Back in June 2022, Qatar Airways confirmed that it was reopening its much-lauded Premium Lounge at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1, offering relaxation pods, a martini bar, private shower suites and à la carte dining to those flying at ‘the pointy end’ on its own flights and those of Oneworld partner airlines.
While the initial opening included both a morning and evening operating window, unfortunately there was some bad news to follow, with the breakfast session for those departing on QR943 later culled.
Since then, it has meant that travellers have only been able to benefit from access to this lounge from 6pm until the early hours of the morning, primarily designed for those departing on QR947 and QR945, but also accommodating ‘in the know’ eligible guests on the likes of British Airways, Qantas and Finnair.
Those departing on the morning flight have been directed to use the nearby SATS Premier Lounge, which we probably don’t need to tell you falls into the “fine, but nothing to rush to the airport early for” category!
Morning opening is back
Qatar Airways has confirmed to Mainly Miles that it has restored its three-hour morning opening window for this fantastic lounge, effective from 1st July 2023 (though this is not yet reflected at the airline’s website).
Update 9th July: Qatar Airways has now updated its website with the new opening hours.
That means if you’re jetting off in Business Class on QR943, or a suitably timed Oneworld flight, it is worth getting to the airport early once again to enjoy this facility.
Here are the new opening hours for the Qatar Singapore Premium Lounge, now including this morning operating window.
|Qatar Airways Singapore Premium Lounge
|Until 30 Jun 2023||—||18:00 – 02:30
|From 1 Jul 2023||07:45 – 10:45
This is now the only Oneworld lounge at Changi Airport T1 with a morning opening window, and the lounge staff shared with us that they tend to actually open the doors a little earlier than scheduled at around 7.30am, so feel free to pop by and check.
Lounge opening is extended in the event of QR943 (morning) or QR945 (evening) departure delay.
Aside from Qatar Airways’ own passengers, the morning opening does provide some extra options for those in premium cabins on Oneworld flights too, useful for certain departure timings with Malaysia Airlines in particular.
Qatar Airways applies fairly strict access policies for its own lounges, with the Singapore one being no exception.
One of the easiest ways to get in to a Oneworld Business Class lounge for many of our readers is through the alliance’s Sapphire or Emerald status, but that’s no good to you at the Qatar Airways Singapore Premium Lounge, which restricts access only to those flying on Qatar Airways or a Oneworld carrier in First or Business Class.
Lounge-eligible frequent flyers in lower cabins are instead directed to the SATS Premier Lounge (see our earlier comment!).
This lounge is available to passengers flying on a Qatar Airways or any Oneworld member operated flight:
- in First Class or in Business Class*.
- 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.
* Except for Qatar Airways’ Business Class Lite Fare (Booking Class ‘P’), which does not benefit from lounge access
Note that Qatar Airways does not include lounge access to those upgrading their Economy tickets to Business Class using Avios. The policy also applies to this lounge in Singapore.
However, full redemptions in Business Class using Avios, or via other frequent flyer programmes like Asia Miles, are eligible.
Passengers travelling in Oneworld First Class, for example on a British Airways or Qantas operated flight, may invite one guest into the lounge with them.
The guest must be travelling on a Oneworld operated flight in this case, though it does not need to be the same flight as the lead passenger (for example, your guest can be flying Malaysia Airlines Economy Class to Kuala Lumpur).
Those accessing this lounge based on travel in Business Class are not permitted to bring any guests into the lounge with them.
Which flights now benefit?
Here’s a list of the flights whose First and Business Class passengers can be accommodated in the Qatar lounge during its newly reinstated morning opening from 7.45am to 10.45pm.
Oneworld departures from SIN
|MH614*||11:05||KUL||ex Sat, Sun|
* Early Check-In at Jewel available from 8am
Here’s a list of the flights whose First and Business Class passengers can be accommodated in the Qatar lounge during its regular ongoing 6pm – 2.30am evening opening opening.
Oneworld departures from SIN
|UL309||20:10||CMB||ex Wed, Sat|
Cathay, Malaysia and SriLankan
In the case of these three airlines, flight departure is not from Terminal 1 at Changi, where the Qatar lounge is located, so you’ll need to allow some extra time to reach your gate.
Malaysia Airlines is now operating from Terminal 2 again, so you need to build in around 20 minutes of extra journey time from the Qatar lounge to walk across to the T1 > T2 SkyTrain (near Gate D40) and head to that terminal, over and above your usual lounge departure time.
That said, it’s a far better experience you’ll be getting at the Qatar lounge compared to the SATS lounge in T2, where Malaysia Airlines currently directs its Business Class passengers, so this is likely worth it in our opinion.
Cathay Pacific is now operating from Terminal 4, meaning a relatively lengthy 24-minute bus transfer from Gate C21 (handily, right below the Qatar lounge) prior to departure time.
We recommend allowing an additional 40 minutes over and above your usual lounge departure time for Cathay. The airline is not yet participating in the Early Check-In programme, so you still need to check in at T4 and make it to the Qatar lounge at T1 in the first place, making the benefit potentially quite limited here.
Since the Cathay Pacific lounge in T4 is open again (7am – 1.25am), it may be best just to use that one and sacrifice à la carte dining for the noodle bar instead!
SriLankan Airlines operates from Terminal 3, so you need to build in around 10 minutes of extra journey time from the Qatar lounge to take the T1 > T3 SkyTrain (which departs right below the Qatar lounge) and head to that terminal, over and above your usual lounge departure time.
If your SriLankan flight is departing from a high ‘B’ gate, it’s actually a short walk from the Qatar lounge, with no SkyTrain journey needed.
As with Malaysia Airlines, it’s a far better experience you’ll be getting at the Qatar lounge compared to the Marhaba lounge in T3, where SriLankan currently directs its Business Class passengers, so this is definitely worth it in our opinion.
The Qatar Airways Singapore Premium Lounge is located on Level 3 of Changi Terminal 1’s transit area, one level above the departure concourse.
After clearing the T1 immigration desks, make a left turn towards the C gates, then walk all the way to the end of the concourse to the second escalator, directly in front of you adjacent to gate C1 up to the lounges.
Note that this is not the first escalator as you head towards the C gates marked ‘Lounges’, which in fact leads you up to the BA, Qantas Business and SATS facilities. You have to continue all the way to the end of the concourse, where the C gates themselves begin, to locate this lounge.
In case you’re wondering what’s in store when it comes to the Qatar Premium lounge’s à la carte dining options during the breakfast opening hours, here’s the latest menu.
Here’s the poached eggs on english muffin with bacon served when I last visited the lounge during its breakfast operating hours, in 2020.
This menu is served alongside a generous buffet selection and the lounge’s all-day beverage offering, shown below.
This includes both a Brut and Rose Champagne and five different wines, in addition to bespoke cocktails from the martini bar.
For the sake of completeness, here’s a link to the full July 2023 menu including the dinner options during the lounge’s evening opening, which include sushi platters, grilled beef tenderloin and chilli king prawns.
Despite the brief operation of this lounge in early 2020 before COVID-19 hit, we managed to thoroughly review the facility in its first week of opening, experiencing both the morning breakfast service and an evening visit on the same day.
This elegant lounge only seats 85 customers across a 700 square metre space, which compares extremely favourably to other Oneworld options at Changi Airport, as outlined below.
Oneworld Lounges at Changi Airport
Capacity and Floorspace
|Qatar Airways||~ 700||85|
|Cathay Pacific||849||~ 200|
|Qantas First||~ 1,000||240|
|Qantas Business||~ 2,200||570|
Even at full capacity, the Qatar Premium Lounge offers an insane amount of space per guest.
It’s also interesting to note that the Qantas First Lounge (see our December 2019 review) squeezes almost three times as many people in, despite only being around 40% bigger than the Qatar lounge, because most of the seating in the Qantas facility is dedicated to dining – much more densely arranged than lounge seating provisioned for relaxation or work.
Overall our thoughts on the Qatar Singapore Premium Lounge were:
- An elegant, luxury finish
- Professional and personable service
- Fantastic à la carte dining and a tended martini bar
- Private shower suites with high-end Diptyque toiletries
All Qatar Airways flights have the Qsuite
If you’re flying out of Singapore on Qatar Airways, the good news is that the ‘all-Qsuite’ status of the Changi – Doha route has been reinstated in Business Class since mid-April 2023.
Better still, the airline has been sticking to this for the last 10 weeks or so, with the same pact in place through to the end of the northern summer season in late October 2023.
From 29th October 2023 older Business Class seat types are loaded again, but don’t worry – we expect this will be updated in the coming months and we’d be surprised to see the carrier shift away from its finest cabin products on this key route.
The Qatar Airways Singapore Premium Lounge is hands-down one of the best Business Class lounges in the world, and almost certainly takes that accolade at Changi Airport, with its martini bar, à la carte dining, and First-Class-style space and privacy for each guest.
The reinstated morning of the lounge from July 2023 is great news for those departing from Singapore T1 in Business Class with Qatar Airways on QR943, or in First Class or Business Class with a Oneworld airline through to lunchtime, provided the opening times for the lounge fit with your departure.
For the wider evening opening window, there are at least 15 Oneworld flights where First Class or Business Class passengers can take advantage of this lounge before departure, though in some cases a terminal commute is then necessary to reach your gate.
(Cover Photo: Qatar Airways)