Ryanair!!!
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Pic-rep Part 2: Bandung - JKT/Halim On Merpati

Thu Mar 25, 2004 1:27 am

Bandung – Jakarta / Halim
Merparti Nusantara Airlines
MZ 3604
CN 235 (PK-MNI)
Seat 5D
ETD: 1055H
ETA: 1030H
Duration: 35 min
==========================================================


15 March

Left Jakarta by train on 14 March. This train ride is a definite must for visitors. The scenic ride over the expansive countryside and picturesque river gorges is simply breath-taking.

Another lovely time spent in Bandung. Stayed at the Holiday Inn again and I had no reason not to. This hotel has a superb location to nearby factory outlets which I went crazy in. Shopped like hell for Gap business shirts and surf shorts. Ventured up to the highlands of Lembang again – this time I made sure I went up there in the day time.

Finally, got up really early for my flight on the 15th and it seemed like déjà vu as I prepared to leave the hotel for the airport. Of course, just 5 weeks ago, I was going through the same routine!  Big grin

There were 3 of us traveling today. And we looked forward to returning to Jakarta as we packed ourselves into the hotel van for a short ride to Bandung’s Hussein Sastranegara Airport.

The ride to the airport was uneventful until we reached the entrance. What greeted us was a demonstration! And boy was there a crowd. The speaker stood high above the back of a truck and hundreds, if not thousands of listeners were enthusiastically cheering him on, waving flags of white and green. Enthusiastic they were, enthusiastic I was not! The road was blocked and so was the access into the airport.

You see, Indonesia is in the midst of a presidential election campaign and demonstrations like these were commonplace. Of all the places to “demo” – as the locals call it, they had to do it at the entrance of the road to the airport!

Hence, my driver had to meander his way through small streets and back lanes in order to find an alternative route. We ended up on the other side of the airport compound where the factory of the Indonesian-made CN 235 aircraft was situated – IPTN. A while later, we pulled up at the terminal relieved but the drive of normally 10 mins lasted almost an hour! I was now staring at the demonstration from the other side; the lone voice from the megaphone could still be heard cackling amidst the cheers.



Security checks were carried out before we entered the terminal building and the silence within was welcoming from the “demo” din. Check in was completed at Counter 4 where the Merpati signs were bright and hard to miss.

Airport tax of Rp 10000 was paid at a separate counter.


Despite being the place where Indonesian aviation roots were sown, Bandung Hussein Sastranegara Airport does not see much traffic, other than props. Maybe the reason why the airport staffs look so laid back.

A trip up to the viewing gallery yielded little action with an empty ramp filling the scenery, with the expansive factory of IPTN forming the background.

With nothing much to do, we all went past security to the departure holding lounge. I spent the next few minutes relating my experience of flying the CN 235 to my 2 other traveling companions because they have never flown in one before, despite one of them being an Indonesian.

The bright white CN 235 finally purred and sputtered into it’s parking position after landing at 1030H from Jakarta / Halim. Passengers were unloaded as airport staff busied them selves with preparing the aircraft for the next flight, some of them were pushing carts that were similar to the ones used by the hawkers on the streets!

1045H: Boarding call…. And off we went into the bright and cool sunshine to our aircraft that was the one and only one in the ramp. My favorite part of the journey. Just check out the photos below!


Here I am with my Indonesian friend before he got sick….  Smile
The closer I got, I realized that the registration was PK-MNI! This was the same aircraft I flew on 26 Jan 04!

Wow…. I walked up the stairs and into the familiar cabin once again.

Like before, there was only one stewardess but this time she had no name tag. So let’s call her Dewi.

Unlike the previous flight, there were no sounds of electric guitars doubling up as ambience music. Instead, it was just silent inside. Much nicer this was, thank you!

1100H: Welcome announcements came on in Indonesian followed by English, which interestingly, Dewi referred to us as “Dear customers, welcome on boarrrrd Merrrrpati…” And that was all the English words I managed to catch.

1101H: Taxi begins and there isn’t any safety demonstration despite Dewi describing the safety features. No need for pushback as the aircraft simply moves off from its present position.

After the announcements are over, Dewi sashays down the aisle with a basket of sweets for the passengers to take. The smile never goes away, a very sweet girl.

Reaching the threshold of Runway 29, a tight u-turn is performed and the prop starts to churn louder and louder. The cabin rattles and amazingly nothing falls apart.

1103H: Brakes are released; we begin the 20 sec roll and rotate into the clear and sunny skies of Bandung.

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM…… Up and up we fly towards out cruising level of FL210. A few bumps here and there but nothing to write home about.

1109H: The seatbelt sign “pings” off and Dewi waste no time in bringing out the meal boxes which we all receive in less than a minute. Wow…. Must be bionic woman at work.

The meal box consist of a butter cake with shredded cheese, potato croquette, and a pre-cupped calamnsi juice. It was pretty tasty! There was even a wet towellette for my perusal.

Meanwhile, the vibrations of the cabin kept my loose window shade progressively closing down. It was pretty annoying trying to keep it up for photo taking!

1119H: Dewi cracks over the PA and begin arrival announcements as the first signs of descend are felt. The engine also becomes noticeably quieter which becomes a relief momentarily.

The approach for Halim becomes a little bumpy over West Jakarta as the pilot struggles to maintain the plane on course. I think it must have been a windy day. Passengers gasped as the plane dived down and up and down again. While I was enjoying the ride, my Indonesian friend had his arms on the seat in front of him and his head buried in them…. Bracing for a crash? His face looked green.

“Saya pusing….” He later commented. (I am giddy)…. And here is a partial shot of his almost throwing up. I know, I am evil.

The tyres finally screeched with a few bumps on Runway 24 at 1126H. Ah… we landed safely at Halim Perdana Kusuma Airport, Jakarta.

This was another wonderful flight with Merpati Nusantara. My mate naturally took this opportunity to get shimmy with the attendant.

And now, one final look back at the trusty little rust bucket that brought me from Bandung, which looked so small when compared to the Fokker 100 that we parked next to!


VERDICT

Merpati has proven to be consistent since my last flight with them. Service is friendly and flight has always departed on time. No major delays. Hence, my rating for them remains unchanged from my last trip report on the same sector.

Check in: 9/10
Boarding: 9/10
Catering:: 8/10
In-flight service: 8/10
Arrival: 8/10

Overall: 84%

Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
bhtchuo
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2001 7:11 pm

RE: Pic-rep Part 2: Bandung - JKT/Halim On Merpati

Thu Mar 25, 2004 2:32 am

gosh... another pictorial report... gotta wit till i gotto a better and faster server to see those pics... home internet connection is too slow...durgh
cheers
 
JBLUA320
Posts: 2997
Joined: Mon May 27, 2002 8:51 am

RE: Pic-rep Part 2: Bandung - JKT/Halim On Merpati

Thu Mar 25, 2004 7:39 am

Nice report!

Out of question though- why does that F100 have a rear door? Maybe I just never noticed it on Americans... but is that a standard thing??
JBLU
 
Ryanair!!!
Topic Author
Posts: 4071
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:55 pm

RE: Pic-rep Part 2: Bandung - JKT/Halim On Merpati

Thu Mar 25, 2004 8:08 am

Out of question though- why does that F100 have a rear door? Maybe I just never noticed it on Americans... but is that a standard thing??

Probably the same as why does some 767 have 3 doors instead of 2? Customer specification I guess...
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
COAB767
Posts: 1313
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 6:32 pm

RE: Pic-rep Part 2: Bandung - JKT/Halim On Merpati

Thu Mar 25, 2004 8:29 pm

Great report loved the pics.
Continental Micronesia: "Fly With The Warmth Of Paradise"
 
PSAHO88
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2000 1:36 am

RE: Pic-rep Part 2: Bandung - JKT/Halim On Merpati

Thu Mar 25, 2004 8:59 pm

simply superb!

 Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
Cathay Pacific
Posts: 1715
Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 1:29 am

RE: Pic-rep Part 2: Bandung - JKT/Halim On Merpati

Fri Mar 26, 2004 5:12 am

Can't view the pics - Bandwidth Exceeded  Sad
cathay pacific, now you're really flying
 
Ryanair737
Posts: 1364
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 5:14 am

RE: Pic-rep Part 2: Bandung - JKT/Halim On Merpati

Fri Mar 26, 2004 5:29 am

I can't view the pics as well, I get the same message "Bandwidth Exceeded".

Ryanair737
LAST FLIGHTS= Ryanair LPL-BGY-LPL - EI-DPS/DWV - MAY 08 // NEXT FLIGHTS= TBC
 
Akumas
Posts: 424
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 4:53 pm

RE: Pic-rep Part 2: Bandung - JKT/Halim On Merpati

Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:52 am

If you want to email the pictures to killerbean at bigpond dot com
I can host them for you.
 
Ryanair!!!
Topic Author
Posts: 4071
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:55 pm

RE: Pic-rep Part 2: Bandung - JKT/Halim On Merpati

Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:09 pm

Oh no... the bandwidth has exceeded and my acct will be disabled for the rest of the month. However, I guess you could still go to http://img18.photobucket.com/albums/v53/compact_cruiser/...

Sorry about that guys!

Ryan
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
Cathay Pacific
Posts: 1715
Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 1:29 am

RE: Pic-rep Part 2: Bandung - JKT/Halim On Merpati

Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:45 pm

Once again excellent pics....love these photo trip reports!  Smile

I remember flying Merpati some 10 years ago from Bali to Surabaya(?) on a stormy day...man was that scary!
cathay pacific, now you're really flying

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