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Vagabond Kids: Singapore's Changi Airport:Terminal Three-

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Singapore's Changi Airport:Terminal Three-

Originally posted July 2008. Edited for new content below
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In terms of being spoilt, Singapore's airport does it. Forget all of the bad airport experiences you have had, there is hardly a grumpy soul, a surley gate agent or intimidating immigration officer to be found. For the kids and adults, it is hard to find a more efficient and friendly airport. In fact, the airport, when coupled with the fact we like to fly Singapore Airlines when we can (which has a generous baggage allowance, in seat entertainment on all flights, and some of the nicest attendants in the air) makes the start (or end) of your travel so plesant you almost forget the pain you will/have suffered doing a cross pacific flight.

Anyway, back to the airport. On our recent trip we flew out of Terminal 3, Singapore's newest and fanciest terminal. Check in was a breeze as we checked in online the day before we flew. We went straight to the "Internet Check In" counter and picked up our boarding passes, dropped of the bags and went to have lunch. Check in was less than 10 minutes total. While we arrived more than 2 hours before our flight, as Jeff wanted to eat at the tappenyaki restaurant located on the second floor, I have seldom seen a long line in Terminal 3. That being said, total check in time, even on busy days in Terminal 3 using the internet check in option has never been more than around 20 minutes for me. Compare that to your airport, I dare you to beat that time!

After we dropped the bags we went upstairs to Sakae Tappenyaki on the second floor. The kids shared a fried noodles and Jeff and I both had a lunch set. For "airport" food, it was quite good and the prices weren't too bad. A dinner set should run you about 15 Singapore dollars per person and includes 4-5 items in the set. . The great thing about Tappenyaki restaurants (Think Benihana in the US) is that the chef cooks the food right in front of you, offering a bit of entertainment along with your meal. Now, the Tappenyaki restaurants in Singapore (and elsewhere in Asia) don't offer quite the show that the US version does, it still is enough to entertain the kids while they wait for food. Oh, and Sakae gives a 10% discount if you use American Express!

Seriously one of the favorite things the kids do at the airport is to right the "luggage trains"... perhaps not the safest way of entertaining the kids, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

We cleared immigration and let the kids run around the playground in the airport for an hour or so, clearly we figured that we needed to tuker the kids out... it worked pretty well I have to say. Our flight to the US pretty smooth sleep wise....but that is a post for another day!

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A few things to note about terminal three: If you are a Star Alliance Gold Member, the lounge is one of the better ones. The food is decent and the open air balcony is nice. In fact, there has been more than once I have seen the A380 parked at the gate next to the lounge. The Silver Kris, business class lounge is by far the best I have been in, not that I go there often! If you are not able to get into the lounge, fear not... the terminal has everything from drug stores to a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in the transit area. They also have a brewpub! Brewerkz, Singapore's first brewpub has opened a branch at the airport and the beer and burgers are great.
(edited to note that the Brewerkz outlet has closed in Terminal 3)
I guess my only complaint about terminal three, if you can call it one, is the fact that a few of the gates are quite a long walk from the center of the terminal. While
they do have travelators, the long walk can tire out some small legs. really, quite nit picky if you ask me in terms of things to complain about.

The kids were more than excited and ready to get on the plane. We flew one of the last direct flights from Singapore to LA in Economy, the flight is being converted to Business and First Class only. The flight while long was not that bad and we hit the ground in LA ready to hit Disneyland!

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