7 Reasons why Changi Airport is the best in the world

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17 September 2018 Travel experiences
by Anne Wentworth

Imagine how you feel after a 14 hour flight, drowsy, dehydrated and stiff from sitting in that unforgiving seat. Barely able to focus, you slowly shuffle off the plane to discover that your transit flight is cancelled - and the only available flight is in 24 hours. After booking the new flight, you step back and think to yourself, “Now what?”

Fortunately, your itinerary has seen you land at the airport regarded the best in the world. So what’s so great about Changi Airport?

Reason 1: Outstanding reputation.

Changi Airport has been won the Skytrax Airport of the Year title for the past six years, beating more than 550 other airports across the globe. Based on almost 14 million questionnaires completed by travellers, they have truly been recognised as the people’s choice of airports. What’s remarkable, is that they have consistently maintained their outstanding reputation for service, amenities, comfort, design, and much more – despite the ongoing construction and development. (Perhaps there’s something in that for Auckland Airport to aspire too).


Reason 2: Friendly and awesomely efficient.

How many times have you passed through LAX or even Frankfurt Airport with – at best – grumpy staff no matter how much you smile? The staff of Changi Airport understand the importance of the traveler and their journey. Changi Airport is the type of place where everything is regularly scrutinised and kept to the highest standards. A rating system is prevalent throughout the airport, found in the critical areas of your journey such as the Immigration area. Laugh all you want, but even the restrooms in Changi Airport have a rating system for their cleanliness.

The efficiency in Changi Airport is also top-notch. Performance targets are taken very seriously. CNN reported that within 12 minutes the first bag must on the carousel for luggage claim, for the last bag it must be present within 30 minutes. And that’s just the bags.

With flights it only gets even more impressive. Forbes claimed that Changi Airport had flights traveling between Singapore and 400 locations across the globe, with an average 85 seconds between every landing or takeoff 24/7 in 2017. Auckland Airport, and even JFK, could take some notes!


Reason 3: Fabulous facilities.

Beyond just their flight routines, Changi Airport boast some of the most impressive facilities and amenities at an international airport. In need of a good swim to cool off after that uncomfortable flight? Why not visit the pool or multiple spas found in the terminals? In need of some sleep but a hotel seems like a waste of money? Scattered throughout the terminals are multiple snooze lounges, bean bags, and even massage chairs for your tired achy legs.

On the other hand, if those kids of yours are full of pent-up energy, why not take them to one of the multiple playgrounds to release some of it? If they’re teenagers, they might like to check out the movie theatre instead – the movies are free to watch too! Parents can always relax nearby, and grab a Tiger beer, or even a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar by Raffles – the only other place in the world besides Raffles Hotel itself (the creator of the iconic Singapore Sling) where you can try the original recipe of the Singapore Sling. And if you’re travelling without kids on a budget, you might prefer to peruse the various duty free stores for complimentary tastings.

Kinetic Rain at Changi Airport
Close up of the art installation called Kinetic Rain at Changi Airport.


Reason 4: Inspiring art.

Singapore can be viewed as a “crossroads of the world”, as such, it seems that Changi’s goal is to ensure every traveller’s experience can be enhanced by the presence of art. Designed to appeal to people of all-ages with diverse backgrounds and cultures, Changi’s art collection features installations by local Singaporeans as well as internationally renowned artists from Germany, France, USA, China and more.

Munich Airport may have glass-heavy inspired architecture but they don’t have a Kinetic Rain installation capable of forming a hot air balloon, an airplane, or a dragon. Other stunning pieces to look out for include Les Oiseaux (The Birds), A Million Times at Changi and the Petalclouds.


If you’re looking for something a little more interactive, there’s even spaces to create your own artwork (another great distraction for the kids)! And for living art, Changi also boasts a sunflower garden, orchid garden and a butterfly garden along with “The Green Wall” in terminal 3.

The best part about their art collection is that they’re always adding new pieces, so you can expect to be surprised again the next time you land.


Reason 5: Gateway to the city.

Remember those 24 hours you’re given because of your cancelled flight? Why confine yourself to the airport when the airport is ready to give you the keys to explore? For those feeling adventurous and with time to spare, Changi Airport offers easy access to escape into the city.

Complimentary city and heritage tours leave the airport throughout the day and into the early evening. They are ideal if you have at least 5 ½ hours in between your flights – and it means you don’t need to leave the transit area to see the city! Otherwise if you clear immigration, city buses depart the airport every 15 minutes or less, allowing visitors to take things at their own pace as they view the sights of the city. If you’re not a fan of a tour bus, you can take a train, easy to navigate they’re called the MRT. Grabbing a taxi is another option – you never know where a little conversation with a local will lead – it may even reveal unknown locations that even a travel blogger may have missed.


Reason 6: Hub of Southeast Asia.

Connections. Without these, what’s the purpose of an airport? One of the greatest advantages Changi Airport has is the geography. Its location is an ideal one since its smack in the middle of the Southeast Asia region. With connecting flights to 400 cities worldwide, it’s often a favoured transit destination with airlines, and an easy choice for a stopover to give yourself a chance to adjust to multiple time-zone changes between your long-haul flights.


Reason 7: The future.

An innovative airport on the scale of Changi is always impressive. With four exceptional terminals, it’s expanding further as you read this, with a huge fifth terminal being constructed over reclaimed land.

Already traveller-centric, the terminals are almost a destination in themselves. Now the people behind Changi Airport are taking that concept to another level with Jewel Changi Airport opening in 2019. Linking terminals 1, 2 and 3,the environment will be nothing like you’ve ever experienced before at an airport. Featuring Singapore’s largest air-conditioned indoor garden, 300 dining and shopping spaces spread across ten stories, this is a major development – even for Changi Airport. For the young ones, slides and bridges will add adventurous fun elements for the kids to explore. For the slightly older, exceptional shopping and dining spaces in what’s guaranteed to be a revitalising atmosphere, will ensure you feel refreshed before your next flight.


With all these amazing features, it’s understandable why Changi Airport has been chosen as the best airport in the world for six years running, and is likely to continue that winning streak. Perhaps the only downside is that you may never want to leave.

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