Executive Traveller exclusive
Singapore Airlines' most underwhelming lounge at its Changi Airport Terminal 3 hub has emerged from its cocoon, and it'll be a far more appealing place for travellers to spend their time before or between flights.
We're talking, of course, about the KrisFlyer Gold lounge: the go-to for most frequent flyers who hold some form of airline status but are in holding a ticket for premium economy or economy, rather than business class.
This includes Singapore Airlines' own KrisFlyer Elite Gold members, Star Alliance Gold equivalents (from the likes of ANA, Air China, Air New Zealand, Lufthansa, Thai Airways and United Airlines) and other partners such as Virgin Australia (Velocity Gold and Platinum).
SQ's rolling lounge revamp
In July 2019, Singapore Airlines committed to an extensive (and at SGD50 million, expensive) revamp of its Changi T3 lounge, from The Private Room haven to the SilverKris First Class and Business Class lounges and the KrisFlyer Gold lounge.
This was to be a staged affair with work carried out one lounge at a time, starting with the Business Class lounge and finishing with the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge in mid-2021.
COVID-19 threw a spoke into the wheels, and in the process changed the batting order for each lounge's refurbishment – with the new KrisFlyer Gold lounge now set to open at the end of this year.
And in fact, it's open now – albeit in the guise of being a temporary SilverKris Business Class lounge, as the main business lounge was closed on March 31 to undergo its own transformation.
When the new Business Class lounge rolls out the welcome mat at the end of 2021, what's now the temporary business lounge will become the new KrisFlyer Gold lounge. (If you've managed to follow along so far, well done.)
The upshot is that what Singapore Airlines' business class flyers are seeing now, is what Gold-grade frequent flyers will be seeing in December.
It's certainly a step up from the old and largely unloved KrisFlyer Gold lounge: more open, and with a greater sense of space and plenty of natural light (at least in the daytime).
We can only hope those soaring ceilings help address the lack of air-conditioning at the previous KrisFlyer Gold lounge.
The decor and furnishings are less dated, even if they aren't the pinnacle of contemporary design.
The lounge's overall footprint is larger than the former space, and there's no doubt the view will delight many travellers as they get an up-close look at assorted Singapore Airlines jets trundling along the tarmac and pulling into or out of the adjacent departure gates.
There's proper segregation of spaces for working, dining and relaxing, and a decent scattering of AC/USB outlets around the walls.
Best of all, the new KrisFlyer Gold lounge now has its own toilets – you used to have to leave the lounge to use public toilets just off the hallway – and even a handful of shower suites.
These two additions go a long way to addressing some of the criticisms levelled at the old KrisFlyer Gold lounge.
We've obviously got to wait until this becomes the official KrisFlyer Gold lounge to see how the food and drink situation shapes up – those were other serious shortcomings of the old lounge – but for now, things are definitely looking up for Gold-grade frequent flyers who aren't seated at the pointy end of the plane.