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Guide to using the Singapore Changi Airport

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The Singapore Changi Airport is the main gateway by air into Singapore. It is located in Changi, about 17.2 km (10.7 mi) from the Central Business District of Singapore. The airport is the home base for Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot, Tiger Airways, Jetstar Asia Airways, Valuair and Jett Airlines. It is also a secondary hub for Qantas, which is the largest foreign airline to operate there.

Some one hundred airlines offer flights to Changi Airport with a total of some 6,100 flights per week. Handling 46.5 million passengers in 2011, it is the second busiest airport in Asia and the 7th busiest in the world.

Changi Airport has four terminals namely Terminals 1, 2, 3 and the Budget Terminal. Terminal 1 is the oldest of the four terminals. It opened in 1981, followed by Terminal 2 in 1990 and Terminal 3 in 2008. The Budget Terminal opened in 2006 but shall be closed in September 2012 to make way for the construction of Terminal 4, which will be ready by 2017.

Airport Layout

Changi Airport presently comprises four passenger terminals with a total capacity of 70 million passengers.

View Singapore Changi Airport in a larger map

Terminal 1

Terminal 1 Departure Hall
Author: Terence Ong (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Terminal 1 Arrival Hall
Author: Terence Ong (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 Departure Hall
Author: Terence Ong (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Terminal 2 Interior
Author: Terence Ong (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Terminal 3

Terminal 3 Entrance Hall
Author: RoB (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Terminal 3 Baggage Collection
Author: Chensiyuan (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Budget Terminal

Budget Terminal Departure Hall
Author: Terence Ong (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Moving from Terminal to Terminal

The Skytrain is a light-rail transit that provides a free connection between terminals. It operates daily from 5:00 am to 2:30 am. Waiting time for a train is just between 1 to 3 minutes while travel time ranges from 1 to 4 minutes.

In addition to the Skytrain, you can also take a free Shuttle Bus that goes from terminal to terminal. Waiting time is 15 min while journey takes between 7 to 20 min. The pick-up locations are:
  1. Terminal 1: Door 5, Level 2, Departure Check-in Hall
  2. Terminal 2: Door 1, Level 2, Departure Check-in Hall
  3. Terminal 3: Door 8, Level 2, Departure Check-in Hall

Changi Airport Skytrain
Author: Self (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Skytrain platform (10 September 2010)

Information for Arriving Passengers

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Arrivals at Changi Airport (10 September 2010)

Arrival Procedure
Changi Airport is quite a user-friendly airport to navigate, despite its size. On arrival, just follow the directional sign for Immigration, followed by Baggage Claim and Customs before you proceed to the Arrival Hall, where you are met or exit the airport on your own.

Before lining up at Immigration, please ensure that you have completed the Arrival Card while on your flight. After clearing Immigration, proceed to Baggage Claim on the ground floor. Check through the information display for the carousel assigned to your flight. If your baggage fails to appear or is damaged, go to the Lost & Found counter.

Immigration at Terminal 1, Changi Airport (10 September 2010)

If you need porter service, this is available at no charge. Call the following numbers:
  1. Terminal 1: +65-9179 4836
  2. Terminal 2: +65 9117 6311
  3. Terminal 3: +65 8189 4310
Left Baggage Service
You may leave your baggage at the airport for specific durations. The Left Baggage Service Counter is available at:
  1. Terminal 1
    Location: Departure Transit Lounge East
    Phone: +65-6214 1683
    Fax: +65 6542 6306
    Email: [email protected]
  2. Terminal 2
    Location: Departure Transit Lounge South
    Email: [email protected]
  3. Terminal 3
    Location: Departure Transit Lounge North
    Email: [email protected]
  1. 1 piece of loose item (plastic bag / coat):
    S$1.07 first 24 hours, S$2.14 every subsequent 24 hours
  2. 1 piece of small luggage (< 10 kg):
    S$3.17 first 24 hours, S$4.28 every subsequent 24 hours
  3. 1 piece of large luggage (> 10 kg):
    S$4.28 first 24 hours, S$5.35 every subsequent 24 hours
  4. 1 piece of odd-sized item (i.e. surfboard):
    S$8.56 first 24 hours, S$10.70 every subsequent 24 hours
Singapore Visitors Centres
The Singapore Visitors Centre service counters at each Arrival Hall can provide you details of tourist attraction (with copious amount of brochures), help you make hotel reservations and arrange a Taxi Tourist Guide. The counters operate from 6:00 am to 2:00 am daily.

FlyCruise Service
Passengers arriving at Changi Airport and subsequently embarking on the SuperStar Virgo cruise enjoy seamless transfer. Just check in your baggage up to 48 hours before your cruise departure at the FlyCruise Counter at the Terminal 3 Arrival Hall, and your baggage will be delivered directly to your cruise cabin. For details contact +65-8409 9706 or email [email protected]

Exiting Changi Airport

You can exit Changi Airport by taking the subway, taxi, limousine taxi, shuttle bus, public bus, rented car or by your own private transport/arrangement.

Taking the Subway from Changi Airport
Changi Airport is served by a branch line of the East West Line. The Changi Airport MRT Station (CG2) is located at Terminal 2. To reach the city, you have to change trains at the Tanah Merah MRT Station. A ride to the City Hall Interchange takes 30 minutes and costs S$1.40. The trains run from 5:31 AM to 11:18 PM.

Taking the Taxi (cab) at Changi Airport
Follow the taxi sign after clearing customs. Taxis in Singapore use the meter, and a trip to the city costs between $20 and $30, inclusive of a $3-5 airport surcharge. If you take the taxi between midnight and 6:00pm, there is an after-hour surcharge of 50%. You can also book your taxi in advance at the following numbers:
  1. Comfort: +65-6552 1111
  2. Premier: +65 6363 6888
  3. SMRT: +65 6555 8888
  4. SMART: +65 6485 7777
  5. Transcab: +65-6555 3333

Changi Terminal 2 Departure DrivewayChangi Terminal 2 Departure Driveway
Author: Terence Ong (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Taking the Limousine Taxi at Changi Airport
4-seater and 7-seater limousine taxis are also available. They charge a flat rate of S$55 and S$75 respectively, to anywhere in the city, with a surcharge of S$15 for any additional stops along the way. You can call one at the following numbers:
  1. Terminal 1: +65-6543 1985
  2. Terminal 2: +65-6546 1646
  3. Terminal 3: +65-6241 3818
  4. Budget Terminal: +65-6546 7656

Changi Airport MRT StationChangi Airport MRT Station (10 September 2010)

Taking the Public Bus from Changi Airport
And finally, the cheapest option to get out of Changi Airport is to take the public bus. The Changi Airport bus terminals are located at the basement of Terminal 1 and 2. Buses run from 6:00am to midnight. Fares are below S$2.00, but you need exact change as no change is given.

Taking the Direct Coach from Changi Airport to Johor Bahru
Transtar Cross Border Service (TS1) operates a coach service from Changi Airport Terminals 1, 2, 3 and the Budget Terminal to Kotaraya II Bus Terminal in Johor Baru. The fare is S$7 per adult and S$3.50 per child. You can pay by cash as well as by using the EZ-Link card. There's a coach every hour with the first one leaving for Johor Bahru at 8:15 am and the last one leaving at 11:15 pm. At time of writing (August 2012), there are no coaches departing at 9:15 am, 12:15 pm and 2:15 pm).

Renting a Car at Changi Airport
Avis and Hertz are the two main car rental companies operating at Changi Airport. You can contact them at the following numbers.
  1. Avis
    Terminal 1: +65-6545 0800
    Terminal 2: +65 6542 8855
    Terminal 3: +65 6447 9011
  2. Hertz
    Terminal 2: +65 6542 5300
    Terminal 3: +65 6446 7211

Information for Leaving Singapore by Flight

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Public transport to Changi Airport include MRT trains, bus, free shuttle bus and taxi. If you are taking a taxi, tell the driver which terminal you will be departing from, based on this List of Airlines by Terminal

Going to Changi Airport by Subway
Changi Airport is served by a branch line of the East West Line to the Changi Airport MRT Station (CG2).

Going to Changi Airport by Bus
Bus 36 goes to Changi Airport, stopping at the basement bus bays of Terminals 1, 2 and 3. The fare is S$2.00 and the journey from the city to airport takes about an hour. Prepare the exact fare as no change is given.

Going to Changi Airport from Johor Bahru by Coach
The Transtar Cross Border Service (TS1) operates a coach service from Kotaraya II Terminal in Johor Bahru to Changi Airport Terminals 1, 2, 3 and the Budget Terminal. The fare is RM7 per adult and RM3.50 per child. There's a coach every hour beginning from the first at 5:00 am and the last at 9:00 pm. Returning to Changi Airport by rented car
If you drove a rented car on arrival, return it to the specified location and return the keys to the service counter of the car rental company.

Check-In Guideline

You should check-in 2 to 3 hours before your flight. Most check-in counters open at least 2 hours before flight departure. Have on hand your valid passport, valid visa (if necessary), and air ticket/e-ticket reference. Verify that the boarding pass given to you is correct.

Off-Airport Check-In
Passengers on selected airlines enjoy off-airport check-in from the comfort of home, office or hotel before arriving at Changi Airport. For details, read Changi Off-Airport Check-In.

Hand-Carry Luggage Allowance
Economy class passengers are allowed one (1) piece of hand-carry luggage weighing not more than 5 kg (11 lb) or 7 kg (16 lb), subject to airline allowance. The dimension (length + breadth + height) should not exceed 115 cm (46 in). Your hand-carry luggage must be screened by the X-ray machine before being allowed on board. Restricted Items on Hand-Carry Luggage
Please note that there is a restriction of the amount of liquids, aerosols and gels that you are allowed to bring on board in your hand-carry luggage. These must be placed in a transparent re-sealable plastic bag with total capacity not exceeding one liter. Each passenger is allowed to carry only one transparent re-sealable bag. Exemptions are given for carrying medication (subject to accompanying original letter from your doctor) and baby formula.

GST Tax Refunds
You may claim a refund of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for things you buy from retailers participating in the Tourist Refund Scheme. If you spend S$100 or more at any ONE shop that bear the "Tax Free Shopping" or "Premier Tax Free" logo, you can obtain a refund check or voucher from the shop.

Show the things you bought together with the refund check/voucher, receipts and your passport to the Customs office at the Check-in Hall to seek your refund, in the form of cash, credit card or bank check.

If you're a Global Blue customer, you can opt for the Changi Shopping Voucher, and receive an additional 10% on your refund value. Note that there is a handling fee deducted from the amount refunded to you. If you shop at DFS Galleria, note that DFS has its own cash refund system with similar rules.

For assistance, contact:
  1. Global Blue
    Phone: +65-6546 5089
    Email: [email protected]
  2. Premier Tax Free
    Phone: +65 6546 4353
  3. DFS Galleria
    Phone: +65-6229 8102

Information for Transit Passengers

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If you already have a boarding pass for your connecting flight, look for the departure gate and time on the Information display board and proceed to the terminal/gate for your next flight.

If you do not have a boarding pass, you may get it from the Transfer Lounge at:
  1. All Terminal 1 Airlines: Transfer Lounge C or D, Terminal 1
  2. Air India: Transfer Lounge E, Terminal 2
  3. Air India Express: Departure Check-in Hall, Terminal 2
  4. AirAsia, Indonesia AirAsia, Thai AirAsia: Departure Check-in Hall, Terminal 1
  5. All Nippon Airways: Transfer Lounge E, Terminal 2
  6. Asiana Airlines: Transfer Lounge E, Terminal 2
  7. Cebu Pacific Air: Departure Check-in Hall, Budget Terminal
  8. China Eastern Airlines: Transfer Lounge B, Terminal 3
  9. Delta Airlines: Transfer Lounge D, Terminal 1
  10. Etihad: Transfer Lounge E, Terminal 2
  11. Firefly: Departure Check-in Hall, Budget Terminal
  12. Garuda Indonesia: Transfer Lounge A or B, Terminal 3
  13. Jet Airways: Transfer Lounge B, Terminal 3
  14. Jetstar Airways, Jetstar Asia: Transfer Lounge C, Terminal 1
  15. Jetstar Asia: Departure Check-in Hall, Terminal 1
  16. Kingfisher Airlines: Transfer Lounge B, Terminal 3
  17. Korean Air: Transfer Lounge E, Terminal 2
  18. Lao Airlines: Transfer Lounge E, Terminal 2
  19. Lion Air: Departure Check-in Hall, Terminal 1
  20. Lufthansa: Transfer Lounge E, Terminal 2
  21. Malaysia Airlines: Transfer Lounge E, Terminal 2
  22. Philippine Airlines: Transfer Lounge E, Terminal 2
  23. Qatar Airways: Transfer Lounge A, Terminal 3
  24. Royal Brunei Airlines: Transfer Lounge E, Terminal 2
  25. Saudi Arabian Airlines: Transfer Lounge B, Terminal 3
  26. Saudi Arabian Airlines: Transfer Lounge A or B, Terminal 3
  27. Silkair: Transfer Lounge E or F, Terminal 2
  28. Singapore Airlines: Transfer Lounge E or F, Terminal 2
  29. Singapore Airlines: Transfer Lounge A or B, Terminal 3
  30. SriLankan Airlines: Transfer Lounge A or B, Terminal 3
  31. Tiger Airways: Departure Check-in Hall, Budget Terminal
  32. Transaero Airlines: Transfer Lounge A or B, Terminal 3
  33. United Airlines: Transfer Lounge A, Terminal 3
  34. Vietnam Airlines: Transfer Lounge A or B, Terminal 3
Passengers on Air France, KLM or Qantas transferring to Jetstar Asia, Jetstar International or Valuair should proceed to Transfer Lounge C, Terminal 1, to check-in for your flight.

Proceed to clear Arrival Immigration, collect your baggage (if any), clear Customs and then proceed for check-in at the respective terminal for your connecting flight. Check list of airline by terminal here.

Crowne Plaza Hotel, Changi Airport
Author: Katmorro (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Signage to Transit Hotel (10 September 2010)

Alternatively, you can also book a fuss-free toom at the Ambassador Transit Hotel, located at Level 3, Departure Transit Lounge. More details here.

Unwinding while on transit
Go for a swim or a massage. Transpa at the Ambassador Transit Hotel offers a wide range of massage, hair, nail and beauty services. Available daily from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm. Call +65-6542 2849 at Terminal 2 and +65-6507 9798 at Terminal 3.

There is also a well-equipped gymnasium open 24 hours. Shower facility is also available at S$8.56 for non-hotel guests. Call +65-6542 5538 at Terminal 1, +65 6214 1778 at Terminal 2 and +65-6507 9798 at Terminal 3.

There's a swimming pool at Level 3, Ambassador Transit Hotel, Departure Transit Lounge Terminal 1, open 7:00 am to 11:00 pm daily. Charge is S$13.91 for non-hotel guests. Call +65-6542 5538.

Free Heritage Tour of Singapore for Transit Passengers
If your next flight is more than five hours away, you can join a free Singapore tour offering you a glimpse of Singapore's rich multi-ethnic heritage. The tour takes 2 hours and are held at 9:00 am, 11:30 am, 2:30 pm and 4:00 pm. Sights on the tour include the Singapore Flyer, Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands, The Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, Merlion Park, Colonial District, Chinatown, Little India and Central Business District.

Singapore Airlines Stopover Holiday Programme
If you are a stopover visitor transitting at Changi Airport on board Singapore Airlines, you can enjoy a stopover holiday. Go to the SIA Stopover Holiday Counter at the Arrival Hall of Terminal 2 and 3 to arrange your accommodation and return transfer.


History of Singapore Changi Airport

Changi Airport replaces the old Paya Lebar Airport, which was the third civilian airport in Singapore after Seletar Airport (1930-37) and Kallang Airport (1937-55). The idea to relocate from Paya Lebar goes back to 1972, but at that time the decision was to expand the airport. This did not materialise, as the 1973 oil crisis, which affected air travel, forced a review of the plan.

In 1975, the government made a decision to build a new airport on the eastern tip of the island, away from areas of urban growth. Much of the airport would be sited on reclaimed land.

Construction of Changi Airport was the biggest construction project in the history of Singapore. Work began in June 1975, even as the Paya Lebar Airport was expanded to meet immediate demands. The Changi area was formerly swamps and wetlands. These were cleared and some 40 million cubic meters of seabed sand was filled in.

Foundation stone for Terminal 1 was laid in August 1979. It includes the iconic control tower, which stands at 78 m (256 ft) in height. On 1 July 1981, the first flight to Changi Airport touched down at 7:00 am. It was a Singapore Airlines Flight 101 with 140 passengers from Kuala Lumpur. In November 2005, Changi Airport became the first airport outside Europe to receive the Airbus 380.

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