Wahhabalinese Adventures 1: Singapore

Unusually enough, I was looking forward to the airport more than the flight itself: this marked my first visit to the spanking new Singapore Changi Terminal 3, officially opened just a week earlier. Aviation geek that I am, I’d already had a sneak peek in the pre-opening “open house”, but this was my first time venturing into airside.

Flights to Dubai actually leave from T2, not T3, but the automated check-in kiosk had no complaints and soon enough I was through the space-age Departures portal. And wow: it’s really airy and spacious inside. The greenery isn’t quite as evident as landside though, with glass, steel and duty-free shopping dominating the show. I beelined for the “Krisflyer Gold Lounge” on the second level, where the poor guardian lady puzzled for a few minutes over my SAS gold card and admittedly rather lengthitudinous full name, painstakingly scribbling them out with pencil on paper and triple-checking the result.

On first sight, the lounge looks small, but actually it’s not: the seating area behind the entry desk is only about a fifth or less of the entire lounge. Soup, salad, rice, a main course, and a selection of desserts were available, along with a small self-serve bar and Tiger beer on tap. Most of the lounge is (how to describe this?) “almost-outside”, with no roof other than the top canopy and partial views of the tarmac due to the shades in the way. Comfy chairs, free wifi, a somewhat less than generous distribution of power points, a couple of PCs and a respectable selection of newspapers completed the offerings, and it’s fair to say that this will be my lounge of choice at SIN as long as I have some time to spare.

And how much time to spare, you say? Well, I experimentally determined that you need at least 10-15 minutes extra to get to T2. There are actually two separate Skytrain routes connecting the two, one at the north end (B-E) and one at the south (A-F), with the lounges are closer to the south end (A gates). However, my gate today was E28, literally at the last extremity of T2 right before T1 starts, and in retrospect it would have been faster to go to T1 and cross it on foot! But no, I ended up taking the longest possible way: walk to the A gate, Skytrain across to T2 F gates, walk across from F to the E area, and then the interminable walk from E20 all the way to E28.

A few more T3 pictures for those interested, mostly taken at the open house: http://jpatokal.iki.fi/photo/travel/Singapore/Changi-T3/

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