Yes, thank you for the occasional Michael White or Wolfgang Puck airport restaurant to counter those dreary TGIFs. And for those stress-relieving Xpres Spas popping up near our gate.
Yet for the most part, airports are pragmatic affairs, mostly geared towards getting you to your flight without something really terrible happening along the way.
But Singapore’s Changi Airport, feeling the competitive heat from rival hubs in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, has just unveiled a little bit of pre-flight joyfulness in the form the spectacular new Jewel Changi Airport. Designed by a team headed by Moshe Safdie, it is a verdant wonderland connected to Terminal 1, where flyers can enjoy a few minutes of fantastical euphoria before boarding.
Essentially, it’s a massive glass and steel dome, containing an urban park with eight distinct concepts. For instance, the Shiseido Forest Valley; the HSBC Rain Vortex (a stylish man made waterfall); and the Canopy Mazes, with charming topiary displays (but seriously, don’t get lost before take-off time). There’s even some fun stuff for the little ones, like the Foggy Bowls – though even as adults, we’re intrigued by the idea a spending some time actually playing in the clouds.
Naturally, there is also a retail / F&B component, including the likes of Nike, Apple, Uniqlo, Shake Shack and Pink Fish.
“We hope it will contribute to many more memorable Changi experiences for our passengers,” enthuses Mr Lee Seow Hiang, Chief Executive Officer of Changi Airport Group. “Jewel Changi Airport is a valuable addition to Singapore’s world-class tourism attractions and aviation facilities. We look forward to welcoming the world.”
For our part, we earnestly can’t wait to miss our next connection in Singapore.