Singapore Changi Airport and its partner airlines are slowly reintroducing a popular option for passengers, with more travellers once again eligible to use the Jewel Early Check-In (ECI) facility, which allows you to check in for your flight and issue your boarding passes up to 24 hours before departure time.
In recent weeks four carriers have been added to the list – AirAsia, Emirates, Jetstar Asia and Scoot, while opening hours have been extended to 12pm – 8pm.
That’s a great improvement on these airline’s regular check-in desk opening windows, starting around three hours before each flight’s respective departure time, and now allows you to drop your bags and have your boarding card issued much further in advance.
For many travellers, the benefit will open up the opportunity to make extended visits to one or more lounges in the transit area, for a variety of dining opportunities, a few hours of productive work, and even some free-flow Champagne in some cases, prior to the flight.
Do note that you must have at least three hours between your check-in time and the scheduled flight departure time (six hours in the case of AirAsia).
Jewel ECI airlines
Eight airlines operating from Changi Airport now allow passengers to check in early at the Jewel ECI, all of which take full advantage of the newly extended 12pm – 8pm opening hours at the facility.
Note that for some airlines, early check-in is only applicable for those travelling to specific countries, as shown in the table.
Jewel ECI Airlines
12pm – 8pm
|Up to 3 hours before departure time|
|Jetstar Asia||Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam|
|Qatar Airways||Austria, Australia, Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Bahrain, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Belgium, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Congo, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Egypt, France, Finland, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Grenada, Gabon, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Namibia, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Trinidad and Tobago, UK, Yemen|
|Singapore Airlines||Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, UK|
|Up to 6 hours before departure time|
After checking in at Jewel, you can access the transit area via immigration control at either T1, T2 or T3, regardless of which airline you are departing with, except for AirAsia passengers.
If you are departing on AirAsia, you must clear immigration and security at T4.
You can then take the airside transit bus from T4 to T1 / T3, operating 24 hours per day every 10 to 13 minutes, if you wish to visit any shops, restaurants or lounges in the other terminals.
Passengers departing from T1/2/3 can also visit the T4 transit area if they wish.
For the latest information on eligible Jewel ECI airlines, click here.
Where is it?
The Jewel ECI is located on Level 1 of the Jewel complex.
From the T1 departures level (Jewel drop off), you’ll need to go down one level to reach the ECI facility.
From T1 arrivals you are already on the correct floor and the ECI is only short walk into the complex on the left side.
What’s the benefit?
The Jewel ECI option could be useful if you’re planning to have dinner in Jewel with friends of family, or even catch a movie at the cinema there, before heading through to departures for your flight.
Obviously Jewel also has plenty of shopping options plus some other attractions too, but most people we know go there for the food!
However for many travellers, it’s early access to some of the excellent lounges in the transit area of T1 in particular that make early check-in a great benefit, for example those departing in Business Class on Qatar Airways, Qantas or Emirates can access some great options earlier than they would usually be able to with standard check-in times.
Many passengers will also use early check-in simply to avoid the typically longer queues at regular airline check-in desks, if they arrive at the airport far enough in advance.
For Singapore Airlines ECI passengers visiting Jewel for dinner after checking in early, if your flight then ends up departing from a T1 gate (i.e. a ‘C’ gate), which you can check before leaving Jewel via the iChangi app, you can even clear immigration in T1.
Since T1 is directly connected to Jewel, you’ll then enjoy a much shorter walk to the gate, assuming you’re not interested in any T3 SilverKris lounge time (if eligible).
The Changi Lounge is opposite
If you’re looking to use a Priority Pass or paid access lounge prior to your departure, for example if you need somewhere quiet to get some work done for a few hours before heading into the transit area, you might also want to consider the Changi Lounge in Jewel.
This is located directly opposite the ECI facility, so you can head across there as soon as you have checked your bags in and printed your boarding card.
This is ideal, because for many access schemes you will need a valid boarding pass to use this lounge.
The Changi Lounge also offers paid access and has excellent shower suites, probably the best of any third-party lounge at Changi.
SIA’s check-in operates 20 hours a day
If you’re departing with Singapore Airlines, remember you can check in for any SIA flight at:
- Terminal 2 between 4.30am and 1.35am every day
- Terminal 3 between 5am and 1am every day
You do not need to check-in at the terminal your flight is departing from.
Check-in can be completed up to 48 hours before your flight departure time, with your luggage checked and boarding cards printed, though do note access to the transit area (beyond immigration control) is then only available within 24 hours of your flight departure time.
The Jewel ECI facility was a really useful option before COVID-19 hit, and we used it regularly to have the freedom to access the transit area before the normal check-in time with airlines like Qatar Airways and Lufthansa.
With eight airlines now using the facility, there are more opportunities for travellers to go hands-free in Jewel and the public areas before flight, or head through to departures for more shopping and dining opportunities across most of the tertminals.
For those departing with airlines like Qantas and Qatar Airways, the Jewel ECI option potentially gives you the opportunity to score a whole afternoon T1 oneworld ‘lounge safari’, even prior to a midnight flight, for example.
Prior to COVID-19, passengers departing on over 30 airlines were eligible to use the Jewel early check-in facility, with operating hours from 6am to midnight, so hopefully we will continue to see a progressive return for this popular option in the months ahead.
(Cover Photo: Changi Airport Group)