Having been in Singapore for most of the last 9 years we’ve been through Changi airports quite a few times.
Regularly appearing in the top 5 or 10 lists for best or favorite airport in the world Changi is a great airport. Considered by many as the best there has been plenty written about it can I add anything new? Probably not but here goes anyway.
Singapore relies on its reputation and they’re very aware that first impressions last. So the rumor is the airport has an SLA of 45 mins to get people from the plane to out of the airport. There have been times when we have been home in less time than that.
So arrival is quick but also pleasant, unlike in some other countries, we’ve never had any attitude from the immigration or customs officials. The worst has been that they have run out of free sweets at the counter. Also there are no traps such as deposits on luggage trolleys.
Departures is a similar story, we have friends that won’t get to the airport until 45 mins before their flight as they will still make it. We prefer to be there early, this time the kids played in the Canopy before the flight. This is a free indoor playground with climbing, slides and the usual padded stuff. A really good place for the kids to burn off some energy before getting on the plane. We even have friends that come to the airport for trips out with their kids because of the playgrounds, lots of air-conditioned area to run around and places to eat. I don’t know of any other airport where people do that! Actually as there is even a supermarket you can use the airport as a mall.
Now nowhere it perfect and that includes Changi airport. The last time we left the immigration guy in our line was slow and had no personality. The other queues moved along just fine but we got unlucky or maybe that’s why his queue was shorter than the others. But hey we didn’t get dragged away into a side room for a special search or anything like that so it’s not a major issue just annoying.
If you’re in transit it’s also a great airport, there is the normal duty-free shopping, bars, cafes and restaurants. Though my wife thinks the restaurants are better Singapore side as they are more restaurants than quick sandwich or sushi places. There are also the free internet and TV places that you find in many airports today. How ever how many airports have swimming pools you can use in transit or gardens to walk around?
Yup this is one of the best airports in the world and I don’t have any tips or tricks as I can’t think of pitfalls that you need to avoid. I mean if you have a long layover you can even have a free tour of the city!