More good news for oneworld travellers from Singapore, with another lounge option now available in the form of the British Airways Singapore Lounge, a cosy and surprisingly pleasant alternative to the nearby Qantas lounge, especially during the quieter afternoon hours.
With recent news that Qantas will reopen its superb Singapore First Lounge in mid-June, this recent opening brings eligible oneworld passengers closer than ever to a pre-pandemic selection of lounges to relax in prior to departure.
Prior to this reopening, British Airways was directing lounge-eligible guests to the Marhaba Lounge at Singapore Changi Airport T1.
British Airways confirmed to Mainly Miles that the lounge is now open from 4pm to 10pm each evening, to accommodate the airline’s two evening departures to Sydney and London respectively:
- BA15 to Sydney at 7.25pm (787-9)
- BA16 to London at 10.35pm (787-9)
You’ll find the British Airways Singapore Lounge in the same place as before – on Level 3 of Changi Terminal 1’s transit area, one level above the departure concourse.
It’s only a 3-4 minute walk from check-in 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.
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 (closed) and SATS Premier lounges in Terminal 1.
The following passengers are eligible to access the British Airways Singapore Lounge:
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 Silver, Gold 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.
Eligible passengers travelling on oneworld flights like those heading to:
- Kuala Lumpur on Malaysia Airlines (MH616 at 8.10pm)
- Helsinki on Finnair (AY132 at 9.50pm)
- Tokyo on JAL (JL36 at 9.50pm)
should also take advantage, even when directed to use a third-party lounge by the check-in staff.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. Guests are not allowed.
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 have to be the same flight the passenger is departing on.
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 BA or 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 BA or oneworld member operated flight, but if you also have a second guest they must be travelling on a British Airways flight.
Here are a few key details for the lounge.
British Airways Singapore Lounge
- Capacity: 226
- Size: 1,005 sq m
- First 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
What’s it like?
Despite this lounge already being over four years old when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it was still in good condition during our most recent visit with a variety of seating options, including a TV area geared up for live sports events, plus a spacious business area, decent Wi-Fi and a good F&B selection.
Shower facilities are also good, with seven individual suites each including their own toilet and vanity area.
One of the major benefits of this lounge, before COVID-19 at least, is that unlike the Qantas Business Class facility along the corridor the BA lounge pours Champagne (Joseph Perrier Brut N.V.), though remember you do have to request a glass – it’s not available for self-pour.
Prior to the pandemic it’s the food selection that let the BA lounge down slightly, with only cold options available during the afternoon opening and hot dishes in time for Sydney and London-bound passengers from around 5pm, mainly comprising satay, curry, pasta and accompaniments.
While there was nothing wrong with the selection, at the time it stood up poorly against the Qantas Business lounge, which boasted a full salad bar and two made to order dishes each day, in addition to a hot buffet section (see our review).
Currently in this post-COVID reopening the BA lounge allows some F&B ordering through your personal device, with delivery directly to your table number.
Two main dishes are being served (with the more substantial Butter Chicken and Rice strangely labeled as the ‘Lighter Choice’?).
There are also a range of cocktails and Champagne you can have delivered to your seat, with other options like wine and soft drinks, plus additional food items, available at the main self-serve bar areas.
We reviewed the British Airways lounge in September 2019, just a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Check out our detailed analysis for a full rundown of what to expect, including a look inside ‘The Bar Singapore’, a separate 40-seater section exclusively for use by departing BA First Class passengers, with upgraded F&B options.
Will it be a quiet option?
Though the BA lounge did get busy in the late evenings before the pandemic, remember the airline was operating three daily departures back then:
- BA15 to Sydney at 7.25pm (777-300ER)
- BA16 to London at 10.35pm (777-300ER)
- BA12 to London at 11.15pm (A380-800)
Only BA15/16 are now operating (there is no BA12 service at the moment), with both flights using the smaller Boeing 787-9 aircraft, meaning the lounge primarily caters for up to 100 First and Business Class passengers departing each evening, plus status holders and other eligible oneworld guests.
Prior to COVID-19 there were up to 250 passengers departing in the airline’s First and Business Class cabins each evening, on top of status holders, which is quite a stark difference.
We therefore think you can expect this lounge to be a relatively peaceful retreat for some time to come.
British Airways is provisionally loading its BA12 London service again from the start of the winter season in November 2022, using Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, while retaining 787-9s on the BA15/16 Sydney and London departures.
That will still represent only around two-thirds of pre-pandemic premium cabin capacity from Changi each evening, so fewer crowds at this dependable lounge could be a nice feature for months to come.
Oneworld travellers in Business Class, First Class, and those holding eligible status in the alliance, now have another lounge to visit before departing from Singapore Changi Airport, with the British Airways facility welcoming guests from 4pm to 10pm each evening.
While BA’s lounge won’t set your heart racing, it may prove to be a quieter alternative to the nearby Qantas Business lounge, especially once the Australian carrier reintroduces a pair of high-capacity A380 departures each evening from mid-June.
British Airways is holding back its nightly passenger capacity out of Changi to around 40% of pre-COVID totals until late October, and even then is only planning a lift to around two-thirds of the usual level.
That might make this a nice peaceful go-to option, if it wasn’t already for your pre-flight Champagne fix!
(Cover Photo: British Airways)