Review of Indonesia AirAsia flight Yogyakarta-Java Island Jakarta in Economy

Airline Indonesia AirAsia
Flight QZ7551
Class Economy
Seat 17F
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 01:00
Take-off 05 May 17, 17:10
Arrival at 05 May 17, 18:10
QZ 11 reviews
anaknegeri
By 427
Published on 14th June 2017
Hello friends. Welcome to my report.

Firstly, as usual, please apologize for my bad English, and there will be more pictures than words.

This is a short story of an Indonesian domestic flight from Yogyakarta (popularly called "Jogja") in the central part of Java to Jakarta, my hometown, with short duration (60 minutes). There is no flight report for Jakarta-Jogja sector, since I hop an express bus from jakarta to Jogja 2 days before this flight.

For this journey, I chose Indonesia AirAsia (QZ), an Indonesian subsidiary of Malaysia-based AirAsia. Previously I've written my story with QZ from Singapore to Jakarta. QZ is currently focusing on international routes, especially to Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, with only a handful of domestic routes (and vice versa):
- Jakarta-Jogja (this is the story)
- Jakarta-Surabaya
- Jakarta-Denpasar (Bali)
- Bandung-Denpasar
- Jogja-Denpasar
- Solo-Denpasar
- Medan-Palembang
- Medan-Jogja
Perhaps it is their strategy to focus on international routes. But actually more than 3 years ago it has more domestic routes. I had been onboard with QZ on some routes like Jakarta-Medan, Bandung-Medan, Bandung-Pekanbaru, Jakarta-Lombok, Medan-Pekanbaru, but all of them have been terminated.
In the end of 2014, they face their toughest time, when its aircraft on flight no QZ8501 was declared missing. Some days later, it was found crashed inside Java Sea. No survivor, all 155 passengers and 7 crews died. But it needed not long time to recover their image as a carrier with high standard of safety, though it's also facing harsh competition against Lion Air (largest Indonesian operator) and other carriers.

So, why did I choose Airasia? Actually an honest reason is that it's currently operating from Terminal 2F, my favorite domestic terminal (after the closing of old Terminal 3 dedicated for LCCs). Then after comparing ticket prices between Airasia and Sriwijaya Air (another carrier in Terminal 2F), Airasia offered cheapest price for only around IDR 350,000 (around USD 27). I also paid IDR 20,000 for seat choosing and IDR 30,000 for on-board meal. Unfortunately, after the QZ8501 crash, the Indonesian Ministry of Transport applied a standard fare regulation, so that carriers can't offer prices lower than stated in the fare regulation for domestic flights. Before that, I had flown with LCCs on domestic routes only for around IDR 100,000-200,000 (including airport tax).

OK, I think the introduction about the carrier is enough. Now I will tell you a short description about Yogyakarta.

It is an Indonesian special region, where the monarchical Sultan of Yogyakarta is also the governmental leader of the region, unlike in other provinces of Indonesia where governors are elected by democratic process. Together with Solo, it's viewed as "heart" of Javanese culture. It's a popular tourist destination in Indonesia. Every weekend, it is packed by tourist from Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, and other cities. International tourists are also common, you can find them easily in Malioboro and "backpackers' villages" of Prawirotaman and Sosrowijayan.

As I've lost words to describe this charming city, I will show you some photos of Jogja.

Malioboro, Jogja's main shopping street.
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Kampung Ketandan, Jogja's Chinatown, still in Malioboro area.
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Pasar Beringharjo, Jogja's central market ("pasar"=market).
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Benteng Vredeburg ("benteng"=fort), a Dutch colonial legacy. It's currently housing a museum containing dioramas about historical fact happened in Jogja before Indonesian proclamation of independence (August 17th, 1945).
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Museum Sonobudoyo, museum containing artifacts and Javanese cultural item, including the "wayang" (shadow puppet), "gamelan" (Javanese musical ensemble), and "batik" cloth. It is located on the northern side of "Keraton" (palace of the Yogyakarta Sultanate).

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The "Keraton", palace of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta. A section of this palace is still private for Sultan's family, the rest is open for public.

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My breakfast: Sop Ayam (chicken soup) Pak Min Klaten.
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My lunch: Sate Ayam (chicken satay) Pak Kromo. Honestly, this is one of best satay I've ever tasted in Indonesia.
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From the chicken satay's restaurant, I walked to the nearest Trans Jogja city bus stop, to hop a bus to Adi Sucipto Airport.

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The airport's bus stop is connected to the airport terminal by pedestrian underpass under railways.

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Terminal A, the first built terminal. The QZ doesn't use this terminal, but the newer Terminal B.

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Pedestrian way to the terminal B. I don't know the exact distance from terminal A, but it needed about 10 minutes to reach Terminal B.
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Terminal B is used by all international flights (AirAsia & SilkAir). The domestic operators are AirAsia and Sriwijaya Air.

Check-in counters.
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I had done the online check in, so I just needed to print the boarding pass on the self check in machine. As usual in LCCs, the boarding pass was printed on a simple paper like this.
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From the check in counter, I proceed directly to the waiting room, after passing through a security check.

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Feel bored? You can use 2 PCs for free, or read books here.
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Our flight, AirAsia QZ8551, shown on the LCD.
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Scheduled to depart at 4.20 p.m., but until that time there was no boarding call for us. I checked the FR24, and realized that the aircraft was still flying in the air and preparing to land. Honestly I forgot the landing time, but we were called for boarding at 4.45 p.m.

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The airport doesn't have aerobridges, so we needed to walk to our aircraft through the apron side.

On the way to the aircraft, we passed a QZ with "Turn Back Crime" livery. It was ready for departure to Bali (Denpasar). Based on my simple observation, 50% of its passenger were foreign tourists. Jogja and Bali are probably 2 most popular tourist sites in Indonesia.
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Walking and walking.
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The QZ aircraft preparing to bring me back to Jakarta. The registration code was PK-AZI. It was 5 years old, having been operated for a year by AirAsia Japan (defunct in 2014) before handed to QZ.

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At the other side, an ATR 72 of Wings Air ready to take off.
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Wings Air, a subsidiary of Lion Air Group. What a great moment.
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Entering the QZ's cabin, I proceed directly to my seat. At the window, a CRJ of Garuda could be seen. "Explore" is Garuda's brand used for ATR 72 and CRJ aircrafts.
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My final snapshot from the airport: the old Terminal A.
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Then I switched off my cellphone. I still don't know why LCCs are stricter about cellphone operations during take off and landing (though in Airplane Mode) than FSCs (especially in wide-body jets). Yeah, I can't do anything but follow their rules. I turned off my cellphone and started to pray Rosary, my tradition as a Roman Catholic.

The QZ then flew to the sky at around 5.10 p.m smoothly without any disturbance. About 20 minutes later, cabin crews started to serve pre-ordered meals. I had chosen "Pak Nasser Nasi Lemak", one of AirAsia's signature dishes. The taste was not so perfect, but still delicious for me as a Malay foods' lover. Pre-ordered meals were served together with a cup of mineral water as the bonus.

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After enjoying the meal, I enjoyed the beautiful view outside the window. The sea (Java Sea) started to be seen.

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I also didn't forget to check all stuffs inside the seat pocket.

Safety card, in English and Indonesian.
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3Sixty (Malaysian version, in English).

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QZ's routes.
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Indonesian version of 3Sixty, in Indonesian language.
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"Santan" (Indonesian/Malay = "coconut milk), in flight meals menu.
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If you order the meals in the aircraft, the price is IDR 55,000 (excluding mineral water), but if you buy it through their website before check-in, like what I had done, the price is only IDR 35,000 with a cup of water. Almost 50% discount.
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At 6.00 p.m, the sun set, and the view became dark.
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Before preparing for landing, the cabin crews stood on the aisle and bowed with "anjali mudra" or "Namaste" gesture (a legacy of Hindu culture in Indonesia) as a sign of appreciation and thanking to all passengers choosing to fly with QZ . A friend of mine said that this tradition started shortly after the QZ8501 crash.

The aircraft landed safely in Soekarno-Hatta Airport at 6.10 p.m., exactly an hour after departure from Jogja.
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Soekarno-Hatta Airport has 2 runways: north runway & south runway. The aircraft landed in the north runway, while the terminal 2F was at the south side, so the aircraft still had long way to go.

A Sriwijaya Air just landed.
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Reaching the gate in terminal 2F, the aircraft was parked at the left side of a Boeing 777-200ER of KLM, ready for departure to Amsterdam through Kuala Lumpur.
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My final shots of QZ PK-AXI's cabin before leaving.
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Unfortunately the situation was not suitable to take final pictures of the aircraft's exterior. I took a photo of the KLM instead. Its reg code was PH-BQC.
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Long way to the main area of Terminal 2F.
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Baggage claim area.
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The belt, used together with Sriwijaya Air flight from Silangit. SIlangit is a small airport located in North Tapanuli area, my native hometown, in North Sumatra province. It was recently opened and is still in development to boost tourism in Lake Toba area, the largest lake in Indonesia.
*Actually I had planned to write the report of my flight from Silangit to Jakarta on August 2016, but Silangit Airport still doesn't have IATA code, making it difficult to be posted here.
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From the airport, I hop an express bus to my lovely home in southeastern side of Jakarta.
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Verdict

Indonesia AirAsia

6.8/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment5.0
Meal/catering7.5

Yogyakarta-Java Island - JOG

6.3/10
Efficiency7.0
Access8.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness5.0

Jakarta - CGK

7.0/10
Efficiency7.0
Access6.5
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

The Indonesian AirAsia (QZ) is good enough. I was a bit disappointed by the delayed schedule, but it was really usual thing in Indonesia, with very congested traffic at some airports. And honestly I think the Malaysian AirAsia (AK) has more features and innovations, especially the Rokki in-flight entertainment portal (available only in AK). Pak Nasser Nasi Lemak was nice, but not very delicious. The cabin was clean and well-maintained, with polite and friendly cabin crews. The seat pitch was enough for average feet length of Indonesian people, as usual in LCCs. Well, I can't choose QZ as my main choice for flying in the future, but if it does offer cheapest price, I will grab it.

Yogyakarta's Airport Terminal B is a new terminal. There is still long way to improve and provide more services to the passengers. As there were 2 flights delayed, the terminal was packed and no seats available. I and some passengers had to stand up or sit down on the floor. I don't know about the situation in Terminal A. My last time in the terminal was in 2011, also flying with QZ from Jogja to Jakarta. The airport has all public transport options: train, city bus, and express buses to some cities in Yogyakarta and Central Java region.

Terminal 2F of Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta Airport is my favorite domestic terminal, where you can still feel Garuda's legacy before moving to the new Terminal 3. That's why Sriwijaya is my top choice for domestic routes.

Thanks for reading. Any suggestions and feedbacks are appreciated.

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4 Comments

  • Comment 400948 by
    Davidbom 3 Comments

    Nice report....
    I'm indonesian myself and all of my family have lose its confidence in Airasia but i'm not. I think Airasia is the best LCC in indonesia in terms of service and your report shows that Airasia is the best LCC in indonesia.

    • Comment 400971 by
      anaknegeri AUTHOR 42 Comments

      Thanks for your comment.

      Well, personally I can't say that QZ is the best Indonesian LCC. It disappointed me 2 times in terms of flight schedule (or maybe I was in bad luck). Some people have also complained about their routine flight rescheduling and route termination. I still choose Citilink to be named as best LCC in Indonesia (for me), while I can't categorize Sriwijaya Air as LCC. But as I've said before, QZ is not bad choice.

      Personally I'm really touched about how QZ handled the families of the victims suffered in QZ8501 crash. They routinely sent psychological teams to the families, and after some months they had become like a new family for them. And the bowing and "Namaste" gesture by the crews in the aisle as a sign of appreciation to the passengers was very touching too. It was simple but meaningful.

      If some people like your family have lost their confidence in QZ, I think it's not because of the QZ8501 crash, but too often flight rescheduling and cancellation. Rescheduling or cancellation surely disturb many people who have arranged their agendas and trip itineraries. I have been the victim of it twice. But I don't know why I still want to fly with QZ. Hahahahaha.

      It's so pity that QZ has cut majority of its domestic routes. It is currently more focusing on international flights. Actually I really want to do a research of this strategy as my final assignment in my current undergraduate program, but you know lah, very difficult to do research in large-scale companies, with high degree of bureaucracy.

  • Comment 401086 by
    Eric V P 43 Comments

    Thank you for the nice report!

    Why do you think terminal 2F is considered as your favourite domestic terminal? I understand terminal 1 is quite abysmal, but the new terminal 3 is quite much newer than terminal 2F and should be better, minus the bland design. I just hope that terminals 1 and 2 are soon getting their much needed upgrade as Garuda is already leaving to terminal 3. I just made my review on terminal 2D/E arrival quite recently from my recent trip to Jakarta, so feel free have a look at it as well.

    • Comment 401162 by
      anaknegeri AUTHOR 42 Comments

      I don't know the current situation of Terminal 3. My last time in it was on August 2016, departing to Pekanbaru with GA. And every "sad" things told to me by some people (especially in Skyscrapercity.com) about Terminal 3 were true. Yeah, that time the terminal had just started its operation prematurely, with too many problems, errors, and chaotic design. At that time I felt hot temperature inside the terminal. And the worst thing was that I had to board the plane by bus and stairs, without aerobridges, despite the new terminal and the "full service" image of GA.

      I don't know how its condition today, but I still declare that Terminal 2 is better. I'm still waiting good news and testimonies about Terminal 3 to make me sure to fly with GA again.

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