NEXT CHAPTER

Unsung Hero

Happy Reunions

Mohamed Bashir Bin Abdullah, Duty Manager, Lost & Found, Singapore Changi Airport 

For passengers upset by mishandled baggage, Mohamed Bashir and his team are at the ready to restore the goods

 

Sense of Belonging

Mohamed Bashir knows very well the look of people who have just arrived at Singapore Changi Airport to discover that their checked baggage has gone missing. “Their faces are glum,” he says, “but that’s when we come into the picture.” As the first people to greet these temporarily dispossessed passengers after they clear customs and immigration, Mr. Bashir and his colleagues immediately set to turning frowns into smiles. “First, we comfort them and give them the confidence that their mishandled baggage will be found. Then we take the necessary steps to locate their belongings. In their moment of anxiety and frustration, our job includes making sure that they have a positive experience.”

   As a 28-year veteran of SATS, a leading provider of gateway and ground-handling services across Asia’s aviation and hospitality sectors, Mr. Bashir takes great pride in his role as a frontline ambassador at Singapore Changi Airport. “It is always rewarding and satisfying to reunite our guests with their baggage,” he says. “In this way, we help contribute to their many memories of Singapore. And while I was surprised and happy to be an unsung hero of Singaporean hospitality, really, this is about my entire team. I would not have achieved this recognition without them.”

 

Top Flight

Having served 58,698,000 passengers in 2016, Changi is the world’s 17th busiest airport, just behind New York’s JFK International Airport. As a destination and experience, however, Changi has few peers. More mini-city than airport, Changi’s wondrous scale alone awes and inspires. Soaring, expansive and futuristic in parts, the architecture and design creates a profound sense of anticipation and expectation for what follows next. The irresistible impression is that only passionate dreamers could have conceived of and created such a place—in Singapore, the awareness of possibilities begins upon arrival.  

   Amid the immensity, Changi offers a uniquely warm, welcoming and human touch. Placing a premium on fast and efficient service, the airport cushions the demands of travel, especially for long-haul passengers, with a wide range of amenities and diversions.

   At Changi, layovers are a pleasure. Aerotel Airport Transit Hotel at Terminal 1 (T1) offers a rooftop swimming pool and jacuzzi. Weary travelers have Snooze Lounges in TI and T3; Sanctuary and Oasis Lounges in T2; and in T3, the luxurious, newly expanded in-terminal Crowne Plaza Changi Airport hotel, complete with meeting space and runway views. Plus, movie theaters, memorable dining, retail options and much more, earning Changi a top three ranking in Skytrax’s “World’s Best Airports” list for the past 15 years, including first place for the past five consecutive years.

 

Green Gateway

For North American visitors especially, flying to Singapore is an epic experience. While some fatigue is inevitable after 24 hours in transit, a uniquely soothing welcome awaits at Singapore Changi Airport. In his time as the facility’s chief horticulturist, Veera Sekaran, has seen to the greening of Changi’s three terminals and outdoor areas. From green walls and waterfalls to specialty gardens, the effect is remarkably calming, restorative and even enlivening.

   Art meets nature in T1, where the Water Lily Garden and the rooftop Cactus Garden are complemented by Kinetic Rain, an installation of 1,216 polished copper raindrops depicting the joy of travel. Brightening the T2 experience are the Orchid, Sunflower and Enchanted Gardens, while T3 features a Koi Pond and the world’s first airport Butterfly Garden. Outside, the airport campus is surrounded by trees and flowers, setting the stage for the continuing horticultural ride into the heart of The Garden City. Whether arriving or departing, the message is clear: Singapore is rooted in fertile possibilities.

 

 

Soaring Ahead

Since the debut of T1 in 1981, Changi has built its award-winning global reputation on innovation and expansion. Scheduled to open in October 2017, the latest evolution, T4, offers next-generation technologies such as its “fast and seamless travel” (FAST) system, providing an automated self-service option for check-in, bag-drop, departure immigration and boarding. With FAST and other advanced efficiency and productivity solutions expected to boost Changi’s total capacity to around 82 million passengers, the striking new facility will introduce yet more creativity and art to the Changi experience—including a green wall of some 16,000 plants and Asian fig varieties lining the departure level’s Avenue of Trees.

   And there’s yet more excitement ahead. Targeting an early 2019 opening, the Jewel is a dazzling $1.7 billion, 10-story mixed-use project incorporating a hotel, domed garden complex with indoor waterfall, aviation facilities and extensive dining and retail options.