Singapore’s Airport is by no means a large one, yet ever since it was opened it has won hundreds of awards for being “The World’s Best Airport”. I had the pleasure of spending a few hours at this airport on route from Tokyo to New Delhi. The 8 hour lay over in Singapore was brief but very interesting, so let’s discuss a few possibilities as to why Changi is seen as the best of the best.
Changi is centrally located, so much so that it serves as the hub for thousands of yearly flights to almost 90 countries. The airport runs very smoothly in part due to it being owned by the government and enormous investments in expansions and infrastructure. Despite thousands of weekly flights, the chances of luggage getting lost are very slim due to high-tech conveyor belts that can deliver luggage to the carousels within 15 minutes, unlike other airports that can take upwards of an hour.
Being a hub for transfer, Changi has access to not one, not two but five free snooze lounges with the comfiest chairs to rest between long grueling flights. This would probably be unthinkable in other places where such lounges would be reserved only for high paying first-class passengers or frequent fliers with gold stars. If you’re not tired, Singapore’s T2 and T3 offer free cinemas 24 hours a day with the latest movies playing back-to-back; though to be fair the seats are also really comfortable and most people in the theater were asleep when I went.
On terminal 2’s roof there is the famous sunflower garden with some of the brightest and most beautiful sunflowers I’ve ever seen. Sunflowers of course aren’t native to the country so they must be meticulously grown in the airport’s nursery. In addition to this terminal 1 includes a variety of different cacti from across the Americas as well as from Africa. At T3 you are greeted by a 6 meter tall waterfall that is part of the airport’s butterfly garden where thousands of butterflies can be seen flying around.
Perhaps nature isn’t your thing though, you can then feel free to use one of the countless computers that are free of charge or spend time in the online gaming area where many gamers are clicking away as they level up in MMORPGs. For businessmen, there are a variety of different rooms for conferences and video calls which bring some much needed ease to last minute meetings.
Changi has become an attraction in itself, with many Singaporeans visiting for the variety of shops with duty free items and to experience all that the airport has to offer. If you have a few hours to spare, Changi also offers free 2 hour bus tours of the city but more on that later.