(eTN) – Many airports in the world have elevated themselves into grand shopping centers, starting with the ubiquitous duty free shop and now open to all brands from Body Shop to Balenciaga. This is supposed to enhance the passenger experience. Arriving at Dubai International Airport on any given night after midnight and it resembles an American mall on the worst shopping day of the year, Black Friday. Land at Heathrow and spend thirty minutes inside the aircraft awaiting a gate and then await a bus to take you to the terminal-ditto at Charles de Gaulle in Paris.
In Singapore, at Changi Airport, they seem to have struck the perfect balance between passenger comfort, ease and the holistic experience. Yes there are shops, but there are also gardens, quality restaurants, games for children, free computer terminals, places to be massaged, clean toilets and helpful personnel. Oh yes there are passengers as well and it works. From the pleasant check in to the sweets at immigration to the final individual gate security check there is a lot to enjoy.
If this were not enough, the airport is looking into the next decade with ‘Project Jewel’, the new mixed-use complex is envisaged to be a world-class, signature lifestyle destination that will enable Changi Airport to capture tourism mindshare, and strongly boost Singapore’s appeal as a stopover point for global travelers. The complex will offer aviation and travel-related facilities, a wide range of retail offerings, as well as unique leisure attractions.
Changi consistently gets high marks from the savvy business travelers as well as the international organizations like Skytrax. If one were to be delayed or have to overnight here this would be the airport to do in.
The Crowne Plaza hotel, built between two terminals and only a few minutes’ walk from Terminal three, Singapore Airlines iconic intercontinental terminal, is a true five star option affording the traveler all the luxuries of a city hotel with a view onto the runway. What the oasis was to the Camel Train the Crowne P is to the tired traveler. Several excellent restaurants a magnificently landscaped pool, a club floor and futuristic rooms to fall asleep in are par for the course. Ironically the hotel hosts some 200 weddings a year. Is it the quick walk to the boarding gate or the invitation in the form of a boarding card that makes it such an attractive destination?
Like Changi Airport’s expansion plans with the cleverly named Jewel project to open in 2018, The Crowne Plaza will be adding an additional 243 rooms which are expected to be ready in early 2016. According to Bill Sheppard, the Hotel’s, General Manager, more space is needed to meet the ever-increasing number of passengers flying in and out of Southeast Asia’s best hub.
When the airport becomes THE destination: Changi"s project jewel