Before I talk about Changi, I want to talk about airline seats. In my previous blog I mentioned I was in row 31. This is a great row because you get about 5 feet of leg room. The reason why? That’s where the bassinet goes. And what goes in bassinets? Babies. My first flight was sans-baby, and so I had heaps of relaxing. This flight was the first flight for a new baby, and that baby was not a happy chappy. However, you can’t complain. That space exists for families with kids. It’s a tradeoff. You want the legroom? You might get someone screaming at you. Don’t want the legroom? Head to the back for peace and quiet.
Anyways, it’s not hard to see why Singapore’s Changi Airport is rated best in the world. All airports are unfamiliar and familiar at the same time. They have the same sorts of signs, the same sorts of directions. But yet, their layouts are different, their procedures are different, their shops and languages are different.
Landing at Changi, there were big electronic signs at my arrival gate in the B area, telling me what gate my next flight was from. Helpfully, signs also tell you how far away that is by walking – in my case walking to gate A3, up to 20 minutes away. Considering I only had an hour stopover in Singapore, I got my powerwalk on.
Turns out, Powerwalked too much, and was there with like an hour to spare. I guess my arrival flight was super early. There’s a big gate lounge that allows entry into 5 or so gates, and that’s also where security was. There’s also nothing in the gate lounge except water, a small drink store, and toilets, so there’s no need to rush into the gate lounge.
Instead there’s a few interesting things to see that aren’t just another Rolex store. Like the Koi Carp pond, a relaxing space unless you hate fish. Like a certain person I know. But where I derived my most joy and pleasure from was the free foot massager machines. Since it was 5.30am and no one was around, I was on that machine for about 30 minutes straight. And it was fantastic. After a long flight, my feet always swell up a little, and they look like they’ve been stung by a bee. It’s not an attractive look. So there’s no better way to calm a sensitive foot than a wee foot massage.
There’s all your other normal things you’d expect in an airport, including a Dunkin’ Donuts, and a Carlsberg Sports Bar. While it’s always tempting to have a wee chug-a-lug at 6am in the morning, restraint got the better of me and instead I settled for a walk around the airport.
And all of this was just at one Terminal – Terminal 3. There’s another two terminals! I think it just goes to show how massive this place is, or maybe how small Wellington is.