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Report #69: 3K204 - Yet another shuttle to Singapore
This will be my report on flying on Jetstar Asia Airways economy class from Jakarta CGK to Singapore SIN, a short-haul flight within SE Asia, on board their A320-200. This is also the first review in the East Malaysia aviation tour series.
Those who know me, know I love classical musics (in fact, during my study in Singapore when it comes to concerts I exclusively watched the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, with concerts usually held twice a month). Therefore, when the orchestra was about to hold a concert on one of the works I liked, I decided to go there and watch the concert even though I was already Jakarta-based. Unlike my friends who would also join me, though, who had earned rock-bottom cheap flights on GA, I needed to fend for myself and look for the last available flight to SIN since I wanted to minimize how long I would work remotely for the day.
This flight costed me Rp576.100 (~US$40) including a throwaway ticket after OTA discount, though I didn't get to earn any miles for this flight.
Around lunchtime I left the office and then into CGK terminal 3.
This was one of the last days for 3K to operate out of the terminal 3, before they would move to terminal 2F only 3 days later.
I then went in where there was a security check before I could go into the check-in area.
Check-in took around 5 minutes. I initially asked to get to sit somewhere closer to the front so I could deplane earlier, but instead the check-in agent offered me an emergency exit row seat, which I agreed to.
The boarding pass of the day, which was quite decent.
It's Friday afternoon in Jakarta, which meant a lot of people going for their weekend getaways.
From there I proceeded through security and immigration, which took me 5 minutes in total thanks to the working automated immigration gates (more on that on the last series of the review).
Since I didn't have access to GA's lounge this time I went straight to the gates.
FIDS of the afternoon.
I went through the shops before proceeding to the moving walkway.
There was a lounge I could use by using reward points from my family's cable operator, although in the end I skipped that since it took forever to use their app to redeem points for the lounge access.
In the end, I settled with the open working space nearby, which did the trick for me to catch up on some works.
After quite a few minutes of ride on the moving walkway, I walked further into the international extension building.
Once known as the terminal 3 on its own, this building now become a part of terminal 3 proper and even extended to include aerobridges to the west.
Boarding had just started when I arrived at the gate.
I decided to board later, but still the queue took a while to clear even with 3 gate agents.
The sloped walkway for this gate used the one inherited from its golden days.
The plane for the day was 9V-JSJ, a 8 1/2 years old 320.
Load factor: ~89% Y (~160/180)
Seat type: Standard economy class (emergency exit row window seat)
I was welcomed onboard and then proceeded towards the single-class cabin.
My seat for the day was at 12A, a non-reclinable emergency exit row seat. Strangely enough, the seat didn't feature any head padding on the top of the backrest, though that ended up working well for me since otherwise my shoulder would touch them.
Legroom was pretty good.
The seatback featured a working table (which like at the rest of the plane was not adjustable) and a seat pocket.
The contents in the seat pocket was actually quite extensive.
The view from my window consisted of ULDs as they tend to be parked at the corners of the terminal.
Safety demonstration was being done as we pushed back.
MH's 333 could be seen in the meanwhile.
We then left terminal 3 and its now finished northwest extension.
With all non-LCC international carriers moved to terminal 3, terminal 2D/E are now used to house a couple of domestic carriers.
What was once a part of history was no longer - JT had retired their last 744 and XT had ceased scheduled operations (though QZ still does).
We took off from runway 07L after waiting for a while.
My last view of Java island for the weekend.
Buy-on-board sales run then commenced, which I didn't partake on.
Naturally no free meal was served, just a free immigration form.
It was only when I started writing that I realized the table was unusable.
With such a bad table I couldn't do any work done (except if filling the immigration form was considered work), so I went to check the lavatory, which was fortunately clean.
The cabin as seen from behind.
After some time dozing off, we descended towards the Riau Islands province.
As we approached SIN, the fasten seatbelt sign was switched on and the flight attendants made a final check before returning to their seats.
Our southbound approach had us passing through Johor's greeneries.
Landing was uneventful and we would soon begin our taxi to the terminal.
Our parking stand was the closest one to the center of the terminal.
Like others, I also quickly took my bag and queued to deplane.
After the farewell I made my way through the familiar corridor - though one I haven't seen in a while.
After I reached the terminal building I rushed towards the arrival hall.
The terminal seemed not too crowded, however ….
The immigration queue was horrendous, and added with me no longer being a long-term visitor meant queuing towards the manned counters instead of breezing through the automated gates.
In fact, I was only cleared a staggering 20 minutes after I first joined the queue.
The luggage claim area was refreshed as part of the terminal 1 expansion, which meant that the exit was moved further south.
I made my way towards the customs and was let through.
There were now dedicated areas for waiting greeters, in addition to new retail areas.
What I especially hated from the terminal expansion was the pick-up/drop-off points - one could be picked up from either the basement pick-up area or another one right adjacent to the departures floor. In fact, I had one Grab ride cancelled and another almost cancelled if it were not for me frantically trying to find the pick-up point for my ride.
The most hyped fountain in the country looked rather underwhelming from below due to the additional cover, though it should look better from higher floors.
I went to downtown by car, which took me around 30 minutes.
As far as a "shuttle" flight go, this was a fuss-free alternative to choose, though not something I'd pick as my first choice. In terms of the airport, CGK was nothing out of ordinary (think of huge buildings walking end-to-end could be considered a sport and some basic amenities), while SIN's terminal 1 expansion, while an improvement, didn't live up to the hype that much and even had terrible immigration queue.
On overall, I'd take this flight again if I'm traveling light and the price was right.