This will be my report on flying on Citilink economy class from Surabaya SUB to Semarang SRG, a short-haul intercity flight within Java island, on board their Airbus A320-200. This review will be also the first review of the new SRG terminal here, opened just the day before, so read on!
A fair warning: this report will be shorter than usual, especially on the on board part (or call this as more of an airport review?), as I took some rest while on board and the seating prevented me from taking many pictures of the outside. Rest assured, however, that most other reports in the series will feature the usual level of detail expected.
Here are the 12 parts of the trip: KUL - CGK on KLM 777-200ER business class: Read here CGK - SUB on Garuda Indonesia 737 MAX 8 economy class: Read here SUB - SRG on Citilink A320-200 economy class: You are here SRG - SUB on Garuda Indonesia CRJ-1000ER economy class: Read here SUB - KJT on Citilink A320-200 economy class: Read here (first commercial flight to KJT) KJT - SUB on Citilink A320-200 economy class: Read here (first commercial flight from KJT) SUB - DPS on Garuda Indonesia 737-800 economy class: Read here DPS - SIN on KLM 777-300ER economy class: Read here SIN - DPS on Jetstar Airways A320 economy class: Read here DPS - CGK on Lion Air 747-400 economy/business class: Read here SUB - CGK on Garuda Indonesia 737 MAX 8 business class: Read here CGK - SIN on Lion Air 737-900ER economy class: Read here
As much as I like spending time in SUB, the main goal for this trip was to sample as many different offerings as possible within the Garuda Indonesia group (note that QG is GA's low-cost arm). Therefore, I decided to fill the afternoon with a roundtrip to sample GA's regional product at least once.
It was a very close contest between flying on GA's AT7 to Banyuwangi BWX and back on the exact same plane and QG's 320 to SRG and back to SUB by GA's CRK, I opted for the latter mainly out of the dangerously close connecting time in BWX, but also flying to SRG would also allow me to revisit the town after a while (note that I had barely any idea of the new terminal, so that was out of the equation).
The prorated fare after OTA discount came at Rp294.000 (US$21), which was cheap as the direction goes toward Jakarta (on the Mudik period before Ied generally flights going away from Jakarta are the expensive ones while those going towards Jakarta are rock-bottom cheap).
Trip to SUB and check-in
If you had read my previous CGK-SUB review you would notice that I made an interterminal connection by bus. However, for the sake of thoroughness I would copy it to the one below:
I made my way to the kerbside where the interterminal shuttle bus was waiting.
The bus was decorated with a view of the Bromo mountain nearby as well as the tourism ambassadors for the province.
The seat was tight, but for a 10 minutes ride I wouldn't expect much.
After 10 minutes of waiting we left the terminal 2 to the terminal 1.
We went through the dedicated road, which allowed for a bit of spotting.
I soon reached the terminal and proceeded to the terminal 1A, used by ID, QG, and FS as well as Umrah flights.
The public area is located at the kerbside, featuring mostly eateries and a handful of convenience stores.
Departure FIDS of the morning.
After passing through the preliminary ticket and security check I went to the check-in counters. Check-in was fast, however with QG being QG any seat change would incur a fee, including requesting for any window seat, so I opted for the earlier seat assignment on web check-in.
My boarding pass of the day.
As SUB terminal 1 now moved away from doing proper security screening at the gate, the second staircase was disabled to make way for wrapping services.
It was a short escalator ride to the departure floor.
First it was the ticket check.
Security was acceptable and I went through in a couple of minutes.
SUB transit area and departure
The transit area consisted of a long corridor with some eateries and lounges. Now that the terminal has been used mostly for domestic flights, the entire area apart from the Umrah gate at the very end was opened.
A placard showing the rights for delayed flights in Indonesia.
In Indonesia we didn't impose the LAG restriction for domestic flights so machines for LAG screening as well as immigration counters were prepared for Umrah flights.
A view of the gate. Also note the Surya newspapers provided.
The plane of the late morning was PK-GQL, a 2 3/4 years old 320, which had just arrived from BDJ.
Boarding commenced later on, with priority enforced.
I proceeded through the corridor.
After that it was a short walk down the aerobridge,
The queue was minor and I soon made my way on board.
After I was welcomed by Ms. Rani (the purser on the SUB-KJT and KJT-SUB flights) I made .my way back to the cabin.
Seat tour: as an otherwise normal 320 the seatbelt also used the normal design.
Typical on a QG flight, the inflight menu was there.
A safety card was also present.
The magazines were there as well.
Last but not least, the plastic airsickness bag.
Typical on a 180 seat 320, the legroom was tight.
A standard recline button also existed.
Me on the seat.
The flight attendants soon prepared for the safety demonstration.
After takeoff I went to check the lavatory, which was clean.
Some of the signages were also translated into Chinese.
Is it a QG thing not to have the sink stopper?
The 320 galley.
A view of the cabin from behind. Also note the flight attendants doing drink service for those paying for the seats as well as the sales round.
Some views during the cruise.
The flight passed by the Java island's northern coast.
The entire flight happened to be uneventful apart from the ending word from the pilot, "Welcome to (sic) new terminal, Achmad Yani International Airport". I had planned on trying the old terminal, but that needed to be shelved indefinitely and I went through the aerobridge.
There were no other plane beside us.
A helicopter was strangely found, so
Arrival at SRG and post-arrival trip
The signage leading to the arrival area.
A view of the gate, where I would be at a few hours later.
It was a short escalator ride to the domestic arrival area.
At first it was a short walk passing by the glass door.
A short walk down the arrival corridor followed.
The walk brought me to the luggage claim area.
The arrival building, like those in many newer Indonesian airports, feature high ceiling and modern design instead of focusing on feeling more local.
The luggage claim area.
A handful of kiosks right before exiting the arrival building.
The walk to the public area involved a short walk down the sheltered, but otherwise open walkway.
From the public area I made my way out to the kerbside.
Seats had been prepared for the opening ceremony by Indonesia's president.
A view of the arrival building from the outside.
The ceremony would be held on the first kerbside, so only the second one was activated for traffic. From the second kerbside at the left end you could take BRT services downtown, which was reasonably priced.
Buy on board3.0
Surabaya - SUB
Semarang-Java Island - SRG
Apart from the inability to change between normal seats for free, QG offered a bearable way to travel low-cost on the route, which didn't say much due to the short distance and therefore less need for service. In terms of the airport, SUB terminal 1, while dated, was still quite efficient and provided adequate services. The new SRG terminal left a positive impression with its modern design and especially the additional amenities compared with the old terminal such as aerobridge availability.
On overall, QG offered a decently priced alternative to intercity trains to get to Semarang from Surabaya.
Some thing done well for the trip (airports): + Fast check-in at SUB + Acceptable security at SUB + Modern terminal at SRG + Reasonably priced transport option at SRG
Some thing done well for the trip (on board): + Reasonable price (Rp294.000 (US$21)) + Free newspaper provision + Reasonably new plane + Clean lavatory
Things that can be improved (airports): - Interterminal bus frequency at SUB - Dated terminal at SUB - Crowd at SRG (or was it because of people traveling to the airport itself?)
Things that can be improved (on board): - Inability to change seats free of charge - Tight legroom
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