Coal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2286 posts, RR: 6 Posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 13683 times:
Time for another weekend getaway. And perfect timing too! I was in the final stages of completing a 2-month strategy project and I had happened to book this trip on the last day of the project itself. Even though I had been to Bali before, I never took the chance to go see some of the sites and I just bummed at Kuta Beach. So, since some friends were heading over there for the first time, I decided to join them.
I was originally booked on JQ's non-stop flight. But when I made the online purchase, I selected the Pay Offline method. I went to the SingPost office accross the road from my office on the last day I had to pay for the ticket, and it just happened to be that the people at the post office typed in the wrong booking number. Now, the idiots at JQ had my reservation and my money, but because the booking numbers were different, they cancelled the reservation! Grrr! So I had to settle with getting my money back and trying to find another option to go to Bali. I tried redeeming miles on SQ, but the flights were fully booked for the time period. I also knew about LH's r/t fares to CGK of SGD100, but I was a bit wary about flying on an Indonesian airline. Save for Air Asia, as they seem to have a good record. So hundreds of thousands of Rupiahs later I had my tickets booked to Bali.
So without further ado, here is the report:
Flight: LH 778 Airline: Lufthansa German Airlines Equip: Boeing 747-400 Sector: SIN-CGK Dep (Actual): 16:55 (17:00) Arr (Actual): 17:35 (17:45) Flight Time: 1 Hr 45 Mins Seat: 47A
I got to SIN around 3:30pm. I walked up to LH's First Class check in counter (being Star Gold) and promptly checked in and got my boarding pass and the indication to use SQ's SilverKris lounge.
SIN's large information board
After passing through immigration, I headed straight to the SQ lounge. It was fairly empty as it was the early afternoon. Usually it gets much crowded towards the evening hours during the bank of flights to Europe and Australia.
I grabbed some chicken samozas, a diet coke, and after that I headed to the washroom to take a shower.
Shower room in SQ's SilverKris lounge
After a refreshing shower, I left the lounge for the gate and on the way stopped at the Sunflower Garden to do some spotting.
Line up of SQ 777s
Lufthansa 744 arriving as LH 778 from Frankfurt with continuing service to Jakarta
SQ 773 (non-ER)
Changi is ready!
After doing some spotting (and inhaling all the air from the smokers in the garden) I went over to the gate. Most of the people in the flight seemed to be orignating their flight in SIN - not a surprise considering the fares are so cheap. Soon after I arrived at the lounge a boarding call was made for First and Business class. I tried to board at the time, but I was told I could not as I was in economy. I mentioned I was Star Gold (and PPS Club member - if that is any help on LH). I always like to board quickly, especially when traveling in economy, as it gives me more time to settle in (and of course, to take pics of the cabin).
The legroom was OK. I am only 5'8, but I think it would've felt a bit cramped had I been going all the way to FRA. The seat seemed to recline as on any other airline on a 744 (more on this later - a comparison with another seat).
Boarding was prompt and we soon pushed back and were on our way.
SQ 772 and PR A330
We departed from 20L and made a slight left turn to head straight for the island of Java and for Jakarta. I did see another airport on the way (not Seletar) which looked like a commercial airport. I didn't manage to get a pic of it, but it seemed to have 4-5 jetbridges and a few planes on the apron. It was on an island just off Singapore, but I have no idea which airport it was.
Turning south for CGK
Cruising towards the northwestern tip of Java
As soon as we passed FL100, the flight attendants came around and passed a wet towel. After this, a small snack was offered. No choice, but we got a small turkey sandwich, a mango pudding, a kit kat bar, and a small bottle of water. No other drinks were offered. The flight was pretty uneventful. There was some Japanese pop playing on the overhead monitors for about 30 mins until they changed the channel to the airshow, which was more interesting. It seemed like just minutes later we started our descent into Jakarta.
Descending over the outskirts of Jakarta
Moments from touchdown
View of the ramp
Garuda 734 and Merpati 732
No mistaking where we are!
KLM 744 and Garuda A330
MH 734s and JL772
As usual in Indonesia, the arrival process is quite bureaucratic and full of red tape. First, you must go to a counter where you pay for a visa on arrival (USD10 - 7 days non-extendable). Then, you go to the next counter which is literally next to the first one and you give the visa receipt and your passport and they stick the visa in it. After this, you walk further to a third counter were they check your visa and stamp your passport. Wow! Somehow it seemed an even more of a hassle than when arriving in DPS internationally, but I guess at least it gets more people employed. After this, I went outside as I thought I could just walk to the domestic terminal (Terminal 1E). It's actually much further than it appears, and you can either take the free shuttle (not very advertised) or get on an overpriced cab. Beware, because even the police are in cahoots with the hawkers who tell you the domestic terminal is 15mins away by car and that he will gladly take you (for a hefty fee - probably not a lot when converted to USD, but still). Luckily, not everyone tries to take advantage of you, and this young man showed me where the shuttle bus stop was and waited with me for it to arrive. I got on the shuttle and it was a 3 min ride to the domestic terminal (of which about 2.5 mins was just idling by the international terminal to pick passengers - the bus never actually stops anywhere, so you have to jump in while it moves).
Soekarno - Hatta's free shuttle
Outside the domestic terminal
When I got to the domestic terminal, you were required to show a ticket or a print out of the e-ticket to get into the check-in area. I never print out the e-tickets, so I was in a bit of a pickle. I could go to the Air Asia service desk or I could play dumb and try to get through without the print out. The latter one worked, after I said I didn't speak much English and pointed at my watch.
Looking towards the check-in area
I walked up to the Air Asia counter and gave the agent my passport and my booking number. A few mins later I had a receipt in my hand that indicated I was to be on the flight to Denpasar (which is the main city in Bali - yet the airport is technically in another municipality).
I had about an hour to kill, but I still went straight to gate A7. There were a few westerners, clearly tourists, but most of the people on the flight were locals.
The names of the people with "Ekspress" boarding were called (Air Asia does not assign seats) and after that the mob formed a crowd next to the two doors at the gate. When the agents were given the go ahead, they opened the doors and people literally ran to the plane. I was nearly at the end of the line, but luckily hardly anyone noticed you could board through the back stairs, so I still got a window seat.
Flight: QZ 7518 Airline: Indonesia Air Asia Equip: Boeing 737-300 Sector: CGK-DPS Dep (Actual): 19:50 (19:55) Arr (Actual): 22:35 (22:20) Flight Time: 1 Hr 25 Mins Seat: 20A
Row 20 on Air Asia's 733
The flight was short and sweet. I could not see much outside the window as it was pitch black outside, and the fact that Indonesia is made up of thousands of islands did not help either. I dozed off listening to my iPod. There was some food on sale, but nothing I fancied. We landed from the water a few minutes ahead of schedule, which was great, as my friends had arrived from Singapore an hour earlier on JQ's flight, but because of immigration and customs, we got out of the airport at about the same time. We hopped in a taxi and headed for Kuta Beach, Indonesia's backpacker capital. Having been here before, I suggested we stayed somewhere on Poppies Lane II, as this is close to the beach, my favorite DVD store, and on the way to the clubbing area where MBarGo and Bounty Discotheque can be found. Between fake rolexes, pirated DVD's, Bintang beer on the beach, and partying with Aussies, we managd to find time to do some sight seeing. Here are some pics:
Kuta Beach looking towards DPS where a SQ 772 is waiting for a QZ 733 to land
Gunung Kawi - Stone carving memorial ca. 11th Century AD
Coal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2286 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 13636 times:
Flight: QZ 7511 Airline: Indonesia Air Asia Equip: Boeing 737-300 Sector: DPS-CGK Dep (Actual): 13:50 (14:45) Arr (Actual): 14:30 (15:20) Flight Time: 1 Hr 35 Mins Seat: 18A
I left the hotel after 12:30 and feared I might be too late for the flight. As I got to the check in area, this time I wasn't able to get into the terminal without at least an itinerary. So I had to go to the Air Asia service desk outside the check in area for a print out. After I got this I went to check in and saw quite a line, next to the sign that said the check in closed 45mins before the flight, on the opposite side of the clock that indicated that there were only 40mins left before the flight's scheduled departure time. However, I was informed that our flight was delayed by about an hour, so that was, in a way, a good sign.
DPS domestic check in area
Gate area - notice the two unattended bags
I got a bit hungry so I wandered around the terminal hunting for food. As I was paying for it, my flight was called, so I rushed to the gate in order to be the first to board and to secure a window seat. I was about 5th in line, so I was guaranteed to get a window.
DPS Ramp - Our plane in front next to a Merpati 732
Merpati 732s and Adam Air 734
Heavies at the international terminal: CX, CI, and TG
Boarding the 733
Merpati 733 tail
I noticed this was open. Anyone know what it is?
As people boarded, one of the three F/A's came on the PA and told people to take their seats promptly as this aircraft had just been rebuild. "Whaaaat!?" I hear you say. I'm still wondering what she actually said, maybe she said the aircraft had just been refuelled (and implicitly ready to go), but it sounded just like rebuilt, which is not a very comforting thought while flying an LCC in Indonesia. After boarding, we pushed back and headed for the active.
A last view of Kuta Beach as we line up on the runway
Swamps as we depart DPS for CGK
Left turn towards Java
A plume of smoke coming out of one of many volcanos on one of Indonesias many islands
The flight again was quite uneventful, save for the sight of the volcano which spat out plumes of smoke every few seconds. The same BOB snack service was offered, but I again declined. In no time we were descending towards a thick, brown cloud of smog over Jakarta and towards CGK.
Descending towards CGK
Moments from touchdown
Seconds from kissing the ground. And clearly 747 heaven!
Jakarta's domestic terminal
After deplaning, I knew I had to get to the departures level to get on the shuttle back to the international terminal. As soon as I walked out of the building, I saw the bus slowly chugging along. I started running towards it and boarded while it was still moving. After that it was only a couple of mins to the other terminal.
Outside CGK's international terminal
Check in area
I again used LH's First Class counter. I like that LH, as opposed to say SQ or UA, let you use the First Class instead of the Business Class counter for Star Gold members. I was also given an invitation to LH's First Class senator lounge, which is really the same contract lounge as the business class: the Pura Indah lounge.
After checking in, I went to the "fiscal check" - more red tape - where an official checked that I had indeed paid the Rp100,000 in airport taxes (around USD10). Following that was immigration and then the duty free and gate area.
Duty free area
SQ 772 to SIN at gate D1
GA 734 at the gate
Business Class area of the Pura Indah lounge
The secluded First Class area of the Pura Indah lounge
The First Class area is a small room within the lounge that has similar amenities. It was all fine and dandy, until a lady and three little girls came inside the lounge and it all got quite loud. I didn't have much of a problem with it, but I would put a minimum age for the use of the First Class area.
I wanted to take a shower, so I got a towel and headed for the washroom. Unfortunately the shower looked less clean than the one in the guest house in which I stayed in Kuta the first time I was in Bali (mind you - I paid 15 dollars a night back then), so I was very put off and decided against the shower.
I stayed at the lounge for about one and half hours before I headed to gate D5. The flight was about 10 minutes late, but we arrived right on schedule in Singapore.
Flight: LH 779 Airline: Lufthansa German Airlines Equip: Boeing 747-400 Sector: CGK-SIN Dep (Actual): 18:50 (19:00) Arr (Actual): 21:35 (21:35) Flight Time: 1 Hr 35 Mins Seat: 33A
At check in, I was asked if I wanted to move forward in the cabin. I hesitated as I knew I would be over the wing, but being a night flight, there wouldn't be much to see outside the window anyway. So I got "upgraded" to seat 33A (from 53K). I believe this seat (and row 32 - the emergency exit row), is reserved only for Star Gold members. I could be wrong, but I was told this on UA (albeit UA only do it for their own Elite members). 33A is just behind the exit row, so there is no seat in front of it (row 32 is two seats as opposed to three), so I could really stretch. I also felt the seat reclined much more than seat 47A on the flight to CGK. Someone might be able to shed some light on this.
The flight itself was uneventful, and being a night flight, it was a challenge to get any pics. The meal consisted of a sandwich (with a very tough bread), something that looked like ginger noodles, a pastry, and a small bottle of water. I had the sandwich and the small bottle of water. For IFE, the airshow was played the whole way on the overhead monitor. We got to Singapore right on schedule, and as usual it took me about 10mins between getting off the plane and getting in a cab on my way home.
I hope you enjoyed. Next trip reports in the coming months:
If you are referring to the door underneith the R2 door on that 732, that is the pressurization valve door which moves open and close. If you are referring to the door that is aftof the R2 door, thats the APU inlet duct.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
Coal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2286 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 13176 times:
Quoting KHI747 (Reply 2): Very entertaining report...enjoyed reading it.
Quoting KHI747 (Reply 2): Im impressed at the heavies at DPS,didnt think there would be that much widebody action there.Is it the number 2 airport of Indonesia in terms of traffic after CGK?
Most likely. Bali is quite a popular destination, so most foreign carriers send their largest aircraft.
Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 3): If you are referring to the door underneith the R2 door on that 732, that is the pressurization valve door which moves open and close. If you are referring to the door that is aftof the R2 door, thats the APU inlet duct.
Ryanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4783 posts, RR: 24
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 13027 times:
Quoting Coal (Thread starter): I did see another airport on the way (not Seletar) which looked like a commercial airport. I didn't manage to get a pic of it, but it seemed to have 4-5 jetbridges and a few planes on the apron. It was on an island just off Singapore, but I have no idea which airport it was.
Hang Nadim Airport on the island of Batam.
Quoting Coal (Thread starter): It's actually much further than it appears, and you can either take the free shuttle (not very advertised) or get on an overpriced cab.
Quoting Coal (Thread starter): As soon as I walked out of the building, I saw the bus slowly chugging along. I started running towards it and boarded while it was still moving.
I have had the same experience trying to shuttle between the Int'l and Domestic terminals. Signs are useless because the timings are not at all accurate. Even when the bus arrives, it doesn't stop. A very helpful security guard actually flagged down a 2nd one by standing on the road and gestured me to get on. The return trip, my partner and I literally ran after the shuttle bus at the domestic terminal. Didn't help that NO ONE knew where the bus departed from. There isn't an information counter to be found at the domestic side either.
The wonders if Indonesia...
Great trip report and I can kinda empathise with your about air travel in that country. It is always an adventure for me because you do not know what to expect!
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 5): I have had the same experience trying to shuttle between the Int'l and Domestic terminals. Signs are useless because the timings are not at all accurate. Even when the bus arrives, it doesn't stop. A very helpful security guard actually flagged down a 2nd one by standing on the road and gestured me to get on. The return trip, my partner and I literally ran after the shuttle bus at the domestic terminal. Didn't help that NO ONE knew where the bus departed from. There isn't an information counter to be found at the domestic side either.
The wonders if Indonesia...
Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 5): Great trip report and I can kinda empathise with your about air travel in that country. It is always an adventure for me because you do not know what to expect!
Can't wait for what flying domestically in Viet Nam is going to be like! They don't even have e-tickets or online reservations!
BA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8706 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 11924 times:
Good report as always.
Quoting Coal (Thread starter): Now, the idiots at JQ had my reservation and my money, but because the booking numbers were different, they cancelled the reservation! Grrr!
- Could you not have made another booking?
Quoting Coal (Thread starter): I am only 5'8, but I think it would've felt a bit cramped had I been going all the way to FRA
- Agreed, I'm the same height, don't think that would that nice on a long flight.
Quoting Coal (Thread starter): the flight attendants came around and passed a wet towel. After this, a small snack was offered. No choice, but we got a small turkey sandwich, a mango pudding, a kit kat bar, and a small bottle of water. No other drinks were offered.
- I'd have thought a tea/coffee round would have been done, there was plenty of time.
Quoting Coal (Thread starter): Kuta Beach looking towards DPS where a SQ 772 is waiting for a QZ 733 to land
- Nice view!
Quoting Coal (Reply 1): The flight again was quite uneventful, save for the sight of the volcano which spat out plumes of smoke every few seconds
- That's a pretty cool sight, thans for the pic.
Quoting Coal (Reply 1): I hope you enjoyed. Next trip reports in the coming months:
Coal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2286 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (8 years 1 week 4 days ago) and read 10252 times:
Quoting Afterburner (Reply 15): There is no island of Surabaya. Surabaya is the second largest city in Indonesia, the capital of the East Java province. It is located in Java, the most populous island in Indonesia.