Singapore Airport I love you

What a joy it was to arrive at Singapore’s Changi airport. Of all the airports that I have had the pleasure (or displeasure) to have passed through over the years, Singapore beats them all hands down.
As if the 14 hour flight hadn’t been bad enough, it was with Qantas, who lived up to their dreadful reputation with regards to the rude check-in lady at Heathrow and charging me £240 for being 6 kg over my baggage allowance. Yes, you read that right – £240! They topped this off with foul inflight food and an inflight entertainment system that didn’t work. Consider me to have learned my lesson. I am never flying Qantas again.

Suffice to say I was not in the best of moods when I arrived at Changi but what a lovely airport it is. There are three terminals which you can walk between or get the Skyrail between. Each terminal is spacious (especially three) and calm. There is no tripping over row after row of angry travellers here (Yes, I’m thinking of Heathrow’s older terminals).

Along with all the usual duty free stores and food options, Changi has lots of intelligent features such as phone-charging units, where you can lock your phone in a little cupboard while it charges and return to collect it later, water fountains aplenty and you can even get your toes nibbled by hungry fishies at the Fish spa. There are also free internet stands which are very popular. Here’s a tip. My flights arrived into and departed from terminal 1 which was very busy, but when I was in the other terminals I noticed there were no queues for the internet, so if you want to avoid the queue just jump on the skyrail to another terminal.

Free internet

Changi also has what they call The Garden Trail at Changi; a collection of green spaces dotted around the terminals. These are a welcome relief from all the aircraft noise and the harsh lights of the duty free stores. I had a 4 hour layover and managed in that time to visit the Butterfly, Orchid and Fern gardens in terminals 3 and 2. I was keen to walk off the cankles I could feel forming after the long flight. I hadn’t realised how many different types of orchids existed and enjoyed seeing greedy koi (fish) in ponds in the centre of the flower gardens who made a beeline for whichever edge they could see a traveller peering at them from and then lurked at the surface, blowing gulpy, fishy kisses.

Get a massage at Singapore Aisport

Talking of cankles, Changi has lots of leg massager seats around the terminals. Once you take a seat and remove your footwear you can slot your legs into the massager unit and then programme it to ‘knead’ or ‘vibrate’ your tired, swollen legs. You feel a bit of a plonker as they tend to be seats facing travelators so all the passing people gawp at you, but the mechanic massage definitely put a spring in my step. The kneading of your soles may not be the best bit if you are ticklish though. The toilets in the airport are spotless with large cubicles. It’s not an exciting detail but it’s one most people appreciate.

The airport does not announce departures, which I think is wonderful. Why force repeat flight information on an entire departure lounge full of tired and tetchy travellers? Allowing people to take responsibility for catching their flights makes for a much more pleasant airport experience for everyone.

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