Back in mid-2019, Singapore Airlines announced it was embarking on what we probably all agreed was a much-needed S$50 million major refurbishment of its flagship SilverKris and KrisFlyer Gold lounges at Changi Airport Terminal 3.
While the project has slowed down a little due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it remains ongoing and will move into a new phase from next week, with eligible passengers on the move to a temporary lounge location for the rest of the year.
SIA has also confirmed that its original mid-2021 completion date for the renovation of the following lounges has now been shifted to the end of 2021:
- KrisFlyer Gold Lounge T3
- SilverKris Business Class Lounge T3
- SilverKris First Class Lounge T3
- The Private Room
The SilverKris Lounge is moving
Currently the SilverKris Business Class lounge at Terminal 3 has been the airline’s only lounge facility operating at Changi Airport since the COVID-19 pandemic removed the necessity for most lounge capacity almost a year ago, due to very low passenger numbers.
Work has initially been completed on revamping the former dnata lounge in T3, a space SIA took over once the Marhaba Lounge replaced it in May 2019, and which has been under construction alongside the adjacent KrisFlyer Gold lounge since the renovation project got underway.
It will now act as the SilverKris Business Class lounge from Wednesday 31st March 2021, to allow renovation of the larger SilverKris lounge complex to be completed.
The lounge access policy and facilities will remain unchanged from those offered at the existing SilverKris Business lounge, with this temporary arrangement set to last until the end of 2021 in preparation for the curtain to be lifted on the renovated lounges.
“The SilverKris and KrisFlyer Gold Lounges at Changi Airport Terminal 3 are undergoing upgrading works in phases as part of Singapore Airlines’ commitment to constantly enhance our customers’ experience. The project is expected to be completed in end-2021.
“To facilitate redevelopment works, the SilverKris Lounge will be temporarily relocated from 31 March 2021 to end-2021.”Singapore Airlines
The following passengers are able to access the Changi T3 SilverKris lounge, when departing on a Singapore Airlines or Star Alliance member operated flight:
- in Suites Class or First Class (+1 guest)
- in Business Class (passenger only)
- in Premium Economy or Economy class and holding KrisFlyer Elite Gold, PPS or PPS Solitaire status (+1 guest)
- in Premium Economy or Economy class and holding Star Alliance Gold status (+1 guest)
- in any class holding paid membership to United Club or Air Canada Maple Leaf Club Worldwide (+1 guest)
Additionally, only when flying on a Singapore Airlines flight:
- Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum and Gold status members, in any cabin class (+1 guest)
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Gold status members, in any cabin class (passenger only)
In all cases your guest (where permitted) must be travelling on a Singapore Airlines or Star Alliance member operated flight, with the exception of Virgin Australia Velocity members’ guests, who must be travelling on a Singapore Airlines flight.
That means even if overseas travel starts to become a reality from mid-year, many of us can expect to be heading to this temporary facility based on our travel class or KrisFlyer / Star Alliance status next time we fly, in anticipation of the fully-fledged lounges being available for our 2022 trips.
The flagship Singapore Airlines lounges at the carrier’s Terminal 3 base at Changi Airport were originally set to be included in the ‘home away from home’ lounge redesign concept way back in 2013/14.
That plan was abandoned, with SIA sticking to outstation ports for the revamp, however in July 2019 the airline finally announced a S$50 million makeover for these facilities by mid-2021.
As the carrier has revealed today, we can now expect these lounges to be completed by the end of 2021, an approximate 6-month delay.
This is likely to be the last lounge renovation we’ll see from SIA at Changi before it moves to Terminal 5 in the 2030s.
The design is by US firm Hirsch Bedner Associates, with a fresh look and ‘modern yet homely’ feel promised. The firm, which specialises in hotels, was in charge of recent facelifts at the Fairmont Singapore and the Four Seasons Singapore.
The Business Class lounge will get a full service bar and will be split into four distinct ‘zones’:
- A ‘relaxed café’ for short transits, featuring light snacks.
- A full ‘dining hall’ featuring a selection of Asian and international cuisines, including live stations that will offer signature local delights.
- A full service manned bar, which doubles up as a self service breakfast station in the mornings (but we hope still pours a Champagne or Bloody Mary even at those hours!).
- A ‘Productivity Pod and rest area’ for customers who need a discreet corner to catch up on work, or get some sleep on a chaise lounge before their flight.
KrisFlyer Elite Gold and Star Alliance Gold members flying in Economy or Premium Economy, meanwhile, will rejoice in the news that their dedicated Gold lounge will finally get its own toilets and showers!
The project will also include a brand new ‘The Private Room’, accessible only to passengers flying in First Class. Singapore Airlines has said that “customers can look forward to an enhanced epicurean journey with fresh and seasonally curated dining offerings, on top of the perennial local favourites.”
Some overseas SilverKris lounges are closing
Currently all of SIA’s 13 SilverKris lounges outside Singapore are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the London Heathrow lounge briefly opening then having to close again recently when the UK went back into ‘lockdown’.
The airline confirmed to us in September last year that three of these facilities will not be returning to the network after COVID-19, having now been permanently closed:
- Kuala Lumpur
This will leave the carrier’s post-COVID overseas lounge network at 10 facilities, seven of which have the new ‘home away from home’ design concept.
||‘Home away from home’ concept
As you can see only three lounges in Melbourne, Perth and Taipei will be in need of refurbishment in years to come.
At other airports on the network, Singapore Airlines directs eligible passengers to contracted third-party lounge facilities (for example the Swissport Lounge in Amsterdam). Business Class and KrisFlyer Gold / Star Alliance Gold passengers may also be eligible to use other Star Alliance lounges, like the United Club at London Heathrow Terminal 2.
It’s great to see Singapore Airlines remains wedded to its Changi T3 lounge renovation project, despite most of the group’s unnecessary capital expenditure being deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These lounges are certainly in need of a revamp and while the timescale (and presumably associated costs) of this S$50 million project have been stretched out a little, we can still look forward to brand new lounge experiences from next year, once overseas travel gets back on its feet.
If you’re travelling and eligible for lounge access between 31st March 2021 and the end of the year, you’ll be temporarily welcomed in a newly renovated T3 facility, formerly the dnata lounge, though the same products and services are promised and the access policy remains unchanged.
(Cover Photo: MainlyMiles)