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I am looking currently at flights from Darwin, Australia (DRW) to Tel Aviv, Israel (TLV).

There are not many offerings on airline websites for routes between these airports. The itineraries I found have a very long connection in Singapore (SIN) airport, around 18 hours. I don't really mind the long connection, but would wish to remain "airside" and not have to go through immigration/passport-control and "formally enter" the country (Singapore).

What I found is quite a convoluted route, with Singapore Airlines and Finnair through Singapore (SIN) airport and then Helsinki (HEL) airport.

I am wondering whether there would be any issue with staying for 18 hours "airside" in transit in Changi airport in Singapore. Main issues I can think of are:

  1. There will be an issue passing on my baggage when the connection is so long, so I will need to go pass immigration and collect it myself. I could probably travel with carry-on baggage only if that will help.

  2. Maybe there is simply a limit on how long a passenger is allowed to stay "airside" in transit?

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    Changi airport has an airside hotel and cinema. I don't know what the law is about how long you can stay but I infer from their facilities that they are quite happy for people to plan long connections. – user16259 Jan 19 '18 at 8:25
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    There's a point at which a layover is long enough that you will be required to claim your checked luggage. It varies by airline and airport, so if having checked bags matters to you, you'll need to contact the airline and ask to ensure this is acceptable. You'll want to make sure your bags are "checked through" to Tel Aviv when you first check them in. – Zach Lipton Jan 19 '18 at 10:23
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    There is also a pool you can visit. – mts Jan 19 '18 at 10:29
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    Is simply getting a Singapore entry or transit visa a reasonable solution to the problem? Is getting that visa expensive or a significant paperwork hassle? That way if you have it, you can use it, if you do not need it then you're only out a few shekels and some time – Freiheit Jan 19 '18 at 15:30
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    Good find. I knew about the cinema but not the pool. As Anthony Bourdain said in The Layover Singapore Episode: "if you get stuck in an airport, it should be this one" [Speaking of Changi]. – Itai Jan 19 '18 at 15:32
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Changi airport in Singapore is a good place for long stopovers.

The airport is set up for it with an airside hotel, and other great facilities, and stopovers of a whole day are not unheard of.

If you have a stopover of more than 8 hours the airport also offers free tours of the city

http://www.changiairport.com/en/airport-experience/attractions-and-services/free-singapore-tour.html

You have to be checked in, with ticket and boarding pass (possibly a visa) and you cannot take hand luggage with you (they let you leave it at the luggage storage unit). The tour lasts just under 3 hours.

Airside in the airport there are great places to eat, shop, and as mentioned in the comment under your question a cinema.

As long as you are booked on one ticket your luggage should be tagged all the way to the final destination.

If however it's separately ticketed then you MAY have to clear immigration and collect your luggage before re-checking in. In that case, you will need to check whether you need a transit visa which would depend on your nationality.

Some transfer information is here

http://www.changiairport.com/en/passenger-guide/transit.html

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    To clarify, do you stay "airside" during the free tour you mention, or does it count as formally entering the country (which, apparently, the OP wants to avoid)? – R.M. Jan 19 '18 at 18:49
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    You stay "airside" during the free tour. At least that is what they told me in Changi. – patapouf_ai Jan 19 '18 at 23:13
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    @R.M. : It seems like you do indeed stay "airside". The website says "Please remain in the transit area and do not clear immigration", so that should explain it. – Daniel Kamil Kozar Jan 20 '18 at 13:17
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    I think you actually have to clear immigration. If you google some reviews, you will notice that all of them will clear immigration together with their tour guide after turning up for the tour. So you will still have to enter the country. Check for instance this blog with a review where they had to go through immigration. – drat Jan 22 '18 at 1:05
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Yes! You can stay "airside" if your layover is less than 24h as long as it is the same booking into and out of Changi (assuming you are flying with Singapore Airline). This Will my luggage transfer during an 18h layover in Changi? answer refers to a twitter message by singapore airlines confirming that during an 18h layover at Changi the baggages are checked through to final destination and you don't need to pick them up.

You can even sleep in a hotel "airside"! [Website of airside hotel]

See the testemony from someone who did it here:

During our 8-hour layover in Singapore (arrived at 1AM and left at 9AM), we were able to take advantage of one of the three Ambassador Transit Hotels located within the airport proper. This means that after landing, you don’t need to clear Customs or leave the secure area of the airport. You go from your gate to the hotel and go to sleep. Rooms can be booked in a 6-hour block with a three 1-hour extensions so the max time you can stay is 9 hours.source

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This partially depends on the ticket and airline, so you need to check with your airline(s) directly. Typically it works as follows:

  1. A connection with less than 24 hours, is a "layover". Your bags will not be returned. You should get the boarding passes for all segments at check-in for the first segment.
  2. A connection of 24 hours or more is a "stopover", you are expected to pickup your luggage and check in again. That's when you get the boarding pass for the next segment.
  3. All larger airports are open all night. You can stay airside as long as you like. There is actually a website dedicated to this. For Changhi see: https://www.sleepinginairports.net/asia/singapore.htm
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    While it's true that all larger airports are open all night, it's not universally true that you can stay airside as long as you like. Particular terminals or concourses may be flushed to make way for cleaning or maintenance; we have reports of Heathrow Terminal 5 being closed at midnight, for example. I was also roused and made to exit the secure area of Charlotte-Douglas. – choster Jan 19 '18 at 15:45
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    For clarification, Heathrow has fairly severe regulatory restrictions on night operations, plus a self imposed ban on scheduled landings before 4.30am, so the definition of "open" gets rather loose in this case (no flights, no shops and possibly no access across multiple terminals) heathrow.com/noise/heathrow-operations/night-flights – origimbo Jan 19 '18 at 19:55
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As stated in Timatic, the database used by Airlines:

TWOV (Transit Without Visa): - Holders of confirmed onward tickets for a maximum transit time of 24 hours.

In other words, you can connect airside, with your lugagge checked through, for max 24 hours.

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