In mid-June this year there was welcome news for transit passengers connecting through Singapore Changi Airport with long transit times between flights, when the Aerotel in Terminal 1 confirmed that it was open and bookable again, providing a reprieve from the transit holding area for some privacy, not to mention a decent sleep and shower before the onward journey.
This morning the Ambassador Transit Hotel in Terminal 3 reopened its doors, providing a potentially more convenient option for those in transit with Singapore Airlines or SilkAir, since both airlines are now operating exclusively from this terminal.
Even with progressively increased flight frequencies on many of Singapore Airlines’ key transit routes, there are still some very long connection times involved with certain city pairs on the network, for those returning home or travelling for urgent reasons.
In this example, a journey between Melbourne and London takes a mammoth 39 hours, including a 17 hour 45 minute transit at Changi.
We would definitely want to book a hotel room if travelling on this itinerary – 18 hours in one of the transit holding areas, even the premium section for Business Class passengers, sounds like torture.
With transit origin city approvals now expanded across all of the SIA, SilkAir and Scoot network (with the exception of the Philippines and the USA), long connection times are increasingly an issue on these newly-approved routes too, which are often served less than daily.
How it will work
In common with stays booked at the Aerotel in Terminal 1, on arrival as a transit passenger you will initially be escorted to one of the transit holding areas.
Once there, show the confirmation email for your hotel booking to the gate hold room officer and they will arrange for you to be escorted to the Ambassador Transit Hotel. Mask wearing is compulsory except when you are in your room.
You must remain in your room for the duration of your stay.
Check out is strictly 90 minutes prior to your onward flight departure time, when you will be escorted back to the transit holding area in preparation for boarding.
For more details on the rest of the transit passenger experience at Changi, including photos of the transit holding areas, see our article from June.
Currently the hotel appears to only be releasing 25 of its 66 rooms for booking, the smaller Standard Ensuite rooms, for either single or double occupancy.
Rooms are available for a minimum 6-hour block up to a maximum 24-hour block. For shorter stays, the Aerotel at Terminal 1 offers rooms from 1 hour duration.
Rates including GST and service charge for single occupancy are as follows:
- 6 hours: S$179
- 12 hours: S$273
- 24 hours: S$292
Additional hours are charged at S$24 per hour, double occupancy is charged at +S$30 on the above rates.
Stays at the Ambassador Transit Hotel include a complimentary meal, which is probably essential given that you won’t be free to leave your room during your stay.
The meal is served bento box-style to your room at a time of your choosing, selected from a menu when you make your booking.
Selections include western, asian, cold and vegetarian options, with choices between breakfast, lunch or dinner depending on what time zone you expect your stomach to be in!
Transit passengers with long connection times at Changi Airport now have a second airside hotel option with the reopening of the Ambassador Transit Hotel in Terminal 3.
That means both of the airport’s operating passenger terminals now have this facility available, with those transferring between Singapore Airlines and SilkAir flights likely to favour the location of the Ambassador option and those connecting on or continuing their journeys with Scoot likely to be better off at the Aerotel in T1.
In both cases the airport’s strict segregation between transit passengers and regular arriving / departing passengers remains in force, with those opting for the hotel option escorted to and from their rooms and not permitted to leave until their flight departure time.
(Cover Photo: Harilela Hospitality)