Changi Recommends – Bon Voyage!

Relationship Status: Looking for a WiFi Connection.

In the old days – say, 3-4 years ago – traveling overseas and expecting to use Wifi was possible (I did it!), but seldom easy and rarely cheap. Now, it’s both thanks to a multitude of plans available here in Singapore before embarking or in the country of your disembarkation. I’ve usually opted to buy SIM cards in the airport of my destination, or popped for an add-on to my mobile plan here in SingTown. There’s a new way.

At least new as far as I’m concerned. Bound for Europe (Germany and Great Britain) and Shanghai soon, I’m going to give it a try and report back on upon my return. Let me tell you about my trip. I’m so excited! Having visited neither Berlin or London, I can’t wait to… But wait. Stop me. This is about a new WiFi scheme for travelers NOT my adventurous plans. We’ll cover that later. For now – FOCUS on what promises to be a practical answer to this globetrotter’s prayers.

Explained in easy-to-follow detail on this site, the plan promises ease of use and a practical solution to some of the frustrations I’ve met before. First of all, here’s what Changi Recommends precludes:

  • The hassle of trying to choose the best SIM card plan at a busy, unfamiliar airport while struggling with luggage and coping with nascent jet-lag;

  • The doubt involved (hidden costs, adequate coverage, complicated options) of adding roaming to one’s existent mobile plan;

  • Worry about connectivity to multiple devices;

  • Anxiety about portability in time and space.

Staying connected using ChangiWIFI in Berlin. Photo credit @snazzysofiia

The beauty of this plan is that it’s set up before the plane wheel’s leave the tarmac, and terminated upon my return to Singapore. In a nutshell, here’s how it works:

  • Phone, WhatsApp, or email to reserve before your flight. This is recommended, but last-minute reservations are accepted on a first come first served basis.

  • Pick up a small USB rechargeable modem at a Changi Recommends booth at any Changi Airport terminal. Network range approximately 10 meters.

  • Get connected overseas. At the booth, representatives can help you do this, although the online instructions are clear and intuitive.

  • Return the modem upon return to a Changi Recommends booth at Changi – open 24/7.

Questions? There’s a good set of FAQ’s on the website including this proviso for my stint in Shanghai –

The Chinese authorities have restricted the use of certain websites and mobile applications in China.

Use of VPNs will be at the users’ risk as the authorities are constantly updating their systems. Changi Recommends will not be liable if the user decides to use VPNs.

While planning for the trip, please research online to find out the list of websites and mobile applications that are banned to have a better understanding on the country’s internet regulation and policies.

The cost of this convenience and peace of mind? The worldwide package which includes my three stops – Germany, Great Britain, and China is S$ 17 a day.

In writing this, I’ve referred to the Changi Recommends website. It’s simple, thorough, and easy-to-use. Highly recommended. Included with the device, a user’s manual.

I like the sound of this modem. There is much to be said about one less thing to worry about with a dozen other items on a wayfarer’s checklist. I have river cruises to plan, restaurants to choose, bikes to rent, pubs to visit, West End plays to attend, German bier to quaff, so busy-lah!  

The only relationship I have is with my WiFi. We have a connection.



Better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times.


Posted by Janice Leong on Sunday, June 3, 2018

Some fine print from Changi Recommends:

Unlimited’ service is not always without limits. The limits are set with a Fair Usage Policy, which is a set of rules that impose a threshold on the amount of units (minutes, seconds, kilobytes etc.) used by users of a service. This is normally imposed on those services that are termed ‘unlimited’ which would initially mean that the user can use as many/much of the offered service as they want.

Since abuse can happen, either intentional or unintentional, the limit is imposed. As a limit of this abuse from one or a segment of the users, other users will be penalized. Also, the company offering the service loses as well. So, a fair usage policy stands as a means to avoid abuse and in the process protects the other consumers as well as the provider.

Renters are advised to take note of the data limit capped by the Internet Service Provider (ISP) Fair Usage Policy (FUP) in each country. The Internet Service Providers (ISP) implements a data limit to the user when a channel becomes overload and this limit varies in different countries, depending on their policy regulations.

The user may experience either slow data speed, temporarily idle for a period of time, if the data usage exceeded the assigned limit. The excess data will not incur additional cost on your rental rates.

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