Changi Airport Lounges Reviews

Review: Plaza Premium Lounge Singapore Changi T1

Among the better third-party lounges we've visited, Plaza Premium has done a good job with this one

Seating Armchairs

General details

Opening times: 24 hours
Showers: Yes
Bar: Yes (some drinks chargeable)
Wi-Fi: Yes
Multi-standard power sockets: Yes
USB charging sockets: Yes

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Location

The Plaza Premium lounge is located on Level 3 of Changi Terminal 1’s transit area, one level above the departure concourse up the escalator adjacent to gate C1.

Way Up.jpg
You’ll find this escalator near gate C1. Head straight up to the lounge entrance. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

The lounge is well signed. If you are departing from T1, take a left turn once you have passed through immigration and you’ll find the escalator pictured above almost straight ahead of you once you reach the ‘C’ concourse.

Location Map.jpg
Location of the Plaza Premium lounge in Changi Terminal 1. (Image: Changi Airport / MainlyMiles)

This lounge is actually closer to many gates in T3 than in T1. Gates B1 to B10, for example, are closer to the lounge than gate D49, especially considering there is a SkyTrain to assist.

We would only really recommend this lounge if you’re departing from a ‘C’ gate in T1, one of the ‘bottom end’ ‘D’ gates in T1, or a ‘B’ gate in T3.

Entrance
Lounge entrance. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Once you reach Level 3 you’ll find the entrance directly ahead of you (opposite the Emirates Singapore lounge).

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Our visit

We were heading to Delhi on Singapore Airlines in Suites, but with a late afternoon departure and the whole day to kill, we decided we could do another lounge review before heading to The Private Room for lunch.

Since we hadn’t reviewed any T1 lounges at Changi before, we did a poll on our Instagram page to ask our followers which they would most like to see, and they resoundingly voted for this one.

We used Priority Pass to access the lounge, but there are other ways to get in. Speaking of which…

Lounge access

You can access this lounge if you hold a membership with the following programs:

  • DragonPass
  • LoungeKey (including ‘Mastercard Airport Experiences’)
  • Priority Pass

You can also access if you hold one of the following credit cards in Singapore:

  • Bank of China Singapore Elite Miles Mastercard (4 visits per year, see our review)
  • Bank of China Singapore Visa Infinite (2 visits per year)
  • Maybank Horizon Visa Signature (1 visit per S$1,000+ transaction posted to the card, limited to once every 3 months. See our review)
  • OCBC Voyage Visa Infinite (complimentary unlimited access for primary and supplementary cardholders only, see our review)

Access through these schemes and cards is limited to 3 hours, with complimentary access for children under 2 (accompanied by an adult).

Alternatively you can pay for access to this lounge, at the following rates:

  • Up to 5 hours: US$43.00 (S$58.20)
  • Up to 10 hours: US$78.00 (S$105.50)

You can also pay to simply use the shower facilities, subject to availability and a 30 minute time limit, for US$12.00 (S$16.20).

Maybank Horizon Visa Signature cardholders also get 20% off walk-in rates at this lounge outside the complimentary access promotion above (S$44.94 per visit).

GrabRewards preferential rates

If you are an elite member of the GrabRewards program in Singapore, you can access this lounge at a preferential rate through a lounge pass downloadable from the Grab app. Rates are as follows, dependant on your status tier, for a stay of up to 5 hours:

  • Platinum: S$28
  • Gold: S$34
  • Silver: S$46

Those rates are around 25% to 50% less than the regular paid access rates for this lounge.

Grab Voucher.jpg

I already have an unlimited visit Priority Pass through my Citi Prestige card, but if I didn’t have that I would be able to access this lounge for S$28 a time as a GrabRewards Platinum member.

That’s about half the walk-up or online rate, so I would consider this quite reasonable provided I had at least a couple of hours to kill before my flight.

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Our experience

We arrived at around 12.30pm and the lounge was quiet with plenty of open seating options available. Since the Plaza Premium lounge is not a contract lounge for Business Class passengers flying with specific airlines, like the DNATA and SATS lounges, it generally stays a bit quieter.

Having said that it does appear that we stumbled on one of the quietest times of day for this lounge, if Google’s ‘Popular times’ feature is to be believed.

Popular Times.jpg
(Source: google.com)

That does correlate with peak departure times from T1, especially in the evening towards midnight when many long-haul flights depart around the same time.

One of the great benefits of this lounge is the large windows across one side overlooking the C gates and one of Changi’s runways (usually used for landing aircraft).

Overview
Plenty of seating was available in the main lounge area when we arrived. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Comparatively few lounges at Changi actually have direct external views, so we chose a seat next to the window and settled in.

View.jpg
Window seats benefit from a runway view. And yes, that’s a 737 MAX! (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Since we were officially on vacation, it was time to grab a beer and relax before exploring further and taking photos. This is where the first major difference between the Plaza Premium and most other third-party lounges at Changi becomes apparent – there is a manned bar, but most alcoholic drinks are not free.

You can however have unlimited ‘Dester’ beer, which is provided on draught.

Dester Tap
The manned bar has a price list, however ‘Dester’ on draught is complimentary. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Wi-Fi speed

The lounge was quiet during our visit, so as expected the Wi-Fi was fast. We had no trouble connecting, with the password provided at reception and displayed in a few other locations inside the lounge itself.

Wi-Fi Speed
Plaza Premium T1 lounge Wi-Fi speed

This is a significantly faster network than some of the other third party lounges we’ve reviewed at Changi, especially the SATS lounges which seem to struggle here (indeed the free airport Wi-Fi is usually a faster option in those cases).

Overall this is the speed you can also expect to achieve in the Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounges (though it pales into insignificance when you see the speeds we have achieved in the Qantas Sydney First Class and United Polaris SFO lounges!).

Nevertheless, a reliable and useable network during our visit.

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General lounge seating

The main lounge seating section comprises six rows of low armchairs, most of which face out over the large floor to ceiling windows overlooking the runway.

This section of the lounge alone accommodates 54 guests in the low armchairs and a further ten in the solo side seats.

Seating Armchairs
General lounge seating comprises low armchairs. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Here you get a side table, charging point and a lamp between each seat. Since these seats are set in trios, if the lounge is busy and only a middle seat is available, you may need to share table space or a charging point with one of your neighbours.

Pick the front two rows near the window for the best view.

Seating Armchairs 2
Most seating in the main lounge section is set in groups of three. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Further back, close to the bar and dining area, there are five sofas set in individual ‘booths’ with a coffee table and two additional seats. These are ideal for larger groups.

Some of the booth-style sofa seating faces the bar and dining area:

Seats Booth and Plant 2
Sofas set in a booth. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

While others face the general lounge seating area and windows:

Seating Booth
(Photo: MainlyMiles)

Each of these booths has two charging points with a small device storage shelf above, however if you’re charging a laptop you would probably have to put it on the floor, or exten