Review of Sriwijaya Air flight Makassar-Celebes Island Jakarta in Economy

Airline Sriwijaya Air
Flight SJ591
Class Economy
Seat 3F
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 02:25
Take-off 01 Jan 19, 09:30
Arrival at 01 Jan 19, 10:55
SJ 12 reviews
emyrrs
By 351
Published on 6th January 2019

Prologue



So my father is moving back to Makassar, Sulawesi Selatan province on the island of Sulawesi, formerly known as Celebes island. Our family have no real intention of new years eve getaway but here we go!

This is the flight map for the trip by gcmap.com
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I booked 21 days before the flight and paid 1.231.560 IDR or about 85.24 USD/74.97 EUR in total for the ticket. I chose this flight from Makassar (UPG) to Jakarta (CGK) because it's still cheaper than Lion Air (JT) from UPG to Bandung (BDO) both direct and transit flights. Moreover, with additional shuttle service from Jakarta (CGK) airport to Bandung, Sriwijaya Air (SJ) is still remain a good deal for me. So I believe this is a good deal for these domestic flights between Indonesian archipelago. I have a huge hope that the flight isn't cancelled, rescheduled, or even a delay because SJ is having a pretty bad situation these past couple months with delayed flights, rescheduled, and also cancelled, so I hope nothing bad happen to me.

It is such another nostalgia because last time I went to Makassar was either 2000 or 2001, yeah about 17 or 18 years ago! Nothing I remember about the Celebes Trip before my family moved back to main island which is Java island. The trip was from Makassar (UPG), Manado (MDC), and Palu (PLW) at that time. What I just remember we need to go back to our town which is Palu (PLW) but our plane Boeing 737-200 of Mandala (RI) was having a severe trouble on their landing gear or something so we need to fly a props aircraft, I'm not sure what aircraft we flown on that time my guess is The Hawker Siddeley HS 748 of Bali Air (BLN) but surely I loved that, since then my mom still don't like the idea of flying propeller aircraft.

The previous flight with Lion Air (JT) on Bandung (BDO) to Makassar (UPG) on 26th December 2018 was just another dull and nothing worth to write and share here in Flight-Report.com and also I spent entire flight sleeping because its an early departure at around 6:00 A.M. so yeah you guys know how early we need to be ready and get ourself to the airport. I stayed at Makassar for about a week, I went to Tanjung Bira, Bulukumba Regency and most of the time I stayed at Makassar only because we have to cancel the plan to visit Bantimurung National Park, Rammang-rammang, etc. due the weather and road condition. I met with my former exchange students friends. We were kind of baby sitting the newer exchange student while they're having a trip in Makassar and also my Brazilian host-brother joined them as well. So indeed our time in Makassar was absolutely amazing!


The Flight



On this trip my mother, grandmother, sister, Brazilian brother, and I have different flight routes. They are flying with Lion Air (JT) which depart at the same time 9:30 A.M. from Makassar (UPG) - Surabaya (SUB) - Bandung (BDO), while I'm on my own with Sriwijaya Air (SJ) from Makassar (UPG) - Jakarta (CGK) and travel to Bandung by shuttle van service. It is kinda a race and the results was shocking! Unbelievable! So here we go!

We went to the airport nearly 15-20 minute-ish with really no traffic at all since everyone was enjoying their new years eve.
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Arrived at the Makassar Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport (UPG)
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So after saying see you later in Bandung with my family at Gate 7, I decided to head to Gate 2 and hang out there for approximately less than an hour. The walk itself took about 2 to 5 minutes because the airport isn't so big and of course there are little shops during this walk from convenient stores, coffee shops, souvenirs shops, etc.


As soon as I reached my gate, it was still empty but on the gate 1 occupied by Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-800. "Uww, is this my plane for today? Lucky me if this is my plane docking at one of very limited jetways at UPG" as I said to myself then I checked on FlightRadar24 and yes that is my plane for today! I'm so happy that I don't have to carry my suitcase up and down the staircases if we board the airplane from the remote parking.
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The strange thing is Sriwijaya (SJ) and Nam (IN) have a different types of boarding pass for the same flight; some are like thin thermal paper- similar to LCC's, and some maybe rather thicker stock paper kind, and mine was one of them. At the Boarding gate, my initial though was that my flight gonna be so full, but actually occupied by some passengers of SJ to Luwuk or JT to Jakarta.
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Flight Information
1 January 2019
Sriwijaya Air (SJ/SJY) - SJ 591
Makassar (UPG) - Jakarta (CGK)
Boeing 737-800
PK-CMH (MSN 33699) - 15.8 Years
Flight Time: 2H7M

Boarding call was rather late around 15 minutes, where we called around 9:15 A.M.-ish


As one of the first to board the aircraft I can really tell if the flight wasn't full at all, like not even 10 minutes our boarding was finished. Looked to the wing and engine. Yup it was a heavy downpour when we're still on the boarding gates but hopefully the weather will be fine up there.


After boarding was completed, the aircraft is pushed back, and the cabin crew started the safety demonstration manually. Yes! We can see several props parking on remote apron. See you again Makassar! I'm not sure if Garuda deploy its Airbus A330 due on high season or for Umra Flight.


Glad my plane wasn't parked there at the very end of the remote apron. Lion Groups is surely dominating everywhere. Short taxi to the runway and we climbed the greyish cloudy sky.


Little clear sky after take off and small tiny island on Sulawesi Straits
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Since boarding the aircraft until the seat belt sign is turned off I always caught some things in my olfactory sense. From not so fresh-smelling cabin due to the old aircraft and also suddenly I smelled chicken-like smell? "Wait what? Are they gonna provide hot meal service one? Not only snack?" my own thought kept guessing and demanding for a surprise. So yeaaah, turned out it's a breakfast service as a senior cabin crew announced when I already almost finished with my meal. Its a Chicken opor rice with muffin and demineralised cup water.
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So, one from two cabin crew who were in charge at front of the aircraft were handling the box only by the tray, so she can serve like around 6-9 row because its not so full flight and really less passangers who still awake. When I'm done with my food, the distributions of the boxes still running by another cabin crew from the rear galley. Surprised there's only one cabin crew not wearing hijab uniform out of five crews and also there's two deadheading crew on seat 1A and 1C.
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Anyway, right after the seat belt sign was turned off, one of cabin crew turned on the Wi-Fi IFE right on the overhead compartment above seat row 1ABC. After a quick sign up, what seat number you're in, your phone number, etc. You're right on their Wi-Fi IFE. Hmmm its actually so-so because nothing you can really do and their contents are suck, but I really appreciate what they've been doing to improve their services. I wish they can provide flight map maybe?
photo screenshot_20190101-095317_samsung internet-horz

Since its an old aircraft, I don't think they gonna change the seat covers, standarise the arm rest like there is one with leather on it and other isn't, or putting the pre-recorded safety demos, etc. The aircraft first service was with Eurocypria Airlines as 5B-DBX named Grecos from 2003 - 2010, winter service with Sunwing Airlines as C-GDBX from 2006 - 2009, then to SpiceJet as VT-SGS named Poppy 2011 - 2014, and now with SJ PK-CMH named Tamariska from 2015. Cabin situation after short meal service the old tv and dropped down tv wasn't in use for entire flight. It'll be awesome if its use for flight map or some shows orrr maybe SJ company profile etc?
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The literature you could find in front of your seat back pocket. For a guy like me, legroom wasn't a problem at all. I do appreciated SJ for their effort on putting everything in particular arrangement on the seat back pocket and make sure everything was in there.


Their inflight 'SkyShops' catalogue, Story about Sriwijaya, and their current female cabin crew uniform.


Wing view on empty emergency window seat before I head to lavatory to allow the cabin crew pass the aisle with trolley on their 'SkyShops' time.
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Lavatory visit. I felt like going back in time to the ancient era after flying with newer aircraft. Everything was ok.
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Cabin situation during inflight 'SkyShops' time. Cabin crew on this flight was actually great, they were more friendly and engaging with the passengers if I compare with Lion Air Group (JT, IW, and ID). Also, the cabin crew checking on the passengers so often if they need something and some of passengers ask for blanket and hot water or something I don't exactly remember what else and they'll try to provide it. They're really great!
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The FO announce that we were now starting the descent into Soekarno-Hatta International Aiprot Jakarta (CGK) and had approximately 30 minutes until landing and he announced that the flight was hit by several turbulences due weather conditions and hope we have a pleasant flight with SJ. Such a nice gesture, I flew with Lion Air Group (JT, IW, and ID) so frequent last year and they surely not doing this anymore they just announce if the plane will descent the altitude. Cabin situation after the cabin light was dimmed and view to the Jakarta city.


We landed at Jakarta-CGK Airport at around 10:55 AM, which was about really little late from the scheduled arrival time. Honestly, it wasn't that bad and I'm still happy with it. Taxing to the gate. You can spot all three Garuda's Boeing 737-800 being towed away to T3 I believe, T2D is now operated for international flight for Lion Air Group (SL, ID, JT, and OD), Air Asia Group (AK, QZ, FD, XT, etc.), and I'm not sure what other carriers serve their flight from T2D, T2E now use by Batik Air (ID) and T2F use by Sriwijaya Air (SJ) and Nam Air (IN) both only operates for domestic flight. I'm not sure which terminal that Indonesia Air Asia (QZ) use for their domestic flight, either T2E or T2F, anyone know?


Full flight map from FlightRadar24
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Disembark process was less stressful because I sat infront row of the cabin, so the guy seated on 1F was the one who stood up first, then he sat again after the door was open. So I go out first after I thanked one of cabin crew for a pleasant flight. There's a ground staff escorted me to lead the way and told me to go downstairs as its what should be done if we're arrived at T1 and T2 CGK but mainly because there's a boarding by bus on process and they're using the escalator so they just don't want the passengers from SJ 591lost.


'The Brick Corridor' as what I said, to the left and right usually presented with a view of this inner garden.
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After the brick corridor we're arrived at the main hall, took the trevalator or moving walkway to reach the baggage reclaim area and I don't know why the airport terminal was so empty at that time!


IDK why I really like the ornaments in T2 better than T3 of CGK
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I'm wondering if I walked too fast or people behind me just walk so slow because literally no one!
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After I manage every of my belongings I proceed to go out and yes it was better, more people outside.
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Arrival pick up area and lil walk to public bus shelter to find my shuttle van service to Bbandung
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This park also way better than any of those in T3.
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The crowded public bus shelter and my own way back to Bandung…


Epilogue


So its only about 3 hours to get me to Bandung from Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK) thru toll road that usually won't be able reached within 4 to 6 hours! Also the race between my flight and my family was on par! Unbelievable! I arrived at Pasteur Toll Gate in Bandung at 2:30PM and my family land at Bandung Husein Sastranegara International Airport (BDO) at the same time! Hahaha…

So here is the end of my journey with Sriwijaya Air SJ591 from Makassar to Jakarta

My other flight report:
1. Citilink Indonesia QG810 Surabaya (SUB) - Jakarta (CGK)
2. Garuda Indonesia GA154 Jakarta (CGK) - Batam (BTH)
3. Citilink Indonesia QG790 Batam (BTH) - Bandung (BDO)
4. Turkish Airlines TK57 Jakarta (CGK) - Istanbul (IST)
5. Turkish Airlines TK1721 Istanbul (IST) - Berlin (TXL)
6. Turkish Airlines TK1770 Prague (PRG) - Istanbul (IST)
7. Turkish Airlines TK56 Istanbul (IST) - Jakarta (CGK)
8. Lion Air JT646 Surabaya (SUB) - Lombok (LOP)
9. Citilink Indonesia QG167 Lombok (LOP) - Jakarta (HLP)
10. Wings Air IW1720 Jakarta (HLP) - Bandung (BDO)
11. Xpressair XN740 Bandung (BDO) - Palembang (PLM)
12. Citilink Indonesia QG813 Medan (KNO) - Bandung (BDO)
13. Malaysian Airlines MH865 Medan (KNO) - Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
14. Batik Air Indonesia ID7109 Jakarta (HLP) - Padang (PDG)

Thank you so much for stopping by and read my flight report! Really sorry for typo, bad grammar, etc. Hope you enjoy! Feel free to click the like button and comment down below about my flight with Sriwijaya Air!
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Verdict

Sriwijaya Air

7.8/10
Cabin6.5
Cabin crew9.5
Entertainment7.0
Meal/catering8.0

Makassar-Celebes Island - UPG

7.5/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.0

Jakarta - CGK

8.1/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.5
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

Sriwijaya Air (SJ/SJY) is the country's third largest carrier with around 50 aircraft combine with its Nam AIr, operating a fleet of narrow-body aircraft and one of the airlines in Indonesia that operates almost every series of Boeing 737 from 200, 300, 400, 500, 800, and 900ER, and offers flights to various Indonesian destinations and a few international destinations. In fact from November 2018 Garuda Indonesia thru its subsidiary Citilink Indonesia took over Sriwijaya Air Group operations as well as financial management of Sriwijaya Air by a cooperation agreement (KSO) to solve its debt at Garuda Maintenance Facility and also to improve its services. I hope Indonesian civil aviation will be better on 2019, where most likely two big group will face fierce battle between Garuda Indonesia Group (GA, QG, SJ, IN) and Lion Air Group (JT, ID, IW) in Indonesia.

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4 Comments

  • Comment 482962 by
    hometoyyz 405 Comments

    Hi Emyrrs,

    Thanks for this interesting flight-report. I’m in the middle of an Airline Empires game, running an Indonesian airline, and CGK-UPG and VV is one of my bread-and-butter routes.

    And it’s always great to start a year in the air, I say! And a cool family Amazing Race angle to boot!

    I’m not familiar with Sriwijaya Air, so interesting to see what they’re like.

    What a nice surprise to get a hot meal on this relatively short flight, The food even looks pretty good.

    Too bad the BYODIFE wasn’t a great experience, but I guess it’s something that it’s there.

    That’s quite the load factor. If they keep this up, they’re going to have to invest in widebodies for this route!

    The new terminal at CGK is very impressive, but I kinda like the charm and uniqueness of the old terminal.

    And the race ends in a tie after all that. Hmmmm… rematch?

    Thanks for sharing a look at an airline I haven’t seen before. Looks like 2019 is off to a good in-the-air start for you. Let’s hope that continues!

    • Comment 483272 by
      emyrrs AUTHOR 37 Comments

      Hey Hometoyyz!
      "running an Indonesian airline, and CGK-UPG and VV is one of my bread-and-butter routes." -- Ahhhh interesting, CGK-UPG vv. is one of the common way to get to the eastern part of Indonesia, so sure enough it'll be a big cake that need to be share.
      "What a nice surprise to get a hot meal on this relatively short flight, The food even looks pretty good." -- Yes indeed! Last time I went with SJ was on CGK-DJB around 2011-ish with their aging Boeing 737-200! Back then they still have sweets/candy distribution after boarding was completed, newspaper local and national was offered on the jetway, and yep kinda basic snack box. I am really surprised when they serve me a hot meal service one! I ate rice really limited due my own dietary so can tell that much but it's kinda overcooked on the top, the chicken was rather good, and also the muffin/cake was fine as well.
      "The new terminal at CGK is very impressive, but I kinda like the charm and uniqueness of the old terminal." -- Indeed, T1 and T2 have its own charm as it was designed back then to imitate the 'tropical resort' kinda thingy.
      "Thanks for sharing a look at an airline I haven’t seen before. Looks like 2019 is off to a good in-the-air start for you. Let’s hope that continues!" -- Thanks Hometoyyz for stopping by and read my flight report!

  • Comment 482987 by
    ItsKevin 25 Comments

    Hello, salam kenal from Indonesia :)
    Nice to see Sriwijaya Air report here, and it's nice to know that Sriwijaya still serves hot meal on medium haul domestic flight.

    "I'm not sure which terminal that Indonesia Air Asia (QZ) use for their domestic flight, either T2E or T2F, anyone know?"
    I think QZ uses T2F for domestic, as T2E currently is used by ME3 for international flights

    • Comment 483273 by
      emyrrs AUTHOR 37 Comments

      Halo ItsKevin salam kenal juga!
      About SJ serve hot meal, my best guessing is that SJ will provide hot meal service on certain timing like breakfast, lunch, and dinner but if you're flying with them in between I guess they'll only provide snacks. On longer flight also I believe that they'll serve hot meal on flight time over 2 hours.
      "I think QZ uses T2F for domestic, as T2E currently is used by ME3 for international flights" -- still a big question, because by 7th January 2019 EK already moved to T3 as well. I guess T2E for Batik, T2D LCC's International Flight, T2F Sriwijaya, Nam, and Indonesia Air Asia?

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