With the compliments Marina Bay Sands chauffeur service, I got another ride back to the airport in the wee hours of the morning. The quiet streets meant I arrived at the airport by 5:30am, with the first departure out of Terminal 3.
United Airlines check-in area is already quite crowded as the guards ask which flights will I be boarding. United’s flight to Tokyo departs around the same time and thus there was already a queue forming at the Economy class section.
No wait at all for Global first which is in a separate roped area, as I was directed to a counter at the end nearer to the terminal entrance. Very professional agent manning this counter as is always the case in Singapore. Though, the check-in took a while as they had initial difficulty in interlining the baggage with my connecting Lufthansa flight in Hong Kong. I should also note that I am due to arrive in Hong Kong in the morning before noon and departing slightly before midnight, meaning I have some time I plan to go out to the city and it makes more sense for me to check my luggage all the way through to Paris, which will be my ultimate destination, via Hong Kong and Frankfurt.
As it was Valentine’s day, another staff member came over with a basket of chocolates and asked if I would like any! Nice touch by United Airlines in Singapore.
Eventually after a lot of typing into the computer, I managed to get the boarding pass only for the Hong Kong route. Along the way I was also provided with an invite to the SATS lounge which I didn’t use since I could access the SIA Silver Kris lounge. The First Class ground handling in Singapore was also superb since my luggage can be left in the trolley and not be placed on the carousel. A staff member would come over to bring the luggage, and that is how First Class travel should always be like.
Since Changi Airport has the Star Wars exhibit, I took the time to snap some photos with no people bombing the whole scene. There was nothing else open in the public space so early in the morning, as many flights have yet to schedule any departure.
This also meant no queues at the immigration and even many of the duty free stores have yet to open. However I did get to purchase some muscle rub which I would use for my skiing trip. In addition I did shop around in the duty free stores since I was still early.
Eventually I made my way to the Silver Kris lounge which is nearly empty so early this morning as well. With the United Global First boarding pass, I was whisked through to the First Class section. Frequent flyers of Singapore Airlines would know that there is an exclusive ‘The Private Room’ section that is reserved for Singapore Airlines First Class ticket holders and it is located just past the First Class section, which I have reviewed before. The Silver Kris lounge has also been covered, and maybe because I spent some years growing up in Singapore, I find they serve a nice variety of food I can enjoy!
The First Class section of the lounge is definitely more private and I am not sure if it opens throughout the night as there was one passenger dozing off in one of the chairs when I arrived. There was not much other people inside and the separate dining room for First Class passengers is also empty with the kitchen seemingly starting to open. This meant there was not much choices in the buffet table and there was also no server around, so I made my way to the Business Class buffet section to get some breakfast.
There were more people in the Business Class lounge and I would have just been here if not for the fact that I had already placed my bag in the First Class section. I grabbed some congee for breakfast since I would not be having this for the next 2 weeks at least while in Europe. There were other Singaporean breakfast delicacies like ‘chwee kueh’, carrot cake and bee hoon along with western staples like omelettes, French toast and pancakes. The SIA SilverKris Lounge in Singapore is great in their buffet selection and the taste of these dishes are not half as bad either.
There are traditional Chinese style desserts like Tau Suan served individually in bowls, and classic Haagen Dazs ice cream from the freezer.
Cheese and crackers are available as well in the buffet counter. Noting that this was all in the Business class section of the lounge, Singapore Airlines have one of the best food selection amongst airport lounges!
For my breakfast, I had a second serving of the assorted Singaporean delicacies since I did not expect anything good from United Airlines. I brought them back to the solitude of the First Class lounge and was able to sit down quietly in the empty restaurant area.
Besides the great food, the lounge have a wide range of beverage from a full service bar counter in the First Class lounge to a well stocked beverage fridge in the Business Class section. A highlight is the selection of TWG teas that is provided in the lounge.
The shower room in the SilverKris lounges are more or less similar and they are nicely appointed with a rainshower and ample amenities including fragrances to refresh the weary traveller. I did not really need refreshing having done that in the hotel prior to leaving for the airport.
As far as airport lounges go, there are very few that can rival the Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounge in Changi Airport. Then again, there are a couple of First Class lounges that are more exclusive and premium than the First Class lounge for Singapore Airlines. The Business Class section is definitely superb for its role but there does not seem to be that much of a diffentiating factor for the First Class lounge. Whatever the case, I was really happy and satisfied to spend time in this lounge prior to my United Airlines flight.