Changi Airport’s Terminal 4 is like a miniature version of Singapore – quite like something, but not totally. Yes, you can say that it houses mainly the budget airlines, but not quite. You can still find full service carriers like Korean Air and Cathay Pacific. That’s why one can still find airline lounges in the terminal, just round the corner from the Peranakan Gallery at Level 3.
On one side of the escalator, you can find Cathay Pacific Lounge, which is for all its passengers travelling on its premium classes. On the other is Blossom, the lounge managed by SATS that is open to all who are subscribed to an eligible lounge program.
Like Priority Pass*.
One thing that sets Blossom out from all the other SATS lounges in Changi Airport was the open concept – if you have the Kungfu skills of Jacky Chan, you can easily somersault into its premises and bypass their concierge, whom, by the way, do not stand by the entrance all the time; I managed to walk into the lounge without scanning my card^.
And it happened on an early morning when I was literally the only person in the lounge.
I was catching CX710 to Hong Kong, which based on my observation, was the first full service flight out of T4, so the empty lounge was quite expected.
What I did not expect was the empty food counter. I could only scavenge for chilled sandwiches and canned drinks. The hot food only came out at 6-plus, which was ridiculously close to my boarding time, which made me wonder why they did not bother to cater for the first full service flight out of Singapore?
The hot food that did come out were underwhelming – baked beans, sausages and a pile of (potato?) cubes. I was glad I was going to take a Cathay Pacific flight that had decent inflight meals catered by Dnata. If you are taking one of those budget carriers instead, be glad that Changi Airport’s management had the foresight to make sure there are decent restaurants setting up shops in T4 (provided they open so early too).
Blossom was fitted out with modern furniture, compared to its older siblings. In place of squarish, 80s sofa, they used seats with slender curves decked with plastic and also soft tones accentuated with wood. The sofas were not so angular and in fact were comfortable to sit in.
I counted at least 5 types of seating in the SATS lounge; other than the usual chairs and booths at the dining section, there were the single-seat sofa in the main central area and the leather loungers near the side. There was a separate section of the lounge that I suppose they open up during peak hours, where there was a bar-like counter complete with more dining seats. That section was linked via a linkway (it was like an island on the mezzanine level that the lounge was located) with another set of seats lined up along the side of the walkway.
Those seats were almost enclosed and one can make do with trying to lie flat in that space, though I can imagine the long-legged ang mohs complaining about the lack of space. Heck! The short-legged me had to lie diagonally across the cubicle to stretch out comfortably! But I think the main downside was that these seats were situated along a pathway… People were walking past the cubicles, oblivious to the fact that someone would be in there, so I had people walking past me chatting and laughing loudly.
Nope, that was not good for resting.
One can also find refuge in one of those workspace cubicles. It was like the cubicle I mentioned just now, just without space to stretch out your legs. It was mainly for single travellers who either wanted to work on the tray tables or didn’t want to have eye contact with others, the way you inevitably would should you take the sofa seats.
My preference was the leather lounges at the corner. In a way, they were like a figurative mirror image to those leather loungers found in Cathay Pacific Lounge (remember they occupy the space on both sides of the escalators?). Both faced the same direction – at the multimedia wall featuring the pre-war storehouse facades, AND THE IRRITATING MUSICAL.
Don’t get me wrong, that musical piece was nice to watch, as it was a rather good depiction of life in Singapore during the colonial days, linked by a love story. But when you are trying to catch some forty winks because you woke up at 3am to arrive at the airport for a 7am flight, that DNG-DNG-DNG blast of music at every 11 winks aren’t going to go down well the temper level.
That, my friends, was another downside of the lounge’s open concept.
Unlike Cathay Pacific Lounge, which walled up the whole lounge, Blossom was open to the transit area. Their main concern would not be Jacky Chan wannabes trying to trespass into the lounge, but the lack of peace for their users. I can imagine, as the lounge gets crowded during peak hours, people are going to get louder as they try to compete with the Nonya DNG-DNG-DNG percussions.
Good luck to those who needed that sleep, or wanted to work, or had to hold a conference call with their bosses/clients.
Like I mentioned, I was at SATS lounge in the dead of the morning and was the only traveller in the lounge until 6am. The cleanliness of the lounge seemed to imply I happened to miss a party by 10 minutes. Everywhere, there were un-cleared utensils. The toilets had toilet paper strewn across the floor and water stains everywhere. I had never been to a club after it closed, but I could imagine it would look like that.
The SATS lounge in Singapore Changi Airport have the consistent standard of Low. However, compared to its consistently crowded and noisy older lounges, Blossom is worth checking out, ONCE. Check it out before the furniture gets run down by people-whom-I-can’t-imagine-how-they-use-the-place. Check it out for the novelty sake. Check it out while it’s still less crowded.
And then move on.
I know this is not a flattering piece about an airport lounge, but I have to be truthful. In terms of food, there are plenty of restaurants in T4; in terms of toilets, Changi Airport is known for their cleanest toilets in the country. The only value add offered by Blossom that I can think of, would be seating – when the terminal gets crowded during peak hours, it’s going to be hard to find a place to rest before boarding. But paying SGD58 (for adults, children at SGD29) for a place to sit in T4 is a hard sell – I can spend the same amount in a restaurant and I get good food and seating.
They should seriously consider lowering the entry prices.
If you find my negative, but truthful, review of Blossom SATS Lounge at Changi Airport T4 useful, you can try reading my other entries on Plaza Premium Lounges at Hong Kong International Airport, for example. If not, you can also subscribe to my blog to witness my gluttony as I blog what I eat on a regular basis.
Till then, stay wanderlust!
*This is not an advert from Priority Pass; Blossom is co-branded as a Plaza Premium Lounge, which is a participating lounge under the Priority Pass program.
^This is a bad example; I did return to the concierge to surrender my pass when I saw someone standing there.
The photos were all captured with my Google Pixel XL.