Singapore's Changi Terminal 1 gets a makeover -- but no arrivals lounge

By David Flynn, March 2 2011
Singapore's Changi Terminal 1 gets a makeover -- but no arrivals lounge

Singapore Airport's Terminal 1 is getting a makeover to bring it more in line with the design and space of its youngest sibling, Terminal 3.

Work on the S$500 million (A$387m) upgrade to T1, which is best known to Australian travellers as home to Qantas and British Airways, will be completed by early 2012, although sections are being open as renovations finish. The terminal's unifying theme will be that of a"tropical city".

"It's a 30 year old terminal, the first one built for Changi Airport when we opened in July 1981" says Ivan Tan, Director or Corporate & Marketing Communications for Changi Airport.

While there are limits to what can be done with the height and design of the terminal's roof – especially in the departures area – plenty of work has been done to encourage light to flow inside the terminal.

"The new design has lots of open space and natural light getting in", Tan told Australian Business Traveller. "The corridors have been expanded and widened for easier passenger flow." And of course, being Changi, there's room for more shops.

The new Terminal 1 boasts much more light and a greater sense of space

One thing business travellers won't be seeing is an arrivals lounge, however. Plaza Premium originally operated an arrivals lounge at Terminal 3, Tan says, but there simply wasn't sufficient demand to keep it open.

"Essentially the market was telling us that with very convenient access to downtown Singapore, 25 minutes by taxi, people just wanted to get off the plane, collect their baggage and head to the hotel. It wasn't really needed, compared to other airports where the commute to the hotel might be longer and so you want to break the journey (at the arrivals lounge) to refresh yourself".


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


24 Oct 2010

Total posts 177

I have to say, I personally don't really get the arrivals lounge concept. Doesn't everyone just want to get the hell out of the airport after an international flight?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2561

Ideally, yes! But if you arrive on an early morning flight and you won't be able to check into your hotel until a bit later, then hitting the lounge for a shower and breakfast is a great way to get ahead.  I've also used the CX arrivals lounge at Hong Kong to grab a meal (better than economy-class aircraft food!) and freshen up before heading into the city.

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