top of page

Please support us by allowing Google Ads on our website. Thanks! 

  • Writer's pictureRick

Singapore See: First-Time Flying via Changi Airport Terminal 4

It had been 6 years since Changi International Airport Terminal 4 began operations in October 2017 — barring about 3 years in hiatus due to COVID-19 — but I did not have a chance to depart or arrive via the terminal. In October 2023. I embarked on a short trip to Sabah in East Malaysia, Borneo, and the AirAsia flight that I booked departed from Terminal 4, which gave me a chance to explore the terminal.

Here's a glimpse of my experience departing from Changi Airport Terminal 4 (T4).

After alighting at Changi Airport MRT Station, I headed towards Terminal 2 (T2). A sign beside the long escalator to T2 Departure Hall indicated that I should be using the escalator to T2 Arrival Hall for the shuttle bus to T4.

Escalator to Changi Terminal 2

In T2 Arrival Hall, the first exit on the right was for the free shuttle bus service to T4.

Exit for Bus to Changi Terminal 4

The shuttle bus was already waiting when I walked out of the exit at T2. The service took about 10 minutes to arrive at T4.

Free shuttle bus to Changi Terminal 4

After arriving at T4, I headed straight for immigration clearance since I already had my e-boarding pass — after checking-in online and without check-in luggage. Notice the rounded-triangular shapes on the ceiling outside the entrances of the terminal?

Outside Changi Terminal 4

(No photographs from this point onwards until all immigration checks are done.)

Immigration clearance was fully automated. I had to scan my passport, like I always do when crossing over the border to Johor Bahru, West Malaysia, and also my e-boarding pass before proceeding for biometric scan. I was through in a couple of minutes.

Unlike the other terminals in Changi Airport where bag checks were conducted just before boarding any planes, the process was different in T4 where bag checks were done immediately after immigration clearance. Many tourists have to dump or empty their water bottles.

At the bag-check stations, bag scans and body scans were fully automated as well, but a little slow. There were a couple of manual checking stations, which were slightly faster but the queues were longer. I stayed in the automated lanes in order to experience the new process.

When my turn came, I had to take a tray from below the conveyor belt and lay it on the belt before putting all my belongings on it. I also had to show the security personnel my e-boarding pass for verification. Once my tray moved into the X-ray machine, I had to proceed to stand inside a machine with both my arms raised and keep still for about 3 seconds for the scanner to scan my full body. Once done, a manual body check was conducted — hmmm…

Back to the belongings, after X-ray, all scanned bags that exited the machine would be split into 2 lanes: one lane had a security personnel which meant further checks are required manually; the other lane sent the belongings to the person in wait meaning it’s ok to proceed. I took my belongings and exited the immigration clearance area.

And my exploration of T4 began.

Immediately after immigrations was the duty-free shops for alcohol, cosmetics and perfumes.

Duty-Free shops in Changi Terminal 2

There were some artworks on display inside the terminal. The theme was "steel".

Steel artworks in Changi Terminal 4

The waiting area was very spacious with shops and restaurants. A 24-Hour food hall was located on Level 2 mezzanine.

A view inside Changi Terminal 4

There were more steel artworks as I walked further into the terminal.

More steel artworks in Changi Terminal 4

Towards the back of the terminal were more shops with facades that resembled the pre-war structures of Chinatown.

Shops with facades similar to structures of Chinatown

It was not obvious on first glance, but two sections in the middle of the facades were actually big screens. When no videos were being shown on these screens, pictures of the pre-war facade was projected to camouflage the blank screens.

Big screens camouflaged among facades

On closer look, the facades had real windows, not faux.

Facades were not imitations

On a lower level, there was another waiting area for passengers to board their flights using ferry buses via the "H" gates. The main things that caught my attention were the large inverted "dome" in the centre of the waiting area and a long slide between the two levels. It was like a big playground and some kids were playing in them.

Boarding area using buses

These “walls” with pictures of doors and windows but real lightings on them in some spots of the terminal were actually partitions to hide away shops that were unoccupied or still under renovation prior to opening.

Unoccupied shops being partitioned

After exploring the facility, I headed to the 24-Hour International Food Hall on the mezzanine for early lunch. Many dining options were available.

Dining options in Changi Terminal 4

I opted for Hainanese chicken rice, sat down to eat it slowly while waiting for my flight. I had about an hour before boarding.

Eat Hainanese chicken rice in Changi Terminal 4

At 11:45am, I boarded the AirAsia plane which took off for Borneo 30 minutes later.

AirAsia flight waiting to be boarded

And that’s it, folks! Until next time I fly via Terminal 4 again.

Wait, how about my arrival at T4 on returning? Well, none! On my return trip, I flew to Senai Airport in Johor, took Service AA1 from the airport to JB Sentral and arrived in Singapore via the Singapore-Johor Causeway.

941 views0 comments


bottom of page