Checking in to an airport can be a nerve-wrecking process; especially if you underestimate how long it takes to get to your gate for boarding.

So just how early should you be at the airport to catch your flight without worries – is two hours before your flight too early, or too late? With Changi Airport’s early check-in options across its three terminals, travellers now have the luxury of more time to enjoy Changi’s award-winning facilities before departing.

Here’s our guide to help start your vacation on the right foot, starting with planning your pre-flight itinerary no matter what type of traveller you are.

1. The Jetsetter

Man in a business suit, resting before his flight.

There are nearly 900 USB ports and universal power sockets across Changi Airport’s 3 terminals for passengers to charge their electronic devices

You travel frequently for business and either aim to arrive early to catch up on work or have been to the airport too often and think you know the airport inside out, checking in just in time to board your flight.

The ideal time for the seasoned traveller to check in at the airport is two hours before your flight. You obviously know your way around the airport and have no trouble finding your gate – but here are some cool things to do as you make your stroll to your gate.

·         Step into our spa & wellness outlets for a quick relaxing shoulder or foot massage.

·         Settle down comfortably at one of the charging stations across the terminals that overlooks the airside, and get more work done before you catch your flight.

2. The aspiring traveller

Traveller holding a camera on a travelator at Changi Airport.

Plenty lie in store at Changi Airport, for you to explore before your flight

You visit the airport two to four times a year (or more, you wish) and from time to time, still get stressed out if you have forgotten to bring something important.

Check in at the airport three hours before your flight, to check out some of Changi Airport’s key attractions.

Our top picks for you:

·         Visit Raffles Long Bar at the T3 DFS Duplex to sample the iconic Singapore Sling and more cocktails, all on the house!

·         Shopping! Stock up on fashion and beauty exclusives, steals and services since it might be awhile before your next trip. Get your hands on the latest Korean beauty products from The Shilla Duty-Free stores at prices up to 40% cheaper than downtown Singapore! Our duty-free shopping guide here.

·         Picture-perfect spots to be the envy of all your friends! Share your photos and let friends and family know you’ll be taking off. Our recommendations are the Sunflower Garden (T2 rooftop) and Butterfly Garden (T3).  If you fancy a beer outdoors with a view of the tarmac, be sure to check out the Cactus Garden (T1 rooftop). Try out our photography tips for taking shots at these places!

3. The family traveller

A mother with her child, strolling along a pathway at Changi Airport’s Sunflower Garden.

Have fun with the family at any of Changi’s thematic gardens, including the Sunflower Garden at Terminal 2.

Congratulations! You are finally going on that family holiday you have planned for the last two years.

Consider checking in four hours before your flight to buffer for latecomers, or just to tire the young ones out from the playing so that they will sleep soundly on the flight! Of course, there’s always more than enough for you to keep you entertained at Changi. Here’s what:

·         Go on a nature or art trail – refresh yourself with soothing nature with pockets of lush greenery throughout the airport’s three terminals or indulge in the airport’s inspiring collection of artworks, some specially commissioned by local artists.  

·         Catch a pre-flight movie with your family at Changi Airport’s free movie theatre at Terminal 3 or the Fox Movies Premium Channel at Terminal 2, open round-the-clock.

·         Keep the young ones entertained with fun activities at the airport’s entertainment deck, or try your hand at arts and crafts at the wood block rubbing stations!

With so many activities to try out at the airport, be sure to check in early the next time you visit Changi Airport. Find out more about your early check-in options here.