Last renovated nearly six years ago, the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Business Class Lounge at Changi Airport Terminal 2 is renowned as the “poorer cousin” to the equivalent T3 facility. Despite departing from T3, we took a trip on the SkyTrain to pay a visit earlier this month and see if it deserves its reputation.
After immigration, turn left and proceed towards the E gate side. Signs will direct you towards an escalator that takes you up to a mezzanine level, with a small collection of lounges (DBS Asia Treasures, SATS, KrisFlyer Gold and SilverKris).
An elegant entrance way splits into two corridors, to the left for the business class section and right for first class. This review only deals with the business class section. We’ll have a T2 first class lounge review later this year.
Opening Times: 24 hours
Multi-standard Power Sockets: Yes (in the business centre, Type G three-pin UK style elsewhere)
USB Charging Sockets: No
To the left of the entrance, around the food buffet are long, high dining benches and smaller 4-seater dining tables.
To the right of the entrance is a large open section featuring low down armchairs with side-tables, decorated with orchids and soft light lamps. Between some seats are UK style power sockets, but not multi-standard or USB charging sockets, so you may need an adapter.
The mood of this lounge is markedly different from the T3 SilverKris Lounge. Dim lighting and dark colours make it quite sultry.
The lack of windows, in any form, even overlooking the departure area (as in T3) is not good. Combined with the low ceilings and dark lighting – it can feel slightly claustrophobic. We found that for an evening flight that the moody atmosphere was quite relaxing, however on a day time flight it could be disorienting.
The other noticeable difference – the noise level. We arrived at 7pm. The lounge had quite a number of guests, but finding a pair of seats wasn’t hard. It was silent. So quiet we felt the need to whisper. Great for getting some work done, relaxing or even taking a nap. Not so great for taking a phone call or having a conversation with your travel companion.
Still, we prefer quiet any day over the zoo-like state that the massively oversubscribed T3 SilverKris lounge turns into in the evenings between 8-12pm.
This is where this lounge shines above many others. The buffet spread, both hot and cold features a wide array of western and regional dishes. All are continuously replenished, freshly cooked and have good flavours. The food is basically the same as the SilverKris T3 lounge in terms of options and replenishment.
The Indian cuisine options available in Changi’s SilverKris lounges are always a personal favourite, and the SilverKris T2 options didn’t disappoint on this visit.
Cold options include a selection of meats, cheese, salads, sandwiches (good for grab and go), fruit, desserts and snacks.
Hot dishes vary throughout the day depending on meal time. The evening spread included some Western stews and pasta dishes. Local options included noodles, curries, sauced fish and chicken dishes.
Champagne is always a must for us when using an airline-affiliated business or first class lounge. It’s often a good indication on how valuable an airline considers its premium class passengers and the experience overall. Good quality champagne that is readily available gives off the impression that your enjoyment of this luxury experience is of top priority and money is no object. Conversely, only offering a sparkling wine (or even no option at all), smacks of cost-cutting, third-party lounge style, or a sub-standard premium product.
This may sound elitist but remember how much a ticket to this privilege costs. This is where airlines make the majority of their profits too. Not to mention that the industry is remarkably competitive and consumers are well informed. With brand loyalty counting for less than before – it’s important to show customers you care. Champagne in the lounge is essential.
So, do they serve Champagne? Yes, but on request only. Some time ago, it would be left in an ice bucket for self-service. Since sometime around 2011, things changed.
If the change had been precipitated by wanting to offer passengers a service where they didn’t have to pour it themselves e.g. manned bar service, then I would have appreciated it as an improvement. Instead, as instructed by a sneaky sign, you have to wave down one of the service attendants, usually preoccupied with cleaning, clearing and replenishing. They will then disappear into the back room, only to return, sometime later with a glass of bubbles.
The cynic in me (and some of our readers) would say that if we don’t see it poured from the Charles Heidsieck bottle when how do I know it isn’t some cheap sparkling alternative. Recent changes to the London Heathrow lounge have meant that only prosecco is available until 5pm (Singapore Airlines have obviously decided we shouldn’t be enjoying French luxuries before a socially acceptable drinking hour).
We really hope that they don’t go down the same path with this clear cost-cutting in the SilverKris lounges in Singapore.
Traveller Tip: If travelling from LHR – The United Club and Air Canada lounge at London Heathrow T2 are both available to Singapore Airlines business and first class passengers, and to Star Alliance Gold members, and will happily serve you Champagne in the morning (from a manned bar no less at the United Club).
So to remedy my doubts, I asked to see the bottle whilst the assistant poured it. For such a strange request, she was remarkably obliging and my fears were allayed. When we asked for another round, it was undeniably still the Charles Heidsieck despite not seeing the bottle this time.
Charles Heidsieck Champagne Brut Réserve – France – 4.1/5 on Vivino
Wine choices were good quality and tasty. Only one white was on offer, with two reds.
- Mud House Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand (2015). 3.9 stars on Vivino
(a Mainly Miles personal favourite!)
- Castello di Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva, Italy (2013). 3.7 stars on Vivino
- Château Siaurac Lalonde-De-Pomerol, France (2013). 3.9 stars on Vivino
A wide selection of soft drinks and beers are offered in the fridges. Along with another Mainly Miles favourite novelty item – a draft beer tap allowing you to pour your own perfect drink, into an iced mug taken from a dedicated fridge. Tiger beer isn’t the best quality, but we’ll take any draft beer over drinking from a can any day.
A selection of premium spirits and condiments are available for self-service cocktail making. The large Boncafé coffee machine makes an above average cup and a wide selection of TWG teas are on offer.
We picked up acceptable speed test results from the lounge Wi-Fi network during our visit.
- Download: 4.94 Mbps
- Upload: 5.18 Mbps
- Ping: 20 ms
A large business centre is available near the entrance that is equipped with iMacs and multi-standard power sockets. Around the corner from this, rather unusually there are phone booths. We think a hangover from when an actual payphone would be your only choice. Now they serve as a good place to have to take a call on your mobile whilst preserving the silent ambience of the lounge.
The toilets are attended and clean. Showers are available, although they are starting to look decidedly dated. Another quirky Singapore Airlines feature is the shoe shine machine – actually quite a useful feature for many business passengers.
Finally, a cabinet made by LG called a “styler” for sprucing up your clothes. A very smart idea. If you are transiting between flights or just arriving from a long day at the office and need to freshen up a suit jacket this would be a very sensible option. We didn’t see anybody use it during our visit.
This lounge is available to passengers flying on a Singapore Airlines, SilkAir or Star Alliance member operated flight:
- in Suites class or First class plus one guest (guest must be travelling on Singapore Airlines or another Star Alliance carrier, not SilkAir); or
- in Business class (passenger only).
It is also available to passengers flying on a Singapore Airlines or SilkAir flight:
- in Premium Economy or Economy class and holding KrisFlyer PPS or PPS Solitaire status*
* – PPS Solitaire members may also use the lounge immediately after travel on a Singapore Airlines or SilkAir flight, regardless of travel class (no guest permitted).
It is also available to passengers flying on a Singapore Airlines or Air New Zealand flight destined for New Zealand:
- in Premium Economy or Economy class and holding Air New Zealand Elite or Elite Partners status.
Obviously, no paid access is allowed and there are no third-party access schemes that will permit you access either.
Uniquely in our experience, Singapore Airlines do not allow their own KrisFlyer Elite Gold members or Star Alliance Gold members travelling in economy or premium economy, access to this lounge. Instead, they are directed to the (far inferior) T2 KrisFlyer Gold Lounge, which we will review soon.
It may be the oldest Singapore Airlines lounge at Changi, but it still provides a quiet, comfortable space, with good food, beverages and amenities to keep a demanding business traveller happy.
As we mentioned, the lower ceilings, dim lighting and lack of windows can make this lounge feel quite claustrophobic for some.
If travelling on SIA in a premium cabin, is it worth a trip on the SkyTrain from Terminal 3? Probably not for the lounge itself but, in the evenings when the Terminal 3 SilverKris lounge is so overwhelmed with people you find passengers sitting on the floor – this is a quiet and comfortable refuge with the same standard of food and drink you’ve come to expect from SilverKris lounges.
If you are flying with a Star Alliance carrier in a premium cabin from Terminal 2 – head here to avoid the third-party lounges, even if your airline directs you to use those (e.g. SATS).
Undoubtedly due for a make-over, although given that it mostly caters to other Star Alliance airlines passengers, like ANA, Swiss and Lufthansa, especially in the evening – it may be at the bottom of the priority list.
Visited January 2018
In Changi T2, see also:
SATS Premier Lounge T2 Review