To go back from Pekanbaru to my lovely hometown in Jakarta, I chose one of my favorite Indonesian domestic carriers, Citilink (QG). At that time it offered cheapest fare for IDR 500,000 (around USD 37.00).
Sep 22, 2017. After a long overland journey by "Makmur" intercity bus from Medan, I arrived in Pekanbaru and spent about 12 hours before going home. I had written a brief explanation about Pekanbaru on my previous report with Garuda from Jakarta in 2016 (click here). Let me show you some snapshots of Pekanbaru city.
Kim Teng "kopitiam" (coffee shop), the legendary coffee shop of Pekanbaru.
My lunch: Minang-style "soto" at Kota Buana Restaurant.
From the "Anjung Seni Idrus Tintin", I ordered an "ojek" (motorcycle taxi) to the airport through "Gojek" app on my cellphone.
The airport, named "Sultan Syarif Kasim II", one of the sultans of Siak Malay Sultanate and also one of Indonesian national heroes. It's an international airport. Other than domestic routes, it also serves international flights to Singapore (Silkair, Jetstar), Kuala Lumpur (Airasia), and Malacca (Malindo Air, Xpressair).
There were still 2 hours before boarding. I chose to take a rest for a while in one of my favorite American fast food chain: A&W. But I did not eat anything here. I only bought a glass of root beer.
After drinking A&W's root beer, I went straight to the departure area.
As I had done the online check-in earlier, here I just needed to print the boarding pass, and you can do it on these computers.
The boarding pass.
Way to the gates. Two popular coffee shop chains (Starbucks & Excelso) are available here if you need a cup of coffee before flying.
An ad of Pantai Hospitals, Malaysia. Many people of Riau prefer Malaysia (especially Malacca and KL) for medical check & treatment.
Waiting room for departure, shared by all boarding gates.
You can take a rest here if you need more relaxation.
Public PCs. The internet speed was so-so. Not recommended for watching HD videos of Youtube.
"Indomaret", a popular Indonesian convenience store chain.
Outside the window, Singaporean Silkair was preparing for its return to Changi.
Our national flag carrier, Garuda.
At 7.45 p.m. we were called for boarding.
Our plane. I forgot to check the registration code.
Entering the cabin, we were greeted by the cabin crews with their unforgettable smiles.
Actually on the online check-in process I chose the 11F seat. But before the take-off, a cabin crew politely asked me and other 3 passengers to move to the emergency exit row, as the emergency exit row could not be vacant. OK, no problem. As usual, the row had wider pitch and gave more rooms to my feet.
At 8.10 p.m. boarding process was completed, the door was closed, and cabin crews started the safety instructions. Additionally, I and other passengers on the emergency exit row were given a brief explanation on how to open the emergency doors.
The take-off process was smooth, and the traffic of Pekanbaru's airport was good that we could take-off quickly without queues.
After the take-off and seat-belt sign turned off, I checked everything inside the seat pocket.
On-board meals menu. You had to pay for them. Unlike Airasia, Citilink did not provide pre-booked meals, and you could only buy the foods while on-board.
"Linkers" magazine. Quite useless if you don't understand Indonesian language, as the magazine's contents are only in Indonesian.
Cabin condition. with ads of "Kapal Api" coffee.
As there was no IFE, I chose to spend my times before landing by listening musics on my cellphone.
The weather was good that we did not face any turbulences. At 9.45 p.m. (about 1.5 hours after departure) the plane touched the northern runway of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.
Passing the hangar of GMF AeroAsia.
Time to leave the plane.
One of departure gates at Terminal 1C.
Way to the baggage belts.
Then I left the airport by DAMRI express bus to Pasar Minggu in southern Jakarta, from where I would hop a commuter train to my home in Depok.
Pekanbaru-Sumatra Island - PKU
Jakarta - CGK
As an LCC, Citilink did not provide any "luxury" facilities, but it served me well. Cabin condition was well-maintained and clean. Cabin crews were nice and polite. They asked me to move to the emergency row with polite and friendly sound. No scores for IFE and foods as I did not get both during the flight, but perhaps I will try its on-board foods next time. If I'm asked to mention Indonesian best LCC, then Citilink is my choice.
Pekanbaru Airport was good with many useful facilities provided (relaxation chairs, power plug outlets, public computers, free Wi-fi, etc.) but it has needed expansion to accomodate growing number of passengers. It currently serves domestic flights and still limited international flights to Singapore and Malaysia.
Soekarno-Hatta Airport? No comment.
Thanks for reading.
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