Qatar Airways' new Singapore lounge is now open, and it's a must-visit by business class passengers of Qatar and other Oneworld member airlines looking to dine, work and relax before flying out from Singapore’s Changi Airport.
In fact, based on a brief call into the lounge shortly after it opened, we're moved to suggest this could very well be Singapore's best business class lounge.
This is Qatar Airways' fifth Premium Lounge outside its bustling Doha hub, and the second in Asia after Bangkok – and also the fourth Oneworld lounge at Changi Terminal 1, alongside those of Qantas (which runs seperate business class and first class lounges) and British Airways.
Qatar Airways Singapore lounge: location
Qatar Airways’ Singapore Premium Lounge is located on the upper ‘lounge level’ of Terminal 1, adjacent to the Emirates and Plaza Premium lounges at the start of the C Gates wing (above gate C1).
While this makes it somewhat less central than the Qantas and British Airways lounges, it's a handy location if your flight departs from the C Gates – and doubly so if you're also in transit (on QF1/QF2 or BA15/BA16), as you'll be able to enjoy a little more lounge time.
If you're entering T1 to catch your flight, turn left after passing through immigration and walk all the way to the end of the terminal's main concourse and watch for the lounge signage and the escalator adjacent to gate C1.
Qatar Airways Singapore lounge: opening hours
Qatar Airways' Singapore Premium Lounge is open from 8am to 11am, and then from 5.30pm through until 2am.
Those opening hours are geared around Qatar Airways' three daily flights from Singapore to Doha:
- QR943, at 10.55am
- QR947, at 8.25pm
- QR945, at 2am
The extended evening hours will also suit premium passengers on the other Oneworld airlines which fly out of Terminal 1 – British Airways, Finnair, Japan Airlines and Qantas – which largely favour night-time departures.
There's also no reason that Qatar's Singapore lounge couldn't be visited by business class travellers on Malaysia Airlines, which uses Changi Terminal 2, or even Cathay Pacific, which flies out from Terminal 4 – although you'd want to give yourself plenty of time to make the necessary connections in moving between terminals.
Qatar Airways Singapore lounge: access rules
Qatar Airways' Singapore lounge is reserved for business class and first class passengers of Qatar and other Oneworld member airlines.
There's no access if you are a top-tier frequent flyer (Oneworld Emerald or Oneworld Sapphire status) but travelling in economy or premium economy class.
Although this is at odds with most Oneworld airline lounges, where shiny status trumps travel class, it's a long-established practice at all Qatar Airways' Premium Lounges and in keeping with the airline's desire to ensure an upmarket lounge experience.
Qatar Airways isn't breaking any rules here: while these access rules are often controversial, the arrangement is permitted by Oneworld on the basis that Qatar still provides frequent flyers not booked into a premium cabin with access to an airport lounge, even if that isn't the airline's own lounge. At Singapore, that role falls to the Terminal 1 SATS Lounge.
However, savvy frequent flyers on Qatar Airways' Singapore-Doha flights should make a beeline to the Qantas and British Airways lounges – especially the Qantas first class lounge and its à la carte dining room – where they’ll be allowed entry under the broader provisions of the Oneworld alliance.
So if you've got the Oneworld status but not a seat at the pointy end, here is your Singapore Changi T1 lounge list:
- Qantas Business Lounge and British Airways lounge: Oneworld Sapphire (such as Qatar Airways Privilege Club Gold, Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold, British Airways Executive Club Silver, Finnair Plus Gold, JAL Global Club and JAL Mileage Bank Sapphire, JAL Global Club Crystal and Global Club members, Malaysia Airlines Enrich Gold and Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club Gold)
- Qantas First Lounge: Oneworld Emerald (such as Qatar Airways Privilege Club Platinum, Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum, British Airways Executive Club Gold, Finnair Plus Platinum, JAL Global Club and JAL Mileage Bank Diamond, JAL Global Club Premier, Malaysia Airlines Enrich Platinum and Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club Diamond)
The caveat here is for status passengers on Qatar Airways' Singapore-Doha flight QR945, which is wheels-up at 2am – the Qantas and BA lounges close before midnight, so it's SATS or nothing.
Qatar Airways Singapore lounge: guest policy
Passengers travelling in first class on any Oneworld airline are allowed to bring one guest with them, provided they are also booked on a Oneworld flight. They don't have to be on the same flight or even travelling with the same airline – and, here's a wrinkle, they can even be in economy class.
At the time of writing, the only Oneworld airlines flying first class out of Singapore are British Airways and Qantas.
Most visitors to the Qatar Airways Singapore lounge will be in business class, which doesn't come with any guesting privileges.
Qatar Airways Singapore lounge: dress code
In addition to restricting entry to business and first class travellers, Qatar Airways also enforces a strict ‘smart dress code’ at its lounges.
For example, Qatar’s Bangkok Premium Lounge decrees that “tattered jeans, shorts, beachwear, vests or revealing clothing and flip-flops (thongs) are not permitted."
Expect the same dress code rules to apply at Qatar’s Singapore Premium Lounge, even if you've just sweated through the steamiest of Singapore days.
The Qatar Airways Singapore lounge experience
The design and facilities of Qatar Airways’ Singapore Premium Lounge are along the same lines as its international counterparts, especially the recently-opened Bangkok Premium Lounge.
Qatar Airways describes its Premium Lounges as being “more of a boutique hotel or private club than a lounge," and the marble-lined reception area aims to underscore that point right from the start.
While the lounge will be busiest in the lead-up to Qatar's own flights at 8.25pm (QR947) and 2am (QR945), the window from around 8pm to 11pm should offer some serenity if you visit ahead of the British Airways and Finnair flights (BA12 and B16 to London and AY132 to Helsinki, respectively), Japan Airlines' JL36 to Tokyo (departing at 10.25pm) plus Qantas' flagship QF1 to London (out at 11.55pm) and the QF38 to Melbourne (11.40pm)
The lounge's total capacity is just 85 guests, which reflects the relatively light 'premium' loads of Qatar's own flights from Singapore – each flight currently features an Airbus A350-1000, with no first class cabin and 46 Qsuites in business class.
And there's no sense of crowding in the layout: the chairs are well-spaced, with many adjacent tables sporting wireless charging points along with the more conventional AC/USB power sockets.
The tended bar serves up cocktails, wine and Champagne (the drops here are Veuve Cliquot Brut and a Bollinger Rosé).
The Qatar Airways Singapore Premium Lounge features an à la carte dining room, which is a rarity in any business class lounge and more typically the domain of a first class lounge.
In fact, there are two dining rooms. The first is the Garden Bistro (named for green wall running along one side) and seats 12 travellers.
There's also The Brasserie, which has a further 16 seats. Both spaces are open for breakfast and dinner, where extensive menus span local, Western and Arabic-influenced dishes.
There's also a self-serve ‘deli counter’ with salads, Arabic mezze, antipasto meats and cheeses, bakery items, yoghurt, fruit juices and sweet treats. In short, this is not a lounge where you'll go hungry.
You can get down to work at the compact business centre (which has two Windows desktop PCs and a shared laser printer) but you may gravitate towards one of these 'relaxation pods' which line the wall near the front of the lounge.
The high partitions offer plenty of privacy, and each pod contains a small shelf, a universal AC socket with two USB outlets, and an adjustable LED reading light.
As you can see from this 'inside view', the wide winged chair is quite a distance away from a shelf that's too small to accomodate most laptops – this is, after all, a secluded space intended for reading while a snack and drink are within reach – but all the same, it could hold some appeal for a more relaxed take on tapping away on your laptop or tablet.
Finally, you can freshen up after a long day in Singapore at one of the five spacious and well-appointed shower suites.
These feature an extended bench which doubles as a luggage area where you can stow your cabin bag, with amenities by Diptique, a dental kit, shower cap and hairdryer.
Our take? For any business class traveller headed out of Singapore on a Oneworld airline this is not only a lounge worth visiting, it's probably the only one you'll want to visit.