This will be my report on flying on Jetstar Asia economy class from Singapore to Jakarta, a short-haul international flight within SE Asia.
Besides studying, I am also doing volunteer work in a non-profit foundation. As the foundation was holding a talk in Jakarta and the president of the foundation was supposed to leave to UK soon (which was postponed due to visa issuance delay), I decided it would be best to pay a visit to Jakarta.
On my past reports I tend to use full-service airlines, however this time I flew on an LCC due to timing issue - I accidentally scheduled a part-time work on Friday around lunch time, which means the connecting time between the end of work and the talk was very tight at only 6 hours. I also picked Jetstar as it is based in Singapore and offers early check-in or possibly even going straight to gate with online check-in. Due to those conveniences, I was initially quite willing to spend S$80 (US$60) for the one-way trip on an LCC.
Early check-in at Singapore SIN
Jetstar offers web check-in on all its routes and even offer the possibility of going straight to gate on some major routes (Singapore SIN to Jakarta CGK included). However, as I didn't book a return trip with Jetstar I ended up requiring document check, which means I needed to stay overnight at the airport to prevent me missing the check-in time by the time I arrived at the airport for my departure.
Web check-in boarding pass
Jetstar, together with AirAsia, heavily relies on self-service at Singapore SIN terminal 1. However, Jetstar's check-in area setting was more elaborate as AirAsia was about to move to the new Singapore SIN terminal 4 in several months.
Being Qantas' subsidiary, Jetstar's check-in area also happen to be nearby Qantas'.
Singapore SIN terminal 1 was undergoing major renovation in the public area.
The self check-in machine at Singapore SIN terminal 1. Rather than providing common machines usable for all airlines at once, the self check-in machine was only meant for use for a single airline.
Only English and Chinese was available.
There were several options available to prove the passenger's identity.
After scanning the passport, I needed to find the flight I was about to take.
Self check-in machine is only meant for passengers departing within 12 hours of departure, which means camping at the airport.
Beside the AirAsia check-in area there were a secluded seating area, however the seats at Singapore SIN terminal 1 and 3 public area come with individual armrest, which makes them very uncomfortable to sleep on.
The 24 hours food court at Singapore SIN terminal 3. I ordered iced coffee and chicken rice as my supper.
Seats at Singapore SIN terminal 3 public arrival area, which also comes with individual armrest.
Singapore SIN terminal 3 public check-in area, which was especially quiet.
The automatic people mover at Singapore SIN operates more than 600 roundtrips between Singapore SIN terminal 1 public area and Singapore SIN terminal 2 and 3 public area, but when it was put down for maintenance they turn to this elusive shuttle bus, operating just 30 roundtrips between Singapore SIN terminal 1, 2, and 3 public area, and even with that the occupancy was extremely low.
After being unable to sleep for a few hours I was back to the self check-in machine at Singapore SIN terminal 1 public check-in area and printed my boarding pass.
The boarding pass dispensed by the machine was shoddy and very thin. To make the matter worse, I still needed to have my documents checked anyway.
As it was early in the morning, the document check counter was not opened and I ended up having to proceed to the common kiosk assistance counter.
Even the stanchion bar features the airport logo.
Next-generation check-in counters were installed, featuring the design like the self bag drop counters.
I waited for around 10 minutes to be served, as some people clogged the counter with a large amount of checked baggage. As usual, I checked about the load, which the check-in counter staff mentioned that it was quite full at around 160 people and afterwards he printed my boarding pass. Unfortunately for me, I put my old boarding pass on the table as well and after he provided me with the new boarding pass he asked me why had I checked in using the kiosk as well (it mentioned document check), took my self check-in boarding pass, and tore and discarded it.
The boarding pass issued at the manned counter was better, but the colour scheme made it look rather cheap.
One view of Singapore SIN terminal 1 check-in area before returning to my place for some sleep before class.
Singapore SIN terminal 1 public arrival area was quite quiet.
Unlike during my last trip, Singapore SIN terminal 1 public pick-up area was air-conditioned and has already finished.
My S$10 (US$7.5) trip for the 40 km journey back home on Uber's carpooling service. The driver was especially grumpy as the trip was very far by Singapore standard yet overly cheap, but I had no choice as the eectric train service was not yet available.
Trip back to Singapore SIN
A view of one of the older halls in my campus taken while I was waiting to be picked up. For the trip to the airport, I used Grab's social carpooling service, which after discount costed me S$11 (US$8.3).
One of the signs that you are almost arriving at Singapore SIN are the flowers at the median of the expressway.
Reaching Singapore SIN terminal 1
Singapore SIN terminal 1 public drop-off area.
Singapore SIN terminal 1 feels like the most packed terminal among the others, especially as I had flown to and from Singapore SIN terminal 2 and 3 quite a few times.
Boarding pass checks were only conducted before proceeding through immigration.
Immigration counters at Singapore SIN terminal 1.
Singapore SIN transit area and departure
Singapore SIN terminal 1 transit area, which was quite crowded.
There were quite few planes at the inside part of Singapore SIN terminal 1, with the most distinctive one being Emirates' B77W.
Singapore SIN tend to have small immigration area, which means such crowds are often inevitable when large planes were arriving.
I then noticed that my flight was retimed, which is another way of mentioning delay in Singapore SIN. The delay was quite significant at 80 minutes, making my trip increasingly moot. I checked at the transfer area whether there will be compensation for the delay or if there was a possibility to cancel the trip, none of which was provided.
The limit between Singapore SIN terminal 1 and terminal 3 transit area was subtly marked with the carpet design.
During the delay, I walked around Singapore SIN terminal 3 and had some meal there. After wandering for around 30 minutes, I started my trip back to Singapore SIN terminal 1.
The crowd at the arrival immigration was visible again.
FIDS showing gate status
Singapore SIN terminal 1 transit area near the D gates
The trip to the gate may be long, but how long can it be?
Scanning machines for arrival security.
Singapore SIN terminal 1 transit area extension
The gate was in fact at the very end of the terminal, ending the excruciating trip. Unlike at Singapore SIN terminal 3, there is no automated people mover from the end gates to the main area.
Does Jetstar love to use gates nearing the end of the terminal, or is it an LCC thing?
Security was reasonably fast, and I was let through after a haircare product was checked and found to be just at the maximum capacity at 100 ml.
Singapore SIN terminal 1 gate D38/48/49 features seats and a handful of sofa, but I could not find the drinking water dispenser or even power plugs beside some seats I ended up sitting at the corner just to get the much-required power plug.
A few minutes later boarding started, though I opted to board late as I had quite few battery power left to book my ride from Jakarta CGK later on. Boarding was quite orderly, unlike the possible mess found at Indonesian airports.
Walkway to the plane
Some views of 9V-JSB, the plane about to carry me to Jakarta CGK
This aerobridge features some pattern, which unfortunately looks rather cheap.
Thanks to the high load factor, people were queuing to get into the plane.
Thanks to me being seated on the aisle seat (I took the random seat assignment to save on the seat selection fee), there were significantly less photos taken on board.
After the seatbelt sign was switched off, the flight attendants started selling their foods and beverages. As I would be in rush at Jakarta CGK, I decided to get a bottle of drink, accompanied with a glass of ice on an unbranded glass. After I asked for more ice on the glass, my seatmate joked that I should pay even more due to the additional ice.
Throughout the flight I listened to some musics from my phone and read my previous flight report which I loaded during boarding instead of bothering with the magazine. I also could not sleep as I could not recline the seat out of concern that the person behind me may get uncomfortable.
Before descent I went for a lavatory visit, and the toilet was fortunately quite clean although lacked amenities.
A view of the cabin, with the curtain closing the front galley.
The only outside photo I have during the flight, taken during descent.
Landing was acceptable, and unlike on departure the taxi was actually quite fast.
Thank you, 9V-JSB, hope to see you again soon.
Arrival at Jakarta CGK and post-arrival trip
This needs to be explained first, but Jakarta CGK was experiencing a blackout before my arrival, therefore only essential services remained available as the airport used its own generator to operate.
As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by the escalator not operating as usual.
The walkway to the arrival area.
Some of us went to the moving walkway, hoping for it to operate but we ended up walking on narrow walkway, limiting my walking speed.
The automated immigration gates were not working randomly, and by the time I gave up 2 out of 3 gates were disabled due to "too many unsuccessful scanning attempts". I was trying to avoid a stamp from Jakarta CGK, but due to that problem I ended up having one after not needing a stamp for several years. The area was also rather stuffy as the air conditioning was not fully turned on.
Jakarta CGK arrival area.
A drinking water dispenser, which was nowhere nearly as popular with the passengers as the one in Singapore SIN.
Customs screening area - as Jakarta CGK serves a large number of passenger we simply submitted the customs declaration form and had the officer decide whether to have the bag(s) scanned.
Booking an app-based ride hailing service is a tough task to do in Jakarta CGK, so I ended up needing to go to the carpark's pick-up area to go to the car.
Also thanks to the outage, parking tickets needed to be written manually, therefore significantly increasing the waiting time for drivers to get out of the carpark.
Trip to the event I was supposed to attend.
Bonus: A sneak peek of the trip in Jakarta
Bonus : Click here displayhide
Thanks to the severe delay, I got to meet with the other team members of the foundation after the talk. Which one is me?
I stayed at a hostel in the old town area, which after OTA discount costed me only S$6 (US$4.5) for the night. I only needed a place to sleep anyway, so ….
The hostel's reception and common area
A view of Jakarta's CBD.
I went to Grand Indonesia while waiting for my colleague, but as the lobbies there could be chaotic, I waited at the lobby of the renowned Hotel Indonesia Kempinski instead.
Tang yuan or usually called ronde in Indonesia, a dessert with glutinous rice balls served in sweet ginger syrup.
Fried rice with stink beans.
Jetstar Asia Airways
Singapore - SIN
Jakarta - CGK
While flying LCC is almost inevitable in SE Asia and can be acceptable, this trip on Jetstar was downright horrible. From lack of notification, extremely tight seat, all the way to obscenely priced dining options, it was not the most pleasant experience to travel around SE Asia. Pushing my case for a full service airline has been done quite a lot of times, although as this is a self-funded travel I was more concerned on the other factors. The fare was indeed expensive for the route, however with the flight departing less than 24 hours from the time the ticket was purchased I could not complain for it either (the only all-time reasonably priced option is Lion Air, though their schedule didn't match this time).
Singapore SIN was acceptable as usual despite the increased crowd in Singapore SIN terminal 1, though Jakarta CGK proved that it is not ready to face operational challenges, and to make it worse they also further restricted online ride-hailing services to inconvenient location.
Some thing done well for the trip: + Passable check-in waiting and processing time at Singapore SIN + Acceptable immigration and security at Singapore SIN + Interterminal connections at Singapore SIN
Things that can be improved: - Lack of straight to gate option for one-way travel - Significantly reduced number of seats fit for sleeping at Singapore SIN public area - Singapore SIN gate usage - Cheap looking aerobridge finishes at Singapore SIN - Slightly dated looking cabin - Extremely tight seat pitch - Lack of in-flight entertainment - In-flight meal prices - Lack of toilet water - Dated terminal at Jakarta CGK - Non-functional moving walkway and automated immigration gates at Jakarta CGK - Lack of convenient access for ride-hailing services at Jakarta CGK
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