Singapore is an island city-state in Asia, one of the things it is known for is its Changi airport. It has won numerous awards for years and for good reason. Not only does it offer a seamless transfer experience and fantastic customer service it also has stunning architecture and is always being improved to stay modern.
The latest addition to its array of terminals is Terminal 4. It only opened last year on 31st October 2017 and cost an estimated $985 million Singapore dollars - that's over $735 million USD or over half a billion pounds for us British folk.
It is a fantastic building, bright, airy, clean and modern. It has a good selection of shops and a food court which is reasonably priced too, even if the mezzanine is a bit cramped. Even the toilets, which a lot of people overlook as being unimportant, are clean and pleasant too. It offers views of one of the runways too through the floor to ceiling windows.
It has some of the latest technology in its check-in, immigration and security sections too, depending on your passport you might be able to use the automated passport gates as well as automated boarding gates.
There is also free Wi-Fi throughout, like most airports nowadays and plenty of friendly, helpful staff ready to help whenever you need it.
There's one big problem though. Someone forgot to connect it to the rest of Changi airport, or so it would seem to an ordinary visitor, myself included.
The other terminals are interconnected through the Skytrain, an automated people mover running every few minutes. However T4 hasn't been connected to this, nor has it been connected to the MRT Airport Line which is under the airport by Terminals 1, 2 and 3.
It's connection to the rest of the airport complex is via a free 24-hour landside shuttle bus running at varying intervals throughout the day and night, which takes about 10 minutes and has negotiate the web of roads within Changi airport. Smooth.
This means depending on which airlines you are flying with, transferring between Terminal 4 and any other terminal requires clearing immigration, writing 'TRANSIT' usually suffices for this, collecting your baggage, catch the shuttle bus then re-check it in at T4
This is in stark contrast to the other terminals which are all connected by the aforementioned Skytrain, which is airside and doesn't require passing through immigration or using buses.
Part of the decision to leave T4 out of the MRT and Skytrain systems might be due to the airlines currently using it and general cost of the infrastructure.
Predominantly low-cost carriers such as AirAsia group, however a few 'full service' carriers like Cathay Pacific, Korean Air and Vietnam Airlines all use Terminal 4 too and have premium lounges.
Not all passengers will have to clear immigration to transfer, it depends on the airline you are traveling with and if they pay Changi for connections (normally only low-cost carriers don't) if they do, you can use the airside transfer bus from Terminal 2 near gate F51 and your baggage will also be transferred for you.
When I used Singapore airport in May 2018 I was connecting between Lufthansa/SWISS and AirAsia which meant I had to clear immigration and use the landside bus, it's not as nerve-racking as it sounds the friendly staff pointed me in the right direction and told me what to do with the landing card, I also didn't have any checked baggage so it was a fairly quick process.
I hope Terminal 4 is connected at least to the Skytrain and preferably the MRT too within the next 5-10 years as it really is a fantastic terminal, and as far as airports go, one of the best like the rest of Singapore Airport.