Every two minutes, a plane takes off or lands at Changi. And last year, for the first time, the single largest group of arrivals to Changi came from Indonesia.
The concept of an airport as a five-star experience is uniquely Singaporean. Most airports focus on processing people and luggage in the shortest time possible. But Changi is different. This difference has won Changi dozens of awards, including World’s Best Airport, Best Airport Asia and Best Airport Leisure Amenities. Travel agents call it Club Changi.
As I was flying economy class on my way back to Bali, I decided to stretch my legs on a recent visit to Changi and take in as many five-star experiences as I could before being herded onto a cramped plane.
First, I checked my hand luggage. Changi has a manned check room — a feature missing from most airports these days.
Next, I spent an hour relaxing by the outdoor pool. (Yes, there’s a pool, complete with changing rooms and a gym; according to Time magazine, it’s the “best kept secret in Asia.”) I worked on my tan as I watched planes arriving from and departing to destinations all over the world.
After the pool, I wandered up to the roof to have a look at the Sunflower Garden: It was elegant and well-laid out, full of beautiful yellow flowers, blighted only by the crowds of nicotine-starved transit passengers having a cigarette. There are several other gardens at Changi, including the Cactus Garden, Bamboo Garden, Fern and Orchid Garden, Fragrant Garden and Butterfly Garden, the world’s first in an airport.
Read the full article by Liz Sinclair
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