There is no shortage of lounges in Changi Airport. Aside from the airline-specific ones, the Priority Pass alone grants cardholders access to 11 lounges across 3 terminals. I found myself in Terminal 3 one afternoon with a couple of hours before my flight and rather than wasting my time ogling at luxury watches I know I will never buy, I decided to kill some time at the Dnata Lounge.
Dnata is a relatively new entrant in Changi Airport’s lounge scene and a quick check revealed that the UAE-based company actually specializes in ground handling and airline catering services. Within the Singapore airport, there are two Dnata lounges – one in Terminal 1 and the other in Terminal 3.
The Dnata Lounge is located somewhere in the middle of the long stretch housing Terminal 3’s duty free shops near one of the ubiquitous cosmetics and toiletries stores (seriously, how many does Changi Airport need?). An escalator takes you up to level 3 where you see a wide array of lounges including those being maintained by DBS and Singapore Airlines.
Quite a number of airlines use the lounge for their first/business class passengers or those holding elite status. Noteworthy ones include Qatar Airways, China Airlines and Garuda Indonesia. In addition, Diners Club members get access to the lounge. That being said, it was not at all packed during the afternoon that I was there.
The lounge consists of a couple of sections. Upon entering, you are immediately greeted with the buffet spread. If you turn left, you see a small room with LCD TV, a couple chairs and a newspaper stand.
To the right of the buffet station is a section with dining tables. This particular section looks quite dull but it’s the most convenient place to sit if you intend to grab a quick bite.
In my own view, the best place to sit at the Dnata Lounge is at the far end near the windows overlooking the tarmac. The area is spacious and semi-open. It looks out to a portion of the transit section of Terminal 3 so it’s quite apt for people-watching.
The lounge chairs are also quite attractive in this area. If you peer out the window, you can see some planes on the tarmac. It’s too bad that the windows have been coated with some sort of pattern and you can’t really get an unobstructed view.
While the ambiance at the Dnata Lounge is quite decent, the food generally is unimpressive. All the food is concentrated within one oblong-shaped enclosure so at least everything that is available is easy to find.
You get a few hot items. At the time of my visit, it was ratatouille, potatoes and lasagna. Ugh…
…and some fried food.
There’s also a dessert platter. Took one look and I didn’t bother to grab anything here.
For those looking to eat on the go, there is a fridge filled with sandwiches and canned drinks.
There’s also a selection of alcoholic drinks, including some wine.
For all the shortcomings with the food, the facilities at the Dnata Lounge are actually not too shabby. If you’re looking to freshen up, there are a couple of shower rooms in the lounge (with rain showers).
Given Dnata’s business in inflight food catering, the food here was shockingly one of the worst I’ve tried among the lounges at Changi Airport (for Priority Pass members, you’re much better off at Plaza Premium Lounge at T1 or the TGM at T2). That being said, the interiors are probably among the better ones among the 11 lounges offered by Priority Pass. In terms of overall look, it sure beats the Dnata Lounge at Terminal 1 by a long mile. Now, if only they’re able to do something about the food.