On my return flight from Singapore to Sydney with Qantas (QF82), I decided to change things up and sample British Airway’s lounge in Changi following an underwhelming experience in Qantas’ International Business Lounge. This was my first time in British Airways’ Singapore lounge for a number of years, and to say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. The Concorde Bar, found within the BA lounge and reserved for Oneworld Emerald tier flyers and First Class passengers (of which I was neither for this flight), will be not covered in this review.
I used my Qantas Gold Frequent Flyer status (which has Oneworld Sapphire loyalty benefits) to access the British Airways lounge. The BA lounge in Singapore is open to all Sapphire (Qantas Gold) and Emerald (Qantas Platinum & Platinum One) Oneworld travellers when flying on a same-day Oneworld operated flight, and of course, Oneworld First & Business class passengers. The Concorde Bar is restricted to Emerald tier flyers and Oneworld First Class passengers.
Location & Opening Hours
You’ll find the BA lounge in Terminal 1 at Changi International Airport. Take a left after going through security at Transfer C and you’ll see the escalators on your right up to the elevated concourse. The British Airways lounge is on your right (as opposed to the Qantas lounge directly ahead) and operates daily from 15:00 to 23:00 hours.
As I’ve previously written about, the rather hectic experience in the Qantas International Business Lounge on my previous visit to Changi, made me look for a lounge to relax in peace and quite ahead of my redeye flight home.
The British Airways lounge answered my call. After being greeted by two very friendly BA staff on arrival, I walked into a moody and seductively lit space that stretched longer rather than wide.
Seating & Design
Changi’s British Airways lounge oozes premium, dancing the fine line between a New York nightclub from the ’70s, and what you’d expect from the interiors of a spaceship from the not too distant future. During the evenings, the lighting is a mixture of blue hues, soft whites and suave purples which light up both your classic armchairs but also some progressive takes on the modern lounge chair.
The capacity of the lounge is somewhere around the 220 mark, which seemed hard to believe when I was one of only perhaps a dozen people scattered across the lounge area. The long room is segmented by glass dividers which separate the food and beverage options, television screens, and business centre. The feature lighting design above the bar was really quite something, protruding from the ceiling in the centre of each division, and like a moth to a flame in the early hours of the evening, I naturally found myself there pouring a tipple not long after arrival.
Food & Beverage
Despite being called the ‘Champagne Bar’, I couldn’t find a single bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine. This was my only gripe during the experience, and even though I asked one of the attendants for a glass, I unfortunately had to cut my stay short for an early boarding call. So I never got one, nor can I tell you what it was they were serving.
What I can tell you, however, is that the self-service wine and spirit bar was a welcoming touch, allowing me to pour a dram of whisky how I liked it and without any interference. The way the bottles were lined up along the back walls of both sides of the bar, like bookends guarding the standalone wine bar in the centre, was quite a visually pleasing way to arrange the watering hole.
The food offerings were particularly appealing, including hot satay skewers, spring rolls and meats that actually looked presentable and enticing. There are no chefs on hand to make any offerings for the evening such as in the Qantas lounge, but the quality of food meant that I wasn’t after anything else anyway.
You’ll find half a dozen shower suites within the lounge walls if you’re keen to freshen up. The toiletries are from UK brand Elemis. The business centre seemed to do the job from first glance but few business travellers would likely need it these days aside from the odd printing service. Power sockets and USB chargers are amply spread across the lounge and paired with each armchair, as they should be, to make topping up your electronics effortless.
Aside from being a saving grace on that one occasion, I have no doubt that the British Airways Lounge at Changi really would be an enjoyable experience for all at any time. It feels premium, it feels exclusive and it is appointed so accordingly. I’d even be so close to as to make a bee-line for the BA lounge during my next visit to Changi and skip the Qantas lounge entirely.