More travelers check in early at Jewel Changi Airport for their flights
SINGAPORE – More travelers departing Singapore are opting to check in early for their flights at Jewel Changi Airport, with about 14,000 passengers doing so in May at a dedicated facility in the retail complex.
This is an increase of about 40 per cent from April, when roughly 10,000 passengers used the early check-in lounge located on Level 1 of Jewel, said Changi Airport Group (CAG).
It comes as international air travel continues to recover from the impact of Covid-19, with Changi Airport clocking 4.84 million passenger movements in May – 89.5 percent of 2019 levels.
CAG said the number of passengers using the early check-in service at Jewel, which currently serves 11 airlines across the airport’s four terminals, has grown steadily after the lounge reopened in May 2022 and border restrictions were eased.
Passengers can check in through the Jewel lounge as early as 24 hours before their flights, depending on the airline and destination, or between five and 3½ hours before their flights at another dedicated early check-in lounge at Terminal 1 that currently serves six airlines.
Regular airline counters open for check-in about two to three hours before a flight.
Throughout June so far, more than 500 passengers have used the Jewel facility daily, with almost 800 passengers recorded in a single day on June 4.
In May 2019, before Covid-19 struck, as many as 600 travelers a day opted to check in early at Jewel.
At the time, the lounge there covered almost 70 percent of all departing flights at Changi.
CAG previously said that early check-in facilities smooth the flow of passengers across peak periods and check-in locations, resulting in less bunching and a better experience for passengers.
Airlines served at the Jewel facility, which operates from 8am to midnight daily, include national carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA), its budget arm Scoot, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Qantas.
However, some airlines, such as SIA and Qatar Airways, offer early check-in only for selected destinations, while others like Emirates and KLM offer the service only at certain times.
Passengers departing from Terminal 4 with AirAsia, Jetstar or Jetstar Asia can also check in early at the Jewel lounge.
The dedicated early check-in lounge at T1, which used to serve about 1,100 passengers a day before the pandemic, reopened in mid-January.
It had remained shut even after T1 reopened to the public in September 2021, following a three-month closure to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Open from 9am to 2pm and 6.30pm to 7.30pm, the lounge currently serves Air China, China Southern Airlines, Chongqing Airlines, Hebei Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines and Xiamen Airlines.
Before Covid-19, more than 30 airlines provided early check-in services at Jewel, including the likes of Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines.
CAG said it continues to engage airlines to encourage them to offer early check-in services. It said carriers stand to benefit from shorter queues at terminal counters during regular check-in hours.
To encourage more passengers to use the early check-in lounge at Jewel, CAG has been giving out coupons that offer deals at selected shops and eateries, and discounts on admission fees for attractions there such as Canopy Park.
Mr Ng Hui Wen, CAG’s senior manager for airport operations planning, said: “Early check-in options provide passengers with greater convenience, and enable them to experience the wealth of attractions in the airport and in Jewel with peace of mind.”
Mr Darwin, 43, whose name has only one word, checked in at the Jewel lounge about seven hours before his 7:25 pm AirAsia flight to Jakarta last Thursday.
The Indonesian national, who was on holiday in the Republic with his two daughters aged 13 and 11, said his Singaporean friend had told him about the early check-in service.
“I wanted to explore Jewel, but it’s very troublesome to bring all the luggage with me. That is why I came here to drop my bags, so I can chill, eat and then head directly to Terminal 4 after that,” Mr Darwin said.
The telecommunications contractor added: “It is very easy, and the facility is nice. We don’t have this back home.”