Singapore Airlines Lounge London Heathrow Reopens With Strange Rule

Singapore Airlines Lounge London Heathrow Reopens With Strange Rule

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Singapore Airlines has just reopened its lounge at London Heathrow Airport, which is fantastic news for Star Alliance travelers… sort of.

Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge Heathrow T2 reopens

Singapore Airlines has this week opened its SilverKris Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 2, which is the home to Star Alliance airlines at the airport. The airline has reopened both the first and business class sections of the lounge, with modified procedures:

  • The first class section of the lounge features a la carte dining
  • The business class section of the lounge features a hosted buffet
Singapore Airlines First Class Lounge Heathrow

While Singapore continues to remain largely closed to visitors, this move follows a growth in Singapore Airlines’ UK schedule, as Singapore has been moved to the UK’s “Green List” for the purposes of travel.

The Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge is open to all Star Alliance first & business class passengers, as well as Star Alliance Gold members. Most exciting perhaps is that this is the only Star Alliance lounge option that’s open in T2B, as the adjacent Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge and United Club remain closed.

So you’d think that this lounge will become pretty busy with Star Alliance flyers, except for one detail…

The United Club Heathrow continues to remain closed

Lounge access requires a negative PCR test

In order to be admitted to the Singapore Airlines Lounge London Heathrow, guests must produce a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken within 72 hours of travel. Admittedly this is in line with Singapore’s entry requirements, but presumably the lounge intends to serve many passengers traveling on Star Alliance partners to other destinations (after all, it’s a significant revenue opportunity for the airline).

However, many destinations either don’t require a coronavirus test at all (especially for the vaccinated), or only require a rapid antigen test. This testing restriction seems to me like it would lock out a good number of travelers to other destinations.

That makes me wonder:

  • Did Singapore Airlines think this through, and realize that a good portion of passengers don’t have a negative PCR test?
  • If so, does the airline not think this will greatly reduce passenger numbers, or is this the goal?
  • Will this be a policy for other Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounges at outstations going forward?

Personally the restriction seems rather arbitrary to me. Singapore Airlines passengers will interact with others who haven’t gotten a PCR test in all parts of the terminal, so why the special carve out for the lounge?

I’m curious to see how long this policy sticks…

The testing requirement will lock out many travelers

Bottom line

The Singapore Airlines Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 2 has finally reopened, which is an exciting development for Star Alliance flyers. This is the only Star Alliance lounge option in T2B, so you’d think that this lounge will be popular with Star Alliance travelers.

However, Singapore Airlines is requiring a negative PCR test in order to enter the lounge, which will likely lock out many travelers. I’m not sure if that’s an error that will quickly be fixed, or if this is by design.

What do you make of the Singapore Airlines Lounge LHR reopening, and do you think the testing requirement will stick?

Conversations (42)
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  1. Janto

    Of course revenue follow after health standard, blame who? Blame SA for not communicate well with SQ, blame the countries with no PCR requirement haha

  2. Dax Hamman

    I used this lounge on Monday as a change of scene from the Lufthansa one. It’s very dated and they’ve been struggling with outlet power. The food was shocking. If you go through T2 as gold, I suggest Lufthansa, even if you are T2B for the flight.

    Side note, the air Canada lounge doors were open and someone was behind the desk. They might be preparing for reopening.

  3. Steven E

    Clearly an uniformed understanding of Singapore and it’s culture

  4. Dave

    I agree it doesn't make sense, since the rule does not apply to other travelers in the terminal, with whom these lounge users will come into contact with before and after they're in the lounge.

  5. Jill

    Welcome to the new normal
    I hope this will be permanent

  6. Flyoften

    Not strange at all. They want people with covid to stay out.

    Vaccination lowers the probability of you having covid.
    A negative pcr test says you don't have covid.

    The unvaccinated morons....ok, not going to get censored by OMAAT

  7. Crosscourt

    Rather smart. Stops overcrowding because it'll stop people normally able to go in from doing so. They can't claim discrimination that's the rules.

  8. ConcordeBoy

    This is not strange at all.

    I'd say it's a very sensible requirement.... especially as so many other countries require a PRC test for entry right now anyway; and it has the default affect of keeping the numbers down (both in aggregate, and of those not recently tested)

    And seeing as breakthrough infections are a thing, and not completely uncommon; that makes this even more sensible. Support it 100%.

  9. Jason

    Why the confusion? If a majority of pax will be Singapore bound then why wouldn't they want to limit further exposure opportunities? Good practice by then from keeping the American trash out visiting from United.

    1. Heathrow_LHR

      What on earth would possess someone to write such an asinine post? Like, seriously...

  10. Oswald

    Perhaps not quite as severe a policy, but the HA First Class (Plumeria) lounge in HNL now requires proof of vaccination to enter. They’ve set up a table outside the entrance to check vaccination cards, so you don’t even get to the reception desk unless you’ve got one. And of course there’s no vaccination or testing requirement to fly from Hawaii to the US mainland.

  11. JR

    I visited the lounge yesterday while waiting for my United flight to Newark. I showed the lounge my antigen test that is acceptable for US entry and it was accepted with no questions.

  12. SFO traveler

    That lounge has been open for at least two weeks, as I visited it on September 13. The PCR test requirement may be new, as I got in fine without one (I was flying United home to the US and had only taken an antigen test).

  13. david

    This is probably not going to be a permanent rule. I can imagine SQ executives saying "we need to serve our passengers and also protect our staff. Let's start with a PCR test requirement (which is automatically fulfilled for our SQ passengers) and re-evaluate after a month." Very sensible and appropriately cautious.

    Thanks for bring attention to this requirement.

  14. DavidB

    Sensible to control numbers since the majority of flights from that terminal are LH and LX flights within Europe that don’t require passengers to get tests. And thus permit social distancing and manageable access by those flying to places requiring tests. Otherwise those paying thousands will not be crushed by those paying a few hundred flying to Europe. Makes sense to anyone who is not an American because making money is not why the lounge was reopened.

  15. kq747

    Singapore implemented a few heightened measures to reduce spread just this week as they are currently experiencing their highest infection numbers. Also, doing most things in Singapore requires a health pass of some kind I believe so this is kind of an extension of that possibly. I guess they are not too concerned right now with the lost potential revenue which is fine tbh.

  16. Ian End

    I'm unfortunate enough to live in Singapore and this is exactly the kind of utter stupidity that pervades the whole place. Did you know, for example, that background music is banned in restaurants in case people talk more loudly and spread "covid droplets"? It's true, a tinkling piano in the brasserie at the Fullerton hotel has been banned due to covid risk.

    1. Ray

      I sorry for your misfortune and having to bear with the "utter stupidty"... So please, pack your bag and leave. You won't be missed.

    2. Ian End

      Ah yes, member of the 'go home' brigade, I wondered when you would show up. The racism shown towards us by Singaporeans like you has been shocking, too. I pay my tax, likely much more than you, and have a long term visa, so i've got just as much right to be here as you, 'Ray'.

      For anyone considering living in Singapore, this is the kind of this-world treatment you can expect on a daily basis.

    3. Flyoften

      You should go live in Alabama, then report back which place is more stupid. Assuming you live long enough without an infection.

      No, not part of "go home brigade", but definitely part of the "get a clue corps".

    4. Ian End

      Another smoothbrain brainwashed by SG gov who thinks that 'getting covid = dying from covid'. I'm fully vaccinated and my chances of dying from covid at my age are approximately nil. Your chances of dying from burrowing underground and living there for the next 5 years are substantially higher.

    5. Mh

      Nothing to suggest he lives in SG.

      And now you've reclassified yourself that the risk is low due to your age. So they should have an age limit? What age should that be? And how would that be determined? And would there not be people arguing like you on either side?

      Basically, you're not really convincing anyone with your arguments that there is any merit to them.

  17. Lwy

    The Singapore government identified mask off situations as a higher risk activity, so this ties in with that narrative.

  18. David

    Why wouldn’t you think this is a good idea? If Singapore Airlines can do anything at all to reduce the numbers of people infected with Covid 19 interacting with passengers bound for SQ flights then why wouldn’t they! Maybe America should take note?!

  19. Gary Leff

    By the way it makes some sense to want a PCR test which will detect very low levels of virus since tests don't need to be taken same day.

    A quality antigen test will do an outstanding job of detecting current infection, but won't do nearly as well detecting levels of virus that aren't yet infectious.

    So while many destinations will accept antigen tests, that's a snapshot of the past albeit a much more convenient one for travelers to get.

  20. Pete

    Our relative ambivalence towards testing, masking, and vaccinations contributed to this mess. So yes, I do understand this policy.

  21. Gary Leff

    This doesn't seem especially strange to me.

    1. It doesn't strike me as odd for an airline to apply home market procedures to outstation lounges.

    2. And they don't want their passengers headed to Singapore exposed to people that haven't tested negative for the virus.

    While there's revenue in partner airline passenger access, it seems like that might be a tertiary consideration.

  22. Glenn

    Did the UK drop the requirement of a negative PCR test to transit through Heathrow if you have proof of vaccination?

    1. Ben Schlappig

      @ Glenn -- Starting next week, not all travelers will need pre-travel testing to fly to or transit the UK). For that matter, the requirement was only ever a rapid antigen test.

  23. [email protected]

    Dude, really? For somebody who travels around the world this is a very strange, uninformed and US-centric perspective! Singapore requires a negative PCR test to enter the country, and naturally SQ flights from London are headed for Singapore so this is a condition of boarding for the flight and also entry to the lounge, so that somebody flying with SQ to Singapore isn’t infected by someone from a Star Alliance partner airline for example who...

    Dude, really? For somebody who travels around the world this is a very strange, uninformed and US-centric perspective! Singapore requires a negative PCR test to enter the country, and naturally SQ flights from London are headed for Singapore so this is a condition of boarding for the flight and also entry to the lounge, so that somebody flying with SQ to Singapore isn’t infected by someone from a Star Alliance partner airline for example who is flying to a country which doesn’t have the same strict entry rules and so might actually be carrying COVID!

    1. Ben Schlappig

      @ cyclops-cows -- I see your perspective and respect it, but I don't think it's fair to call my opinion "uninformed" or even "US-centric." Yes, perhaps it's not Singapore-centric, but that's about it. I could be missing something, but I can't think of another airline that applied a testing requirement or other restrictive policy to an outstation lounge. And you do understand that Singapore Airlines passengers will mingle with non-tested passengers throughout the terminal, right?...

      @ cyclops-cows -- I see your perspective and respect it, but I don't think it's fair to call my opinion "uninformed" or even "US-centric." Yes, perhaps it's not Singapore-centric, but that's about it. I could be missing something, but I can't think of another airline that applied a testing requirement or other restrictive policy to an outstation lounge. And you do understand that Singapore Airlines passengers will mingle with non-tested passengers throughout the terminal, right? The lounge, with spacing and mask requirements, hardly seems like the highest risk part of the airport.

    2. Alexf1

      I agree with you Ben. Being a lawyer myself, I can see however that this all smells of risk minimization by SQ without removing the overall terminal risk you identify. Guess they want to say that they've taken all available steps to protect SQ passengers. But does it cover all bases? No.

    3. Sean M.

      The vast majority of the world has adopted PCR testing as the only acceptable standard for COVID testing (with proof of vaccination being the only alternate compliance in widespread use). Rapid antigen testing is used primarily as a supplement to PCR tests rather than in lieu of them. Certainly this may deviate from the norm in some western countries who have chosen to hang their hats on theatrics rather than objective reasoning, but by no...

      The vast majority of the world has adopted PCR testing as the only acceptable standard for COVID testing (with proof of vaccination being the only alternate compliance in widespread use). Rapid antigen testing is used primarily as a supplement to PCR tests rather than in lieu of them. Certainly this may deviate from the norm in some western countries who have chosen to hang their hats on theatrics rather than objective reasoning, but by no means is this particularly irregular in the context of a lounge operated by an Asian carrier in the UK. Remember that the UK still has one of the highest infection rates in the world (about 50% higher than even the US) so a mask-off environment in London is definitely an extremely high-risk situation that is best mitigated by strong countermeasures.

    4. John

      UK LHR SQ COVID PCR IDK WTF?

    5. Mh

      No, they can't control the rest of the terminal. However, being an SQ lounge it obviously attracts mostly SQ customers. Which means mostly on flights to Singapore. So if they took your (Ben's) approach, they would be increasing risk by attracting non-tested customers to SQ facilities.

      Basically, manage what you can manage, and reduce risks where you can. This is exactly the same as the mask wearing behaviour last year that you were in...

      No, they can't control the rest of the terminal. However, being an SQ lounge it obviously attracts mostly SQ customers. Which means mostly on flights to Singapore. So if they took your (Ben's) approach, they would be increasing risk by attracting non-tested customers to SQ facilities.

      Basically, manage what you can manage, and reduce risks where you can. This is exactly the same as the mask wearing behaviour last year that you were in favour of - it doesn't guarantee you won't spread covid through other means, but it reduces that vector. So no, not strange at all.

  24. GuiTaR

    Certainly not ideal for passengers flying to US/Canada. Though Star Alliance Passengers to Japan (ANA) Thailand (Thai) and Taiwan (EVA) would also need to conduct a PCR test, thus less of an issue. As for interacting with others in the Terminal, I suspect what SQ is looking at here is masked versus unmasked interaction. Due to lounge food/drink service, prolonged unmasked interaction between pax would take place.

    1. GuiTaR

      Apologies to reply to my own post...just checked and South African, Air China and Ethiopian all currently have a PCR requirement to their destinations. So this really only impacts UA and AC.

    2. Gord

      Canada requires PCR testing too. So would just be UA.

    3. GuiTaR

      And given that another poster flying with UA entered with a rapid antigen test this whole OMAAT post and issue appears to be a big non-event. Some of the hate expressed here between what appears to be a foreigner in Singapore and a Singaporean is depressing...this is just an airline lounge!

  25. fatty380

    Lol. Covid tests policy is ridiculous. Anyone could take test then waltz into maskless restaurants or clubs etc then getting Covid anytime within 72 hours from flight.
    Also. I can see Singapore still mostly close their border even with 80% vaccination. Completely blind themselves with irrational fear.

  26. Tommy F

    Looking from the perspective of those who live in the US, it might seem weird, but looking from the perspective of people who live near Singapore, it's not unusual at all.

    1. Kyle

      Yup, it’s sort of the norm here.

Featured Comments Load all 42 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Gary Leff

This doesn't seem especially strange to me. 1. It doesn't strike me as odd for an airline to apply home market procedures to outstation lounges. 2. And they don't want their passengers headed to Singapore exposed to people that haven't tested negative for the virus. While there's revenue in partner airline passenger access, it seems like that might be a tertiary consideration.

[email protected]

Dude, really? For somebody who travels around the world this is a very strange, uninformed and US-centric perspective! Singapore requires a negative PCR test to enter the country, and naturally SQ flights from London are headed for Singapore so this is a condition of boarding for the flight and also entry to the lounge, so that somebody flying with SQ to Singapore isn’t infected by someone from a Star Alliance partner airline for example who is flying to a country which doesn’t have the same strict entry rules and so might actually be carrying COVID!

DavidB

Sensible to control numbers since the majority of flights from that terminal are LH and LX flights within Europe that don’t require passengers to get tests. And thus permit social distancing and manageable access by those flying to places requiring tests. Otherwise those paying thousands will not be crushed by those paying a few hundred flying to Europe. Makes sense to anyone who is not an American because making money is not why the lounge was reopened.

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