Singapore Changi airport currently has 3 terminals and about 58 millions passengers passing by every year. With 100 airlines using the airport, you can imagine that there are a good number of private lounges for business class passengers and frequent fliers. While airlines like Singapore Airlines, Emirates or Qantas have their own lounge, many other airlines use contract lounges such as those of Dnata or SATS. These two providers also have an agreement with Priority Pass, a company that sells memberships in exchange for lounge access (in case you travel in economy).
A priority pass membership can be very useful to anyone traveling frequently at the back of the plane. Of course, Singapore is hardly the most stressful airport, but it is lacking in restaurants and a quick meal in a quiet environment just before your flight can be more than welcome. Most lounges also have newspapers, magazines, a place to relax and often even shower facilities. Outside of Singapore, this may be even more relevant as some smaller airports will hardly have anything to keep you occupied before your flight is called for boarding. Some even can be so cahotic that even the idea to go a a bad lounge can become very appealing.
The great advantage of Priority Pass is that they have agreements in most airports around the world (apparently over 1,000 lounges worldwide). If you mostly travel regionaly and don’t need a business class seat on the plane, buying such membership can be really worth it, without having to chase an airline Status that would grant you access to their lounge. For example in Asia, most airlines would do so after you fly 50,000 miles full fare with them, over 1 year. On the other hand, you will spend about USD 250 for an annual membership with Priority Pass which will give you 10 free entries per year.
We will now review 2 lounges in Singapore that are under the Priority Pass agreement:
SATS Singapore Terminal 3
The SATS lounge is located on the 3rd level of the terminal, as in 1 level up from checkin. After immigration, take the first escalators on the left side. The lounge is 30 meters away.
It is a medium size lounge and definitely smaller than the Silverkris lounge of SQ. It is currently used by a few airlines such as China Eastern, Air New Zealand or Eva Air and it size is more than adequate. It is situated on the mezzanine level of the airport with an open concept, meaning that you will have direct view on the main terminal underneath. It was 30% full at time of visit.
The lounge is comfortable and quiet. There is a series of high chairs in a configuration of 2 seats each which is nice for couples. The rest of the lounge is the usual concept of leather chairs aligned together with a small table in between. One recurring problem in most lounges is actually the table which is not designed to accommodate dining, probably on purpose, and force people to hold their plate on their lap. There are also a couple of massage chairs that are free to use for tired travellers. Also, most seats have electrical plugs available nearby.
The Staffing of the lounge was good. Plates were removed swiftly and hot food was replenished regularly. Food wise, you cannot compare the offering to a flagship lounge such as the SQ one which is next door. There were however 4 different hot food dishes which were acceptable. There were also a couple of sandwiches, noodles and dim sums. On the beverages side, wine, spirits and beers are on offer as well as tea and coffee (espresso machine). In summary nothing exceptional but good enough if you wish to have your meal before your flight.
Showers and bathroom are available if required. Also, wifi is free to use and you can choose between the airport’s or the lounge’s. Finally, some newspapers and magazines are on stand but unfortunately nothing really interesting; a couple of airport magazines with mostly advertising as well as some free local newspapers. SATS should definitely have a more international selection here.
All in all, a good enough lounge, nothing fancy but with all the required necessities.
DNATA Singapore Terminal 1
Will follow soon…