Dnata Lounge in Changi Airport Terminal 1 – a Lounge Review

Air France departs out of Changi Airport Terminal 1 in Singapore and flying with them in Economy class, I was able to gain access to the Dnata-operated lounge courtesy of Air France Flying Blue Gold. Gold members of Flying Blue is equivalent to the SkyTeam Elite Plus which grants flyers access to lounges when flying with a SkyTeam airline on international flights. They could bring one guest along too. This review will cover my experience in the lounge during one of my visit.

Lounge exterior
Dnata lounge exterior

The Dnata lounge in Terminal 1 is located on the mezzanine or a floor above the common departure and arrival hall. It does not face the tarmac and instead have windows overlooking the check-in counters so it was a bit of walking to find it when arriving and visiting during a transit. The lounge is actually located behind the Popeye’s fried chicken restaurant if you do spot it from the main floor of the terminal.

Reception entrance
Reception entrance

Checking my entry requirements was fast with no other guests queueing early morning. In fact the lounge was quite empty in the morning around 6-7am. Upon entering the lounge, there was a small foyer with a few armchairs and some small tables, though it is probably not the best seats in the house with the foot traffic.

Armchair in the foyer
Armchairs in the foyer

Turning left in the corner, there is a well-stocked magazine rack with the day’s newspapers and a good variety of magazines to keep guests occupied. In addition to the reading materials, there is a lounge wifi even though Changi Airport has a free wifi system. Using the lounge wifi allows guests to bypass the need to obtain a code from the Information counter or via an SMS message.

Magazine shelf
Magazine shelf

As I had just arrived from a red-eye flight, a refreshing wake-up would be nice. That meant checking out the shower rooms. Air France’s previous contract at the Skyview lounge did not have a very nice shower room though the Dnata lounge, being new, has several private bathrooms with walk-in showers that are very good. The only thing they seem to lack is a full set of bathroom amenities and toiletries, even though fresh towels and hair dryers are provided.

Shower room
Shower room
Washroom interior
Washroom interior

Being refreshed, it was time to have breakfast in the lounge before proceeding to my next flight. Breakfast was being served in the buffet counter and there is a relatively large dining section in the lounge just right outside the bathroom area.

Dining area
Dining area

There is a tall communal table with power ports for guests to work and eat at the same time and more dining tables with proper chairs. The atmosphere feels like a nice bistro cafe while the buffet counter lines the wall.

Communal dining table
Communal dining table

The buffet counter forms a link between the main lounge and the dining section with the coffee machines and tea counter located towards the lounge section.

Buffet counter
Buffet counter

Dnata seems to have invested a little bit into providing guests with good coffee, as it sources beans from Hudsons Coffee from Melbourne though the coffee I had was not as good as what I could get from the best cafes in my mind. They were still better than the coffee from average airline lounges though, so I was glad to see lounges investing a bit more in this aspect. After all, coffee and tea are probably the beverage enjoyed most by lounge guests, and they are cheaper to invest in that expensive top-end liquors.

Hudsons Coffee
Hudsons Coffee served inside the lounge

Food-wise, the lounge gas the usual sandwiches, fruits, granola and pre-packed cereal on the buffet counter as it was breakfast time.

Assorted sandwiches
Assorted sandwiches
Fruits and cereal
Fruits and cereal

Cooked food includes waffles, ham, scrambled egg and fried noodles, making it a very good spread that should fill passengers up nicely before their flight.

Waffles and ham
Waffles and ham
Scrambled egg and noodle
Scrambled egg and noodle

There are also baked beans and some buns and dumplings in the dim sum steamer.

Dim sum and baked beans
Dim sum and baked beans

For vegetarian choices, there was yellow rice and vegetable curry as well. This is a food option geared for Indian guests since they form one segment of Singapore’s population, and a sizable community in Asia.

Rice and stew
Rice and stew
Pastries for breakfast
Pastries for breakfast

When I visited, the lounge was pretty empty aside from a couple of other guests. It could be the time of the day and that meant I had a lot of choices on seats after having a meal. The lounge armchairs are comfortable but with the lounge in a secluded section, the place is quite dark with not much natural light entering in. Couple that with the cool air conditioning, one can easily fall asleep. These new lounge chairs have nice solid slide-in tables and armrests cover for guests to place their coffee or tea cups or their tablets, giving it a modern feel to fit today’s travellers.

Lounge interior
Lounge interior

The quality of the finishing in the lounge is nice with plenty of seats for individual guests and groups. There are plenty of setups and a separate dining section, and this makes it less noisy for guests who just want to take a rest and read or work on their laptops. More variety of food and better amenities like the numerous shower rooms makes the Dnata lounge an upgrade from the old Skyview lounge that Air France used to send their passengers. The only thing I do miss would be the tarmac views and natural lighting from the old lounge.

Lounge chairs
Comfortable lounge chairs
Advertisements

One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s