I’ve had my share of airport nightmares and here’s a true story I experienced in 2017: As a broke student who decided to save money hobo-ing it out at the airport instead of getting a hotel, I once spent up to six hours shivering in Keflavik airport’s only available free-seating area (at the time), wincing each time the automatic doors let in a cool gush of Icelandic wind.
Had I known about the existence of pay-per-use airport lounges, I’d pick spending the night comfortably inside one over becoming an ice cube in a heartbeat. Chalk it up to naivety, but I’d always held the notion that airport lounges were areas meant only for the atas — those who can afford to fly business or first class.
But that’s not true – something I’d only realised after stumbling upon the existence of pay-per-use lounges, and it has revolutionised the way I’ll be travelling in future. As the name suggests, pay-per-use lounges grant access on a per-entry basis based on the duration of one’s stay, and is available regardless of which class you fly.
What’s the difference then between this and chilling in places around the airport, and why would anyone choose to pay extra?
If you have a couple of hours before your flight and want to freshen up by taking a hot shower or a nap without waking up to a sore back, a lounge is your answer. So I did the legwork and visited every pay-per-use lounge in Changi Airport to see exactly what you’ll be paying for.
Text and images: Joey Lee / Asia One / July 2019