On November 30, I left Mumbai in Jet Airways flight 9W12 to Singapore at 1:45 AM in the morning. This was the 1st-time I was visiting Singapore. At about 9.45 AM on December 01, the flight began to approach the city of the future. I had seen this aerial image a zillion times in videos and images but to see it in person was a Deja Vu come alive. We were far above yet I tried clicking as many pictures as I could til the plane hit the runway. In the next few minutes, we disembarked the Jet Airways flight and I along with other passengers found myself walking on the carpet of the esteemed Changi International Airport. The glamorous Changi International Airport lives up to its reputation.
Jet’s flight had landed at Terminal 3, the 4th passenger terminal of Changi since 2008. It alone has 28 aerobridges, was built for a whopping $1.75 billion and took nearly seven years to complete. Despite being one-of-the largest and busiest airports in Asia, Changi handles over 22 million passengers annually. The first thing that piqued my interest, about this airport, is their nature-inspired washrooms. At least the ones on Terminal 3 have a very organic vibe to them. No hand showers though! Just saying – to whomsoever it may concern. As my first trip to Changi International Airport was planned close to Christmas, I was fortunate to discover the place to be sparkling with wonderful decorations. I walked under the sweeping rectilinear roof of the Terminal 3 until I reached the floor helpdesk counter from where I took the Wi-Fi password. I urgently needed to connect to a network to dial in the person who was scheduled to pick me up.
The Wi-Fi worked brilliantly however the access is only valid for three hours. A few steps later, I found myself standing at the peak of the escalator advancing downwards while Changi unfolding its enormity. As we were descending, I noticed a large human-sculpture and a grand Christmas Tree on my right. The airport was gloating with celebrations and the festive vibes had begun to rub in. Right next to these festivities, was the immigration counter. Post completing formalities, I walked through a single person unlatch security system and here I was: IN Singapore!
Changi is famous for its 919 skylights, butterfly garden, green wall, rain vortex and so much more. Something I intended to take a look at, on my way back. At this moment, I stepped out of a large glass door to arrive in a long airport waiting lobby. This narrow lobby is fringed with shops, restaurants, sim card stations, taxi counters, and charging stations on either side. I was visiting Singapore on the invitation of Genting Dream.
Laura from their team was running late, and so I was stuck at the airport for the next few hours. In these few hours, I sipped a Caramel Macchiato at the airport McDonald’s, got breakfast at Hello Kitty, bought essentials from a general store, and charged my digital devices using the multiple charging stations facing ‘Hello Kitty’ restaurant. Laura Kang arrived at 12 and soon, we ventured out in the city. Later that week, I took Jet Airways flight 9W11 that left Singapore at 7:50 PM and arrived in Mumbai at 11 PM.