Introduction: Christmas Markets With A Touch Of Garuda
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Our transit time in Singapore was only scheduled to be 65 minutes, so initially our plan was to just hang around the gate, since we were running late, and I figured it would take a while to get to the lounge. Of course I should have known better, given that Garuda Indonesia carefully considers every aspect of the first class ground experience. 😉
Upon deplaning we were greeted by Saddiq, who had a sign with our names on it. There was another representative waiting for the other first class passenger.
Saddiq informed us that he’d be staying with us for the duration of our time in Singapore. Once outside the gate there were two golf carts waiting for the two first class parties, so we were driven to the lounge.
The lounge was a good distance from our arrival gate, and Saddiq mentioned that the golf cart was “ours” for the duration of our stay, so if we wanted to do any shopping, the driver could take us anywhere in the terminal. That’s crazy good service!
Garuda Indonesia uses the Dnata Lounge in Terminal 3, which is also a Priority Pass lounge. The lounge is located just past the immigration checkpoint and up a level from the terminal, for those originating their travels in Singapore.
Saddiq showed us into the private first class section of the lounge, which was located inside the entrance and to the left.
The first class lounge was small and simple, with just about a dozen seats, a TV, and a rack with magazines and newspapers.
Once Saddiq dropped us off there he said he’d pick us up again just before they’d close the door for the flight, so that we could be the last to board.
I briefly checked out the rest of the lounge. Just outside the first class section of the lounge was the main buffet, which I’ll talk more about in a bit.
The lounge had a few different areas. Across from the buffet were several dining tables with four seats each.
Then the main part of the lounge was closer to the windows, and opened up into the rest of the terminal.
The setup was pretty basic, though there were several partitions between seating zones to add a sense of privacy.
The lounge had views of the tarmac, including a Singapore Airlines A350 and A380 just outside the window. It’s a shame that it’s tough to get a good picture due to the material of Changi Airport’s windows.
In the other direction, the lounge looked out over the terminal. Given that this is Changi Airport, the terminal seating looked about as comfortable as the lounge seating.
In terms of the food and drink spread, the lounge had a fridge with sandwiches, beer, and soft drinks.
Then there was a selection of self serve wine, liquor, and soft drinks.
I’ll let the pictures of the food speak for themselves, since I didn’t eat anything.
At 11AM there was an announcement in the lounge that the Garuda Indonesia flight to London was boarding, though Saddiq came to us to let us know that the boarding call was for business class and not first class, and that we could stay seated.
Finally at 11:20AM Saddiq said it was time to go, and by 11:25AM we were back at the gate. At Changi Airport security is at each individual gate, though thanks to Saddiq’s help and us being the last to board, there was no line at security.
We were on the plane shortly after 11:25AM, and the second that Saddiq put our bags in the overhead bin and bid us farewell, the door closed.
Dnata Lounge Singapore Airport bottom line
The Dnata Lounge as such was pretty lackluster. However, for such a short transit I didn’t really care, and wasn’t about to eat or drink anything anyway. What wasn’t lackluster, however, was the door-to-door service provided by Saddiq. It’s incredible how perfect Garuda Indonesia’s ground experience is from start to finish.
In terms of how personalized the service is, Garuda Indonesia beats Singapore Airlines at their own hub by a long shot, as they don’t escort first class passengers in any way. In fairness, The Singapore Airlines Private Room is a nice lounge, though.