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Report #55: JT654 - Chasing GA's SWQ-bound flight
This will be my report on flying on Lion Air economy class from Jakarta CGK to Lombok LOP, a short-haul flight within Indonesia, on board its Boeing 737-800.
Here are the 6 parts of the trip:
To start my segment run around Bali and West Nusa Tenggara provinces, I needed to reposition early enough from Jakarta, not only to prevent misconnect (I only had a weekend to do the run and the next flight to Sumbawa only runs once daily), but also for me to try the contract lounge at LOP as part of my newly-acquired GarudaMiles Gold status.
I then opted for JT in economy class, which was the earliest flight for the day and costed me Rp576.000 (US$38) before any OTA cashback. In return, I received 59 KrisFlyer miles from the booking and that also helped to fulfill the requirements to sign up for JT’s frequent flyer programme.
Since someone at the bus terminal erroneously told me that the airport bus would only start at 5 AM, I decided to take a private hire car to the airport.
I arrived at terminal 1 ~80 minutes before the scheduled departure time.
I erroneously asked to be dropped at terminal 1B, thinking that the LOP-bound flight would depart from there like those to DPS, but at least unlike in terminal 1A there were self check-in counters.
I used the machine to print my boarding pass, which proved helpful later on.
Unlike checking in in-person, the boarding pass was printed in a plain, yet thicker stock paper.
I even went as far as attempting to check-in from terminal 1B, and being a silly me I asked the officer checking my ticket whether he was sleepy, to which he suggested that I was the sleepy one for proceeding to the wrong terminal and asked me to go to terminal 1A.
FIDS of the morning for terminal 1A.
I proceeded through the preliminary ticket and bag check, which took 3 minutes.
I passed through the check-in area, which was to say the least chaotic - this is JT after all and one shouldn't expect idle counters like on GA.
After skipping through the madness I went up to the departure floor.
After a short walk upstairs it was time for the proper security check, which nonetheless was fast.
The transit area's main corridor, though rather dated, was tastefully designed.
The same couldn't be said for the corridor to the waiting room, which was bland.
At the centre of the waiting room is the ground staff desk, with a neon box showing the compensations due for delays prominently displayed.
Though it was still early morning, there were already quite a number of passengers waiting.
Without any announcement ~20 minutes later boarding started for the flight.
I was then directed to the correct parking stand through the interstitial corridor.
Those seated at or behind the emergency exit rows were supposed to board from the rear, so I went down the stairs.
Was this supposed to be the plane for the early morning?
No - instead I was about to fly on PK-LJS, a 6 1/2 years old 738.
Was there something wrong that the rear stair was empty?
Load factor: 63%Y (119/189)
Seat type: Standard economy class (emergency exit row window seat)
After passing the flight attendant at the rear door I proceeded forward to the cabin.
I returned to the usual seat - as uninspired as choosing the same seat over and over again, space mattered more for me.
Legroom was spacious as usual.
On the seatback are literature pocket, seatback table, and antimacassar with JT's courier service ad.
Contents inside the literature pocket.
Boarding was still underway, which was chaotic since those sitting behind often boarded through the aerobridge instead of the rear stair.
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Safety demonstration was done manually as we pushed back.
The lighting was dimmed for departure.
It was time for take-off and we headed west first before turning a couple of minutes later.
The view during early morning was beautiful - if only JT had bothered to clean their windows.
The lavatory wasn't immaculate, but was still bearable.
The cabin seen from behind.
Owing to the flight being an early morning one, there was only one buy-on-board service run being done.
I opted for a small bottle of water, which costed me Rp15.000 (~US$1).
We passed by some of the mountains along Java island.
I decided to take a nap later on, and as I woke up we were already starting to descend.
This time the lamps were turned off for arrival.
Entering the Lombok island.
Landing was rather hard, however we still managed to miss the taxiway to the terminal building so we needed to turn around.
After turning around the runway and a short taxi we were parked beside IW's AT7.
As it has been the case, people were already rushing to take their bags.
I decided not to take my time either, so I deplaned soon afterwards.
I went to the terminal through the aerobridge.
Passengers from JT's 738 and IW's AT7's were disembarking
I went down to the arrival floor.
The luggage claim area for this flight.
JT group's transfer desk was rather crowded, but I proceeded through the glass door to continue the trip series.
This flight offered a fuss-free way to get from CGK to LOP, which it delivered. Apart from that, though, there wasn't much to expect with chaotic check-in, dated terminal, and limited buy-on-board menu.
On overall, I wouldn't hesitate flying on this when I needed to connect on LOP.