Review: Blingapore – Terminal 1 Singapore Changi

Introduction
CX 739 HKG – SIN 333 W
The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore
Exploring Singapore
Terminal 1 Singapore Changi
CX 734 SIN – HKG 333 W

We ended up staying nine hours in Changi Airport (one hour in the arrival hall and eight hours in the departures hall – due to the five hour delay we had), so we were pretty acquainted with Changi Airport by the time CX 734 departed for Hong Kong five hours behind schedule.

We were impressed by the modernity of the oldish Terminal 1 as our outbound arrived, which kind of reminded us of a slightly less airy version of Terminal 3.

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Arrival Immigration Hall

I loved the Singapore Airlines-esque colour tones lining up the whole terminal, and the spaciousness of each useless area.

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Spacious gathering area

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Spaciousness of toilets

Though I didn’t take pictures, I loved the rating systems in almost every part of the terminal. It’s borderline useless, but they do it not because they have to, just because they can.

I have to commend how fast it was for us to leave the terminal. We disembarked our aircraft from Hong Kong at 15:55, and I believe by 16:20 we were on a taxi.

(I’ll be covering the delay excitement here as well.)

We arrived Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 at about 1 o’clock, in hopes of roaming around the world’s best airport.

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Singapore Changi Departures Hall

I was impressed to see that Cathay Pacific has their own Premium Economy check in desk. I mean, why have it in a destination if your hub shares Premium Economy with Economy?

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Check in counters

Check in was swift, and the lady at check in introduced us to a shop that sold pandan cake. (Pandan cake is a type of cake originating from a fragrant plant that tastes awesome and comes from Malaysia/Singapore). We went and helped ourselves. (I also bought this rice cake which had a mortifying taste, but it was washed down with the tasty pandan scent.)

While I crossed immigration, I did notice that Singapore Changi Airport (Terminal 1, in this case) easily has the best duty free in any airport I’ve been, maybe except Hong Kong (which ties with this airport).

I was pushing the baggage trolley with my sister on it, and the trolley almost capsized when I hit a ramp. Immediately telling my sister to get off, I decided to move back to gain momentum, only to hit a fake tree when doing so, resulting in all the leaves falling on me. Whoops. 😛

I also did a little airplane spotting.

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Singapore Changi Terminal 1 Traffic

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Philippine Airlines Airbus A319

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Qantas Airbus A330

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Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-200

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Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-200

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AirAsia Airbus A320

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Singapore Airlines 777-300ER

Our plane hadn’t taxied in, but at 15:20 our plane, B-LAH running as CX 739 (which I had taken not long ago – I mean the route not the plane), taxied into D34.

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 (our bird)

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 (our bird)

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 (our bird)

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 (our bird)

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Tigerair Airbus A320

Soon enough CX 713 arrived from Bangkok as well. That bird parked next to ours at gate D32.

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300

Soon, after having a drink at the Coffee Bean (much better in the city, I tell you), we walked over to D34, where our plane was waiting.

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Our bird for today

There were security checkpoints at each gate, and I liked that. (Much smaller queues, though there could be no such thing as “duty free” – I value the former more.) We waited at the waiting area. Four o’clock came, and we still hadn’t boarded. A long queue had formed. Then the ground crew manager came out, announced a technical problem and asked us to be patient. He said he’d update us in ten minutes.

Fifteen minutes passed without any notice. Then, the ground crew manager went back on the microphone and announced that they regretted that we would have to divert to a different airline, and they would start rebooking for us.

There was a lot of hassle to that, but I was excited. Very excited. I mean, if we took Singapore Airlines it wouldn’t be so exciting, but what if the plane got substituted with a Qantas jet (there were many Qantas jets idle on the tarmac)? It seemed unlikely but possible, and I had only taken Business on Qantas back in 2002, so it would be a new experience for me. Meanwhile, they also said they’d update us on news in an hour.

When 17:20 neared, sure enough this time the ground crew manager did talk to us. While he had said that those who could travel the following day would be rebooked on CX 734 the following day, he announced that his crew would try to rebook people who had to leave today. My dad had to leave that day, and the crew arranged for him – and him only, since the flight was full as well – to leave on the 6:05pm CX 716 777-300 flight in Economy for Hong Kong.

My dad didn’t seem to mind about the Economy change, but rather at the same time a delay of five hours and a guarantee that this plane would take off that night at 9:15pm was announced. My dad just said that he’d leave on CX 734, since he didn’t want to leave the rest of his family.

It was raining, but I looked out to the Cactus Garden and decided that I’d love the atmosphere.

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Cactus garden

They were offering 15SGD refunds per boarding pass, and I was starting to get quite worried, as I had school the following day. We ate in the food court with our extra money, and waited some more (well, I started typing up the CX 739 trip report).

I still loved the ambiance of the terminal – it failed to bore me, even after the long waiting durations. (The waiting still bored me, though…)

In the food court, the flight attendants sat near us. We overheard that the CX 734 crew and the CX 636 (20:15 – 00:10) crew were switching flights, and the flight attendants wouldn’t be working our flight anymore. (I didn’t really care.)

So we waited. And waited.

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 (our bird)

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CX 636 about to push back

The captain of our flight passed by me, and winked at me and said “hey buddy”. I found that cute.

The Singapore Airlines-esque colours still caught my eye, despite having already spent nine total hours in the airport.

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(Empty) Waiting room

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Jetbridge

Boarding started at 9 o’clock sharp.

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