After my flight with PR back in October, in just a month later, in November, it was time for me to have a very long holiday. This time, I would be travelling to some different parts of Indonesia. But first, in order to travel into other ports of the country, I would have to fly to the country’s main hub, CGK. As you might have known, there are many carriers serving the SIN-CGK route, and I have reviewed two out of the three fifth-freedom carriers operating the route. Now it was time for me to book Lufthansa, which at that time served daily SIN-CGK as a tag-on from their MUC-SIN route.
Actually I have flown onboard LH before, both in F and Y, but not in their J Class before. So this was a good experience for me to fly on board Lufthansa Business Class. Lufthansa Itself has operated flights into Indonesia since the late 1960s, and was one of the last few European carriers to offer service into CGK, and Indonesia as a country.
Unfortunately, the airline announced it would end the route October this year, leaving KL as the only European airline to serve Indonesia, out of CGK and DPS.
The online booking was smooth and user-friendly, and three weeks later, I was at Changi Airport waiting for my first J Class flight on board LH.
The trip began on the noon of November 17, which my friend and I had to leave our home, which was situated near the town area of Singapore by taxi, into Singapore Changi’s Terminal 2. My friend that day would be flying to Lombok, Indonesia (AMI) on Silkair’s MI 128 service scheduled 1545. While my flight, LH 790 scheduled for a later departure at 1730. As I was committed to send him off that day, I decided to leave earlier at around 1130hrs.
Old-style FIDS at Changi Airport Terminal 2
When we arrived into T2, his MI check-in desk was open and he was able to check his bags, while my LH counter was still closed. We went to McDonalds while waiting for LH counter to open at around 1430hrs.
LH Check-in Counters
My friend's MI 128 departing out of Gate F31, apparently the gate used for the first A380 commercial departure
9V-SLJ would be flying my friend to AMI
Check-in at the LH Business Class counter was smooth and I was able to pick seat 3A, which was at the smaller J cabin just behind the F Class section. My bags were checked and both my friend and I proceeded into the passport control and I sent him up to his gate F31, which was apparently the gate where the first A380 flight took-off from.
Lounge: Silverkris Lounge Terminal 2
Welcome to Silverkris Lounge
Front entrance of Silverkris Lounge
Business Class section
After my friend had left on his MI flight, It was time for me to get into the Silverkris Lounge. It is the lounge used by SQ First and Business passengers departing out of Terminal 2. Apparently Business Class Star Alliance passengers were assigned that lounge, which was a pleasing offer for me.
Comfortable seating area
Japanese food section
Ben & Jerry Ice cream, anyone?
Certainly, the lounge was luxurious and efficient, as expected out of SQ’s flagship lounges. The food variety was sufficient, along with their beverage options which was generous as well. There was Ben & Jerry’s Ice cream available in the beverage section also, which was one of my favorite dessert on the lounge. Well done SQ.
Free access computers
There was a variety of reading materials consisted of international newspapers and magazines, including the Singapore Airlines’ In-flight magazine, Silverkris. Free internet access computers were also available, supported by both Mac and windows computers. What I noticed was the absence of massage chairs compared to the two other lounges in SIN, but I was not sure if SQ offering spas like TG did on their home-base lounge in BKK? I am not quite sure on this one.
Overall, it was a delightful experience on the Silverkris lounge, for a 1 hour 30 minutes wait before the boarding call for LH 790.
Koi Pond Terminal 2
While apparently I had some spare time to reach our assigned gate E4, I stopped by the Changi Airport Terminal 2’s Koi Pond. The pond was beautifully decorated with a variety of flowers, which would look as if a small garden with its Koi pond was in the middle of an airport building, which attracted a lot of attention from the eyes of arriving or departing passengers of Changi Airport. Here are some snaps from the Koi Pond at Terminal 2 :
So, how would you rate this koi pond?
Flight Number : LH 790
Type of aircraft: A340-311
Registration: D-AIGI (delivered to LH 17/10/1994 as msn 53), named Worms
The departure was delayed for around 30 minutes
Our gate E4
The plane that brought me to CGK, Worms
After enjoying the scenery at the unique Koi Pond, I made my way into the gate E4, where LH 790 was supposed to depart from. At the time I reached, passengers were already waiting in the gate, while this time security screening went smoothly. I waited around 10 minutes, snapping some pictures of our plane that day, before boarding was announced. Passengers in First/Business and Star alliance gold members get to board first, followed by other passengers requiring assistance, and then Economy passengers.
Welcome on board Lufthansa
By the time I got to my seat, friendly crew members welcomed me and directed me into my seat 3A. While Y class passengers continued to board the aircraft, flight attendant announced that there would be slight delay to our departure time, as some CGK-bound passengers had to transfer from the LH778 flight from FRA, which was operated by the A380.
While everybody onboard was awaiting the arrival of the A380 passengers and their luggage, I used this opportunity to take some pictures of the Business and First class cabin of the Aircraft. One of the flight attendants even offered to take a picture of me on the J Class seats, which was a good plus of LH service.
Pictures of Business Class seats:
The old First class seats on LH A343:
It took around 20 minutes before the A380 passengers boarded our flight, and increase the J Class load to a total of around 50%. F Class was empty and apparently Y seems on 60-70% load that day. I was not sure if these passengers were originated from FRA and MUC or just SIN-originated like me. Welcome drinks were offered once all the passengers boarded, which I opted for orange juice as usual. Our flight pushed back at around 1745hrs.
Welcome Drink : Orange juice for me
LH A380 from FRA
Long queue for take-off
Upon taxiing, we passed down the LH A380 flight, along with some other JQ and SQ flight as well. The traffic was busy at SIN that time that we had to queue for the take-off run out of SIN, which adds around 15 minutes more into our late departure.
Sunset shortly after take-off
In-preparation for meal service
Shortly after take-off, flight attendants swing into actions preparing meals at the galley. Then they did the meal service using the trolley, prepared our tables and put the tablecloth before serving the meal tray, it was a nice touch on a 1hour30 minutes flight meal service.
My meal tray on that day
Closer look at the beef noodle
There was no meal option, and every passenger in J Class get to served a beef noodle which tasted fine, unless there were special meal request probably. As meal service continues, the sun started to set while we were cruising over Sumatra. After the meal service ended, crew members distributed a bottle of mineral water and ask if anyone would like extra bread, in which I accepted the offer.
Welcome to Lufthansa Media World
Fleet facts: the A340
After the meal service, I used the opportunity to check out the Lufthansa’s Media World IFE. There was wide variety of movies and games to keep passengers entertained on Long-haul flights. However I felt that their musical options should be more updated. Anyway, a moving map is perfectly fine for me, especially on this short hop to CGK. After the entire meal service finished, the crews were just stayed at their spot on the galley, unless someone ring them the call button.
Landing into CGK
Views during approach to CGK, sorry for the blur picture
Parked beside a JL 777
Aerobridges connecting to our A343
Baggage claim with LH Signs
At around 1850 local time, the captain announced from the PA that we started our descent into CGK, and instructs cabin crew to prepare for arrival into CGK. The approach took around 20 minutes before we landed in CGK, and taxied to our parking position beside an NRT-bound JL flight. After the aerobridges connected into the doors of the A343, I was able to be one of the first to disembark, heading to the busy CGK immigration counters which I had to spent good 15 minutes to complete the passport control. When I arrived at the baggage claim my priority-tagged luggage were ready for collection and I headed straight to meet my relatives who were waiting at the arrival hall.
Final thoughts about the flight
Flying with LH Business on this short flight was certainly a delightful experience, with everything went over smoothly. Their service was at the top-notch level as was expected, and seemed consistent over the past few flights that I had with them before, although it was in a longer time frame. Although their old version Business seats were angled-flat, it was comfortable but seems to be behind its competitors like TK. But then, it did not really matters for me as this was a short hop from SIN to CGK.
dirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 200 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (9 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5114 times:
After a good one month of holiday, it was already time for me to go back to Singapore. I would be flying on Lufthansa flight 791 from Jakarta (CGK) to Singapore (SIN), which the flight continues on to Munich (MUC).
LH Check-in counter for F & J passengers
JAS Priority check-in counter
I arrived at Jakarta Airport’s terminal 2D, where most of the foreign carriers departing out of CGK, at around 1730hrs. The queues in economy section were quite long at that time, while there’s not much activity in the First/Business section, where the staff on that counter directs us to the JAS Priority Check-in service. The check-in process on the Priority Check-in section was friendly and efficient, and we proceed to a private immigration desk, which saves us from the infamous queues at CGK immigration desks.
Lounge: Pura Indah Lounge
Seating area at Pura Indah Lounge
Free Access computers
Another view of the lounge
The person who assisted our check-in process offered me if I would like to go for Pura Indah Lounge or the JAS Premier Lounge, which was the lounge used in my flight with TK. Certainly, I opted for the first choice. The lounge was quiet and comfortable, with some windows providing views into the apron. Unfortunately the view was obstructed by curtains.
The lounge had decent choices of snacks, and the only main dish was pasta, which tasted just fine. There were a number of free internet access computers which was not used by anyone during that time, along with a choice of reading materials in both English and Indonesian. I watched the television, which broadcasting the local news while waiting for boarding call of LH 791 to SIN.
Flight Number: LH 791
Type of aircraft: A340-311
Registration: D-AIGM (Delivered to LH on 28/01/1997 as msn 158), Named Gorlitz
My LH boarding pass
The aircraft that flew us into SIN that night
Inside gate D6
Around 15 minutes before the scheduled boarding time, I headed for our assigned gate D6. There was a moderate queue forming at the secondary security check before the gate area. The gate was actually really full that actually I could not find a seat for myself, but it did not really matter for me as I was trying to capture some pictures of our aircraft, D-AIGM.
The seats behind me, 12D-E
It did not take really long for boarding to be announced, and I was able to be one of the first to board the flight. The loads in J were pretty good, as I was seated in 11D, which was the second business class cabin in the A343; the seats were almost fully occupied. Welcome drink consisted of champagne, water, or orange juice was distributed. I opted for the orange juice, while Y Class passengers are boarding the aircraft.
Safety video while taxing
Inflight magazine, Safety cards, inflight entertainment guide and Shopping catalogue
Instructions for J Class seats
After boarding process completed, the doors were closed, and the A343 taxied to the runway for take-off. The flight took off from CGK at around 2015, and flew over towards the Sumatran Islands for SIN.
My table prepared for meal service, with a movie playing at the IFE
The crew started to prepare the meals shortly after take-off, while I was exploring the Lufthansa Media World IFE, looking out for some good movies that I could watch. Anyway, I ended up in the moving map as usual.
Crew conducting the meal service
My meal tray
Closer look at my mushroom pasta
Postcards at the J Class wall
The crew come over to the cabin with the trolley, prepared the nice tablecloth before serving our meals. The meal that day consisted of mushroom pasta which tasted nice, along with a choice of drinks which I opted for an orange juice. I spent the rest of the flight watching a movie from the Lufthansa IFE, while throughout the flight the crew did some drink runs after the meal service. Apparently the crew on this flight seemed to interact more with passengers compared to the SIN-CGK sector.
Landing into SIN
The overhead screen showing the flight is approaching SIN
At around 2155 local time, the flight began its descent into Changi Airport Singapore, as announced by the Captain from the PA system. The cabin crew began its preparations for landing, and the lights were dimmed throughout the approach.
Arriving back at Terminal 2, heading for immigration counters
We landed in SIN at around 2215, and taxied down to our assigned gate at the Terminal 2. Business class passengers were able to be one of the first to disembark, and while disembarking, I noticed that there was a change of crew for the SIN-MUC flight.
Final thought of the flight
Lufthansa Business Class on this short sector has been up to expectations. Although their product may not be the latest, but definitely it is still perfectly comfortable for a short hop from SIN to CGK vice versa. Their service was efficient and friendly, as expected out of an international carrier like Lufthansa.
On the other note, it was sad to see LH is discontinuing this service soon. Thanking LH for their service to Indonesia for all these years, linking Jakarta with Singapore and Europe (from their base at FRA and MUC). Hope to see LH reopen CGK service again in the future.
dirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 200 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (9 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5041 times:
Having flown the fifth-freedom carriers serving the SIN-CGK route, please allow me to rate several aspects of flight on the different airlines covered in this trip report series. These ratings were just based on my personal experience during the flights with the respective carriers, and did not represent the view of the aviation community, nor any other organizations.
Below are my opinion on different aspects of a flight, delivered by the respective airlines.
Booking & Check-in:
(Covers the user-friendliness of the website and the check-in process at both airports) 1st : LH
(Covers the level of comfort at the lounges used by respective airlines, both in SIN and CGK, along with facilities offered in those different lounges)
(Covers the crew member friendliness, efficiency, interaction with passengers) 1st: PR
Inflight Entertainment (IFE)
(Covers the user friendliness of the system, features, variety of contents) 1st: TK
(Covers the size of serving, contents, taste, and appearance of the meal served) 1st: PR
(Covers the level of comfort on their J Class seats, legroom, and seat features) 1st: TK
Again, I should remind everyone that these recognitions I made was just based on my experience with the respective carriers. In my opinion all carriers had their own strong points, and they do had some areas to improve as well. But certainly, it had been a fruitful experience flying the fifth-freedom carriers between Singapore and Jakarta.
On the side note, I would like to thank everyone who had made this opportunity to produce this trip report available, which includes my family, and the different airlines that had shuttled me between SIN and CGK roundtrip.
Well I would leave you to think which carrier is the best carrier among the fifth-freedom carriers flying the SIN-CGK-SIN route, do leave a comment to let me know what did you think
Should you have any suggestions for my further Trip reports, do let me know through comments.
dirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 200 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (9 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3364 times:
Thanks for reading.
Quoting 767747 (Reply 3): I'm impressed that they actually had time to do a full meal service on an A340.
Indeed, LH offers a nice product for the short-hop. Some SIN-CGK hops could go longer due to the congestion on both airports, up to like 1h45min for the short distance.
But my flight was around 1h20mins, which was just the normal for the route, when I was in the flight it seems they had sufficient time to conduct the meal service and not rushing it. Well done to LH for their efficient service then
reifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1127 posts, RR: 1 Reply 5, posted (9 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 2869 times:
Thank you for sharing. LH to CGK reminds me of a lot of things. When I was a child I lived in Jakarta, and when it was time for holidays we took the thrusty 747 back to FRA, mostly there were other people from the German International School in Jakarta on board, so it was usually quite fun. Things haven't changed, back then there was a stop in SIN (and sometimes in BKK as well IIRC), and I loved this airport back then already.
A few years ago, I flew back to Indonesia down the whole way via SIN on the 747 again, and had a great 2 weeks in South East Asia.
Sadly the 747 do not fly to CGK anymore, as you mentioned now the MUC-flight gets the tag on, but in 2 months they will be ending the service anyway.
I find it sad, but on the other side it's logic. SQ flies this route so much, and what difference it makes to connect, since even if MUC passengers fly down all the way to CGK they would need to leave the plane in SIN and repass security there anyway. So they could as well just take a well timed SQ flight.
dirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 200 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (9 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2775 times:
Thanks for reading.
Quoting reifel (Reply 5): LH to CGK reminds me of a lot of things.
Agreed, the LH service to CGK also brings back many memories of mine. Last time LH was my first choice for my SIN-CGK flights, back during the days when it was the LH778/779 rotation CGK-SIN-FRA on the B744.
Quoting reifel (Reply 5): I find it sad, but on the other side it's logic.
Indeed, but the move somehow surprising to me because I find the loads were pretty good when I flew on board their flights, but somehow with the current economic condition, it seems more reasonable to send their CGK passengers to star-alliance partners such as SQ or TG to SIN or BKK before flying them with their LH metal to FRA/MUC.