Are you considering sleeping at Singapore Airport?
Well, the good news is this bustling Asian hub has is one of the best airports around. I’ve spent many nights at different airports around the world and Singapore is still one of my favourites.
So why sleep at Singapore Changi Airport?
There are a couple of reasons why anyone would choose the airport over a comfortable bed.
The first one is to catch an early morning flight and therefore save some cash at the same time by avoiding paying for a hotel.
The second reason and one I often find myself at Singapore Airport for is to catch a connecting flight.
Many airlines transfer at Singapore meaning there’s always a possibility of a night layover. In this case, sleeping at Singapore Airport might not be a choice but more of a requirement, especially if the connecting flight doesn’t depart until the following morning.
No matter if you’re doing it by choice or requirement, sleeping at Singapore Airport is one the cheapest and convenient accommodation options.
Before or After Check-In
Everyone has their perception of what’s acceptable, and I have no issues whatever sleeping at the airport. I’m the sort of person who can sleep anyway and everywhere. Once tiredness kicks in I’m out for the count!
If you do decide that sleeping at Singapore Airport is something you could do then there are two options available:
- Sleeping in the area before check-in
- Sleeping in the area after check-in
Those who arrive the night before a morning flight will find themselves limited to the part of the airport before check-in. As the ticket counter doesn’t typically open until 3 hours before take off then there usually isn’t any other option but to sleep in this part of the airport.
This area has a few seats here and there and its possible to find an alright camping spot if you’re fast enough. The good seats do get snapped up fast on a busy night.
For those who have just arrived via another flight then you will be disembarking in the area after check-in. By far this is the best part of the airport to be in.
In Singapore airport, the area after check-in has better choices, facilities, shops and just more stuff to keep you busy.
I’ve slept in both the areas and if possible, I always prefer sleeping in the area after check-in.
If you have a connecting flight with the same airline, then there’s no need to check out of the transit area. When the airline issues the first boarding pass they should issue you with a second one for the connecting flight.
However, it’s always worth taking an extra couple of seconds to check you receive the second boarding pass.
On a recent Scoot flight from Jakarta to Ho Chi Minh, via Singapore, I was issued with just one boarding pass. Once at Singapore Airport and I had to try and fix the issue with the not so lovely lady at the Scoot transit counter.
Anyway, the response was to go through immigration and line up again.
After a lot of debating eventually my boarding pass was begrudgingly printed.
If you’ve used Scoot enough times then its handy to know if you book the flights on a single itinerary, then you can Scoot-Thru.
To cut a long story short they made a mistake at the Jakarta check-in, and the lady at the transit counter didn’t want to fix it.
If you have a connecting flight, make sure you have been issued with the boarding passes for all flights. Otherwise, you may be stuck in limbo arguing with someone who doesn’t give two hoots.
Connecting Flights with Different Airlines
If you have a connecting flight that departs from Singapore Airport with a different airline than you arrived on, then you have no choice.
The only option is to check-out, then collect your boarding pass and yes go through immigration.
However, nothing is stopping you from say spending the night sleeping in the terminal and then checking-out to collect your connecting flight ticket in the morning. All before, you guessed it, coming back through immigration again.
It’s a hassle to have a connecting flight with different airlines, so it only makes sense to take this option if you’re saving serious money.
The most stress-free option is to book the connecting flights under one itinerary with the same carrier.
Where to Sleep
There are a number of snooze lounges which offer the best spots and are open to all. The downside is they can fill up fast.
Snooze lounges can be found at:
Terminal 1: Snooze Lounge, Transit East, Level 3, Transit Area
Terminal 2: Sanctuary Lounge, Transit North Pier, opp E5, Transit Area & Oasis Lounge, Transit North Pier, Opp E11, Transit Area
Terminal 3: Snooze Lounge, Transit North Mezzanine, near to Singapore Food Street, Transit Area
Terminal 4: Snooze Lounge, Departure Transit, Level 2M, Transit Area
There are also plenty of seats and other areas around the airport that can be used. Personally, I like to scout out locations that don’t receive as much foot traffic. Ideally somewhere on the 2nd floor where many people don’t venture, like near a corner or dead end.
Depending on the trip I might have brought along my ultralight X-frame to make sleeping on the floor a bit comfier.
However, there are some occasions when you just have to go caveman!
What I Bring Along
As I travel frequently, it makes sense to carry along a few accessories that help make sleeping at the airport and flight a little comfier.
Sleeping at Singapore Airport is no different than sleeping at any many other airports. It’s very noisy, bright and can get very busy. And of course being Asia, they love to have the air conditioning on full blast.
For trips like this I always bring along:
- Earplugs to block out the noise
- An eye mask to block out the light
- Jacket fleece to keep me warm
Facilities at Singapore Airport
In my opinion, Singapore Airport is not only one of the best in the world for sleeping at but one of the best for wasting time.
There’s just so much scattered around to distract you.
There are enough shops to rival most high street shopping malls, plus did I mention the cinema and slide? Yes, a slide!
Back in the day I even had my haircut at Singapore Airport. Way back when I had hair that is…
Wi-Fi is free in 3 hours blocks and available across each of the terminals. The passwords are accessible from the Wi-Fi machines found in across all the airport. Or, if you have signal, you can have the password sent to your mobile phone.
I don’t mind sleeping at Singapore Airport, but it isn’t for everyone. There’s no arguing that a bed and quiet hotel room for the night will always be the comfier (but more expensive) option.
Depending on your budget some alternative options are:
- Use the airport Hotels. There are transit hotels found inside the airport terminals such as the Ambassador and Aerotel They are not the cheapest but are very convenient as passengers are not required to check out.
- Use a hotel next to the airport. Perfect if you’re travelling to the airport, but if you’re only transiting, then you will be required to check out. The closest hotel to the airport is the Crown Plaza.
- Go to the city. Taking the MRT from the airport to the city is cheap, fast and there’s are 100’s of hotel/hostel options available. Downside is you have to leave the airport
- Stay with friends. You need friends in Singapore for this to work, but it’s still an option I’ve used before.
Would I recommend sleeping in Singapore Airport?
Yes, I would.
If I haven’t already talked about it enough, Singapore is one of my favourite airports.
The downside is it can get a bit chilly at night with the air conditioning blasting away. But with so many choices of food, drink and shopping, there’s plenty of things to keep you occupied.
You can spend hours just wandering around.
Sleeping at Singapore Airport is also very safe, and I’ve seen practically everyone, including families with children doing it. If you want to save money, then try it. There is free Wi-Fi everywhere, plenty of water fountains where you can grab a drink and even a couple of 7/11 stores.
All any budget traveller could ask for really.