Another Reason You’ll Be Happier In Singapore – Changi Airport

Do you look forward to spending time at the airport?

People spend money to wait in line at Disneyland, and for blockbuster movie releases. They are willing to wait for Chipotle, and even camp out overnight for a new iPhone. People smile while they stand in line for these things. Excitement even.

This usually doesn’t happen when people spend their airline ticket money and end up standing in line at airports. Waiting happens at the ticket counter, baggage check, security, the departure gate, getting off the plane, customs, and the rental car bus. There’s lots of waiting in the travel business.   People spend their time and money for all of these – usually not very happily.

Enter the Changi International Airport.

Changi is consistently ranked by many publications as the top airport in the world. This isn’t because it is slightly better than other airports. It’s a completely different feel.

You’ll notice this at your first visit, whether it’s an arrival or a departure. The first feeling is one of expanse and space. There’s plenty of room to move around – a big contrast to your incoming or outgoing flight. You’ll notice an ability to really move and breathe. In total, the place takes up the space of 1,800 football fields.  There’s high ceilings everywhere, with wide hallways.

Also near the beginning of you arrival at Changi, you’ll notice a high level of hospitality. The employees at the ticket counters (which also are very spacious) will greet you with a smile and royal treatment, even when flying coach. You will be treated as an individual, not as a passenger. Customs agents follow this same description.

People living in Singapore actually go to the airport to go shopping and spend time. Security checks are done at each departure gate – similar to the Paris Charles De Gaulle airport, for example – so no ticket is needed to roam the terminal. Changi has over 300 retail outlets in a setting that will rival any mall in the U.S. Many of the retail outlets are even open 24 hours a day.

Changi has a full complement of luxury retail stores, including Bally, Gucci, Burberry, Hermes, and Prada. This is a similar offering to the Tokyo airport as a comparison, but Changi does it with a much larger, free feeling setting. You won’t have to fight your way down the corridors of the Changi Airport. The place has a very wide-open layout.

There’s tons of great dining choices at Changi. There’s four choices of vegetarian restaurants, and they have one of the few Hard Rock Cafes in the world that opens early for breakfast. Real breakfast – like bacon and eggs. Burger King, McDonald’s, and KFC also have homes here.

Imagine going to a U.S. based airport to go shopping or spend a Saturday. First of all, you can’t without a ticket. Second, you probably wouldn’t want to.

Changi Airport is also an airplane lover’s dream. The Airbus A380 double decker plane was launched here by Singapore Airlines, and you can see lines of the huge A380 planes from airlines around the world at Changi. As the sixth largest airport in the world, there’s plenty more airframes to see, too.

Although Changi has solidified first place in the world of international airports, it’s raising the bar. Changi has announced Project Jewel, which is an effort to further beautify and connect the airport. The Project will include a five story, glass dome indoor garden with waterfalls, which fits well with Singapore’s “Garden City” persona. Imagine walking through a lush botanical center, and realizing that it’s actually your airport.

Reports place the completion date for Project Jewel in 2018.

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