Airport
Deemed as one of the leading transport hubs in the whole of Asia, the Singapore Changi Airport serves its citizens, while connecting over 400 cities to more than a 100 airlines, with planes landing and taking off every 80 seconds and approximately 7,400 flights each week. As of 2019, the airport ranks at the 7th position globally as one of the busiest airports for international traffic for both passengers and cargo, and holding about 65.6 million passengers (65, 628,000) in 2018, this airport is a wonder to behold. It is sited in Changi, on the Eastern side of the country, about 20km from Marina Bay. It hosts major airlines across the globe including the Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Jetstar Asia Airways, BOC Aviation and Scoot among others.
This Airport is recognized as the best in the world because it does not give its users the usual Airfield experience, but goes out of its way to leave a lasting impression and of course beautiful memories in their minds. Not only does it boast of glitzy amenities, but mainly prides itself in its top class efficiency, security, cleanliness and a customer-focused approach that exceeds most of its competitors. Considering its achievements over the years and its speculative future, Singapore’s Changi Airport plans to remain above the sky as the most sought after experience for travelers across the world.
Major Attractions and Facilities that make Changi Airport shine
For travelers in transit, you can find a beautiful giant Sunflower garden in Terminal 2, specifically at level 3 of the departure transit lounge. Here, giant sunflowers measuring up to 1.5 meters high and as large as a human face are carefully arranged and tended every day. Visit the place early mornings and you will find a gardener uprooting the older flowers and replacing them with fresher ones to give the place a garden-fresh look always.
Butterfly Park and Waterfall
This is one of the most famous sights at the airport with a refreshing view of dazzling butterflies hovering around a gushing waterfall, surrounded by brightly colored flowers. Several exotic species of butterflies, as well as caterpillars, cocoons and a variety of flowers can be found in Terminal 3, where you will also catch a captivating view of the airplane parking bay and runway close by.
Free Cinema and Entertainment Deck
If you’re exhausted from your flight and just want to relax a while, Terminal 2 and 3 have got you covered with a Free Cinema where you can watch a movie. And guess what, you may even be enjoying this space all by yourself because it is mostly empty for some reason. And for guys who just love video games, you cannot miss out on the Entertainment Deck stack with the likes of Xbox, Ps3, Free LAN, and MTV booth to have fun with, all for Free.
Yes, Singapore is quite warm all year round, so you may want to take a good dip in the Airport’s swimming pool which is free for hotel residents, and only costs about $14 for visitors.
One of the most exciting areas is the Social Tree in Terminal 1’s departure hall. You can simply take a selfie or video, share it on this giant wall-like screen or even share it on any of your social media platforms after you snap pictures there. This picture will be kept in Singapore’s memory and you can always retrieve them on your next trip.
Tallest Airport Slide in the world.
Strategically placed at the arrival hall of Terminal 3, the tallest slide in Singapore, and the world at large is in Changi Airport. And amazingly enough, anyone who has spent $10 at the airport qualifies for a free slide (which is virtually everyone) from noon till 10:00pm each day.
Free Tour of Singapore
Talk about world-class reception and customer service, the Changi Airport gives passengers free 2.5 hour tours of the whole country. On these guided tours, transitioning travelers who have time to spare between their flights can experience the amazing famous sights of the Island at absolutely no cost except for the required passport, boarding pass, valid visa and the safety of their luggage of course.
Airline Lounges and Massage Chairs
There’s definitely a place for everyone, including the quiet people and workaholics who just need a place to rest and probably concentrate on some work. Depending on the airline used, you might just have an exclusive cozy lounge for you to unwind. There’s also a bar nearby and a beautiful view so you can feel at ease while you wait to transit. Aside the lounges, there are free massage chairs available for everyone, even if your airline does not have a lounge of its own. These chairs and lounges are mainly located in the Departure Transit Halls in each of the three Terminals.
For the more religious or spiritually active passenger who needs a secluded place to pray, it’s a miracle that Changi thought of you as well. The Airport has a spacious area specifically made for this purpose and free from all the distraction of the thousands of people that troop the place daily.
Well since you wouldn’t have the luxury of smoking in Public places in several parts of Singapore, the Airport gives such clients a special area to light themselves up before or after their trips.
Shower and Spa Services
Relaxation for all its passengers is one of the prides of this Airport and what better way to relax oneself than a good old shower and a soothing Spa treatment. There’s provision for these services available to people who simply want to refresh their bodies and wind off either before their next flight or right after a long tiresome one.
Superb Amenities that set Changi Airport apart
As of 2019, there are a total of five car parks, with one at each terminal, in addition to another Park in the middle of JetQuay and Terminal 2. The Airport does not only concern itself with its adult passengers but also provides for its passengers’ offspring with comfortable Baby Care Rooms where parents can attend to their little ones privately. All of the rooms come with hot water dispensers and available space to either change your baby’s diapers or breastfeed them while you’re waiting for your flight. Your kids can also relax and watch some cartoons in the Family Zone or simply go all out in any of the four playgrounds inside each of the terminals.
Inside Terminal 2 is the fascinating Enchanted Garden, filled with beautiful displays that come alive with sound. The pathways are embedded with LED and fiber-optic lighting which creates a mesmerizing array of sparkling lights, while the flowers in the garden and natural sounds are triggered by motion sensors. There’s also an Orchid Garden that houses several rare orchids, complimented by the Koi pond.
Passengers in Transit don’t have to bother carrying their luggage around with them while touring or shopping as there is a secure Baggage service provided for them at each Terminal to leave their stuff at a very affordable fee, mostly less than $20 per day. Note however that Singapore is quite strict on its security and will inspect your items thoroughly once you leave it in their care.
Among many other incredible facilities include the following:
- A Car Rental counter to provide a ride of your choice at your arrival
- Cash Machines (ATMs) of numerous global banks all around
- Charging points where you can easily power up your phones and gadgets
- Clinics and Pharmacies where you can get medical attention
- Free-to-use napping lounges to snooze around for a while
- Free WiFi connections
In addition to the above, there a lot more amazing sceneries to behold at this amazing airport.
The Jewel Project
Jewel Changi Airport, the newest addition connecting all four terminals of the Airport and features a spectacular indoor forest with the tallest waterfall in the world. Constructed at a budget of SG$1.7 billion ($1.25 billion USD), by legendary architect, Moshe Safidie, its exterior is a glass and steel- framed dome with 10 stories, 5 in the basement section and 5 above the ground on a 1.46 million square feet.
One of the major attractions of the Jewel is the 130 feet (40 meter) HSBC Rain Vortex, placed right in the middle of the building, gushing through a gigantic oculus, and deemed as the tallest indoor-built waterfall in the world. Passengers and visitors are sure not to miss the Shiseido Forest Valley surrounding this waterfall, which is a four-storey garden with several walking paths and beautiful plants to look at. According to the operations management team of Jewel Changi , the Vortex collects rainwater in tanks and distributes it to irrigate the plants found in the Forest valley when there is excess.
The Jewel houses over 280 retail outlets as well as restaurants, and could easily pass for a remarkable shopping mall with a beautiful green-spaced environment since it does not have any boarding gates or arrival and departure halls. It is a multi-purpose complex that serves both travelers and locals with a vast range of sights, excellent facilities and entertaining hangouts such as the 11-cinema IMAX theater and the collection of themed gardens known as Canopy Park. There’s also a Skytrain that links all the terminals, while passing through the Vortex in the middle and gives Jewel a wonderful picturesque look.
Usually, an Airport is not a place people would think of going just to have fun aside the thrill of going to catch their flights, pick a loved one or go on holidays. However, Singapore’s Jewel is quite a go-to spot for the country’s residents who just want to watch a movie, get a meal or simply hang out with friends. It is quite common to see people coming for dates, to study or even spend an entire weekend just touring around the place. In fact, management suggests that they receive thousands of requests from Singapore residents who wish to have their wedding photoshoots at their amazing sights.
Best Airport in the World (Achievement and Records)
Singapore’s Changi Airport is by far the best airport having been given the topmost rank at the 2019 World Airport Awards (WAA) by Skytrax, per votes cast by millions of air travelers around the world. This is not the first time, but the 10th since the inception of the WAA 20 years ago, and the seventh consecutive time Singapore’s leading Airport has been named the Best since 2013. They also repeated history by winning the Best Airport Leisure Amenities award, beating top ranking airports such as the Tokyo International Airport, Incheon International Airport, the Hamad International Airport, among others.
The awards was based on the feedback from about 13.5 million survey questionnaires filled out by air customers from several different nationalities across the world within a 6-month period. World class airports are basically evaluated on the customer experience, as well as other indicators in the service, right from arrivals, check-in, shopping, transfers, security, immigration, to departure.
Chief Executive Officer of the World’s Best Airport, Lee Seow Hiang, credited the success of the company to its strong partners, and large base of dedicated workers who tirelessly provide the finest experience to their customers. Since its opening, Changi Airport has received hundreds of awards. For example, it swept 30 “Best Airport” accolades in the year 2018 alone.
The Airport has broken several records in international traffic, with the most recent record of registering a whopping 6.13 million passenger movement in one month (December 2018), and the highest daily traffic movement record of 221, 155 people on 21 December 2018. Aside its undeniable importance in transporting passengers, it also happens to be one of the most effective and busiest cargo airports worldwide, with about 2.150 million tonnes of freight handled in 2018.
The Future of Changi Airport?
For such a first-rate Airport that has consecutively bagged the “World’s Best Airport” for seven times in a row, and a total of 10 times since the inception of Skytrax’ award scheme, it is very rational if Changi decides to maintain its current status. Nonetheless, they’re far from it; it doesn’t look like they’re planning on staying at their position, rather they are striving through every effort to be better than they already are. Currently with its four terminals, the Airport is strategizing on building a massive fifth Terminal which is speculated to be the size of its presently available terminals combined. Changi’s terminal 5 will most likely be ready after the year 2030, where it is projected to have the capacity to carry approximately 140 million passengers yearly. The immediate project is an expansion of Terminal 2 in its departure hall and transit areas. This expansion will increase the total passenger capacity to about 90 million annually, and will be completed within the next five years. With major objectives like these, if care isn’t taken, who knows, Changi Airport might just become one of the best tour destinations in Singapore in the near future.