Where A Delay Means Hooray

You’ve just arrived at the waiting area. According to your ticket, the boarding gate should already be open. But it isn’t. You look at the board with all the numbers — your flight has been delayed for a whole 2 hours.

Flight delays are dreadful. But maybe not so much if you’re in Changi Airport‘s Terminal 4, which opened just a year ago.

Given the entertainment options at the terminal, you may well end up being glad for the flight delay.

1. Cocktails and cosmetics

The layout of an IKEA store is such that you never have to think about where to walk — you are guided on a clear, linear path through everything you’ll need or want to see.

The same goes for Terminal 4. No diversions, just 1 simple route.

The route starts right after security screening, with a meander through dazzling fronts of Duty-Free Shop (DFS) and Shilla Duty-Free.

The former sells liquor and tobacco, while the latter sells perfumes and cosmetics. Together, the 2 duty-free operators form Changi Airport’s first-ever Integrated Duty-Free Zone.

Because of the integration, DFS and Shilla share the same checkout counters. This means you can easily hop 1 section to another, from wine-tasting to perfume-testing and pick everything up in just 1 basket.

Also, if you’re especially into alcohol, the bars at DFS serve free cocktails, whiskeys and beers. Yes, free. So drink away — just make sure you’ll be sober enough to board the plane later.

The shopping doesn’t end at duty free zone.

Just a few steps ahead are retail stores like TWG Tea and The Cocoa Trees. And you’ll notice that they aren’t like your regular outlets.

Housed in a high-ceiling space, the stores exude a kind of magical, otherworldly feel.

2. Spaces to relax

Shopping can be tiring. So maybe you want to slow things down a little — find a nice spot to sit back and relax. Fortunately for you, Terminal 4 is home to some of the most colorful, comfortable and whimsical-looking chairs around.

And in case you get bored from looking at your phone, you can always busy yourself with the intriguing art sculptures around the terminal.

Travelling Family
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If art isn’t your thing, there’s a gorgeous indoor garden — a signature of every terminal at Changi Airport — to sit amid nature and soothe your senses.

3. Privacy at Blossom Lounge

Okay, it’s all very pleasing and fun, but maybe what you really want is some privacy. It can certainly get a little stifling with so many people around you all the time.

Just a short walk away from the garden and up an escalator is a lounge called Blossom. It’s open to public — but for a small price of course.

The lounge features private resting spaces, a buffet counter, a shower area, and even a napping room. So if you’re dead tired or tired of the droning crowds, you know where to go.

4. The immersive Heritage Zone

The Heritage Zone lies the end of the terminal and is Changi Airport’s homage to the Peranakan tradition.

Stepping into some of the shophouses may make you question if you had not accidentally left the airport.

If you hadn’t noticed, the two shophouses in the middle actually share a large screen in place of their second and third levels.

Every half an hour, the facade on the screen ‘opens up’ and starts playing Peranakan Love Story. The six-minute film is a collaborative effort between Changi Airport Group and a number of local artistes including acclaimed composer Dick Lee.

Those drawn into the Peranakan culture can always head up 1 level to the Peranakan Gallery to learn more.

5. Chandelier for the child in you

No, we’re not talking about those fancy lights that hang from the ceiling. We’re talking about the colossal red structure in Terminal 4 called Chandelier.

Chandelier isn’t just an art installation, it’s also a playground.

While we were given the chance to climb through it to the top — and boy was it exhilarating — it will, unfortunately, only be opened to the public later this year.

Happy Birthday Terminal 4!

Having opened in 31st October 2017, today marks Terminal 4’s first birthday. Here’s to more great things from our airports!

Photos taken by Geron Sum.