It’s rare that I spend more than an hour or two in any airport lounge but, with 8-hours between arriving into Singapore from KL and leaving again, the Krisflyer Gold Lounge was one with which I had ample time to become intimately acquainted.
Overall, across my two flights to and from Singapore with Singapore Airlines, and this lounge visit, I was left feeling very mixed about the current quality, comfort and friendliness throughout all parts of the journey – and this lounge didn’t do much to change my opinion either. More to come on the flights in another post.
The lounge, set up at the top of an escalator and easily found along what is ultimately a long corridor branching off into several Singapore Airlines’ lounges, was quickly accessed even at this late hour of around 1am.
Oddly, the check-in process (economy ticket, Star Alliance Gold membership) was a little convoluted and involved pulling up my TAP digital membership card on the app, and the agent taking a picture of it on her phone. Considering Singapore don’t print the membership number on boarding passes for ‘PDPA’, it would seem odd and something of a lapse to then need to take a picture of the card on a mobile phone to get into a lounge.
The lounge is incredibly spacious, and airy – especially given its location almost on a veranda out over the main terminal down below. To one end you can see into a neighbouring lounge, while on the other, you can see across into a public napping area.
Seats are arranged in rows rather unimaginatively throughout from one end of the lounge to the other, right up against the main railing of the veranda – and from where you can see full-height windows. Unfortunately, even during daylight, views are somewhat limited by sun blockers attached to the windows on the outside, so don’t expect to have unfiltered views of the airfield outside.
Towards the farthest end of the lounge, there’s a set of bar stools arranged along a width-wise countertop surface – perfect for quick video calls or catching up on e-mails. Then, if that’s what you need to do, there’s a number of work desks arranged behind the barstools.
To the right is a nice, very quiet cubby area with a few tables and chairs, including comfy wall-attached benches and a much lower ceiling, which gives the whole space a much more intimate vibe than out in the main concourse of the lounge.
Incidentally, it was here that we attempted to nap for a few hours along with one other couple. Unfortunately, one other passenger, suitably intoxicated, had fallen asleep with music blaring from his phone. I’m not sure what the general take is in these situations, and I accept that a lounge is a public space, but surely this constitutes public nuisance?
Either way, I wasn’t dealing with it throughout the night nor did I fancy potentially becoming involved in an altercation – so I asked the single lounge staff member to help me deal with it and ask for the phone to be silenced. He took a while, and was definitely not keen, but did eventually join in the herculean effort to wake up our deeply snoozing fellow passenger. I’m told that in the end he realised he had likely missed his flight, panicked, and left in a hurry.
In terms of food & beverage, there were hot food options (and very friendly catering staff) except for about 2 hours in the dead of night, which the staff were sure to let us know about. Soft drinks, water and beers could be had self-serve from nearby fridges, and two coffee machines were pretty much constantly available except – unfortunately – for when they both seemed to need to be cleaned or emptied one after the next in the midst of the morning rush.
Wine was available, dispensed from self-service fixed-portion dispensing machines – a note on these; pick large and you’ll probably have to nearly break your finger to get them to activate and start pouring. As you can imagine, I considered finger breakage a very small potential sacrifice for a glass in the middle of the night.
Speaking of the rush hour, this lounge gets packed from 6am onwards! After a short nap, I awoke to find the lounge becoming increasingly full – so do not expect this lounge to prove to be a particularly restful place at all hours.
Before leaving, we both attempted a quick shower. For a new lounge, there is a woefully inadequate amount of showers relative to demand and electronic pagers were issued for when our turns in respective queues were ready.
And so, we sat. The ladies showers’ took about 30 minutes to become free, while the gents – well, 45 minutes after the first buzzer (so, 75 minutes waiting so far!), I went to go and check. What I found was that my buzzer remained unmarked on the very manual piece of paper the shower attendant was keeping, however about 10 more had been marked down below mine further down the list. I asked and she was insistent it wasn’t yet my turn, and when I pushed it, that I mustn’t have heard it. Both complete rubbish!
In the end, I was back at my seat after complaining for no more than 3 minutes when very mysteriously, the pager rang. What are the chances that ‘my turn’ literally just happened? Overall, this was a moment of disappointment from a supposedly first class airline’s home lounge – that you would need to go and look manually for your place on a shower list after 75 minutes.
Shower done, and after 8 hours, it was time say farewell to the Krisflyer Gold Lounge. Thoughts? Newly renovated and, assuming it’s quiet, a reasonably pleasant place to be for a few hours – but certainly nothing that would help put Singapore Airlines at the centre of my travel plans.