Enough Time for Plane Transfer at Singapore Airport?

by Mike Prisk
(Adelaide, South Australia)

My wife and I will be arriving at Changi Airport Terminal 3 from Paris at 7am on 29 January 2010 (Singapore Airlines flight SQ333) and then exiting Singapore to Kuching, East Malaysia, via Terminal 1 on AirAsia flight AK6674 at 1040am.

AirAsia is a point to point airline and so we believe we have to pick up our bags, go through Customs and Immigration in Terminal 3, then transfer to Terminal 1, go through the departures process there and all this has to be completed by 9.40am (1 hour before flight).

This situation has come about because AirAsia has changed their flight from 8.35pm to their new 10.40am departure time. Is this going to be possible to meet their 9.40am deadline to have passed through their departure process in T1 by that time?

If you suggest it is not, then there are only two options open to us, to change the AirAsia flight until the next day (at the same time) AT OUR COST or change the Paris SIA flight to the previous day and incur an additional overnight hotel cost and possibly a flight change cost.

Previously we have transitted through Changi from an SIA flight from Paris to a SilkAir flight to Kuching with no problems as our bags were automatically transferred to the SilkAir flight, but it appears this is not possible with AirAsia.

Mike Prisk
Your advice is eagerly anticipated.

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Enough Time for Plane Transfer at Singapore Airport?

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Oct 19, 2009
Possible But Tight!
by: Gabriel Tan

Hi Mike

1. You are right to say that you need to clear immigration and customs procedures and re-check in for AirAsia.

2. If there are no hiccups, you are likely to take 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes from touchdown to:

a. clear immigration,

b. collect your checked-in baggage,

c. take the Skytrain to Terminal 1, and

d. be at the AirAsia counter.

This means that if your SQ flight arrives faithfully at 7am and you clear customs smoothly, you could be checking in for your AirAsia flight about 8.30am.

So it is possible to make your transfer - but with a caveat. The margin for error is obviously very small. You may encounter problems if:

1. your Paris-Singapore flight is delayed, or

2. you get held up longer than usual at immigration/customs, for whatever reasons.


I did a check and noted that there are afternoon flights from Singapore to Kuching on the day you arrive. These are offered by 2 other budget airlines, Jetstar and Tiger Airways.

You may want check out their latest Singapore-Kuching airfares.

Will it cost you to cancel your AirAsia ticket and hop onto one of these afternoon flights instead?

Sorry to throw the spanner in the works, but this might be a little inconvenience for a greater peace of mind.

Have a good trip.

Oct 19, 2009
by: Anonymous

Thanks for your informative comments and congratulations on a wonderfully helpful website. I shall certainly be keeping a link to your site for future trips.

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