Review: SATS Premier Lounge Singapore Airport Terminal 3

Filed Under: Airport Lounge Reviews, China Eastern
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My China Eastern flight from Singapore to Shanghai was departing at 12:25AM. I had to check out of the Andaz at 4PM, so headed to the airport shortly after that. I wanted to get some work done, and Changi Airport is about as pleasant of a place as anywhere from which to work.

I had checked in for my flight online and had printed my boarding pass, but to my surprise when I tried to go through immigration I was told that my printed boarding pass wouldn’t work, and that I’d need to go to the counter. Hmmm…

Fortunately there was a single China Eastern employee in the check-in area who was there specifically to issue boarding passes for those arriving early, so that turned out to not be an issue. She also gave me an invitation for the SATS Premier Lounge Terminal 3.

During my long stay at Changi Airport I sat in the terminal itself, I grabbed a meal at the airport’s Priority Pass restaurant, I visited the butterfly garden, and I even got a massage.

Eventually I headed towards the SATS Premier Lounge in Terminal 3, which is the contract lounge that many airlines use for their passengers (in the past I’ve reviewed the SATS Premier Lounge Terminal 1).

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3

Escalator to Changi Airport Terminal 3 lounges

This is located near the center of the terminal, right by the Singapore Airlines Business Class Lounge that I used prior to my flight to Sydney.

Changi Airport Terminal 3

While I had an invitation from China Eastern, the SATS Premier Lounge Terminal 3 can also be accessed by Priority Pass membersso plenty of people with major premium credit cards can get in as well. The number of Priority Pass members has increased greatly the past couple of years, since now there are quite a few credit cards with lounge access.The following are some of the popular premium US credit cards that come with Priority Pass memberships (along with their respective guesting privileges):

Card# Of Guests Who Get Free AccessAuthorized User AccessCost To Add Authorized User
The Platinum Card® from American Express2Yes$175 For Up To 3 People, $175 For Each Additional Person Beyond That (Rates & Fees)
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express 2Yes$300 Per Person (Rates & Fees)
Chase Sapphire Reserve®2Yes$75 Per Person
Citi Prestige® Credit Card2Yes$50 Per Person. ($75 Per Person for Cardmember Anniversary dates after September 1, 2019)
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card2No$0
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card2No$0

SATS Premier Lounge Changi Airport Terminal 3

Upon entering I was informed that an announcement for boarding would be made, though since Changi Airport has security at each individual gate, I always leave before the actual boarding call.

The lounge itself was nice, much to my surprise. At least the decor was. The lounge consisted of one main room with tons of spacious seating, and I liked the partitions that were used between each row of seats.

SATS Premier Lounge Singapore seating

SATS Premier Lounge Singapore seating

SATS Premier Lounge Singapore seating

SATS Premier Lounge Terminal 3 seating

SATS Premier Lounge Terminal 3 seating

In the far left corner of the lounge was an area with a few booths that doubled as workstations. A couple of them had PCs, while others just had an empty desk, so you could use your own computer.

SATS Premier Lounge Singapore seating

Next to that were a couple of massage chairs.

SATS Premier Lounge Changi massage chairs

The lounge’s buffet was located on the opposite end of the lounge.

SATS Premier Lounge Terminal 3 buffet

The buffet had a few different areas. To the left was a make your own laksa station, as well as a couple of soups.

SATS Premier Lounge Terminal 3 soup & laksa

SATS Premier Lounge Terminal 3 laksa

Next to that was a fridge with soft drinks and beer.

SATS Premier Lounge Changi drinks

Next to that was the liquor selection, and then the buffet area that had the cold options.

SATS Premier Lounge Changi liquor

SATS Premier Lounge Singapore buffet

SATS Premier Lounge Singapore buffet

SATS Premier Lounge Singapore buffet

Then there was a buffet with hot options, as well as dessert.

SATS Premier Lounge Singapore buffet

I’ll let the pictures of the hot options speak for themselves. Personally I shy away from hot food in contract lounges.

SATS Premier Lounge Singapore buffet

SATS Premier Lounge Singapore buffet

SATS Premier Lounge Singapore buffet

SATS Premier Lounge Singapore buffet

SATS Premier Lounge Changi buffet

There was also a selection of bread, more soup, desserts, as well as coffee and tea.

SATS Premier Lounge Changi buffet

SATS Premier Lounge Changi buffet

SATS Premier Lounge Changi buffet

SATS Premier Lounge Terminal 3 coffee machine

The lounge had a couple of showers, though I wasn’t able to get a picture, as they were occupied while I was there. The lounge’s bathrooms were all individual rooms, which I generally like, though they weren’t especially clean.

SATS Premier Lounge Changi bathroom

Wifi in the lounge was fast. The lounge was quite empty at first, but as midnight approached it really started to fill up, given how many redeyes there are out of Singapore.

Boarding was scheduled for 11:55PM, so I decided to head to the gate at around 11:15PM, since I still had to go through security. My flight was departing from gate B8, which was about a five minute walk from the lounge.

Changi Airport terminal

The fact that security is at each individual gate at Changi Airport is both good and bad, depending on how you look at it. On the plus side, it avoids a long wait when you first get to the airport. On the other hand, it can be quite a wait to get through security, and there are no priority lines. In the case of my flight, there must have been 150 people ahead of me in line, including a huge school group.

Line for security at Changi Airport

Getting through security took about 25 minutes, and I was in the sterile area by 11:45PM. The timing worked out great, because boarding started almost immediately.

Changi Airport gate

SATS Premier Lounge Changi bottom line

As far as contract (and Priority Pass) lounges go, the SATS Premier Lounge Terminal 3 Singapore is solid. The lounge has nice furniture, and during the day would have plenty of natural light. In many ways I prefer the design of this lounge to Singapore Airlines’ own lounge at the airport.

The food selection was also extensive, though I didn’t eat anything, so can’t really say much about the quality. While I wouldn’t arrive early to use this lounge, it’s not a bad place to kill some time.

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), and The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees).

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  1. I understand the avoidance of buffet in tropical areas, but why only avoid it in a contract lounge. (I wish I would have avoided it in the Air India lounge once).

  2. @ Beachfan — I wasn’t intending to suggest that the inverse is necessarily true (that I eat food in all non-contract lounges). Rather there’s a subset of non-contract lounges where I’ll eat. But I guess to be totally accurate I did once have a meal in a contract lounge (specifically, the GVK Lounge Mumbai).

  3. Thank lucky.

    For me it has to do with location. In Singapore, I’ll eat at the contract lounges, just like I’ll eat at hawker stalls without concern.

    In India, I won’t eat anything raw nor items in most buffets.

  4. I would like to second some if the comments regarding buffets in India. Each time I tried buffet in an Indian airport lounge, I ended up sick for 2-3 days with frequent visits to the restroom (ie diarrhea…). Not sure if this comes from a particular allergy or the freshness of the food

  5. I just flew out of the new terminal 4 at Singapore. At that terminal, there is a single security check point just after immigration, it’s not done at each gate. It worked fine.

  6. I’ve been to this lounge (using Priority Pass) quite recently, and honestly wasn’t impressed at all.
    The white wine was left at room temperature, the hot foods were honestly not appetizing, there was trash everywhere, and the lounge was incredibly stuffy, crowded and also noisy because of the children’s playground (or something) located right underneath it.
    Especially considering how clean and organized the Changi airport itself is, this lounge felt like something right out of 3rd world countries.
    I’m not picky, but I would definitely use another Priority Pass lounge when I’m at Changi.

  7. Any improvements to the shower/toilet situation in this lounge? When busy you used to have to go to the public toilets nearby.

  8. @Ivan.. What you experienced at this SATS Lounge does not happen all the time and you should try it again.. it is actually one of the better/nicer lounges anyway.. What you had experienced, I have unfortunately experienced more than once at SQ’s Krisflyer Business Class Lounge.. dirty plates and glasses everywhere, not enough floor staff to clear them quick enough.. this sometimes happens when the lounge, even though huge (SQ’s) by any measure, I reckon, can fill up from time to time and then stewarding manpower can’t cope…

  9. The hot food at the lounge is usually delicious compared to other contract lounges in the region

    @Ivan: I echo Ken’s sentiments that what you experienced isn’t the norm.

  10. The trick with Singapore Airport security is to arrive lateish, around 25 minutes before the plane leaves. By that time they’ve cleared the queue of people who were waiting when it opened and there are only a few remaining.

  11. Just FYI SATS or Singapore Air Terminal Services caters to all lounges in Singapore except the TPR and Qantas lounge. So it’s the same caterer as the neighbouring SilverKris lounge.

  12. Lucky, you’re actually misguided on your hot food policy.

    It’s much more advisable to strictly avoid cold foods (salads, cold cuts, etc) at any airport in the world. Anything at room temperature is at risk for harboring salmonella, etc.

    Piping hot foods are much safer. You have to be careful while handling the serving utensils though. Better to wash hands after serving yourself and prior to eating.

  13. So is it impossible to miss your flight while ‘waiting’ to clear security when security is done at the gate?

  14. @ Ever — Assuming you show up before the door closes, yes. That’s the benefit to this setup.

  15. I have used the SilverKris, dnata and SATS lounges in the last 3 years.
    Shower was definitely a bit disappointing in the SATS lounge, there was only 2. Although they are quire large, there’s no water barrier and the whole floor tends to get wet. Both SilverKris and dnata have smaller but better designed showers.
    Foodwise I found SATS and dnata to be OK, option was slightly limited. SilverKris was a bit disappointing as the food keep running out. I’m not a drinker so cannot comment on wine.
    Seating I found SATS to be the best, very comfortable sofas with power with every seat. dnata is visually not appealing, but comfortable. SilverKris is a huge lounge but also incredibly busy. SATS and dnata had open space that goes down the the lower level so there is noise from the public area.
    My flight to ZRH had technical problems and we had to roll back and deplane. So I actually spent quite a while in the SATS lounge. As it was pretty empty in the early morning hours, it was actually quite comfy for an overtired pax.

  16. Visited in October 2019. Tremendous overcrowding turns this lounge into a parody – feels more like a refugee camp! Would be curious to know how much SATS charges airlines for this “customer experience”.

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