7 replies

quantumreality

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 Jan 2018

Total posts 62

Hi fellow travellers, I recall somewhere on an ET article which mentioned that access to T4 Singapore Changi airport is only for those passengers flying airlines that actually depart from T4.

However, the Changi airport website doesn't seem to mention that. Has this changed or is this one of those ad-hoc rules that is not publicised but enforced by the staff on the ground? Anybody that has recent experience, any feedback appreciated :-)

I will have plenty of time to kill, and while Qantas First lounge is excellent, I would like to check out Cathay one at T4 is possible as I have tonnes of time to kill.

Anyone

sunnybrae

Etihad - Etihad Guest

Member since 21 Jul 2019

Total posts 79

With T4 not being connected with the the other terminals by airtrain (as I'm sure you'd know already), and given that the lounge is located after security/immigration control, there are practical and legal roadblocks to anyone trying to lounge-hop from T4 to the other terminals, and vice versa. Even if you don't mind travelling between the main terminal cluster and T4, once you've passed security/immigration, you're deemed to have exited Singapore. The authorities would likely not be well disposed to pax then attempting to re-enter Singapore to go back to the main terminal cluster after 'visiting' T4. You may recall that people on different occasions have been prosecuted for passing Singapore immigration but deliberately not catching their flight, only to loiter around the terminals for some hours before trying to re-enter the country? I don't think there was any real malice on the part of any of those convicted, just very blase attitudes about the rules and regulations.

XWu

Member since 09 May 2020

Total posts 197

Sunnybrae pretty much wrote what I was about to say myself. Singapore does take a strict view on immigration matters and the security personnel may not even let you into the immigration area as your boarding pass may show you are in the wrong terminal.

I assume that many people (possibly yourself included) have done the free Singapore tour for those transiting SIN but had more than 6 hours to kill.

Changi airport has restarted this service this month and considering SIN is ever changing (always some major construction going on) why not consider another excursion for free (booking essential and via Changi airport website). Jewel also have some great offerings for short term entertainment without going too far from any of the main terminals

Last editedby XWu at Apr 25, 2023, 08:21 AM.

Flyman

QFP

Member since 22 Jan 2013

Total posts 89

If your in transit in terminal 3, can’t you stay airside (after immigration) and get the airside bus to T4?

XWu

Member since 09 May 2020

Total posts 197

Originally Posted by Flyman

If your in transit in terminal 3, can't you stay airside (after immigration) and get the airside bus to T4?

Honestly never tried to get to T4 myself and not aware of any airside bus to T4 until now, see below

The 2019 review at PointsHack was quite specific

Terminal 4 is the newest and hosts Cathay Pacific and AirAsia as the main airlines. It is connected to T1/2/3 via a shuttle bus service from T2. However, only people with a boarding pass for T4 are allowed in that terminal, so Qantas passengers can't go to T4 to use the Cathay Pacific Lounge, for example.


However, it might be possible the other way around. For example, a Cathay Pacific passenger with oneworld Emerald status could technically check-in at Jewel for the boarding pass, cross immigration at T1 to use the new Qantas First Lounge, then take the Skytrain to T2 and then the airside bus transfer to T4. This is a very long process though, so I wouldn't personally recommend it.“

Of course things could have changed quite a bit in 2023 but I assume JQ kicked up a big fuss about being made to go to T4 for some reason, the exclusivity (to the point of being excluded rather than included for special treatment) of the terminal probably accounts for the initial reluctance.

Klook suggests

Singapore Airport transit shuttle buses operate 24 hours and go through T1 Gate C21 to T3 Arrival Immigration Office to T4 Transfer Lounge” but I suspect they would look at your boarding pass to allow you to use this service.

Last edited by XWu at Apr 25, 09.06 AM.
Last editedby XWu at Apr 25, 2023, 09:08 AM.

quantumreality

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 Jan 2018

Total posts 62

Hi all, thanks for the feedback. Yeah, I guess unless there is an airside bus AND they allow passengers with with airlines departing from other terminal to use the T4 bus, then I guess I am stuck with T1-T3 option. I will see how it goes when I am there...

quantumreality

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 Jan 2018

Total posts 62

Trip Report: just in case some of you are interested to know how it turned out. Initially I decided not to try going to T4 as it seemed like a hassle and not possible, but with roughly still 3 more hours to spare, I decided to give it a try.

In short, yes, you can transfer from T1 to T4 while remaining on the airside (so no clearing immigration issue here), flying an airline that departs from T1, however, it wasn't a seamless transfer.

The long story:

The lady that guarding the bus departing T1 (near gate C21) initially said I couldn't go to T4, but the reason is not because my flight did not depart from T4, but because she reckoned I wouldn't have enough time to go to T4 and back to T1 in time. Admittedly, the staff had my best interest at heart, but I did my own calculation and I reckoned I should have enough time: roughly 20 mins bus T1 to T4 (as per the Cangi website), so 40 mins return. Plus waiting for bus time, around 15 mins x 2 = 30 mins. So about 70 minutes worse case scenario total journey time. Now, assuming you need to be back at T1 AT LEAST 40 mins before depature (walk time to the gate + clearning security at the gate), then it still gives you 60 mins to spare (more than enough to duck in CX lounge :-) ). The staff did say that if I were to go then it is my own risk.

I ended up spending a bit less than an hour at CX lounge T4 (it was ok, good food and wine but QF First still better!), and back at T1 with 70 mins to spare before departure (because my didn't need to wait the full 15 mins for the bus to arrive).

I was asked to show my boarding pass 4 times in the process and had the details of my boarding pass taken at least twice by various staff attending the transfer bus. And FYI, once you arrive at T4 you have to clear the 'full' security (laptop and liquid out of the bag, boots taken off, etc). In Changi other terminals (or at least in T1), this kind of 'full' security check is done at the departure gate, not as you enter the airside.


Last editedby quantumreality at Apr 30, 2023, 12:41 PM.

XWu

Member since 09 May 2020

Total posts 197

Originally Posted by quantumreality

Trip Report: just in case some of you are interested to know how it turned out. Initially I decided not to try going to T4 as it seemed like a hassle and not possible, but with roughly still 3 more hours to spare, I decided to give it a try.

In short, yes, you can transfer from T1 to T4 while remaining on the airside (so no clearing immigration issue here), flying an airline that departs from T1, however, it wasn't a seamless transfer.

The long story:

The lady that guarding the bus departing T1 (near gate C21) initially said I couldn't go to T4, but the reason is not because my flight did not depart from T4, but because she reckoned I wouldn't have enough time to go to T4 and back to T1 in time. Admittedly, the staff had my best interest at heart, but I did my own calculation and I reckoned I should have enough time: roughly 20 mins bus T1 to T4 (as per the Cangi website), so 40 mins return. Plus waiting for bus time, around 15 mins x 2 = 30 mins. So about 70 minutes worse case scenario total journey time. Now, assuming you need to be back at T1 AT LEAST 40 mins before depature (walk time to the gate + clearning security at the gate), then it still gives you 60 mins to spare (more than enough to duck in CX lounge :-) ). The staff did say that if I were to go then it is my own risk.

I ended up spending a bit less than an hour at CX lounge T4 (it was ok, good food and wine but QF First still better!), and back at T1 with 70 mins to spare before departure (because my didn't need to wait the full 15 mins for the bus to arrive).

I was asked to show my boarding pass 4 times in the process and had the details of my boarding pass taken at least twice by various staff attending the transfer bus. And FYI, once you arrive at T4 you have to clear the 'full' security (laptop and liquid out of the bag, boots taken off, etc). In Changi other terminals (or at least in T1), this kind of 'full' security check is done at the departure gate, not as you enter the airside.


Last editedby quantumreality at Apr 30, 2023, 12:41 PM.
Thanks for the update. I would think that was good luck on your part that they didn’t really question your purpose to go to T4. I suspect YMMV for others on different days.

Quite surprised though of the experience of security clearance to enter the entire T4 sterile area: did you line up together with other pax departing from T4 or is there a separate line for airside transfer pax? If former, the whole terminal transfer time is even more variable as you will be looking at potentially slower queues with budget (casual), often less experienced pax.

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