If you are transiting through Singapore’s Changi airport and traveling on a Singapore Airlines flight, you can go to a Changi dollars counter and get $40 per person worth of “Changi dollars” which are coupons that can be used to buy items in the transit mall at Changi airport. For the 3 of us, it gave us $120 worth of coupons.
This isn’t widely advertised and we had to ask where the redemption counter was. In terminal 2 it’s hidden behind the tax return counters (we asked the information desk).
When we arrived, there was a massive slow moving line that took nearly 45 minutes to get through. For a modern airport such as Changi, this seemed to have a massive amount of manual processing and many people gave up or ran out of time depending on their connections. We had around 14 hours until our next flight and a 4 hour transit on our return from Myanmar so waited it out.
On our return visit, which was earlier in the afternoon instead of an evening flight, when I walked past, there was no line so it is hit or miss depending on the incoming flights.
To get the coupons, You need to provide your electronic ticket, boarding pass and passport, and each person (including children over 2 if they have their own seat) is issued with two $20 coupons.
One coupon is for general shopping – food, clothing etc and despite the rules saying not hotel counters, the Transit Hotel did except them. This took $60 off our room rate for our 12 hour booking.
The second voucher can only be used for alcohol, cigarettes, cosmetics and perfumes. I bought some Body Shop hand-creams and body butters with the remaining $60. My total came to $66.90 so I paid the extra $6.90 in cash and also got a free Body Shop soap for purchases over $60.
As an aside, the hand-cream retails in New Zealand for $24, it was less than $16 at Changi and the NZ and Singapore dollars are virtually on par.
The coupons have a reasonably long date so you can hold them for your return trip. Also its only one redemption per airline ticket. Although the sign says until March 2015, this promotion has been running now for a year or so.
For the official lowdown, see the Changi Transit Program website. And this is why I love Changi Airport! 🙂