If you flew out of Changi Terminal 1 before COVID, you might remember the Early Check-in (ECI) Lounge that passengers could use in order to deposit their bags, get their boarding passes, and start enjoying the lounge and airport facilities early.
That facility, unfortunately, shuttered at the start of the pandemic, and remained closed long after Singapore dropped its travel restrictions and early check-in at Jewel resumed.
But that’s now changed. The Terminal 1 ECI Lounge is open once again, and while the range of participating carriers is limited for the moment, it’s only a matter of time before it ramps up again.
Early check-in at Terminal 1
The ECI Lounge at Changi Terminal 1 has reopened, with eligible passengers once again able to check-in 5 to 3.5 hours before departure.
At the moment, only the following airlines are participating:
- Air China (CA)
- China Southern Airlines (CZ)
- Chongqing Airlines (CQ)
- Hebei Airlines (NS)
- Shenzhen Airlines (ZH)
- Xiamen Airlines (MF)
This means the facility will be of limited usefulness at the moment, but prior to COVID, the ECI Lounge was used by numerous carriers including British Airways, Fiji Airways, Japan Airlines and Philippine Airlines. Hopefully this is the first step in a process that will see them all restored in due time.
ECI for Japan Airlines in particular would be a big win, since it’d allow Business Class passengers more time to enjoy the fantastic Qatar Premium Lounge. On my most recent Japan Airlines flight in November, I was limited by the operating hours of the check-in counters, which opened three hours before departure. Even though you can print your boarding pass at home, you can’t use it to access the departure area because it needs an airline stamp to be valid.
Early check-in at Jewel
In addition to the ECI lounge at T1, Changi Jewel has its own ECI facility that operates from 8 a.m to 12 a.m daily.
This is available to passengers on the following airlines:
- Air France (only from 12:00pm to 10:00pm)
- Emirates (only from 12:00pm to 10:00pm)
- Finnair (only from 12.00pm to 6.30pm)
- KLM (only from 12:00pm to 10:00pm)
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways (Selected destinations – Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium,, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Congo, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Egypt, France, Finland, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Grenada, Gabon, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Netherlands, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Namibia, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, Yemen and Zambia)
- Scoot (EXCLUDING Jeddah)
- Singapore Airlines (EXCLUDING these destinations – Southeast Asia (except Malaysia) and United States of America)
ECI is available up to three hours before the flight’s scheduled departure time.
After check-in formalities are completed, passengers can access the transit area via T1, T2 or T3, regardless of which airline they are flying with.
What about Singapore Airlines?
Check-in for Singapore Airlines flights opens 48 hours before departure. However, you can only clear immigration and enter the departure area within 24 hours of your flight- keep that in mind if you’re planning a prolonged Private Room stint!
Singapore Airlines check-in counters at Changi Airport have the following operating hours:
- Terminal 2: 0430 hours to 0135 hours
- Terminal 3: 0500 hours to 0100 hours
|✈️ SIA Departures from Changi Airport|
|Terminal 2||Terminal 3|
|All other destinations|
Passengers can check in at whatever terminal they wish. However, if they’re checking in at the “wrong” terminal and have checked bags, they must do so at least 90 minutes before departure (for the bags to make it to the flight).
The ECI Lounge at Changi Terminal 1 has reopened, further list of airlines where passengers can check-in more than three hours before departure.
ECI not only allows you to avoid the crowds, it means additional time for shopping, dining, and of course, lounge hopping. The more adventurous of you might even consider a T1 oneworld lounge safari across the Qantas, British Airways, and Qatar Airways lounges (throw in a hike to the Cathay Pacific lounge in T4 to unlock the full achievement!).
(HT: Noodles, Cover photo: CAG)