Eat at Changi Airport (Singapore) Staff Canteen from SGD4

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So this is a weird one, but I didn’t know about it before and it has the potential to save travellers a whole heap of money – and get better food!

The staff canteen at Singapore’s Changi Airport is difficult to get to, but anyone is allowed to purchase food there.

I discovered this myself on a recent trip, accompanied by a friend who works at the airport. Now my life will never be the same!

This was previously submitted in the forum (https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/329222) but I think it’s worth it as a deal post. More info and discussion there.

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Comments

  • +3 votes

    Do they accept cards as payment?

  • +7 votes

    If I dress up as a flight attendant will I get the 20% staff discount or do the staff have to show some sort of ID?

  • +11 votes

    I've been there, indeed it is hard to find your way there, and had to ask a few staff for directions. But once u find it, it is worth it, in terms of price and taste.

  • +2 votes

    +1 because I forgot all about this when I had a 3hr wait in Changi and I meant to check it out.

  • +1 vote

    Can anyone provide direction to the canteen? I have 6 hours of layover when I travel next month.

  • +5 votes

    Great travel hack. Keep in mind you need to get out of transit area if you want to reach it. I've done it before like 10 years ago but nowadays I just settle for tourist-quality/price food to save myself the hassle of clearing immigration.

    • +2 votes

      To be fair, clearing Singapore immigration is pretty easy. I've done it in transit and had enough time to take a cab to work, have a quick meeting, and back through security to make the flight.

  • +3 votes

    With Singapore hotel prices heading toward Hong Kong levels, the Changi transit lounge is looking like a viable option for savvy ozbargainers visiting Singapore. Just purchase a $30 Airasia ticket to access the transit area, claim a lounge or nice piece of floor with your bags, and head to the staff canteen for dinner. Duty-free booze even??
    In the morning, head back into downtown Singapore on the MRT for another day of sightseeing or shopping.

    • +3 votes

      just use expedia or the like, im there for a week early august aud$678 for 7 nights, ibis Novena, one stop from Orchard, not expensive as you say

      • +2 votes

        Geylang is still good for cheap hotels.
        It may be the "red light area", but this is Singapore, where vice is mild. The drug dealers on the street corner sell smuggled tobacco.

      •  

        Used Ibis Novena a few times when in SG. Nice hotel and not too far away from the city center. Even better if you get the super sale deal with free breakfast.

    • +1 vote

      claim a lounge or nice piece of floor with your bags, and head to the staff canteen for dinner

      Wouldn't airport security call the bomb squad to inspect, destroy and remove the unaccompanied bags?

      •  

        Was thinking that to. No bags are to be left unattended.

        • -5 votes

          What about the rubbish bags in bins?

          •  

            @spaceflight: You obviously don't know how much scrutiny them bins are in airports that even the cleaners are being watched emptying them.

            •  

              @xoom: I have never seen guards standing next to the bins so the bags are left unattended.

              •  

                @spaceflight: Feel free to report that with the nearest airport security whenever you are in an airport.

                Or if you don't want to do that feel free to leave your bags unattended and your defense will be what about the rubbish bags. They are left unattended. Why can't I leave my bags unattended?

      •  

        Would they? The beds are off in quiet corners.
        Though now that you mention it, I've not noticed any of them "reserved" with sleeping bags.

        Seriously, the transit area has plenty of good places to sleep, if you are arriving or departing at an unsociable hour.
        I had a good snooze in the back of the cinema :-)

    •  

      Its better to buy some of those duty free 300ml bottles of spirts in Australian duty free if you try this. If you're departing security is tight and all alcohol has to be in sealed plastic bags. Alternatively you can try drinking the entire 1L bottle of spirits so as not to waste it.

    • +1 vote

      They're trying to crack down on this:

      https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/woman-ar...
      https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/changi-airport-technic...
      https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/40-people-arr...

      Plus with recent airport tax and charges increase, hard to find a flight for less than $50 now. Before when flights to KL and Jakarta were on sale for $30, you could go in armed with a priority pass card and eat your fare before you even left the ground.

    •  

      It is illegal to buy a ticket to entry the airport with no intention of flying. People have been caught and fined

  • +2 votes

    Now my life will never be the same!

    LOL. Yeah, my worst experience ever after eating at the staff canteen.

  •  

    I don’t think this particular ‘travel hack’ (for want of a better term) is a bargain.

    •  

      Relative to the cost/quality of the tourist food inside the terminals, some looking for authentic food may find this better. If you happen to arrive at the airport early (or you just can't check in/etc) then staff canteen isn't a bad place to visit for hawker-style food quality and pricing. Admittedly without the ambiance though.

      • +2 votes

        No arguments with any of your points. But this is something that has been readily available for years. It’s an announcement/advice, not a bargain listing. The forums, where it originated, is where it belongs.

  •  

    If you can afford to travel, I'm not sure eating at some staff canteen would be my thing.

    • +5 votes

      Member since 2010 and dont know how low ozb members will go? Somethings not adding up.

      • +2 votes

        A member since 2010 would know that you are required to post bargains here, not advertising a staff canteen that the public can use by paying 20% more than the locals…

        • +3 votes

          And just because some can get it cheaper doesn't mean it's not a bargain. People post deals all the time that some can get cheaper with staff discount or may have gift cards but are still bargains to many without.

          • -2 votes

            @odysseus:

            And just because some can get it cheaper doesn't mean it's not a bargain.

            Yes it does, read the deal posting rules…

            • +1 vote

              @jv: I think the point is that prices are cheaper than going to old town white coffee, or similar, where half the time they are out of "real" food anyway, unless you want toast and eggs.

        •  

          A member since 2009 should know how to do maths.

          Staff get a 20% discount

          i.e. Public * 0.8 = staff

          Therefore staff = 1/0.8 * public = 1.25.

          The public pay 25% more than the staff.

      •  

        Accidentally negged you sorry

    • +2 votes

      Given how many travellers buy from McDonalds, this is going to be more appealing than just buying from the same old chains. Not every meal has to be five star dining when you're travelling.

      • +1 vote

        Given how many travellers buy from McDonalds,

        I could never understand this. You travel so you can have food you can eat back home. Why even bother travelling?

        When I travel I try to eat what local delicacies each area is known for within reason obviously. Like if you have allergies or other dietary requirements.

        • +2 votes

          Because its safer to eat Maccas than fishhead curry soup while travelling. I eat a double Big Mac at Don Muang if I'm going to Cambodia because the consequences of getting sick or catching Delhi belly while traveling in a 3rd world country is horrible. Who wants to be caught short in such a situation had having to squirt it out on the side of the road while the whole bus looks on…

          • +1 vote

            @Icecold5000: Well obviously you would choose a place that looks at least they understand what clean is. I'm all for trying local delicacies but not at the expense of contracting a stomach bug.

          • +4 votes

            @Icecold5000: In this respect though, I suspect a staff canteen might be safer than a mass-transit chain. Flight attendants and the like can't afford to get sick and so if they eat here I'd trust it. The McDonalds' of this world flip so many burgers that one sick person won't get noticed.

            •  

              @seanbaussie: There has been my SOP for the last 6 visits. No way am I chancing it with local food. I’d go with Maccas any day because they would take a huge hit PR wise and needs to keep its reputation while some food stall just wouldn’t care. Mass transit chains do a good job because they have systems in place to mitigate the low standards in Thailand.

          • +2 votes

            @Icecold5000: Singapore is hardly comparable to Cambodia, and hardly a 3rd world country.
            Besides all hawkers are graded A/B/C so just eat at the Grade A stalls.

        • +1 vote

          I always try maccas in every country I visit. Every country has their own specials which reflect the local cuisines. Eg, Singapore has a nasi lemak burger, Japan has ebi burger.

          Just because you think it's the same stuff as back home doesn't mean it is. Trying new things is a part of traveling is it not?

  • +10 votes

    This is like discovering a secret area in DOOM with IDSPISPOPD

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