Changi Airport Lounges Oneworld Reviews

Review: British Airways Singapore Lounge and ‘The Bar Singapore’

An often overlooked oneworld option at Changi Airport, we found the British Airways Singapore Lounge a surprisingly pleasant pre-flight pad

Entrance.jpg

General details

Opening Times: 3.00pm to 11.00pm
Capacity: 226
Size: 1,005 sq m
Opened: August 2015
Showers: Yes
Spa: No
Bar: No
Wi-Fi: Yes
Multi-standard Power Sockets: Yes
USB Charging Sockets: Yes
Wireless Charging: No
Dress Code: None

Lounge access

The following passengers are eligible to access the British Airways Singapore Lounge:

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Flying on a British Airways flight, or on a oneworld member operated flight:

  • in First Class or Business Class; or
  • in Premium Economy or Economy Class and holding British Airways Executive Club SilverGold or Gold Guest List status, or oneworld Sapphire or Emerald status; or
  • in any class of travel provided they are connecting between oneworld marketed and operated flights on the same day of travel, or before 6am the following day, having arrived in First Class or Business Class with a scheduled flight time longer than 5 hours (e.g. Qantas Business Class SYD-SIN followed by SriLankan Economy Class SIN-CMB, access is permitted). You are required to retain your boarding card from the arriving long-haul flight for lounge access in this case.

Note: ‘The Bar Singapore’, a separate section within this lounge, is only available to those departing on a British Airways operated flight in First Class.

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Guest policy

Passengers travelling in First Class, whether on a British Airways or oneworld operated flight (e.g. Qantas First Class), may invite one guest into the lounge with them.

The guest must be travelling on a British Airways or oneworld operated flight in this case, though it does not need to be the same flight as the passenger.

Those accessing this lounge based on travel in Business Class alone (i.e. with no BA / oneworld status) are not permitted to bring any guests into the lounge with them.

If you are a BA Executive Club Silver or Gold member, or a oneworld Sapphire or Emerald status holder, you may bring one guest into the lounge with you regardless of your travel class. Your guest must be travelling on a oneworld member operated flight.

If you are a BA Executive Club Gold Guest List member, you may bring two guests into the lounge with you regardless of your travel class. Your first guest must be travelling on a oneworld member operated flight, but if you also have a second guest they must be travelling on a British Airways flight.

Location

The British Airways Singapore Lounge is located on Level 3 of Changi Terminal 1’s transit area, one level above the departure concourse.

BA’s check-in desks in Terminal 1 are at Row 10, though if you’re flying in First or Business Class you’ll be using the SATS Premier check-in lounge near Row 4.

Either way its only a 3-4 minute walk to the lounge, not counting immigration clearance time. After clearing the T1 immigration desks, make a left turn towards the C gates, then take the first escalator on the right up to the lounges.

Map 1
Click to enlarge. (Image: MainlyMiles / CAG)
Escalator
Escalator to the BA lounge. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Turn left at the top of the escalator and the British Airways Lounge is easily visible on your right.

This level 3 lounge complex also houses the Qantas Business, Thai Airways and SATS Premier lounges in Terminal 1.

Map 2
Click to enlarge. (Image: MainlyMiles / CAG)
Lounge Sign
Take a left turn at the top of the escalator, then you’ll see the BA lounge on the right. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

If you’re accessing this lounge in transit, you’ll find it approximately mid-concourse between the C gates and D gates in T1’s transit area, a relatively short walk from the SkyTrain links serving both T2 and T3.

Reception

One thing British Airways has pulled off in this 2015 lounge refit, in our opinion at least, is a stunning entrance.

Entrance Main
The British Airways Singapore Lounge entrance. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

In the concept by British design studio Graven, modern ceiling lights hang over the dark tiled floor leading to a purple decorative tiled wall with the airline’s ‘speedmarque’ motif in the centre.

This wall is flanked by two white podiums where the lounge attendants welcome you.

Entrance
The British Airways Singapore Lounge entrance. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

The reception provides coat check and baggage storage facilities, if required.

Our visit

We accessed the British Airways Singapore Lounge for this review before departing on a Qatar Airways flight to Doha in Business Class.

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First impressions

This 1,000 sq m facility opened in 2015 after a four-month renovation, before which it served as the joint Qantas / British Airways First Class lounge.

After the impressive entrance, decor in the rest of the lounge is a little more muted in comparison. It’s broadly in keeping with other BA lounges around the world, featuring wooden flooring, some carpeted sections and modern but sensible furnishings.

Seats Trio
British Airways Singapore Lounge. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Despite now being over four years old, the lounge is still in good condition, considering the number of passengers passing through each evening. That’s assuming they aren’t all next door using the Qantas lounge, which we know is a popular option among BA passengers.

On the right side as you enter the lounge is ‘The Bar Singapore’, a private section exclusively for those flying in First Class.

The Bar Entrance 2
Entrance to ‘The Bar Singapore’. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

The door to this section is usually closed, with access to eligible passengers through a keypad code provided at reception when you arrive. We take a peek inside towards the end of this review.

The lounge walls are adorned with tasteful artwork from up-and-coming Singaporean and British artists, in keeping with the modern design concept.

Artwork
Artwork in the lounge. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

The overall capacity of this lounge is 226, comprising 185 seats in the main section and 41 in ‘The Bar Singapore’, making it a similar size to the Cathay Pacific lounge in T4 and the Qantas First lounge in T1.

Here’s how the size and capacity compares to other oneworld lounges at Changi:

Lounge Size
(sq m)
Capacity
(pax)
Qatar Airways ~ 700 85
Cathay Pacific 849 ~ 200
British Airways 1,005 226
Qantas First ~ 1,000 240
Qantas Business ~ 2,200 570

It’s interesting to compare with the new Qatar Premium lounge (see our January 2020 review), which despite being the smallest of the bunch has an insane amount of space per guest, even at full capacity.

It’s also interesting to note that the new Qantas First Lounge (see our December 2019 review) squeezes more people in, despite being almost identically sized to this BA facility, because most of the seating in the Qantas lounge is dedicated to dining – much more densely arranged than lounge seating provisioned for relaxation or work.

Seating options

Numerous seating options are available to cater for a variety of tastes. We opted for the low armchair seating near the entrance, which was quiet and reasonably private.

Seats Trio 3
Low armchairs near the lounge entrance. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Each row of seats in this section has a low privacy partition with the main lounge corridor, so it doesn’t feel as though you’re sitting in the throng of passengers on their way in and out of the lounge.

As you progress further into the lounge, which is laid out in a long rectangular shape, you’ll find high bar-style seating at communal tables near the buffet area.

Counter Seats
Bar counter seating. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

These have an impressive array of ‘orb lights’ hanging overhead, and the flowers on the table are a nice touch.

Counter seats by the window have a view over the Terminal 1 C gates immigration hall, also providing plenty of natural light during the day. Sadly, however, there are no aircraft or runway vistas from this lounge.

Indeed no one is going to be writing home about the view from this lounge (though the same can be said for all oneworld lounges at Changi).

Counter Seats 2
Bar seats overlooking the immigration hall, but not an aircraft in sight. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Further back beyond the buffet and bar sections there is a TV area with 14 Eames-style leather lounger seats.

TV Seats Front
TV area. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

There’s a side table between each sat pair for your drink, including a power outlet.

This is the perfect spot for watching the evening news, but is more regularly geared up for a live sporting event, with a football match being shown during our visit.

TV Seats Back
TV area. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

These chairs also swivel to face one another if preferred, for example if your travelling companion isn’t interested in the match, they can face you instead!

The more subdued decor of brown and cream tones is then broken up slightly by two illuminated neon blue transparent glass ‘walls’, housing a small seating area of red chairs and blue sofas in between them.

Seats Red 3
Living room area. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

This is quite a nice ‘living room’ style section, flanked by modern coat stands in each corner.

Seats Red 2
Living room area. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

To the sides, additional rows of three seats alongside the window overlooking the immigration hall continue in the same layout found closer to the entrance.

Window Seats
Lounge seating. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

These seats, towards the back of the lounge, are potentially quieter than those we chose especially during the busier hours after 6pm.

This section includes some rows of high wingback chairs as well as the more typical low armchairs, with the neutral cream or blue leather upholstery offset by more vividly coloured assorted cushions.

Wingback
High wingback chairs. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

At the opposite side, away from the windows, seats are arranged in pairs which will be more suited to couples.

Seat Pairs
Couple seats. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Again the assorted cushions offset the more traditional ‘lounge beige’ quite cleverly.

Other ‘living room’ style areas are available, with a variety of seating options ranging from plush wing-backed chairs to 3-seater sofas.

Seats Trio 2
Lounge seating includes some sofas. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

The ambience of all the seating sections is a little bright but still quite relaxing.

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Wi-Fi and power outlets

We recorded a very reasonable Wi-Fi speed using the BA lounge network of around 15 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload during our visit.

Wi-Fi

That’s good enough for most tasks, though it’s starting to fall a little below some ‘new norms’, with the Qantas Business Lounge next door boasting download rates close to 10 times faster during our recent visit.

It’s also worth noting that we did the Wi-Fi speed test when the lounge was very quiet after we first arrived, so in the busy evening period with more users logged on the speed may suffer slightly.

Practically all seats in this lounge have a multi-standard power socket, accepting Singapore and UK-style 3-pin plugs among many others, plus USB charging outlets, for keeping your devices on the go before your flight.

Power Sockets
Plentiful charging options at almost every seat. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Business facilities

The business centre at the far end of the lounge features two Windows-based computer work stations, plus an abundance of free desk space.

There are practical office chairs for those working from their own devices, like laptops and tablets (we rarely see anyone using the lounge’s own computers these days). It’s a simple space with good lighting for those who prefer a more formal work environment, with enough room to also spread out some paperwork if you need to.

Work Desks
Business area. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Speaking of paperwork, a wireless printer is also available in this section.

Overall this is one of the more impressive business facilities we’ve seen in a Business Class lounge; spacious, well lit and with plenty of charging sockets available.

The only slight downside is privacy. It would have been nice to have at least some form of partition between the workstations for those catching up on more sensitive business.

Reading materials

Throughout the lounge are several sections featuring a variety of magazines and, pleasingly, daily newspapers from around the world including Singaporean, US and UK dailies.

Reading Materials 2
Reading materials. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

‘High Life’ is British Airways’ monthly in-flight magazine, which you can also pick up on board if you’re flying with them, or download for free on your tablet.