COVID-19: Changi transit open for Australian and New Zealand arrivals from today 11 June, 2020
Ignoring the fact that unless you qualify for an exemption, Australians and New Zealanders are banned from international travel at the moment; if you are heading to Singapore’s Changi Airport, you can now transit through it to catch an onward flight to anywhere you qualify to go! How Excitement!
Origination points in Australia that qualify are Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, as well as New Zealand cities Auckland and Christchurch.
Content of this Post:
Transit back is Verboten!
You can only take advantage of this in one direction.
Unfortunately, if you transited through on a flight to London, say, did your two weeks in quarantine, then popped off to see friends etc, you could not return through Changi. You see, you are not able to transit between an incoming flight and a flight back to Australia or New Zealand at the moment.
. . . and, you would need to complete your transfer on Singapore Airlines flights, or their associated SIA airlines – that’s SilkAir and Scoot.
The actual Transfer
Transit passengers will be strictly separated from non-transit passengers, from their Australian departure.
Think infection controls – so if you are a transit passenger you will be put into a separate part of the aircraft, served by separate staff, use separate toilets, and you will embark and disembark the airship separately from other passengers. All that might mean you will have limited options for seat selection or change.
At Changi, you will be kept isolated – no wandering off to peruse the duty free selection for you! You will be herded and held in a separate transit area, and identified by wrist band. The transit areas have been well considered and will have food, vending machines, bathrooms wifi and even a smoking room.
Let’s hope you can still use at least one of the 2 x S$20 transit voucher Singapore Airlines introduced for transit passengers between 1 April and 20 September for passengers including those travelling on Air New Zealand.
The Straits Times is reporting that you can purchase tax-free goods using a shopping concierge service, and have them safely delivered to you.
Premium passengers (First and Business and PPS club members) will have access to a premium transit area, where food and drink will be complimentary. It doesn’t seem like OneWorld status will be considered in this access.
You will be escorted to your flight about 75 minutes pre-departure. If you transit time is less than that, you will not pass go, and go straight to the departure boarding gate assigned.
On departure, you will board the plane first, and on arrival, you will disembark last ( the first will be last, and the last will be first!). And expect to be temperature tested as well.
We are going to have to get used to a whole bunch of changed procedures at airports, and to an extent on aircraft. Think about post 9/11 when suddenly all of our hand luggage had to be scanned, and that pesky pair of nail scissors, you have had packed into your carry-on since before some of us were born, had to be surrendered at security. Oh, the indignity!
Life is change.