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I'm booking a flight on Singapore Airlines for end of October flying from the US to India, and I have a one hour layover at Singapore Changi. I've never flown this airline before or been to Singapore Changi before. I'm an Indian citizen. Is one hour sufficient time?

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I assume your flights via Singapore are both on Singapore Airlines (SQ) and on a single ticket, in which case: 1 hr is likely sufficient, but SQ will take care of you if it's not.

Changi is an extremely efficient airport and you don't need to go through Customs/Immigration for a transfer. SQ flights to/from both India and the US use Terminal 3, which you can walk from end to end in 15-20 min, so if your incoming flight is on time, you will almost certainly make your connection.

However, if your incoming flight is badly delayed, Singapore Airlines will take responsibility and put you on next available flight.

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    Thank you very much! Er, sorry, just to be 100% clear, even as an Indian citizen with no ties to Singapore (no VISA), I don't need to go through customs/immi when going through the airport? (It is so rare to see that in any airport!) – lazulikid Aug 26 at 1:04
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    @convexityftw That's correct, no visa needed for transit, and (if you had more time!) you could probably even enter Singapore visa-free: mfa.gov.sg/Overseas-Mission/New-Delhi/Consular-Services/… – lambshaanxy Aug 26 at 1:05
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    You may make the flight but good luck if your luggage follows... I would forward plan for this eventuality. Take medicines, a jacket, change of undergarments, (or anything else you cant afford to live without for a day or two) with you on carry-on. – vikingsteve Aug 26 at 9:34
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    @vikingsteve This is Singapore, the bags will make it. But of course it's always wise to bring anything important in carryon. – lambshaanxy Aug 26 at 10:39
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    @MartinBonner You can change terminals at Heathrow without going through UK immigration. There are airside buses for onward flight connections. travel.stackexchange.com/questions/102821/… – Mike Scott Aug 26 at 15:26
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Airports don't come better than Changi -- in terms of efficiency and in terms of helpfulness.

Airlines don't come better than Singapore Airlines. If it can be done within a 1-hour layover, then it will be done at Changi.

However:

  1. It's a ridiculously-tight connection
  2. It's a pity not to have a decent layover at Changi -- the world's best airport to have a layover at
  3. You'll almost certainly have to go through security again at Changi, though they're very efficient and very nice about it
  4. If your flights are all on the same ticket Singapore Airlines will see you get to your destination even if you miss the connection through no fault of your own. If your flights are not both on the same ticket, then the airline's under no obligation to do anything if you miss the connection.
  • You will go through security again, but at Changi security is decentralized (in T3 each checkpoint covers only a few gates) so it almost never takes more than 10 minutes. – lambshaanxy Aug 28 at 1:50
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If Singapore Airlines is willing to sell you the connection, they are confident you can make it. If, for whatever reason out of your control, you miss your second flight out is their contractual obligation to get you into the next flight to your destination.

In practice, 1 hour is plenty for Changi because:

  • you only see immigration if you attempt to leave (or enter) the airport (because ‘Singapore domestic flight’ doesn’t make sense the entire airside part is just considered out of Singapore)
  • when you arrive, you will directly enter the ‘departure’ area of the airport (there are no separate arrival lanes)
  • you will have to go through security again but security is decentralised at Changi, meaning one set of security checkpoints handles about five gates. When I was there this year, in most cases there was only one flight due to depart soon behind one security checkpoint so no trouble at all.

In case you are a slow walker, note that Changi has automatic people movers that connect the far wings of three terminal to the central part. There are also a number of conveyor belt walkways designed to speed up your trip.

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