What’s happening at the ‘world’s best airport’ during Covid

(CNN) — What happens at the world’s best airport when the aviation industry comes to a halt?
At Singapore’s Changi Airport, that’s a question that’s prompted some innovative answers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Changi — which has a hawker center, butterfly garden, movie theater and more among its offerings — is so beloved by travelers that it has won the “best airport” award from Skytrax, an airline industry group, every year since 2013.
But as the country went into lockdown and tourists could no longer enter, Singapore Airlines (SIA), the city-state’s national carrier, decided to get creative.
“With Covid-19 drastically reducing the number of flights operated by the SIA Group, we have created unique activities that would allow us to engage with our fans and customers during this time,” the airline’s CEO Goh Choon Phong said in a statement.
The airline is unveiling several activities, including a meal served inside of a parked Airbus A380.
The pop-up restaurant, called Restaurant A380 @Changi, will open for only two nights, October 24 and 25. Just as they would on board, diners will be able to choose from a short menu of options, although the best bet will likely be the Peranakan dishes prepared by acclaimed Singaporean chef Shermay Lee.
In addition to the food, diners will get a yet-to-be-revealed swag bag — and if they show up in “traditional heritage wear,” some extra goodies.
Singapore Airlines frequent fliers will have the option of using miles to book the experience. And if they miss out on the two nights of in-flight dining, there are additional events slated for November school holidays, including riding in an aircraft simulator, tasting the in-flight wine selection and a chance for kids to dress up as flight attendants.
Beyond the airline’s efforts, there are other ways that frustrated travelers can still get to enjoy Changi, even if they’re not going anywhere.
Some of the airport’s lounges have reportedly been opened up for people who are working remotely.
For $18 Singaporean (about $13 US), people can spend up to four hours working in the Changi Jewel lounge, with Wi-Fi, coffee, tea and pastries included, according to the Singapore-based AsiaOne website.
That is a pretty sweet deal — especially considering that just one year ago a man was arrested at Changi for buying an airplane ticket just for the ability to walk his wife to her departure gate.