Thursday, March 16, 2006

Going to Jakarta via Batam (2)

After lunch (see previous post), we immediately took a taxi to Hang Nadim airport. The taxi journey took about 20 minutes, and the price is fixed at 60,000 rupiah. You can see the list of the taxi fare to almost all destinations in Batam at the taxi counter, just to the left after you clear immigration. We reached the airport at around 12:35pm, and immediately went to the Indonesia AirAsia counter to check-in for the QZ 7553 flight to Jakarta. Indonesia AirAsia is a subsidiary of Malaysia's AirAsia, the leading budget airline in the region. It's similar to Thai AirAsia, which is the subsidiary of AirAsia in Thailand.

I like using AirAsia compared to other budget airlines because the service is good and efficient, and the price is quite cheap. A return ticket from Batam to Jakarta to Batam (including tax) for 4 people is only around 1.7 million rupiahs (or less than S$300). So, it's only around S$70 per person, and that already includes tax. With the $30 ferry ticket per person, the total cost per person is only around $100, excluding taxi fares etc. Very cheap! You can compare with Lion Air or Adam Air, which flies directly from Singapore's Changi airport to Jakarta. At least you will have to fork out about $200 (including tax) per person, and that's only if you're lucky to get such fare. Usually, the fare is even higher, especially during peak season.

I also like AirAsia's ticketing system. We can buy tickets online on the Internet, and pay using our credit card. Since it's a domestic Indonesian flight, the fare is in Indonesian rupiahs. It's a ticketless system, so we just need to print out the ticket and then submit the print-out together with our passport/IC during check-in. Very efficient!

After check-in, we paid the airport tax, which is 13,000 rupiahs (slightly more than S$2) per head, total 52,000 rupiahs. We then entered the departure longue. Hang Nadim airport is quite a modern airport, it's comparable (if not better) than Johor Bahru's Senai airport, and it's much better than other Indonesian airports, such as Yogyakarta, Lombok or Bandung, which I visited last year. More pictures of us at Batam's Hang Nadim airport can be found here.

The flight was on-time. Even there are aerobridges in the airport, but it wasn't used by AirAsia to save cost. So we needed to walk on the tarmac to reach the airplane, which was alright to us, we could even took some pictures of the plane from the tarmac. :) The service is also much much better than Lion Air or Adam Air, which I once used before. The plane is also quite new. I was initially afraid that we would use those old planes belong to Awair, but that was not the case.

The flight took around one and a half hour, and we reached at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airport at around 3pm. We arrived at the terminal 1A of the airport, and were greeted by Aki and Ene, Aunty Via with Alif and Kayla, and Uncle Firman. From there, we went to Ayam Hayam Wuruk restaurant in Kebayoran Baru, and met Aunty Ria there. We had another lunch (well, we can say that a late lunch, if not early dinner) there, before heading back to my parent's house in Cinere, south Jakarta.

Read the Indonesian version of this post.

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