Singapore Airlines is currently in the midst of a S$50 million renovation of its flagship lounges at Changi Airport, their first major makeover in more than a decade.
A milestone was reached in November 2021 with the opening of the new Business Class SilverKris Lounge in Terminal 3. I personally like what’s been done (though there are those who feel otherwise), and recently penned some additional thoughts on the new facility, three months into operations.
While the new First Class lounge and Private Room were due to follow suit by the end of Q1 2022, it looks like passengers will be waiting for some time yet…
New First Class lounge & Private Room delayed
Citing COVID-related construction disruptions, Singapore Airlines has pushed back the opening of its new First Class lounge and Private Room, a delay that could be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
Executive Traveller carries this quote a Singapore Airlines spokesperson:
“The official opening of the new Singapore Airlines lounges at Changi Airport Terminal 3 has been pushed back slightly,” Singapore Airlines’ spokesman Karl Schubert has confirmed to Executive Traveller.
“This is due to the delays in the renovation work as a result of the ongoing disruption to the supply of goods and construction materials, as well as manpower constraints, owing to border restrictions and closures.”
This latest setback means the new lounges are at risk of falling a year behind schedule, having originally been slated to open by mid-2021.
In the interim, eligible customers (First Class passengers on Singapore Airlines and Star Alliance carriers, as well as Solitaire PPS Club members) are directed to a First Class section within the existing Business Class lounge.
The main attraction of this section, apart from additional privacy, is a more premium F&B menu with table service. For example, laksa is served in the Business Class lounge, but the First Class section gets an upgrade to king prawns. The mushroom soup gets topped with truffle carpaccio, the flaguette gets truffle ham. There are also some unique dishes, like the Wagyu beef slider, and roti prata at breakfast.
The champagne is similarly upgraded. While guests in the main lounge enjoy a Champagne Jacquart Brut Mosaique (~S$40 at retail), those in the First Class section receive Piper-Heidsieck Rare 2006 (~S$260).
For a review of the First Class section, see the post below.
These delays will also affect the opening of the new KrisFlyer Gold Lounge, which you may remember was serving as the temporary lounge for all eligible passengers for a season.
Having finished that stint, it closed its doors to undergo further upgrades, and will likely reopen alongside the new First Class lounge and Private Room.
New First Class Lounge & Private Room: What to expect
Singapore Airlines has been playing its cards close to the chest where the new First Class and Private Room are concerned.
We do know that they’ll be stand-alone facilities with their own dedicated entrance, unlike the old SilverKris Lounge’s “nesting doll” concept where the Private Room was inside the First Class lounge, and the First Class lounge inside the Business Class lounge.
The First Class lounge will retain its signature bar, while the Private Room will get a makeover that trades its drab and dark cigar club aesthetic for something more contemporary.
Incidentally, the lounges have swapped positions, with the Business Class lounge occupying the footprint of the previous First Class lounge and Private Room, and vice versa. Natural light and runway views will unfortunately be a casualty of this rearrangement- unlike the new Business Class lounge and its handful of plane spotting locations, the new First Class lounge and Private Room will be windowless.
That means it’s all the more crucial for designers Hirsch Bedner Associates to really rack their brains and come up with a way of mitigating the potential gloominess; a task I’m certain they’re up to, given their impressive CV (Four Seasons Singapore & Kyoto, Signiel Busan, Capella Bangkok).
If nothing else, the opening of the new First Class lounge and Private Room will take some pressure off the current Business Class lounge, which despite its expanded confines is already facing overcrowding during peak hours. The total lounge space will be increased by 30% to almost 1,000 passengers, depending on prevailing social distancing regulations.
Singapore Airlines has confirmed yet another delay for its new First Class lounge and Private Room, which could be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. I really hope we’re still talking first half 2022 though, because the existing First Class setup, temporary though it may be, is simply not good enough for an airline of SIA’s calibre.