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Asia travel

Ten things to do in Changi Airport if you are delayed by the Trump-Kim summit

Security is tight for the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore and that could mean delays for travellers at Changi Airport. If you are unavoidably detained by Trump or Kim, here are 10 fun activities to keep you occupied until take-off

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 June, 2018, 5:52pm
UPDATED : Monday, 11 June, 2018, 5:52pm

The Trump-Kim summit is underway, and not surprisingly security is tight – both on the ground and in the air.

On Sunday the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) introduced measures over the city state’s airspace that will remain in place until 11.59pm on June 14. These include speed limits as well as restrictions on the use of runways.

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“Travellers are advised to expect delays for flights arriving at and departing from Singapore during this period” said a joint statement issued by CAAS and the Ministry of Defence.

Flight delays can take a toll, mentally and physically, with frustrated passengers experiencing fatigue, stress and anger (we’ve all seen those viral videos of check-in meltdowns).

But let’s look on the bright side, a delay at Singapore’s Changi Airport could in fact turn out to be a rather pleasant experience.

Here’s a list of spots and activities you should check out.

Butterfly garden

On the third floor of Terminal 3’s transit hall is a butterfly garden offering visitors a taste of the tropics. According to the airport’s management, about 1,000 tropical butterflies from 40 different species can be spotted in the lush setting that also includes a six-metre grotto/waterfall.

Cactus garden

Heading for the desert? The cactus garden on the third floor of Terminal 1’s transit hall should get you in the mood with more than 100 plant varieties from Asia, Africa and America.

Then indulge in some plane spotting over a beer at the Cactus Pub.

Swimming pool

Yes, you heard right. Wash away the stress with a dip in the airport’s rooftop swimming pool. Head towards D gates in Terminal 1 and follow the signs. The S$17 fee (HK$100) can be paid at the entrance.

Free Singapore tours

If your transit/delay is more than 5½ hours, then take part in a free tour (they are scheduled five times a day). Registration booths are in Terminal 2 and Terminal 3. Have your travel documents ready as you will pass through immigration.

Alternatively, passengers can explore the city on their own. Passengers flying with Singapore Airlines should bring along tickets and look for the free SIA shuttle bus. The airport offers a left luggage service. Sorry, laptops can’t be stored.

Become a millionaire

Flight delay equals cash? Erm, yes please. Passengers over 18 years of age who spend more than S$50 are eligible to join the “Be a Changi Millionaire Programme”. Keep your receipts and look for one of the many registration terminals. If you’re lucky, you may be invited to take part in an annual competition and win up to S$1 million.

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Food and drinks

From fine dining to cheap hawker food, Changi Airport caters for all. For a fine dining experience, head to The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck in Terminal 3. If want more affordable Singaporean dishes you should head to Terminal 1’s Food Gallery.

Straits Food village in Terminal 2 is another option. For a truly local experience, head past immigration and look for the hidden staff canteen (which isn’t only for staff). It’s popular for its affordability and quality that some locals come to Changi just to eat there.


With more than 350 shops selling everything from luxury to casual wear, Changi Airport is a shopper’s paradise. Fashion enthusiasts may want to take a look at the Fashion Avenue on Terminal 3, and there is always the duty-free shopping. Those with a sweet tooth could look for Bengawan Solo and buy a pandan chiffon cake.

Redeem a cash coupon

Transiting passengers flying with Singapore Airlines, SilkAir or Air New Zealand are eligible for a S$20 coupon that can be used anywhere within the airport’s transit area. Have your boarding pass handy and look for the I-Shop counter.

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Urinals with a view (for males only)

If nature calls, head to a urinal with a view. Changi’s toilets offer passengers a view of the tarmac and check-in hall. Remember to grade the experience when leaving.

Kinetic rain sculpture (public area)

Located in Terminal 1’s departure hall, the sculpture comprises 1,216 bronze droplets and has been called the world’s largest kinetic sculpture. It is both mesmerising and calming.