Firstly, as usual, sorry for my bad English, and also bad quality of the photos as I took all of them by my cellphone.
Here are parts of the journey: July 17th, 2018: Jakarta (CGK) to Kuala Lumpur (KUL) by KLM Boeing 777-300ER (click here) July 18th, 2018: Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Kuching (KCH) by Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 (click here) July 19th, 2018: Kuching to Pontianak overland July 20th, 2018: Pontianak (PNK) to Jakarta (CGK) by Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-800 (you are here)
While still in Jakarta, I had arranged the trip to be like this: 1) Jakarta - Kuala Lumpur by KLM 2) Kuala Lumpur - Kuching by Malaysia Airlines 3) Kuching - Pontianak overland by express bus 4) Pontianak - Jakarta by flight
The final task for this was to buy the flight ticket from Pontianak to Jakarta. There are 5 carriers operating on this route: - Garuda Indonesia - Lion Air - Batik Air - Sriwijaya Air - Citilink
Cheapest ticket prices at that time were offered by Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air, and Citilink. Lion Air, with its uncertain departure time and low-score service, was quickly dropped from my list. So the 2 options were Sriwijaya Air and Citilink. I checked the schedule, and Citilink flew only once per day at night and the arrival schedule was too late for me (9.30 p.m.). Then my final decision was SRIWIJAYA AIR, which was scheduled to depart at 5.30 p.m.
Before the main story, I will show you some pictures of my overland journey from Kuching to Pontianak, crossing the land border at Tebedu (Malaysian side) or Entikong (Indonesian side).
Some photos of Pontianak, the capital of West Kalimantan Province.
The city has significant Chinese population who speak Teochew and Hakka languages. So the local foods you must try here are Pontianak-style Chinese (especially Teochew) foods: - "Tau suan" (mung beans dessert soup) - "Kway chap" (pork offal soup served with flat rice noodles, also popular in cities with Teochew communities like Singapore and Bangkok) - "Kway teow", or locally known as "mi tiaw" (fried flat rice noodles mixed with beef & vegetables), quite different with Singaporean or Penangese kway teow - "Chai kueh" (Hakka: "choy pan") dumplings similar with "jiaozi" or Japanese "gyoza" but different fillings
Now let's enter the main story.
July 20th, 2018
While having breakfast at the "kway chap" stall, I got an SMS from Sriwijaya Air informing that my flight was rescheduled from 5.30 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. Yeah, I was quite disappointed because I would arrive in Jakarta later than expected, but the positive thing was that I got more time to explore Pontianak city.
From my hostel, I ordered a motorcycle taxi (ojek) through Gojek app to the airport. The 15-km journey took about 40 minutes.
Pontianak's air gateway, Supadio International Airport, named after an Indonesian Air Force's member. Mainly serving domestic and intra-province flights, the airport also serves international flights to Kuala Lumpur (AirAsia), Kuching (AirAsia, Malindo Air, Xpressair), and Miri (Malindo Air).
Check-in counters. As I had done the online check-in, the only thing to do here was to print my pass. The staff informed me once again that the flight was rescheduled.
My boarding pass, printed in a simple paper.
Still around the check-in counters. The new terminal building was opened for public in June 2017.
To enter the airside, we had to tap our boarding pass to the automated gate.
Waiting lounge was shared by all departure gates.
There was no international flights at that time, so the international departure area was closed and vacant.
Free-to-use PCs were available.
In line with Indonesian regulation, Sriwijaya Air gave us snacks and drinks for all delayed-flight passengers.
Rescheduled to depart at 7.00 p.m., we were actually called for boarding at 7.15 p.m.
The plane, a Boeing 737-800 with registration code PK-CRH and nosename "Keagungan" (meaning: "Greatness"). It was 9.5 years old, having been previously operated by Xiamen Airlines before handed to Sriwijaya Air in August 2017.
At its left side was Lion Air's 737 MAX 8.
Entering the plane.
Boarding completed. I don't know the exact number, but I guess almost 90% of the seats were occupied.
Some photos before reaching the runway. Lion Air dominated the scenery.
The plane started to fly at 7.50 p.m. The take-off process was very smooth.
About 5 minutes after that, seat-belt sign was turned off. Time to explore all items inside the seat pocket.
Cabin crews then started to give us snack bags. So this was my 2nd snack, after the one for delayed-flight compensation. It contained a chocolate bread and mineral water. Sriwijaya Air serves only snacks, not full set meals, for flights less than 2 hours.
But for me it wasn't enough for my dinner, so I chose to eat my own "chai kueh". But I was quite embarrassed because the smell, especially from the "sambal" with strong shrimp flavor, was spread so quickly to the cabin area.
As no IFEs available, I spent my times before arrival by listening to K-pop musics in my cellphone.
At around 9.00 p.m., the lights from the land slowly could be seen.
The plane landed safely in Soekarno-Hatta International Airport at 9.10 p.m., about 1 hour 20 minutes after take-off.
Time to leave the plane.
Proceeding to the Terminal 2F, not with aerobridge but bus.
Final shot of the PK-CRH plane.
Passing a 777 of Garuda which would bring Hajj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.
Reaching Terminal 2F.
Baggage claim area.
Then I proceeded to the bus station to catch an airport bus to Pasar Minggu, from where I would hop a commuter train to my lovely home.
From the bus I could see a group of buses bringing Hajj pilgrims to board the Garuda 777's for their flights to Saudi Arabia. Some of my friends said that most of the pilgrims were going by airplane for the 1st time.
Pontianak-Borneo Island - PNK
Jakarta - CGK
Honestly, even when I bought the ticket, I had been skeptical about time punctuality of Sriwijaya Air's evening flights, so I had been prepared for any delays. I had been flying with the carrier at evening and all of them departed behind the schedule. But the positive thing for this flight was that Sriwijaya Air had informed me through SMS broadcast, so that I didn't need to wait longer at the airport.
The PK-CRH (Kemenangan) plane was nice and well-maintained. The cabin still looked fresh, but less-colorful compared to, for example, Citilink. Cabin crews were friendly and nice. The snacks were good, at least they did provide it for us, unlike other LCCs (are carriers serving meals still classified as "LCC"?). No IFEs available, so no score for it.
Pontianak's Supadio Airport was good and clean. This was my 1st time being in the airport, so I can't compare the new terminal with the old one. Free Wi-fi and free-to-use PCs were available. I hope more public transport options will be available.
That's my report. Thanks for reading!
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