I recently travelled from New Delhi to San Francisco through Singapore Airlines and thus I had a 15 hours of transit at the Changi Airport.
I know that you will be wondering why did I choose such a long transit option but in my defence I just had two flight choices with me which either provided me with a 1.5 hours of transit or a 15 hours one. Hence not taking any chances with my international flight I chose the longer transit flight.
And trust me it in a happening airport like Changi Singapore its not a bad deal at all. I have seen people opting for even a longer transit time where they get off the airport and explore the city. But since I had been to Singapore multiple times I wasn’t interested in exploring the city and also I am a nervous traveller when I am traveling alone. So making a list of all the things that could go wrong if I opted to venture into the city I decided to spend my time at the airport.
By the time my flight from Delhi landed in Changi Singapore it was already 6pm local time. And unlike other airport such as in Dubai or Hong Kong where there is transit security check first before you can indulge in exploring the airport, at Changi you are free to explore the airport as soon as you enter the foyer and the security checks happened at the gate when you board the flight. This was new for me. Hence, once we landed I went to one of the transit help desk where they notified me of these norms.
Depending on what terminal your next flight is leaving from you can decide which internal airport train you are supposed to take. But in my experience the terminals are so well connected you can even walk to different terminals if you have the time and want to make that extra steps count.
There is so much do at Changi Airport that you will never get bored. How do you want to spend your time at the airport depends on what time you landed, how tired you are from your last flight, what time is your next flight and how long would be the duration of your next flight.
As mentioned earlier, I landed in the evening and my next flight was supposed to depart between 9-10am the following day. Since I already had fairly long flight from New Delhi to Singapore and my next flight to San Francisco was supposed to be of 15 hours, I know wanted to rest during transit time.
The first thing that I did once I landed at the airport was to look for my coffee fix. And I found the most picturesque coffee shop that I have ever seen and it was called Bachca Coffee. However, much like other international airports where you can happily do the transaction in US dollars, at this coffee place it was cards and Singapore dollars only. I ordered my coffee and started exploring the airport for some dinner options.
Changi airport’s terminal 3 (where I was exploring) had majorly more South east asian cuisine options. Hence I opted for the Ippodu Express and got myself a Chicken Ramen. However, if you want some other world cuisine options then you would have to further walk to other Terminals and you would get your fix for pizzas, pastas and burgers.
After my dinner, I perused the terminals and shopped for a bit. I also browsed through all the different garden sections such as the cactus garden and butterfly garden to pass my time. Once I felt tired and was ready to unwind, I moved towards the Changi Transit Hotel to enquire about the prices.
I first went into the Ambassador Transit Hotel and enquired about the prices. You have the option of book these transit hotels online too but I when I was looking to book into it, it was giving me a rate of US$230 -250 for the night which I thought personally was on the higher side. When I enquired the room prices, they gave me the option of choosing the hours I wanted to stay in the room and I can opt for whether or not I want a meal or no meal option. For a 6 hours stay without a meal, the manager quoted a price of $180 dollars where I would get a single ensuite room with all the amenities.
Hearing the price again, I decided to have a look at the transit lounge too as they had the facilities of sleeping rooms in there. It was already 9:30pm by the time I moved to transit lounge. For their sleeping rooms and showers they quoted me US$90 for 5 hours. So since my flight was between 9-10am the next day, I decided to book the sleeping room from 12:30am onwards so that it will give me enough time to sleep, wake-up and have a shower before my flight and also have enough time catch something to eat and then head to the boarding gate. Since I had still nearly 3 hours to kill before I can be assigned to sleeping room, I used my Master Card credit card’s Priority Pass and gained a free access to the lounge’s sitting area for 3 hours.
On my designated time, the receptionist escorted me my sleeping room which was quiet area and it was a decent sized room with proper partition structures. The rooms could be locked from the inside so that you have full privacy when you sleep. The room came with a nicely made clean bed, a water bottle and a bed side lamp and side table with sockets where you can charge your electronic items. The only drawback I felt was that there was nothing to lock your room from outside especially when you go for your shower. Though its safe as everyone is sleeping but I took all my valuables with me when I went for the shower.
The reception at the lounge also books a wake-up call so that you don’t end up sleeping throughout. Once I woke up and was ready for my shower, a receptionist helped me get familiarised with the washroom and shower area. They assign you with a particular shower where they provide you with a clean towel. The toilets are separate but you just have to be mindful that in the mornings the toilets are busy so there might be a waiting period so just time yourself accordingly.
Once I got ready I still had time remaining to be spent in my sleeping room but after sometime I decided to checkout from the room and explore the airport and have some breakfast before I head to my boarding gate.
The Changi airport its a marvel in itself. If you have the inclination be adventurous you can watch a movie, go for the waterfall section, peruse the shops, indulge in some luxury shopping and have great local food. It all depends on how much motivation you have.
I just felt like sharing my travel experience and helping those who are a little less adventurous like me and are solo travellers who are travelling on a budget. I hope you find this information helpful. Enjoy Reading.