As names go, the Qantas First Class lounge at Singapore's Changi Airport is less "first class" than "better than business class lounge around the corner".
Not that it's a bad lounge, it's just not a great one – and that's what you expect from anything bearing the 'first class' moniker. Perhaps that's part of the reason why Qantas is set to build an all-new First Class lounge in Singapore which will be much closer to the Red Roo's flagship International First Class lounge in Sydney in design and offerings.
You'll find the Qantas First Class lounge in Terminal 1, up an escalator and well signposted... if in doubt, follow the stream of Westerners heading for these shared QF/BA lounges.
Most are aiming for the Business lounge which is further along a small corridor, but the First Class lounge is at the end of the open area where you alight from the escalator.
As the glass doors part and you step into the entrance area, your immediate impression is of a haven – and a welcome one if you've just stepped off the flight from either London or Sydney.
Step into the lounge itself and while the vibe is still havenesque you may be surprised at how relatively small the lounge is – it's long but quite narrow – and, depending on what other flights have arrived or are yet to depart, how crowded the space can be.
The main food and drink servery is at the very front, with seating areas along the middle, a stand-up bar down on the left, some workstation cubicles ranked along the right and a 'quiet zone' at the very end.
The Qantas First Class lounge is open to all passengers flying first class on Qantas and its oneoworld partners such as British Airways.
Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum cardholders, and those with the equivalent oneworld Emerald status, can also enjoy the lounge regardless of which class they’re flying in.
My visits to the lounge have all been in the evening, either during stopovers en route to London or waiting for an overnight flight back to Sydney, but the food available during this time has never been more than a light filler – I'd certainly not classify it as a full meal.
There's soup, some sandwiches and DIY salads, pizza squares and a small selection of hot items such as beef skewers.
On the other hand, snacks are in plentiful supply, and if you head down to the rear of the lounge you'll find two flavours of ice cream on offer.
Of course, there's always a shot of coffee to help keep you awake...
A handful of Windows desktop PCs can be found in cubicles near the wall, along with some laser printers. These PCs are usually in heavy demand, so if you need one then we suggest you move quick and claim squatter's rights for the duration of your stopover.
Free wifi is available but the network is locked down to guard against freeloaders, so you'll need to ask for the password at the front desk.
A wet zone near the front of the lounge contains an attractive water feature ringed by spacious cubicles, each containing a toilet and shower.
Water in the shower can fire outwards from wall-mounted nozzles for a refreshing body drench, or you can stick to the conventional showerhead.
Jurlique shower gel and shampoo are in pump packs, with other toiletry items available from an attendant at the front of the wet zone.
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.