Changi Airport News Singapore Airlines

SIA transit passengers from Australia and NZ can now shop, access the SilverKris lounge at Changi

Travellers originating in Australia, Brunei, Vietnam and New Zealand can now escape the ‘transit holding pen’ at Changi Airport and access shops and the SilverKris lounge when flying on a connecting itinerary.

Good news for those flying on Singapore Airlines from several cities on a connecting itinerary through Changi Airport, with the carrier confirming that those boarding in countries Singapore has unilaterally opened its borders to will no longer be restricted to the Transit Holding Area.

That means freedom to roam the shops and dining options across the main transit area in Terminals 1 and 3 during a stopover.

Eligible passengers flying in Business Class, holding KrisFlyer Elite or PPS status, or Star Alliance Gold status, will also be entitled to access the SilverKris lounge in Terminal 3, one of only two SIA-operated lounges open worldwide.

Entrance to the SilverKris Business Class lounge at Changi T3. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

On 2nd November 2020, Singapore Airlines reopened its SilverKris Lounge at London Heathrow.

Who is eligible?

The new relaxed rules currently apply to travellers in transit arriving into Changi from the following countries prior to their onward connecting flight:

  • Australia (excl. Victoria State)
  • Brunei
  • New Zealand
  • Vietnam

From 6th November 2020, those in transit who boarded flights in the following countries when commencing their journey will also be eligible:

  • Australia (Victoria State)
  • China

Changi Transit passenger restrictions
(based on country of origin)

Until 5th November 2020
  Unrestricted Movement
(incl. Lounge Access)
  Transit Holding Area
(or Transit Hotel)
  • Australia (excl. VIC state)
  • Brunei
  • New Zealand
  • Vietnam
  • Australia (VIC state)
  • All other countries
From 6th November 2020
  Unrestricted Movement
(incl. Lounge Access)
  Transit Holding Area
(or Transit Hotel)
  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • China
  • New Zealand
  • Vietnam
  • All other countries

Passengers from these countries will not have to wait for their connecting flight at the transit holding area and will be able to move freely within the transit departure area.

Singapore Airlines
Transit passengers from specific countries will be free to move around the terminal, shop and dine between flights. (Photo: Changi Airport Group)

The new rules only apply to the origin point of the transit passenger, so bear in mind that for most itineraries this will only benefit customers in one direction.

For example if a passenger books a return flight from Auckland to New York via Changi on Singapore Airlines in Business Class, they will have freedom to explore the transit area and visit the SilverKris lounge on their outbound flight (AKL-SIN-JFK), but will be restricted to the Transit Holding Area on the way back (JFK-SIN-AKL).

Transit passengers from approved countries will still not be able to leave the transit area and enter the public area of the airport during their layover.

Lounge access

Perhaps the best piece of news here is that eligible transit passengers listed above can relax in the SilverKris Business Class lounge in T3 between their flights.

With limited flight schedules leading to connecting itineraries spanning over 8 hours in some cases, this will be a welcome respite, not to mention the ability to leave the lounge as you wish in order to shop or dine elsewhere in the transit area.

Many transit itineraries involve long connection times at Changi Airport
Eligible transit passengers from specific countries will now be able to take some respite between flights in the SilverKris lounge. (Photo: The Shutterwhale)

All Suites, First Class, and Business Class passengers, as well as PPS Club members and KrisFlyer Elite Gold members, departing from Singapore and transiting through Singapore from Australia (excluding Victoria), Brunei, New Zealand and Vietnam have access to our SilverKris Lounge (Business Class) at Changi Airport Terminal 3.

Singapore Airlines

Note that there remain several changes to the lounge setup due to COVID-19. For example in place of a buffet, à la carte meals are served.

All magazines and newspapers have also been removed, however shower facilities remain available.

For those without lounge access, paid entry and Priority Pass admission is available at:

  • SATS Premier Lounge (T3): 24 hours (read our review)
  • Plaza Premium Lounge (T1): 12pm-6am (read our review)
  • DNATA Lounge (T1): 4pm-11pm

Transit passengers usually eligible for lounge access but who are not originating in one of the approved countries will continue to have access to the premium waiting section of the designated transit holding area.

Transit passengers are no longer segregated on board

Another change to the transit requirements is the lifting of restrictions on segregation of transit passengers and point-to-point passengers on board Singapore Airlines flights, regardless of their country of origin.

Why? This may stem from recent research that the risk of COVID-19 transmission between passengers on board an aircraft is extremely low when masks are worn.

Thankfully it means advance seat selection is no longer limited and fewer seat reassignments should be necessary going forward. The restriction on all seat selection within 48 hours of flight departure has also been lifted.

No issue selecting a seat in Business Class on a Singapore – Jakarta flight tomorrow

Transit passengers, previously assigned seats towards the rear of each cabin section, should now have improved access to bulkhead and bassinet seats.

Bulkhead seats with extra legroom and in some cases bassinet attachments should now be easier for transit passengers to secure. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

We checked a London to Jakarta via Singapore itinerary next week in Business Class and were freely able to select a seat, including a bassinet option on both sectors. That will make a big difference for transit passengers travelling with infants.

Which city pairs are valid for transit flights?

We recently updated our article on valid transit routings with Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot through Changi Airport, including up-to-date lists of:

  • Origin-only cities
  • Origin and destination cities
  • Destination-only cities

This should help you understand what combinations you can and can’t book if you’re exploring a transit option with an SIA group airline.

Transit hotels

Those in transit through Changi with longer connections are still able to book a stay in a private room at two airport hotels, regardless of their original country of origin:

The Ambassador Transit Hotel in Terminal 3 remains an option for longer layovers. (Photo: Harilela Hospitality)

For longer connections, even those with SilverKris Lounge access may prefer this option. Note also that the SilverKris Lounge in Terminal 3 is currently closed between 2.30am and 5.30am each day, which may leave you wandering the terminal for three hours in the middle of the night on some connecting schedules.

Summary

Great news for Singapore Airlines transit passengers originating in selected cities, who will now be able to freely roam the transit areas in Terminals 1 and 3 at Changi Airport during their connection between flights.

While the Transit Holding Areas offer the option to order food and drink, plus selected shopping, and eligible passengers had access to a premium waiting area, overall the concept didn’t sound very appealing!

As Singapore continues to unilaterally open its borders to ‘COVID-safe’ (or ‘COVID-similar’) countries, more transit passengers should progressively be able to take advantage of this freedom between flights at Changi.

(Cover Photo: Changi Airport Group)

1 comment

  1. Great so on my flight to Sydney next month I may be sat next to someone who transited from USA or Europe. COVID hotspots and zero testing for them. They shld continue to separate transit pax from SIN origin pax!

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