Changi Airport in Singapore was just awarded the “World’s Best Airport” by Skytrax for the seventh – yes seventh – year running. As someone who has used Changi week-in-week-out for over five years, I totally see why. Here are 11 reasons why Changi totally deserves the accolade.
1 – MINUTES FROM TOUCHDOWN TO DRESSING GOWN
I lived about 10km from Changi for much of my time in Singapore and was routinely amazed at how quickly I would get home. From hitting the runway to walking into my apartment (usually a 12 minute drive) would almost always take less than 25 minutes. To get off the plane, get through the terminal, go through immigration and customs and even get a cab in that amount of time consistently is quite incredible, and I’ve certainly never experienced an airport in the world that can beat that.
2 – FOOD ISN’T OBSCENELY EXPENSIVE
Like Singapore in general, Changi has a massive range of food options in every price bracket. The lower end is especially impressive though. $5-10 USD is comfortably enough to get an entire meal and the options are better than any airport I’ve ever been to.
3 – SPLURGE AT ONE OF 500 GAZILLION SHOPS
I’ll preface this by stating that I’m not big on shopping. But even for someone as shopaphobic (is that a word? It is now) as me, Changi is great. Plenty of shops, long opening hours, efficient and knowledgeable staff. As a traveling Director/Producer I’ve often had to resort to a last minute tech purchases (hard drives, memory cards, even camera filters) and have never been let down.
4 – IT HAS A SWEET POOL
Unless you’re staying at the Airport Hotel you’ll have to shell out $13 USD for a dip, but how many pools in the world can you sip a cocktail while watching planes taking off? Not to mention that Singapore has an average of 5-6 hours of sunshine each day. What a great way to kill some time and top up the tan if you have a long layover.
5 – THE CINEMAS ARE FREE
As if one cinema wasn’t enough, Changi has two. And to make it even better, the theatres (open 24/7), are totally free. They even play pretty decent movies (currently the lineup includes First Man and A Quiet Place). Not too many airports in the world can say that.
6 – YOU CAN GET A DECENT NIGHT’S KIP (FOR FREE)
Changi has a great Snooze area with (almost) fully reclining seats. And as if that wasn’t enough, Terminals 1-3 are home to massage chairs – the type you usually have to shovel coins into every 10 minutes – that’ll massage your legs for free. T3 even has one that’ll do your whole body (they’re just next to The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck). If you do prefer real humans though, Changi has that too.
7 – RIDE THE WORLD’S LARGEST SLIDE (IN AN AIRPORT)
A slightly niche accolade perhaps, but still a pretty cool one to have in the trophy cabinet. T3 has a four-storey high slide and you can use it once for every $10 you spend in the airport (keep your receipts, max 10 slides per receipt). Even adults can have a go.
8 – YOU CAN PRE-ORDER YOUR SHOPPING
As someone who is literally terrified of stepping foot in a shopping mall, Changi’s pre-order service is amazing. Simply order whatever you want using the Changi website or iChangi app and pick it up before/after your flight. Sweet as.
9 – THE TERMINALS ARE ALL RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER
Have you ever had to change terminals at Manila airport? If not, imagine walking out of the airport (there’s no inter-terminal bus/train system), into abject chaos and stifling heat where everyone wants to rip you off and there is not a single legitimate taxi or bus anywhere to be found, only to realise the terminal you want to go is a 45 minute drive through the worst traffic you’ve ever encountered. Changi is basically the POLAR OPPOSITE to that. Speedy trains run every few minutes from 5am-2.30am and you can even comfortably walk between T1, T2 and T3 as well.
10 – WATER FOUNTAINS IN EVERY DEPARTURE LOUNGE
“Judge an airport by whether or not they have water fountains after security” goes the saying, right? OK, maybe I’m the only person who says that. I do judge airports by how many water fountains they have. Because airports that don’t, usually in order to increase revenue from sales of ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST POINTLESS AND POLLUTING ITEMS (plastic water bottles) deserve to be shut down in my opinion. Changi however doesn’t follow this appalling trend, and has clean water fountains (even little ones for kids to use) in every departure lounge. Wonderful.
11 – THE WIFI IS JUST SO DAMN GOOD
The WiFi at Changi is so fast and reliable that after years of regularly using it, I have become so complacent that I often suddenly realise while lining up to board a long flight that I totally forgot to download anything on Netflix. WORRY NOT. In Changi the WiFi is so flippin quick that you can download whole episodes in just a few minutes (often less). How Changi manages to do it so well yet every other airport in the entire world manages to do it SO BADLY is beyond me.
Do you love Changi too? Or are there other airports in the world you’re more fond of? Let me know! Make a comment below.