Guide: How to do a oneworld lounge safari at Changi Airport

Changi Airport has five oneworld lounges, and you can visit all of them on a single ticket. Here's how to book (and enjoy!) your safari.

Changi Airport may be a Singapore Airlines and Star Alliance hub, but that doesn’t stop oneworld from making its presence felt. There are no fewer than five oneworld lounges across Terminals 1 and 4, all excellent facilities with a gamut of creature comforts including a la carte dining, tended bars and shower suites. 

This presents an opportunity to do a oneworld lounge safari, where you visit up to five airline lounges on a single ticket. Even if you’ve been to the SilverKris Lounges more times than you can count, I promise you a oneworld lounge safari will be eye-opening.

British Airways Lounge Changi Terminal 1

In this post, I’ll run through the logistics of booking a oneworld lounge safari, including access rules, opening hours, the cheapest way of getting through the door, and a recommended itinerary.

Which oneworld airlines operate from Changi?

Singapore is served by eight oneworld member airlines

At the risk of stating the obvious, to do a oneworld lounge safari, you need to be flying on a oneworld airline.

The following oneworld carriers currently operate from Changi Airport.

Airline Terminal ECI?
British Airways T1
 T1*
Finnair T1
Jewel
Qatar Airways T1
Jewel
Qantas T1
Jewel
Japan Airlines T1
Jewel
Malaysia Airlines T2
Jewel
SriLankan Airlines T3
Cathay Pacific
T4
T4*
*ECI arrangements for these carriers are not officially published online, and are based on real-world experiences. For British Airways, ECI can be done at Rows 4 or 9 at T1 from 2.30 p.m; for Cathay Pacific, ECI can be done at the CX counters at T4 whenever they are open. Counters open 3 hours before departure, so based on current schedules they should be in constant operation from 3.30 a.m till 1.05 a.m

Schedules for each of these airlines can be found below (keep in mind these are subject to change):

British Airways
Flight Depart Arrive Remarks
BA15 SIN 1925 SYD 0510 (+1) Daily
BA16 SIN 2235 LHR 0525 (+1) Daily
BA12 SIN 2320 LHR 0630 (+1) Daily
Cathay Pacific
Flight Depart Arrive Remarks
CX714 SIN 0145 HKG 0550 Daily
(ex-Sat)
CX692 SIN 0630 HKG 1045 Daily
CX710 SIN 0800 HKG 1220 Daily
CX658 SIN 0945 HKG 1405 Daily
CX690 SIN 1255 HKG 1715 Daily
CX712 SIN 1325 BKK 1515 Daily
CX734 SIN 1605 HKG 2020 Daily
CX716 SIN 1800 HKG 2210 Daily
CX636 SIN 2010 HKG 0025 (+1) Daily
Finnair
Flight Depart Arrive Remarks
AY132 SIN 2145 HEL 0615 (+1) Daily
Japan Airlines
Flight Depart Arrive Remarks
JL38 SIN 0150 HND 0950 Daily
JL712 SIN 0805 NRT 1610 Daily
JL36 SIN 2150 HND 0550 (+1) Daily
Malaysia Airlines
Flight Depart Arrive Remarks
MH602 SIN 0620 KUL 0740 Daily
(ex-Fri, Sun)
MH604 SIN 0955 KUL 1110 Daily
MH614 SIN 1105 KUL 1225 Daily
(ex-Tue)
MH628 SIN 1215 KUL 1325 Daily
(ex-Wed)
MH606 SIN 1340 KUL 1500 Daily
MH624 SIN 1535 KUL 1655 Daily
(ex-Wed)
MH608 SIN 1815 KUL 1925 Daily
MH616 SIN 1915 KUL 2025 Daily 
(ex-Tue)
MH610 SIN 2115 KUL 2215 Daily
Qantas
Flight Depart Arrive Remarks
QF2 SIN 1930 SYD 0510 (+1) Daily
QF72 SIN 1935 PER 0045 (+1) Daily
QF36
SIN 2015 MEL 0535 (+1) Daily
QF52 SIN 2030 BNE 0605 (+1) Daily
QF292 SIN 2100 SYD 0655 (+1) Daily
QF1 SIN 2315 LHR 0635 (+1) Daily 
QF38 SIN 2330 MEL 0850 (+1) Daily
(ex-Wed)
Qatar Airways
Flight Depart Arrive Remarks
QR945 SIN 0215 DOH 0525 Daily
QR943 SIN 1030 DOH 1340 Daily
QR947
SIN 1845 DOH 2155 Daily
SriLankan Airlines
Flight Depart Arrive Remarks

UL309
SIN 2010 CMB 2130 Daily

What oneworld lounges are available at Changi?

Qantas Business Lounge Changi Terminal 1

oneworld carriers currently operate five lounges at Singapore Changi Airport, spread across Terminals 1 and 4.

Lounge Opening Hours Facilities
First Class Lounges 

Qantas First Lounge
T1
3.30 p.m to 11 p.m ☕🍽️🍸🍾🖥️🚿🚻
Business Class Lounges 

British Airways Lounge
T1
4 p.m to 11 p.m 🍽️🍸🍾🖥️🚿🚻

Qantas Business Lounge 
T1
Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat:
1.50 p.m to 12 a.m

Tue & Sun:
7.40 a.m to 10 a.m, 1.50 p.m to 12 a.m

Thu:
7.40am to 12 a.m
☕🍸🚿🚻

Qatar Premium Lounge*
T1
7.45 a.m to 10.45 a.m
3.30 p.m to 2.30 a.m
🍽️🍸🍾🖥️🚿🚻

Cathay Pacific Lounge
T4
5 a.m to 1.15 a.m 🖥️🍾🚻
*No access for oneworld elites in Premium Economy or Economy
  🍽️ A la carte dining ■ Barista service ■ 🍸 Tended bar ■ 🍾 Champagne
■ 🖥️ Workstations ■ 🚿 Showers ■ 🚻 Toilets

I’ve had the opportunity to visit all five, and you can find detailed reviews of each below:

Who gets access to the oneworld lounges?

Qatar Premium Lounge Changi Terminal 1

Access to oneworld lounges is available to:

  • Passengers departing on a oneworld-operated flight, in First or Business Class
  • oneworld Emerald or Sapphire members departing on a oneworld-operated flight, in any cabin
  • Passengers arriving on an international long-haul (>5 hours) oneworld flight in First or Business Class and connecting to another oneworld short-haul flight, in any cabin

It’s the third bullet point which is the least well-known, but it’s stated in black and white on the oneworld website. What this means is that a passenger who flies on British Airways Business Class from LHR-SIN, then connects to a SIN-KUL flight in Malaysia Airlines Economy Class, will be entitled to lounge access by virtue of his arriving boarding pass. 

The following passengers may bring one guest (who must be travelling on a oneworld flight, though not necessarily the same one as the eligible passenger):

  • First Class
  • oneworld Emerald
  • oneworld Sapphire

In terms of which specific lounge you can visit, it boils down to your cabin class and/or oneworld status.

Lounge F J In PY/Y, with…
OWE OWS

Qantas First Lounge
T1

British Airways Lounge
T1

Qantas Business Lounge 
T1

Qatar Premium Lounge*
T1

Cathay Pacific Lounge
T4
F= First | J= Business | PY= Premium Economy | Y= Economy | OWE= oneworld Emerald | OWS= oneworld Sapphire

Do note that the Qatar Premium Lounge is a specially-designated “First or Business only” lounge, and will not accept oneworld Emerald or Sapphire members travelling in Premium Economy or Economy Class.

There are other ways of accessing some of the lounges here, such as having Cathay Silver status (for the Cathay Pacific Lounge) or flying in First Class with Air France (for the Qantas First Lounge), but I won’t list them here since it’s out of the scope of this post. 

What’s the cheapest way of redeeming a lounge safari?

Cathay Pacific Lounge Changi Terminal 4 | Photo: CAG

If you have oneworld Emerald status, even an Economy Class ticket would let you do everything except the Qatar Premium Lounge. But given how hard that is to earn, most people will need to buy or redeem at least a Business Class ticket instead.

Here’s some ideas of low-cost redemptions that would get you through the door.

To Kuala Lumpur on Malaysia Airlines

Programme Miles Required
(one-way Business)
British Airways Executive Club
12,500 miles
Qatar Privilege Club 12,500 miles
Alaska Mileage Plan 15,000 miles
Asia Miles 16,000 miles
FlyingBlue 20,000 miles
Qantas Frequent Flyer 20,000 miles

To Bangkok on Cathay Pacific

Programme Miles Required
(one-way Business)
Alaska Mileage Plan 15,000 miles
Qatar Privilege Club 16,500 miles
Asia Miles 28,000 miles
British Airways Executive Club
30,000 miles
Qantas Frequent Flyer 30,000 miles

To Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific

Programme Miles Required
(one-way Business)
Qatar Privilege Club 22,000 miles
Asia Miles 28,000 miles
British Airways Executive Club
32,500 miles
Qantas Frequent Flyer 43,800 miles
Alaska Mileage Plan 50,000 miles

I’m sure there’s other possibilities too, so do sound off if there’s a cheaper programme I’ve missed.

Of course, a Business Class ticket will be insufficient to visit the Qantas First Lounge, but given how difficult it is to redeem oneworld First Class space out of Singapore (only British Airways and Qantas offer the cabin), there’s not a lot you can do, short of earning oneworld Emerald. 

Which lounge should I visit?

Qantas First Lounge Changi Terminal 1

If this is your first time doing the oneworld lounge safari, I’d heartily recommend visiting them all.

Jaded cynics might tell you that airline lounges are all basically the same, but trust me- each of these have their own USP, and they’re so different in design, ambiance and catering that they  really warrant an individual visit:

  • Qantas First Lounge: A dining and boozing experience that’s second to none, with the kind of food I’d happily pay money for outside an airport
  • Qatar Premium Lounge: High quality la carte dining, and luxurious shower suites with Diptyque bath amenities
  • British Airways Lounge: The only lounge with proper office chairs for those who want to do serious work, shower suites with Elemis bath amenities (though not nearly as nice as Qatar’s)
  • Qantas Business Lounge: Barista-made coffee, bespoke cocktails, and the most shower suites among any oneworld lounge at Changi (20)
  • Cathay Pacific Lounge: Noodle and dim sum bar, and surprisingly, the only oneworld lounge with runway views and natural light

Now, if you’ve already done everything once, then some will say that the Cathay Pacific Lounge in T4 isn’t worth the inconvenience involved in getting there. I’d tend to agree, though it’s hard to say no to a bowl of Hong Kong style noodles.

What’s the ideal game plan?

Passengers are allowed to enter the airside area within 24 hours of their flight’s departure. 

I know it’s tempting to come the day before, but remember: none of the oneworld lounges in Singapore have sleeping areas, and besides, none of them are open overnight. I suppose if you really wanted to, you could book an airside hotel for a proper rest, though I personally would advocate for arriving at the airport in the morning, and flying out in the late evening.

This means you’ll want to choose an airline that offers early check-in in the morning, which limits you to:

  • Cathay Pacific (5 a.m)
  • Japan Airlines (8 a.m)
  • Malaysia Airlines (8 a.m)
  • Qantas (8 a.m)
  • Qatar Airways (8 a.m)

Finnair (12 p.m) and British Airways (2.30 p.m) only open for early check-in later in the day, while SriLankan Airlines does not offer it at all.

My recommended itinerary would be:

  • A la carte breakfast at Qatar Premium Lounge (T1)
  • Dim sum and noodles lunch at Cathay Pacific Lounge (T4)
  • Afternoon tea and work session at British Airways Lounge (T1)
  • Pre-dinner snacks and cocktails at Qantas Business Lounge (T1)
  • Shower and a la carte dinner at Qatar Premium Lounge (T1)

Even if you don’t relish the bus journey to T4, you’ll need somewhere to go between 10.45 a.m and 1.50 p.m, when all the lounges in T1 are closed (unless you happen to fly on a Thursday when the Qantas Business Lounge is open all day).

❓What about the Qantas First Lounge?
I’m writing this under the assumption you don’t have access to the Qantas First Lounge, but if you do, I’d certainly aim to have dinner there instead. As good as the Qatar Premium Lounge is, the Qantas First Lounge F&B is on a different level.

That should be a pretty full schedule of wining and dining!

Noodles and dim sum at Cathay Pacific Lounge
Lamb chops at the Qatar Premium Lounge
Steak at the Qatar Premium Lounge

Conclusion

Qatar Premium Lounge Changi Terminal 1

Changi Airport is blessed with five excellent oneworld lounges, and if your schedule permits, you should try and visit as many as you can. Just be sure to pace yourself, because you’ll ultimately still need to board your flight after everything’s done!

What’s your recommended oneworld lounge safari strategy?

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Robochon

You guys are impressive! One day, I will endeavour such an undertaking.

Howard

Two caveats which your readers should be mindful:

Qatar Business Lounge – there have been multiple instances where they restrict you to order only 1 main dish from the menu (instead of all-you-can eat). Hence order strategically
Qantas First Lounge – there have been multiple instances where the lounge dragon will deny you access if not flying on Qantas (e.g., entering with OWE on MH Y/J) due to capacity restrictions. To avoid this, enter from when the lounge opens till 5pm.

Boomer

Good tip to arrive before 5pm. The lounge staff usually brace for a flood of OWE passengers from the arriving A380s. Also the QF F lounge now opens at 3:30pm not 3pm.

Michael

Interesting, although the word “kiasu” comes to mind too 😅 although I will be honest and have also “hopped” when a certain lounge turns out to be disappointing. Until too many people do this and one day airlines will start blocking it or using means to restrict it. For example in Dubai Terminal 1, they take the “stub” of the SQ boarding pass in the LH lounge or the Ahlan lounge. To prevent this very topic of lounge hopping so that the airline is double-charged. Although one can go to Ahlan based on SQ J class and then enter LH… Read more »

Renz

If too free too much time, can also do Cathay SIN-HKG-BKK with the same 28k miles (assuming you are not an environmental person).
Pick transiting time 2-3hours, you will be able to enjoy some nice HK airport delights 😉
Though during check-in the counter might raise an eyebrow or two….

JHH

The lounges are good but definitely not worth all this effort. End of the day, you’re wasting time just lounge-hopping within Changi when you could be, I dunno, going on the real holiday?

Vincent

I think it really depends on personal opinions and experiences + frequency of specific lounge visits in the past.
For some people, having good food and ambience in airport lounge(s) are parts of the holiday, and visiting a “new” lounge (ie. never visited before) might spark a certain thrill or curiosity.

On the other hand, if I frequented the same lounge(s) over and over again within a year, they will become boring quickly and as you have said, better skip the lounges and go on the real holiday 🙂

mrlion

for CX, i believe if you are departing from SIN on Y, but connecting to J, you are allowed access to CX lounge. But I think you can’t do a safari though, only limited to CX?

Vincent

@Aaron
I remember that you have written an article about redeeming KF Miles for Malaysia Airline flights from SIN – KUL. I think that should be noted in this article too.

https://milelion.com/2024/02/29/krisflyer-miles-can-now-be-redeemed-for-malaysia-airlines-flights

Kelvin

I think JL still operates from T1?

Trevor

I’m a OWE member through QR and twice I’ve been denied access to the Qantas First lounge—told they were only accepting Qantas passengers (both times I was on an MH ticket). Anyone else experience this?

Robert

There are many reports of this on the MH groups and also FlyerTalk. Seems to have started at the beginning of the month.

We are sure that the lounge was listed on the Oneworld site but has now disappeared.

Aaron, are you able to find out what’s going on?