One of the perks of flying international business class (even if award ticket) is access to the airline’s lounge, but not all lounges are created equal. I would visit a few on the Australia award trip (USAirways PHL lounge, Asiana using KLM Chicago, Singapore SilverKris, Thai Melbourne, Thai Bangkok and finally Star Alliance Paris CDG). It’s always a surprise when I visit the lounge as there is no standard across airlines or airports generally. My hope is for fresh fruit, a bag of pretzels and juice with power outlets and a comfortable chair. My expectations have been sadly lowered over the years (especially in the U.S.) but I was a bit excited to experience the Singapore Airlines’ SilverKris lounge in Changi after reading how wonderful the Singapore Airlines customer experience has been for others.
I had a plan (I always do) to check in for the free city tour of Singapore first then check into the lounge to see if I could put together something resembling lunch (I only need a dinner roll and some lunch meat). The SilverKris lounge was located on the second level of Terminal 3 so with a quick escalator, I was ready to check in for the marathon wait of nine hours. I liked the modern, contemporary design and colors with the open feel looking over at the terminal below. Then it hit me – this was a huge (massive, vast and every other adjective) lounge. I liked the fresh flowers throughout the lounge and bathrooms. As it was a bit after 2pm, the lounge was empty save a few stragglers like me ready to dig our heels in and find the outlet to recharge our devices.
With my chair chosen and stuff spread out (hey, it was empty I was ok to do this), I went in search of my dinner roll. Wow! Was I surprised to find not one buffet area but four! My rolls, meat and cheeses were in one display, the hot fresh food in two rows of display and then the best part – the desserts (not one but many mini desserts to indulge my sweet tooth). A refreigerator held beverages, wine was on display and a beer tap available to self pour. Hmmm, was there any reason to leave this place?
With my plate full of hot food (much more than the dinner roll sandwich) and dessert, I found my chair, plugged in the devices and relaxed until Michelle came by with the tea time trolley.
I’m sorry? What? Even British Airways in London doesn’t have a tea time anything and the Brits do love their tea. Michelle was asking me if I wanted tea and/or a scone with cream and fruit. Yes, this was an airport lounge and apparently they really cared about the customer experience (if only the US Airlines took notes). I passed on the tea (I’m not a coffee/tea fan) but couldn’t say no to the scone with cream and fruit. The folks around me found the idea of the tea time trolley intriguing and Michelle was nice to talk to us (after a long flight solo, it’s nice to talk to people to remember you have a voice).
I would leave the lounge after lunch to visit the Koi Pond and the Butterfly Garden before my free city tour. After the city tour, I returned to the lounge hoping for dinner but found the same foods from earlier (I know wishful thinking) so I found food at a restaurant near my gate for the 11:30 pm departure.
The Singapore SilverKris lounge in Changi was really fabulous and ranks as my number one lounge (so far) with a good selection of real food, tasty desserts, comfortable chairs, outlets everywhere and the tea time trolley (only downside was a few cold spots but I had my warm scarf). No other lounge so far has come close to the wonderful experience I had during my long layover.
Have you visited the Singapore SilverKris lounge in Changi? What are your thoughts? Or do you have favorite airline lounge in the world – what makes it so fabulous?