The best Oneworld lounges at Singapore Changi T1

With four lounges to choose from, and limited time on your hands, which is the best place to be?

By David Flynn, November 11 2022
The best Oneworld lounges at Singapore Changi T1

Flying to or through Singapore on a Oneworld member airline? Then you’ll have as many as four lounges to choose from – and the best lounge to visit may not the one your airline sends you to.

Singapore’s Changi Terminal 1 is the de facto home for almost all Oneworld airlines, and there are four Oneworld lounges at T1:

  • British Airways Singapore Lounge
  • Qantas Singapore Business Lounge
  • Qantas Singapore First Lounge
  • Qatar Airways Singapore Premium Lounge

But thanks to the Oneworld alliance’s reciprocal lounge access rule you can choose which lounge you visit, or even visit several lounges before your flight.

I’m always amazed at how few travellers realise this. For example, just because you’re flying British Airways doesn’t mean you can’t visit the Qantas lounge instead.

And while Finnair directs its business class passengers and high-status frequent flyers to the independent Marhaba Lounge, they can instead make a beeline for the Oneworld lounges (and most savvy Finnair flyers do).

There are, of course, some caveats.

You don't always have to visit the lounge your airline sends you to...
You don't always have to visit the lounge your airline sends you to...

Lounge access depends on your class of travel and frequent flyer status: being in business or first class will open the most doors, but even in premium economy or economy, top-tier status will  largely achieve the same end.

Your flight will need to align with the lounge’s opening hours: that’s not an issue if you are using the lounge of the airline you’re flying with, as its operating hours will be shaped by its own schedule.

For example, as Changi T1’s Oneworld airline lounges don’t open until the middle of the afternoon, they’re of no use if you’re on a morning flight to Kuala Lumpur with Malaysian Airlines.

Likewise, with the Qatar Airways Premium Lounge unlocking its doors from 6pm there’s barely time for a whistle-stop visit if you’re on the 7.15pm Qantas flight to Perth.

We rate Qatar Airways' Singapore Premium Lounge as a hidden gem for Oneworld first and business class flyers.
We rate Qatar Airways' Singapore Premium Lounge as a hidden gem for Oneworld first and business class flyers.

The following Oneworld airlines all use Singapore’s Changi Terminal 1: British Airways, Finnair, JAL, Malaysian Airlines, Qantas and Qatar Airways.

Sri Lankan Airlines uses Terminal 3, and the Skytrain which connects T1 to T3 makes it easy for a lounge-worthy Sri Lankan Airlines passenger to visit the T1 Oneworld lounge, as long as they leave enough time to get back across to T3 before their flight.

Cathay Pacific uses Terminal 4, and at the time of writing the excellent Cathay lounge at T4 remains closed.

While there are airside shuttle busses running from T1 to T4, you’d need to get to T1 very early for your Cathay flight in order to enjoy a decent stay at any of the T1 Oneworld lounges, and we honestly question if this is worth the trouble.

With that in mind, here’s the Executive Traveller cheat-sheet for the best Oneworld lounges at Singapore’s Changi Terminal 3.

Note that each lounge’s opening hours are accurate as at November 2022 and can change slightly from late March 2023 when airlines revise their flight timings to the Northern Summer schedule.

1. Qatar Airways Singapore Premium Lounge

Access: First class and business class passengers

Hours: 6pm to 3am

Qatar Airways’ excellent boutique lounge should be the go-to for any first class or business class traveller on British Airways, Finnair, Japan Airlines, Malaysian Airlines and Qantas.

Yes, that list excludes frequent flyers: Qatar Airways prefers to keep its Premium Lounges for ‘premium’ travellers.

The Qatar Airways Singapore Premium Lounge.
The Qatar Airways Singapore Premium Lounge.

It’s not the easiest lounge to find, being tucked away at the top of the Terminal’s C Gates wing: but make a point of spotting the Transfer Desk C area, and hop the escalators up to the lounge precinct shared by Plaza Premium, Emirates and Qatar Airways.

The compact footprint and elegant design of Qatar Airways’ Singapore Premium Lounge makes for a relaxing pre-flight stop, the highlight of which is the excellent à la carte menu which you can view and download here.

The Qatar Airways Singapore Premium Lounge.
The Qatar Airways Singapore Premium Lounge.

There’s sushi, satay and chilli king prawns for staters, with a mouth-watering array of mains including beef tenderloin, Thai red curry chicken, grilled rack of lamb and pan-seared salmon.

Add a selection of Champagne and a tended bar, and this is more a cosy upmarket private club than an airport lounge.

The Qatar Airways Singapore Premium Lounge.
The Qatar Airways Singapore Premium Lounge.

Qatar Airways’ Singapore Premium Lounge is also highly recommended if you’re in transit on BA15/BA16 or QF1/QF2 and your flights are at a C gate, because its handy location makes the most of your limited stopover time.

2. Qantas Singapore First Lounge

Access: First class passengers and Oneworld Emerald-grade frequent flyers

Hours: 3pm to midnight

The Qantas Singapore First Lounge is the obvious choice for any frequent flyers holding Oneworld Emerald status – a roster which includes Qantas Platinum or Platinum One, British Airways Gold, Finnair Platinum or Platinum Lumo, Malaysia Airlines Platinum and Qatar Airways Platinum.

And it’s also a worthy stop for first class flyers, especially if you enjoy that familiar Qantas vibe of superb service (the staff are more like ‘family’ to regular guests) and the restaurant-grade Rockpool menu.

The Qantas Singapore First Lounge.
The Qantas Singapore First Lounge.

An expansive dining room dominates the lounge, which quickly fills during the busy evening peak, but there’s ample seating and variety of seating for everyone.

And while it wouldn’t be a Qantas First Lounge without salt and pepper squid, served with aioli and a green chilli dipping sauce, another highlight of the menu is a distinctly Singaporean laksa served with crayfish.

The Qantas Singapore First Lounge.
The Qantas Singapore First Lounge.

If you’ve enough time and want to freshen up before your flight, the ten shower suites are not only spacious but superbly designed, with room to rummage around in your cabin bag for that change of clothes.

Being located towards the D Gates wing makes this a little more convenient for time-pressed transit travellers if their flight pulls in at a D gate.

3. Qantas Singapore Business Lounge

Access: First and business class passengers, and Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire frequent flyers

Hours: 3pm to midnight

This is our pick of Singapore’s T1 business class lounges, which means it’s also the best place for Sapphire-tier frequent flyers (such as BA Silver and the massed Golds of Qantas, Finnair, Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways).

The Qantas Singapore Business Lounge.
The Qantas Singapore Business Lounge.

Although a well-stocked buffet dominates the dining area, the open kitchen offers a rotating choice of two freshly-prepared dishes with Asian flair.

That’s complemented by a large tended bar and a score of showers, if you’ve the time and the lounge isn’t too busy. 

4. British Airways Singapore Lounge

Access: First and business class passengers, and Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire frequent flyers

Hours: 5pm to 11pm

Just a stone’s throw away from the Qantas Singapore Business Lounge, the BA lounge is a reliable Plan B should the Qantas lounge be too busy for your liking.

The British Airways Singapore Lounge.
The British Airways Singapore Lounge.

The QR-code menu delivers food and drinks to your table: the former list Joseph Perrier Champagne and a variety of cocktails, while the later can include pasta, butter chicken and at least one vegetarian dish.

With the Qantas and British Airways lounges almost side by side, there’s little harm in visiting both to see which you fancy, or sampling the best each lounge has to offer.

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1447

Never new about Qatar lounge, but been in QF First, QF Business and BA just few days ago. IMHO QF First has nothing to offer except of dining that is exceptional. Very few places to seat, you need to go to bar and line in the queue to grep buzz etc. IMHO BA Business is better QF, but on very small margin. I would eat in QF First and go to BA to relax.

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 263

While perhaps not technically a Oneworld lounge, does the Emirates lounge still provide an option to Qantas fliers?

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 199

Yes. I am Gold with Qantas and always head to the Emirates lounge. They have Moët while Qantas only have sparkling wine. 

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 199

I always go into the Emirates lounge when flying Qantas through Changi. It is much quieter, the food is a little better and they have Moet not just sparkling wine.

What about Cathay Marco Polo Silver, I am flying through Singapore by BA from London to Sydney in Late December but only economy this trip, what lounges are available?

I don't believe CX Silver are entitled to lounge access unless they are flying on Cathay Pacific, but you would be best contacting CX MPC to ask them.


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