Hello fellow users of flight-report.com! I'm back with some more reviews and this time it'll be a 4-review series because this is a return flight from my hometown of Jakarta to Istanbul, Turkey with Singapore Airlines. Which obviously, involves a stopover at Singapore Changi Airport. I apologize if there's any drawbacks or negative points because I do admit there's some segments of the journey that aren't well-documented. Nevertheless, I'll do my best to give verbal communication towards the issue that is being discussed, as clear as possible. I'm also very excited with this trip because the last time I flew with SQ was back in January 2012 which is 6 years ago. And it was just a Jakarta-Singapore return trip. 6 years is quite a while for an airline to develop its services and its fleet.
Carrier: Singapore Airlines (SQ/SIA)
Flight Number: SQ967 Origin Airport: Soekarno-Hatta International Airport - Jakarta Indonesia (IATA: CGK/ICAO: WIII), Terminal 2 Destination Airport: Changi International Airport - Singapore (IATA: SIN/ICAO: WSSS), Terminal 3
Departure time information are given in Western Indonesian Time (UTC+07.00) Standard Time of Departure: 2020 hrs Actual Time of Departure: 2144 hrs Departure time information are given in Singapore Standard Time (UTC+08.00) Standard Time of Arrival: 2305 hrs Actual Time of Arrival: 0002 hrs (+1 day)
Aircraft Registration Number: 9V-SYL (MSN 33376) Aircraft Type: Boeing 777-312 Aircraft Age: 12 years (delivered April 2005)
Jakarta-Singapore route by Singapore Airlines. Personally, this flight draws a lot of old memories for me. My 2nd time ever flying on a plane is in fact a Jakarta-Singapore flight, with Singapore Airlines, back in 2004. I was a 6-year old child back then, and Singapore Airlines still operates the B747-400 with "Megatop" inscriptions on the fuselage. And there've been multiple occasions that I flew to Singapore with SQ because Singapore has been a destination that me and my family frequently visit.
Indonesia, as neighbouring countries, common ASEAN founding members, and share a lot of agreements that facilitate free trade and travel, provides a large portion of the tourist influx into Singapore and takes a big part in Singapore's trade. and a lot of The Jakarta-Singapore sector is the most crowded route out of all SQ destinations, with 7 daily vice-versa connections around the clock, with the earliest starting around 05.00 and the last terminating at around 22.00. SQ deploys quite a variety of fleet on this sector, with the majority being Boeing 777-300 (non ER models). But some slots are operated with either the Boeing 777-200, the -200ER, and more recently, the A350-900 on some days. On more seldom occasions the 777-300 may be substituted with the newer A330-300s or even the long-haul configurated 777-300ERs. So they definitely deploy a wealth of their vast wide-body only fleet to Jakarta. I think they only miss the A380 on their list for the ones to be sent to Jakarta, owing the incapability of CGK to handle such sophisticated and huge aircrafts. I think if one day CGK is enabled for A380 operations SQ will definitely deploy theirs because a high-traffic route like Jakarta will be profitable with the A380. Aviation analysts predict that with the verge of the operations of SQ's 787-10, Jakarta is becoming a strong candidate of their destinations because it is confirmed that during the start the 787-10 will serve the Singapore-Bangkok and Singapore-Manila routes that use the similar array of aircrafts as the Jakarta route. I think this is very possible because their 787-10s are configurated in high-density 2-class configuration with seating for 336. The confirmed date for the inaugural 787-10 service to Bangkok is on the 3rd of April this year.
Terminal 2 in CGK has been long functioned as the international terminal and before the T3 existed all international carriers plus GA conducted service out of T2. Now that T3 is complete, GA has moved all operations, both domestic and international, as well as carriers namely Saudia, Korean Air, China Southern, and AirAsia (for international flights) has also moved out to the new T3 now the T2 is becoming less crowded and with the minor upgrades the Angkasa Pura II has done into the terminal I think the airport is not as bad as the old days.
The drop-off area at Terminal 2.
As well as the list of airlines that conduct service out of the terminal
This is the station where you can board or alight from the skytrain, or formally it is referred in CGK as APMS (Airport People Mover System) service from and to T3. It's a very new addition to the amenities here at CGK and I haven't got the chance of trying it yet. I've heard as well that the number of units in service are still limited so don't expect it to be as seamless as other renowned airports like SIN or KUL. We are looking to expand it in the near future, obviously. Seamless and hassle-free connection between multiple terminals in an airport serving more than 50 million passenger movements is already a must, yet for over 30 years of CGK's existence this facility has never been executed, not until last year. Guess it's better late than never. For the meantime, APMS service only runs on a single track between T2 and T3, back and forth.
Well, it's Christmas Eve and everyone's definitely going on holidays so this kind of traffic is expected at the airport. Pilgrimage groups to Mecca and Medina are also very popular on these dates
You have a convenience store as well right here which is a bit expensive compared to the chains you find outside the airport, don't be alarmed
More on what the T2 public space has to offer, not much but just adequate. Unfortunately the number of chairs aren't because there are simply a lot of people who just stand there because all the seats are occupied. T2 still uses the conventional system which means the check-in area is off-limits for people who are accompanying the travellers since they aren't entitled to a ticket/boarding pass.
Non-boarding pass holders must leave here and are not allowed to go into the check-in counters
Got past the security screening, and we're queueing for check-in
Tourism advertising by the South Korean government
This is what the CGK T2 check-in hall overall structure looks like. It's really aging in design but has no issues about the function whatsoever. It looks pretty much the same from edge to edge, it is just divided into segments to differentiate the counters of each airline.
Just one medium-sized luggage for the next 10 days! It's rather hefty, though
One sign that you're too early: the display above the check-in counter still displays the outbound flight to Singapore, but the flight is 1 flight before yours which is SQ 965
Upon checking in you get this notice card from SQ, as well as the receipt for claiming the baggage that has your authentic number
We passed ANA's designated check-in area as well on the way to the immigration counters
And MH's as well
And right after the MH check-in area you will reach the very edge of the T2 departure area where the immigration counters are located. Really curious about how the autogates at the far right works because of its very irrelevant presence and I have known no one to have ever passed the immigration via autogates at CGK. Biometric Indonesian passports are not well distributed yet so I guess autogates are still waiting for its maximal utilisation in the near future.
Signages here at CGK are much better, legible and has a freshener look nowadays compared to a few years ago
This is how the immigration counters look like from the other side
The start of the semi-circular shaped departure concourse of T2
As you can see, my flight is momentarily assigned for gate E7. Let's see what happens next..
Me and my family were so early, that my father decided to redeem some of his credit card points for some refreshments at the Pura Indah Lounge. They provide 2 fares, the basic one, and the "first-class" service. I don't really know what's the difference, because I've never been into the first-class lounge. But I think for a wait of 1-2 hours the basic service is fairly adequate. I apologize for forgetting to document the meal selection but they do offer Javanese-style fried noodles, steamed rice, dimsum selection, bread and jam (yes, they even serve bread and jam on the evening), soft drinks, and an array of traditional Indonesian desserts. Not very flashy but I think it is okay.
The 2nd security screening is collective to every gates on each concourses A, B, C, D, or E.
As I mentioned, the latest info from the FIDS states that my flight is assigned to gate E7. Let's check it out and head to E7.
Yes.. the FIDS at the front seems to say so…
…oopsies they trolled me though.. it was moved to E5 without any notice or altering of the inscriptions at the FIDS. Seriously man, this airport has got no chill.
They used to say that this airport won some kind of an architectural award not long after its inauguration back in the 1980s. This one, in particular is inspired by the architecture used in Javanese palaces where the nobilities used to reside. An easy example is the Keraton in Yogyakarta.
This is no ordinary SQ B773, this is 9V-SYL which is donning the all-white Star Alliance livery. I don't know but I always have luck in getting the SQ's special liveries because when I was a child, I flew on multiple flights with the now-retired 9V-SYE which also is in Star Alliance livery, but still retains the SQ gold on blue emblem on the tailfin. I was quite sad and shocked that I didn't get to say goodbye to SYE because it was such a memorable plane for me. Image of 9V-SYL belongs to Lance C. Broad of jetphotos.com
While the retired 9V-SYE looks like this.. Image belongs to Morris Biondi of jetphotos.com
This is not a promotion, but rather as an information to all of the readers here who frequently use CGK might find this handy. Last year, the Jakarta Capital Transportation Authority announced that they will invite private chartered bus companies to co-operate with them. The system works this way: instead of being idle and unutilized when it is not chartered, the fleet and their drivers are paid by the Jakarta Transportation Authority on a certain fare per kilometres of service each day, where the private companies will deploy their chartered bus fleet to serve airport shuttle routes from several points and hubs in Jakarta. This is a win-win solution for the two parties as the private bus companies will have their buses frequently used, and the people of Jakarta gets a hassle-free, comfortable bus shuttle service to the airport.
I was assigned to boarding group 5 and the timing was very punctual, but things will eventually get worse. We'll get to that later.
The economy class load factor is as close as it gets to 100% I guess.. holiday season is on full swing and this flight is legit full
Well, this is an upgrade from the old 773 I used to fly on when I was a little boy. It's Christmas Eve and you can see the usual decorations that are only installed by SQ during this time of the festivities
48D is where I'll be sitting today. Luckily it's an aisle seat though
The front-facing view from my seat. I like the current tone combinations of the interior.
I'm 168 cm (5ft 6.5in) tall and there's so much legroom for yourself to enjoy
Having a vacuum from SQ flights for 6 years makes me miss this iconic service, pre-flight hot towel distributions
The safety instruction card on board this aircraft
The only thing that's on the minus side for me in this interior is the IFE. I don't need to say anything further, it's ancient. Luckily it is a very short hop over the equator and there's no malfunction or whatsoever with the remote control. As the older an aircraft gets, the more prone you get to small but annoying technical faulties like this. Movie selection is also just adequate. I'm not complaining much because I know exactly how SQ is keeping their best efforts in maintaining the shape and utility of their fleet, just wait for another 5 years and you'll see the new and fresh Dreamliners and XWBs taking this big old fella's place. They're on the right track, definitely.
Safety video featured here is still the old one, sadly. I love the new safety video of SQ! I know many other airlines tried bringing the same concept before but even though it's a bit lengthy but I personally think that SQ nailed it the best! Just love every single frame of the video and the music is just so soothing as well! Wish my national flag carrier does the same or at least even try though.
Doors have been closed and we are all set to pushback. But don't be excited just yet. You must have forgotten that we're departing from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, an aging, inefficient airport that's struggling even to keep up with its daily traffic. We'll it's Christmas Eve and everyone must be on holidays right? What a "perfect" timing to depart. My scheduled departure is at 2020 and until 2100 local time there are no signs of pushback.
It's 2130 local time and it's been 1 hour and 10 minutes off the local schedule and we're still in the 3rd position lining up for take-off. I swear that almost everyone in my sector is bored of waiting and has slept all the way.
God is with us, and we're finally up in the air by 2144 local time (GMT+7.00). The amount of daylight stays the same pretty much year-round.
Bonus : Click here displayhide
Flying distance to Singapore is approximately 890 kilometres where we'll be heading northwest, crossing to the other hemisphere. Jakarta-Singapore sector is one of a few sectors that head westwards but the time advances forward instead. Western Indonesia Time, which is observed by Jakarta is GMT+7.00 while Singapore Standard Time is GMT+8.00. Both countries do not observe DST because it does not have the urge to. This is due to different geopolitical backgrounds of the 2 nations, and by moving the clock an hour forward means there is seamless connection to establish trade with China, Hong Kong, and other major trading partners. I think Malaysia also has the same motive, as they share the common trait of being ex-British colonies. The result may seem odd for a few Indonesia because that means in Singapore the sun rises at around 0700 and sets at 1900 everyday. While as a citizen of Bandung and Jakarta, the sun rises earliest at around 0520 and sets at 1820 during the summer solstice. Singapore is about 1-ish degree north of the equator and no daylight length variation can be taken into account.
Once we're airborne, the 1hour 20 minute flight duration the crew has seems very quick in order to serve a full-course hot meal to each and every passenger on board this 777-300. So within 10 minutes into departure the crew immediately headed to the galleys where they are preparing the meal distribution. Today's option is either chicken with rice or fish with potatoes. I opted for the chicken while my mother next to me opted the fish. Luckily for that, we have pictures of both coming right over. This is the chicken meal.
While this is the fish meal.
Well, the curry is not spicy at all, I guess that's a precaution because not all of our tongues are suited to the fiery Indonesian flavour. The vegetables are in good grade of presentation and it feels just fine, not overcooked nor too early to be served. But for me personally, what's best about this meal course is the dessert. You can see that it's some kind of chocolate mousse cake. Well, at first I think that it is just good looking but damn, I was wrong and it proved to be really good all the way. I ended up eating my mother's cake as well LOL.
I also eventually fell asleep for quite a while just to find out that we're completely on the ground and everyone's already preparing to disembark.
Making my way out of the aircraft, passing the empty seats
Welcome to Changi Airport T3
Changi Airport is still indisputably the best airport in the whole world for me.
And that concludes this report.
Pura Indah Lounge
Jakarta - CGK
Singapore - SIN
Well, SQ still uses the same type of aircraft to operate their very crowded CGK-SIN sector, but with some improvements I guess it wouldn't be such a big issue to be bothered about after all. Especially knowing they're extensively purchasing new aircrafts to replace their aging fleet. Service and hospitality is still the highlight of an SQ experience, though. Still world class even after all this time. Good job SQ, keep up the good work.
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