Located in Eastern Singapore, Changi Airport is one of the biggest transportation centres in Asia. The busy hub plays host to over 100 airlines including, SilkAir, Singapore Airlines and Jetstar Asia Airways, and approximately 7400 flights depart and arrive every single week.
Changi has 4 impressive terminals, plus the Jewel (an entertainment and retail area
Landslide that’s linked to 3 of the terminal buildings. Passengers can fly to around 100 countries and over 300 cities across the globe. In 2019 the bustling airport catered for no less than 68.3 million passengers.
But Changi is not only popular with travelers, the numerous attractions and lively atmosphere also entices locals through the door. With all it has to offer, it’s no surprise to learn that Changi Airport is regularly voted the best in the world.
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Changi hasn’t been voted the world’s best airport just once or twice. In fact, the airport has been crowned World’s Best Airport by Skytrax an impressive seven times.
From 2013 – 2019 Changi has held onto the top spot – voted for by contented passengers who have given a big thumbs up to their experience. Many visitors to Changi describe the airport as a destination in itself, there’s so much to see and do! Let’s find out what makes this place so special:
The airport is very well-governed and customers are taken care of. No less than 1500 staff members work tirelessly to keep the airport running smoothly, and their due diligence and attention to detail pays off. Passengers are well-catered for at every turn, from the innovative seating to the provision of handy electrical sockets and free Wi-Fi.
The airport is also exceptionally well-groomed. Public areas are regularly cleaned and the bathrooms are pristine. Passengers are encouraged to provide feedback (there’s a panel outside the bathroom inviting visitors to rate the facilities on offer). A duty supervisor regularly reviews the results (these are sent directly to his or her smartphone), and any problems can be sorted out quickly.
Changi prides itself on its efficiency, believing passengers should enjoy a fuss-free experience. New technology is used as standard and Terminal 4 provides fully automated departure. From check in to bag drop, security clearance to boarding – the whole experience has been designed to be streamlined and easy to navigate.
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Not many airports can boast having a free cinema playing first-class movies, but at Changi both terminal 2 and 3 have a big screen. Younger passengers are catered for too with a playground featuring slides, climbing frames and puzzles, in each terminal. You can even brave Singapore’s tallest slide (although at 12m high it’s not for the faint hearted). The airport looks after gamers too. The entertainment area at Terminal 2 is well stocked with free LAN games, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Kinect, and an MTV booth too.
There are also shops galore (over 400 stores and shopping experiences to be more precise). You will find everything from locally inspired souvenirs to designer goods and global brands. Treat yourself to sportswear, shoes, cosmetics – you name it, they’ve probably got it.
Take a dip in the swimming pool (on the roof of Terminal 1). You will also find a bar, jacuzzi and showers to use whilst you’re up there. There’s a spa too (open both day and night) – perfect, if you fancy indulging yourself before a long trip.
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Terminal 3 has an amazing butterfly garden, resplendent with over 1000 species of butterfly and its very own waterfall. On top of all that the airport even has a pond, complete with Koi!
There’s a wide variety of dining establishments at Changi Airport, all offering mouth-watering fare guaranteed to delight. From fast-food joints to rustic street-food and restaurants showcasing delectable morsels from skilled chefs, there’s all sorts on offer. You will also find a number of bars and places to grab a beverage – traveling can be thirsty work.
The airport has public art carefully positioned throughout, including a wonderful sculpture called “Petal Clouds” featuring clouds that gradually and smoothly move around. If you’re feeling a little anxious (some find traveling rather stressful), this piece should provide you with a sense of calm.
Visitors should also check out the Birds in Flight sculpture by Baet Yeok Kuan (Terminal 3) which was inspired by migrating seabirds that arduously make the same enduring journey year after year.
The airport also incorporates a few special touches, added to make passengers feel even more welcome. There are bowls of candy dotted around (you are encouraged to help themselves) and outside the bathroom, there’s a water station. Fill up your bottle or thermos with water (choose from hot, cold or room-temperature).
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If you’re the sort of traveler that hates loafing about an airport for hours on end you may be about to change your mind! Changi is not your average airport. CEO Lee Seoe Hiang is certainly proud of his world-class transport hub, when discussing the design of the airport he was emphatic in his response.
“We knew the airport was not something we could take for granted. In fact, it was existential for us. We are a small country that needs to connect to the world. It came down to that we want people to be happy to come here.”
This visionary outlook has served the airport well. Changi thoroughly deserves its number 1 status, and other airports around the world could learn a thing or two from this place in terms of customer service, efficiency and facilities.
Emma Johnson lives to travel! Born in Washington D.C., Emma is a hotel connoisseur and a staff writer at Hotel Jules. An army brat, Emma got the travel bug early and has never been able to stop. Now, she has proudly visited 70+ countries and plans to visit every country in the world! Passionate about her ukelele (obviously) and her family, Emma eventually wants to retire in Thailand and write a book about all of her travel experiences.