[Travel] Changi Airport: Behind the scenes

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Woke up pretty early on 3rd March 2016 morning around 5:11am and saw a message from Wilson (Global Travelogy) that was sent at 3:31am. He was travelling in New Zealand and saw an email from Changi Rewards about an insider visit to Changi Airport. (That’s when time difference works in your favor.)

Changi Rewards Email

Changi Rewards Email.

Since I have more than 500 points in Changi Rewards account (DFS shopping, dining and gold tier status FTW!), I quickly lock in my redemption and proceed to Changi Airport to make payment for myself and an additional slot for Wilson on the same day. However, I was told that there was no more allowance available for additional slots when I wanted to make payment. Not good news for Wilson. But thank goodness, an additional slot was made available for us and I went down to make payment for Wilson a few days later. On actual day last Saturday (19 March 2016), we discovered that my redemption was 2nd on list. Guessed that helped Wilson in securing his spot. He is a happy man.

So on 19 March 2016, woke up early in morning and head down to Changi Airport on an UberX. Comfy ride as usual even though it is not a limo. This driver provides charger on board for mobile devices. Not bad. The best I have seen so far is charger + drinks + sweets. It is my preferred mode of transport for Airport other than MRT as it is competitively priced against taxis with no midnight surcharge, comfortable and no queue.

Uber

UberX

Upon arrival at Changi Airport, I jumped into action immediately. Started my first Facebook Live broadcast at entrance. After that, I took some photos and met up with Wilson at Terminal 2 Staff Canteen for breakfast. It is quite easy to find the place with prominent signs.

Changi Staff Canteen Breakfast

Changi Staff Canteen breakfast from pancake stall. Had peanut pancake as well. Not bad.

After breakfast, we head down to Changi Airport Group’s office to register and collect airport visitor pass. There are some interesting sights there too.

Changi Airport Group Logo

Changi Airport Group Logo.

Starwars

Star Wars!

Changi Airport Model

Changi Airport Model. I love taking Panorama shots like this using my Sony a5100. No tripod and minimal to no post editing required.

So here are some pictures of our day in Changi airport. Thanks to Changi Airport for hosting us!

Sunflower Garden

Sunflower Garden.

Enchanted Gardens

Plant in a ball.

Enchanted Gardens

Enchanted Gardens.

Koi

Koi

Orchid

Orchid

Swimming Pool

Swimming Pool.

The Social Tree

The Social Tree.

Butterfly

Butterfly

More Butterfly

More Butterfly.

Dom Perignon

Dom Pérignon at DFS Wines and Spirits Duplex.

Wine for sampling

Wine for sampling at DFS Wines and Spirits Duplex.

Bus

Bus for airside tour.

Firefighting Gear

Firefighting Gear.

Water blast

Water blast.

Redbird

Redbird

Changi

Good to see this whenever landing in Changi.

Disclaimer: Drink responsibly.

[Travel] Singapore Airlines (SQ) Suites/Economy Class SIN-HKG: Booking Award Flight

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Singapore Airlines (SQ): “A great way to fly”. Pride of Singapore and one airline that I feel lives up to its slogan. (Way better than an airline that used to brag that they are a World’s 5 stars airline. They have dropped that slogan BTW.)

Usually I try to fly via SQ if possible. However, I am also ok with their subsidiary Scoot (Not TigerAir though. I hope SQ kills it.), Jetstar, British Airways and United Airlines. So far I had good experiences with these airlines. But nothing beats complete package of SQ. As their recent campaign says: “No detail is too small”. Their cabin is quite well maintained even on older aircrafts like A330 and service from Singapore Girls and Gents are impeccable.

From 25th to 27 January 2016 (Next Monday to Wednesday), I will be making a trip from Singapore to Hong Kong with a visit to Guang Zhou in between using train from Hong Kong. So I started booking my air tickets with SQ using my KrisFlyer miles.

I have a total of 44,625 KrisFlyer miles in my account which is sufficient for Suites one way on A380 and return via Economy Class. So I booked my flight out on Suites so that I can enjoy The Private Room in SQ SilverKris Lounge at Changi Airport Terminal 3.

SQSuitesMiles

SQ Suites Miles (Save SG$2,760.)

SQSuitesCost

SQ Suites Cost

SQEconomyMiles

SQ Economy Miles (Save HK$3,830. SG$719.19.)

SQEconomyCost

SQ Economy Cost

From pictures above, you are able to see amount of KrisFlyer miles and surcharges required. SQ Suites cost me 31,875 KrisFlyer miles with surcharge of SG$38.50 while SQ Economy class cost me 12,750 KrisFlyer miles and HK$194. (SG$36.43.) Total saving amount to SG$3,479.19. However, I have selected a Preferred Seat (Exit Row.) on my Economy Class flight. That cost US$40 (HK$310 or SG$58.21.) and so total savings drop to SG$3,420.98.

You may be asking how come there are Saver, Standard, Full and how come miles required is stated to be more than what I have mentioned. Airlines usually set quota for amount of seats offered via award with Saver given least amount of seats as it has lowest miles requirement. As for miles required, even though box stated that miles required is 37,500 for Suites for example, it works out to 31,875 miles as a 15% discount is given for online redemption. Redemption offline via SQ Call Centre or Service Centre at Ion Orchard will be charged at full. Do that only if you are redeeming an award flight operated by another Star Alliance airline or trying to do up a super complex itinerary. (Looking at my friend at Global Travelogy. LOL!)

Next, you may ask what is waitlist. It simply means waiting list. That means quota is full for that level and you will be put on a waiting list if you choose that. Waitlist bookings may only receive confirmation as late as 24 hours before flight and miles will only be deducted when you decide to book when available. Alternatively, you can check for award availability on Star Alliance partner airlines (For same amount of miles without discount.) via SQ Call Centre/Service Centre or book an award of higher level.

Hope that gives you a good introduction to redeeming flights with miles. Will be sharing more about miles in future posts. Watch for them.