Review of Batik Air flight Kuala Lumpur Jakarta in Economy

Airline Batik Air
Flight ID7164
Class Economy
Seat 22A
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 01:55
Take-off 08 Mar 18, 06:00
Arrival at 08 Mar 18, 06:55
ID 12 reviews
Eric V P
By SILVER 572
Published on 9th March 2018
Report #26: ID7164 - Worth the 300 km detour?

This will be my report on flying Batik Air economy class from Kuala Lumpur KUL to Jakarta CGK, a short haul international flight within SE Asia. I was pretty tired due to the multiple connections, the trip being an overnight one, and me being unable to sleep during the bus ride, but I am trying my best to make it the standard 5-parts report as usual.

Background


As I needed to clear some matters in Jakarta, I decided to take a flight there and back for a day trip. However, considering the rare possibilities of having the detour via Kuala Lumpur KUL thanks to my recess week I decided to take Batik to go to Jakarta (since it has the earliest arrival available within my budget) and KLM on the way back (between the possibility of reasonably priced upgrades at the airport and first-hand experience of their economy class). This means that the itinerary for the first half of the trip would be:
Singapore - Kuala Lumpur: international bus
Kuala Lumpur - KUL: car (I wished I could take the bus instead)
KUL - CGK: plane (i.e. this flight)
CGK - Jakarta: airport train

I bought the return ticket only 8 hours from this flight's departure time, which on a prorated basis after OTA discount costed me Rp517.000 (US$36 / €30.5) one-way.

Trip to KUL and check-in


The trip started by me taking a bus from near my campus to Kuala Lumpur's intercity/international bus terminal.
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Seats were fine for a 6 1/2 hours trip, but if there's one thing that I hate, it's that the driver took an excessively long break at the rest area, making me miss the 3 AM bus to the airport.
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During the international segment of the trip (i.e. Singapore to Malaysia border) an action movie was shown, which I disliked.
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I arrived at the intercity/international bus terminal at 4 AM.
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Thanks to the little time left (i.e. 2 hours before departure), I decided to take a car using a ride-sharing app which costed me RM67.8 (US$17 / €14) after toll fees and in-app discount.
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The drop-off area.
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Instead of joining with OD, the check-in area for ID and JT's flights are in row A. Check-in took me 13 minutes as the process was rather slow and that there were 2 flights departing around the same time (i.e. to Jakarta CGK and Medan KNO), but much to my dismay there were few other people behind me. I also asked:
- Whether I can get the row 10/11 seats (no as both rows were full; who am I to check in late and still ask for it),
- The load for the day (2C 113Y, which is rather low)
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ID's two flights within an hour of each other.
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However, ID's queue is nothing compared with those of JT to SUB, which to say the least was snaking.
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Boarding pass of the morning, which was fine.
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I then proceeded to the KFC to get what was basically nasi lemak with their fried chicken for breakfast, just in case ID's breakfast was shoddy.
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MH's A350 ad prominently displayed just above the immigration. Flights to NRT/KIX by MH A350? Not for now.
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I went to the immigration, when I was let through in ~1 - 2 minutes.
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There was also a customs check, which was very fast.
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KUL transit area and departure


The people mover had just started, but since one had just left I figured out I may as well return to the old-school way.
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I then took the shuttle bus, which was only occupied with me and one other passenger.
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As it was still pretty early, some shops were still closed.
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… their baby, babi (Malay/Indonesian for pig) or Barbie?
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The lavatory didn't look especially immaculate, especially with the wet floors in the cubicles.
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Rest area with reclined seats, which didn't look particularly interesting to sleep on.
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Security was fine and I was let through in ~2 minutes.
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Like in CGK, ticket check was done just before entering the waiting room.
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The plane of the morning - PK-LAK, a 3 years old plane.
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The boarding started by business class, but afterwards it was free for all.
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I proceeded to the aerobridge.
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After ~1 1/2 minutes I finally reached the plane.
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On board


Flight: ID7164
Plane: PK-LAK
STD/ATD: 06.00/06.00
STA/ATA: 06.55/07.09
Load factor: 13%C (2/12), 78%Y (113/144)
Seat type: Standard economy class
Details: https://flightaware.com/live/flight/PKLAK/history/20180307/2200Z/WMKK/WIII

I was welcomed by the flight attendant and afterwards passed through the business class cabin.
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Since I didn't have that much cash to spare, I proceeded further back.
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The front/middle part seemed really crowded, but I still had the luxury of empty middle seat.
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The view overlooked CX's lounge in KUL, which I have reviewed before.
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The legroom was acceptable - in part because my sole cabin bag was above.
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The IFE, which I didn't bother except for the moving map.
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Safety card and the mandatory prayer card was present.
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So does the in-flight magazine.
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The flight attendants stood as if they were about to demonstrate, which was strange as ID/OD do it with the screens.
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Are we about to receive some hot meals?
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Soon we pushed back and the safety video was played.
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After the safety video was the IFE highlight video, which mostly consisted of TV shows and some movies. At least they didn't screen those anti-drug clips.
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KA in two different liveries, as well as WE.
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The taxi was pretty long.
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Nonetheless, there was no queue for take-off and we soon departed.
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View of Kuala Lumpur's outskirts.
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What I hate from ID's moving map is that it almost doesn't zoom in so I had barely any idea where I was looking at.
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After the fasten seat belt sign was switched off, I checked the lavatory which wasn't especially well-maintained with the chipped plastic paint and even the hole cover missing. After a lavatory visit, I asked about the customs form, to which one of the flight attendants said she would look at it.
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The view of the cabin from behind. The cabin was kept dim throughout the flight as it was an early morning flight.
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I moved a few rows behind, where there were at least 3 last rows being fully empty.
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To my disappointment, the meal offered was a hot snack box instead of a hot, full meal. Interestingly, it shared the same box with OD (or do they also share the same content as well?)
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The content after opened.
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Meal of the day consisted of:
Savoury bread: Pizza with cheese and minced meat
Sweet bread: Muffin
Drink: distilled water (default) / tea (on request)

Both the pizza and muffin were ordinary, except that it was pretty difficult to take and hold the pizza as the box was small and it was pretty hot. On overall, though, it was underwhelming that on this flight they still also managed to only provide breads instead of a full meal.
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The tea service commenced and I asked for one, which was served on an unbranded cup and with sugar. I also followed up at my customs form request at this point.
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The views during cruise, which was rather cloudy.
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After 30 minutes of waiting, the flight attendant took the customs form from her company-issued suitcase (i.e. they didn't intend to distribute it except on request) and provided 3 to me.
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I caught on sleep for ~30 minutes and when I woke up we were already starting to descend through a rather cloudy weather. While trying to sleep, somewhere between flying on non-intra-European business 3 times in the past 3 months and my stature I couldn't help but to notice the seat being rather hard.


The cabin was rather solemn.
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By the time we exited from the clouds we had almost reached Java island. Some condensations over the wing could also be seen.
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We soon landed at CGK, which was uneventful.
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Another pesky thing on ID's moving map is that the map was made unavailable after landing.
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We then taxied to E gates, where we were eventually parked beside CX's 772, having spent her time overnight in CGK.
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Last views of the cabin before I bid farewell and left.
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I proceeded through the aerobridge.
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Last view of PK-LAK.
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From there it was yet another bus ride to the D gates - when will the E gates have their own immigration counters, or even better, have all international flights moved to the terminal 3?
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After the short ride I arrived at the D gates.
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Arrival at CGK and post-arrival trip


I proceeded to the arrivals area through the walkway.
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The Indonesian passport counters were empty, but it was because it was not manned. Furthermore, when I tried the automated gates it showed a system unavailable error and afterwards I was asked to go through the common passport check counter.
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As the system was down, it took me a good 15 minutes to clear partially because they needed to wait until they were allowed to manually process before electronically recorded after the system was up again, but not only that it also left me with the ever-hated passport stamp (plus the 107*** and ECS OFF writings). By the time I reached the counters I saw quite a number of people in suits queuing as well, which was most likely coming from SIN on SQ950. I asked the staff:
- What happened (the system was down, and they would need to record everybody's passport details manually before recording them in the system afterwards)
- Whether it was a frequent occurrence (no; but this was the second time I had been hit with system issues on the automated gates out of 4 arrivals to CGK within 6 months which didn't bode well)
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Not only that, when I looked through my passport I saw another passenger's boarding pass stub inside. Luckily I passed through him (I talked to him during the wait at the gate and he told me that he's a Japanese living in Indonesia for a long time - all thanks to me noticing the different passport colour) at the people mover and thus I was able to return it to him.
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Some supposedly immigration staff trainees entering the immigration area.
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The first bag arrived 25 minutes after I deplaned, but between nobody in business class checking their bag and ID not prioritizing bags, those first bags didn't come with an priority tag. My bag arrived 9 minutes later, which was painfully slow.
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The customs form desk was perhaps filled with ID passengers not getting their share of the forms, but at least I was able to go through.
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I didn't have my bag checked at customs, so after handing the form I was let through.
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Back to the arrivals area.
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The roof construction works at the walkway to the pick-up area/APM station has been done.
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SQ's 772 seen from the people mover.
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I proceeded to the ticketing machines to get my train ticket to the city.
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The ticket to the CBD costed me Rp70.000 (US$ 5.3 / €4). It's not much of a time-saver or cost-saver, but has quite a predictable travel time and comfortable enough.
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I waited at the waiting area, which offered some power plugs.
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After the train arrived I proceeded inside the platform and onto the train. I won't review the train as I had done it before, but for a more detailed review read here.


On the 4 middle cars, opt for the seat just before the 4 seats facing each other for maximum legroom.
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See more

Verdict

Batik Air

3.6/10
Cabin5.0
Cabin crew2.5
Entertainment2.5
Meal/catering4.5

Kuala Lumpur - KUL

3.8/10
Efficiency5.0
Access3.0
Services4.0
Cleanliness3.0

Jakarta - CGK

3.3/10
Efficiency2.0
Access5.0
Services2.0
Cleanliness4.0

Conclusion

On the KUL-CGK sector ID doesn't command much premium over JT so I would be more than glad to trade-up for better seats, a moving map, some light meals, and most importantly early first departure time (especially for day trips). However, schedule aside they still have some things to catch up on.

KUL was fine as usual except the airport bus schedule which can be improved and the unclean lavatory, while CGK was more of a huge mess with among my 4 arrivals in CGK 2 of them (including this) enjoying immigration system issues, guaranteed bus rides when arriving in E gates (the case for 3 arrivals including this), and slow luggage claim.

On a side note, please feel free to let me know if the report quality declined thanks to my sleepiness - I had tried my best to maintain the reporting standard but just in case :p

Some thing done well for the trip:
+ Reasonable fare (Rp517.000 (US$36 / €30.5) one-way)
+ Acceptable boarding pass stock paper
+ Acceptable immigration at KUL
+ Option of APM or shuttle bus between main and satellite terminal
+ Acceptable security at KUL
+ New plane
+ Acceptable seat pitch

Things that can be improved:
- Rather infrequent bus services to KUL
- Long check-in queue at KUL
- Dirty and dingy lavatory at KUL
- Rather uncoordinated boarding
- High load factor at the front
- Poorly maintained lavatory on board
- Lack of hot, full meal
- Inattentive flight crew (30 minutes for a customs form?)
- Immigration system issue at Jakarta CGK
- Slow baggage claim

Next report: KL 77W CGK-KUL economy class - how much would an upgrade otherwise cost?

Informations on the route Kuala Lumpur (KUL) Jakarta (CGK)

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