Singapore's Qantas, British Airways and Emirates lounges

Qantas' premium passengers can choose between three (soon, four) lounges at Singapore's Changi T1, so which is worth the visit?

By Brandon Loo, August 12 2019

Qantas passengers are spoiled for choice when it comes to lounge access at Singapore Changi Airport. A seat in Qantas business class, first class or any class if you hold Gold or higher Qantas Frequent Flyer status is your ticket into not only the Qantas Singapore Business Lounge at Changi Terminal 1, but also the T1 lounges of British Airways, Emirates.

Qatar Airways is also on track to open a T1 lounge in 2020, although traditionally the airline's entry list – which usually turns away economy passengers regardless of status – is considerably tighter than other Oneworld airlines.

As you'd expect, each lounge has its own appeal – so Executive Traveller recently spent some time exploring all three to help you make the most of your limited lounge time.

Qantas Singapore Business Lounge

Opening hours: 2:30 pm to midnight

Qantas' Singapore lounge is the only one in this trio with a tended bar and cocktails on call.
Qantas' Singapore lounge is the only one in this trio with a tended bar and cocktails on call.

Why you'd visit:

  • The bartenders will whip up just about any drink you want, from barista-crafted cappuccinos to excellent espresso martinis, or even an iconic Singapore Sling
  • Freshen up at one of twenty spacious shower suites, stocked with ASPAR products
  • Two 'plates of the day' are prepared to order; there's also a substantial hot buffet with plenty of salads and desserts
  • Start feeling back at home – think Australian newspapers, Vegemite and even lamingtons
  • Reserved seating for Platinum One, Chairman's Lounge and first class passengers, until the Qantas First Lounge opens
Dig in to a bowl of laksa for that last taste of Singapore before you depart.
Dig in to a bowl of laksa for that last taste of Singapore before you depart.

Savvy travellers should note:

  • As the default lounge for all Qantas' Singapore flights, it gets very crowded in the evenings.

Qantas' Singapore lounge wasn't designed to handle the crush of two daily Airbus A380s disgorging passengers during the stopover to and from London – it opened back when the newly-minted alliance between Qantas and Emirates saw that Singapore stopover ditched for Dubai – but after Qantas reversed that decision in March 2018, the Singapore lounge has been pushed to its limits during peak evening periods.

Those crowds quickly take the shine off the lounge's otherwise strong appeal, so here's when they're most likely to happen.

Preparing for the evening rush: you'll almost never see the Qantas Singapore Lounge this empty!
Preparing for the evening rush: you'll almost never see the Qantas Singapore Lounge this empty!

The Qantas Singapore Business Lounge caters for seven QF departures a night and has two distinct peak periods.

An infographic of Qantas' Singapore arrivals and departures and estimated peak periods.
An infographic of Qantas' Singapore arrivals and departures and estimated peak periods.

The first is roughly 5:30pm to 7:30pm which sees the arrival of QF2 from London, then departures to Perth (QF72), Sydney (QF2), Melbourne (QF36), Brisbane (QF52) and Sydney again (QF82), of which two flights are large Airbus A380s.

The second rush is around 10:15pm onwards starting from when the superjumbo QF1 from Sydney arrives, leading up to departures of QF1 to London and QF38 to Melbourne just before midnight. There are also around a dozen Jetstar Asia flights departing from T1 within this same period, and Qantas frequent flyers with Gold status and higher on those Jetstar flights can also access the Qantas Singapore Business Lounge.

Within those peak periods, lounge-worthy Qantas passengers might opt to visit the adjacent British Airways lounge or the somewhat further away Emirates lounge.

Peak crowding will become less of an issue in November 2019, when Qantas opens its new Singapore First Lounge.

A preview of Qantas' Singapore first class lounge, due to open November 2019.
A preview of Qantas' Singapore first class lounge, due to open November 2019.

The 240-seat first class lounge – located in a seperate part of Changi Terminal 1 – will be a crowd-buster for the main business class lounge, catering to not only first class passengers on Qantas' Airbus A380s but  Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers and Chairman's Lounge members.

Take a guided tour inside the new Qantas Singapore first class lounge

A preview of Qantas' Singapore first class lounge, due to open November 2019.
A preview of Qantas' Singapore first class lounge, due to open November 2019.

Executive Traveller review: Qantas' Singapore Lounge brings a dash of luxe for Lion City travellers

British Airways Lounge, Singapore

Opening hours: 3:00pm to 11:00pm

Relaxing in the British Airways Lounge, Singapore Changi T1. It's usually quiet before 9pm.
Relaxing in the British Airways Lounge, Singapore Changi T1. It's usually quiet before 9pm.

Why you'd visit:

  • Just a stone's throw away from the Qantas Singapore Lounge
  • Quieter space to relax in the early evening
  • Plenty of universal AC and USB ports
  • Has a bright, airy ambience
Chicken satay with condiments at the British Airways Singapore Lounge
Chicken satay with condiments at the British Airways Singapore Lounge

Savvy travellers should note:

  • Reduced food and beverage options compared to the Qantas lounge
  • Hot food only starts from 5pm, and Champagne is by request only
  • Still gets very busy in the later evening
  • No guests for Qantas business class passengers without elite status
  • No boarding calls for QF flights
Some stylish BA touches at the self-serve bar, just remember to ask for Champagne.
Some stylish BA touches at the self-serve bar, just remember to ask for Champagne.

The British Airways Singapore lounge is a popular 'Plan B' for Qantas passengers, being a Oneworld member lounge and also just steps away from the Qantas Singapore Lounge.

BA only has one flight to Sydney in the early evening, making this lounge a quiet haven to relax before the first bank of QF flights to Australia, compared to the Qantas Singapore Lounge.

Past 9pm the BA lounge will start to get busy with the airlines' own two late-evening departures to London (BA16 at 10.35pm, and BA12 at 11.15pm).

Head to the very rear of the BA lounge, behind that blue-lit glass panel, for a dedicated working zone.
Head to the very rear of the BA lounge, behind that blue-lit glass panel, for a dedicated working zone.

Note that under Oneworld rules, Qantas business class passengers without status can't bring a guest into the British Airways Lounge. First class passengers and those with Qantas Gold frequent flyer status or higher can continue to bring one guest with them to all the lounges.

Executive Traveller review: British Airways Lounge, Singapore Changi T1

Emirates Lounge, Singapore

Opening hours: Currently 6:40am to 10:25am, then  12:35pm to 3:35pm and 5:40pm to 1:40am.

Some in-transit Qantas passengers make a bee-line for the Emirates lounge.
Some in-transit Qantas passengers make a bee-line for the Emirates lounge.

Why you'd visit:

  • Open earlier than the BA and QF lounges during the day, if you happen to be in T1 from a connecting flight
  • Huge space that doesn't fill up too much in the evening
  • Great quality buffet food and Champagne
  • Window views overlooking the tarmac
  • Very close to Terminal 1's C-gates wing
A tasty light Champagne lunch at the Emirates Lounge, Singapore Changi T1.
A tasty light Champagne lunch at the Emirates Lounge, Singapore Changi T1.

Savvy travellers should note:

  • All beverage options are self-serve, including machine-made coffee
  • Shower facilities are far more basic than the other lounges
  • Fewer charging ports around
  • No boarding calls for QF flights
  • The opposite end of T1 from the D-gates wing
  • No access for non-QF Oneworld Sapphire/Emerald flying Qantas economy or premium economy
Emirates' Singapore lounge has an excellent spread of food, including (not shown here) satay skewers.
Emirates' Singapore lounge has an excellent spread of food, including (not shown here) satay skewers.

The lounge-less-travelled that you might not know you have access to is the Emirates Lounge in Singapore, which is open to Qantas premium passengers by virtue of the partnership between the two airlines.

It's a bit further to walk than the Qantas Singapore Lounge, but the Emirates lounge is open all night and generally stays quiet throughout the whole evening.

Emirates' Changi T1 lounge makes great use of its position to flood the space with natural light.
Emirates' Changi T1 lounge makes great use of its position to flood the space with natural light.

The dining options are much better than the British Airways lounge as well, plus Champagne is freely available to pour from the self-serve bar.

Plenty of Moet to go around at Emirates' Singapore lounge.
Plenty of Moet to go around at Emirates' Singapore lounge.

If you're flying straight through to London or Sydney on Qantas' flights QF1 or QF2 and your flight arrives at and departs from Changi Terminal 1's C Gates, you can make the most of your relatively short Singapore stopover (count on 60-90 minutes at best) by heading to the Emirates lounge.

Executive Traveller review: Emirates Singapore Lounge, Changi T1

Qatar Airways Lounge, Singapore

Not much is yet known about the Qatar Airways Lounge, except that it will be situated near the Transfer C area directly adjacent to the Emirates Lounge.

Qatar Airways' lounge in Singapore is under construction.
Qatar Airways' lounge in Singapore is under construction.

Read more: Qatar Airways will open Singapore Changi Premium Lounge

Singapore lounge locations

The Qantas, British Airways and Emirates lounges in Singapore Changi are all located on Level 3 of Terminal 1, which is one floor up from the main concourse. 

Locations of the Qantas, British Airways, Emirates and Qatar Airways lounges in Singapore Changi T1 (Level 3), with escalators marked from Level 2 (after immigration).
Locations of the Qantas, British Airways, Emirates and Qatar Airways lounges in Singapore Changi T1 (Level 3), with escalators marked from Level 2 (after immigration).

Once you clear immigration, head left. The QF and BA lounges can be accessed first from an escalator near the Tumi store, while the Emirates and Qatar Airways lounge escalator is further left near Transfer C and the start of the C-gates.

Screens near the escalators will show which lounges await you above.

As we've noted, the Qantas Singapore First Lounge will be at the other end of Terminal 1, and when this opens in November 2019 will prove handy for when the Qantas Airbus A380s are assigned to the terminal's D Gates.

Executive Traveller readers: what's your Singapore Changi T1 lounge strategy when flying with Qantas?

Brandon Loo

Brandon divides his time between Perth and Launceston, with ample hours spent in airport lounges in between. He recently picked up photography and tries to capture the beauty of Tasmanian landscapes, aeroplane cabins and in-flight food, to varying degrees of success.

02 Aug 2016

Total posts 11

This is a great help Brandon. we shall try all three lounges with a layover of more than five hours. Thanks

Fantastic article, thanks! I generally swap between the QF and BA lounges as they're so close by, if QF is too busy I decamp to BA, but I never thought about the Emirates lounge. That's a great option for when QF1 and QF2 come in at the C gates. More lounge time, less stress, less crowd and proper champagne!

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

08 Jun 2018

Total posts 65

Great summary Brandon, can't disagree with any of that. Personally I'm hoping my new favourite becomes the new 1st Lounge when it opens. The BA lounge is probably my go to now. Always found the staff there to be very good too.

22 May 2011

Total posts 53

When the new first class lounge opens at the other side of the terminal - that will extenuate the walk from plane to lounge in the layover between SYDNEY and LONDON. It already feels like they park the plane at the furthest gate possible in the C gate side, I wonder if they'll change to D gate side to make it easier for first passengers?

Gate allocations are made by the airport, not the airline. Many Qantas A380s are already assigned to the D gates simply because there are more A380-capable gates on that side of the airport compared to the C gates. But there's not even five minutes walk in the difference between gate and lounge so I wouldn't be too worried about this.

22 May 2011

Total posts 53

I've flown through Singapore back and forth on QF1/2 a number of times this year and every single time it has been the furthest C gate - the short transit time means a mad scramble to hit the lounge and head straight for the showers on the layover - it's probably another 7 mins fast walk to the other side and just adds to the short layover pressure

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Nov 2018

Total posts 77

Which is all fine and dandy when you know where you're going...

I just returned to MEL from LHR

The BA flight docked in a part of the terminal that I hadn't been to before. It was quite a challenge to find the Qantas lounge as the signage was poor. I wasn't the only one having difficulty, 2 other pax from my cabin were also having difficulty.

Before finding the Qantas lounge I came across the new Qantas First Lounge. You can hear them still hard at work behind the walls.

I still think the Qantas lounge resembles a Westfield food court. Even with the new expansion, it's overcrowded and noisy. Partitions are definitely required to alleviate the noise and lack of privacy.

15 May 2016

Total posts 3

Hi Brandon,

Good article. I am travelling in business on BA12 next month on a QFF classic reward. I believe I will be able to access both Qantas and BA lounges. Is this correct?

10 Jul 2018

Total posts 84

Thanks for your feedback! Yes, as a BA business class customer, you can access the QF and BA lounges.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

08 Jun 2018

Total posts 65

Indeed you can. Currently sat in the BA lounge now. An oasis of calm compared to the Qantas lounge next door.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

14 Mar 2019

Total posts 11

Love the QF Singapore lounge but last week it was like being on the terraces at a footy ground. Standing room only. No fun at all. Great lounge and food but the new lounge cannot come soon enough

17 Aug 2019

Total posts 1

You mention that Qantas Gold members can access the lounge when travelling on Jetstar. Does this also apply to OneWorld Sapphire / Emerald? I was recently denied entry when travelling SIN - CGK on Jetstar despite being OW Emerald and having a Qantas ticket / flight number.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Oct 2017

Total posts 76

That is very disappointing and its not the first time that I've heard it happen

10 Jul 2018

Total posts 84

Hi jgmdxb, access to Qantas Lounges before a Jetstar flight is only for Qantas Gold and higher members.

As Jetstar is not a Oneworld airline, your non-QF Oneworld status would not get you in.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 12

I use all three lounges during my frequent visits to Singapore. Each has its merits. My preference is to start out in the BA lounge. I use the showers, grab some coffee and a small snack. Then I head to Emirates primarily for a few glasses of proper champagne and nuts, followed by a starter for my evening meal. Finally I head to the QF lounge for an full evening meal with either a glass or two of wine or a beer. The atmosphere is always good in the Qantas lounge and a nice place to finish.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Feb 2011

Total posts 5

Just flew on Emirates and noted that Qatar have started construction of their lounge, its going to be located next to Emirates on Pier C (Qatar branded hoarding is up)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Dec 2016

Total posts 12

As a life time QC member what lounge access does that give you

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 14

Qantas Club membership only gets you into the Qantas business lounge.

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 14

Don't forget that there will be from early next year the added choice of a Qatar lounge although this like their other lounges will only be for first class and business class. Still, it will probably be better than the BA lounge and will also serve Champagne and have a better a la carte menu than the Qantas lounge.

https://www.executivetraveller.com/qatar-airways-singapore-changi-lounge

Jmb
Jmb

20 Sep 2019

Total posts 1

The Emirates Lounge is alway my preference and preferred goto SIN lounge when flying QF or EK flights for sure

20 Sep 2019

Total posts 1

Would a platinum flying on AF to CDG (booked on the QF code) be able to go to the QF first lounge?

With regards to Singapore Sling at Qantas Singapore Lounge, they only make it for First Class passengers or sometimes if you are Plat.

05 Jan 2017

Total posts 3

I have a QF Rewards Booking for July next year and will be flying QR metal SIN-DOH-EDI in J. I assume I'll have access to the QF & QR lounges in SIN but was wondering if I will have access to the EK & BA lounges. I have about a three hour stopover in SIN so was thinking of doing a bit of a crawl. I don't have any status. Thanks.

02 Aug 2016

Total posts 11

we went to the Qantas lounge first and it was standing room only so headed to the BA lounge. it was almost empty and very quiet and comfortable. food choices were basic but nice. we then headed to the Emirates lounge which again was very quiet but far plusher and the choice of food and drink was of a very high standard. there were no dramas on entry and the staff were helpful. we stayed there for a couple of hours and then went back to the Qantas lounge to finish off as it had emptied quite a bit by then. we had a 6 hour lay over so it's good to use all of the options open to you while in Changi Airport. we still had time to visit the various gardens and have a good look around. it's such a nice airport it seems a waste to spend all of your time in the lounge.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Singapore's Qantas, British Airways and Emirates lounges