Indonesia Domestic Flights v.s International Flights

Posted by Fico , Tuesday, June 2, 2009 5:28 PM


I know its really unfair to compare this both flights.
But after i saw France Airlines incident yesterday i think i had several things that annoying about Indonesian domestic flights that i should write !!

1. Fare
Do you believe if i said, i can't afford flying to Bali, and i rather to choose to fly to Singapore or Malaysia for vacation ?
That's the truth. Because from Jambi (Sumatra) i had to take Jambi-Jakarta flights which average cost will be around Rp 300.000.- one way and the cost flying Jakarta-Bali around Rp 400.000-500.000 (Air Asia).
To Malaysia i only need to take 4 hrs car ride to Palembang cost me Rp 120.000,- with comfy car with air cond. and the flights from Palembang to Malaysia only cost me less than Rp 250.000
If i want to go to Singapore all i had to do is go to Pekan Baru, longer car drive like 11 hrs (this is crazy i know) with Rp 180.000,- and the air plane from Pekan Baru to Singapore will cost me around Rp 250.000- 300.000 and most of the fare that not included airport tax so when we go to airport we will charge with extra money like domestic flights from Soekarno Hatta will cost Rp 40,000,- while the international will cost you Rp 100,000,-. This is very different than flight ticket from Malaysia, Thailand or Singapore we only need to checkin and show our ticket print out and thats it... no additional charge because it is all included into the flight ticket (but this is optional depends on the airways i think...).

That's why i rather to travel abroad rather to Bali or Lombok. I've been to most places in Sumatra and Java, so its not an option for me. Its not that i am an extravagant or had more money, but simply i can not afford traveling in Indonesia with plane !!

2. Service


Do you believe if i say i rather like Air Asia, Tiger Airways flights attendant rather than domestic flights ? well this is subjective of course. Because i do meet several that had given good service and nice to me too. But still... for the country that well known with the best smiling country (and its not Thailand won the best smile !! haha !) the flight attendants RARELY smiling !! more to serious face ! whats up with that euuuhhhh !!
Also i like when i use Air Asia they said "see you again, thank you" or "have a nice day" when we walk out the plane. Why we never heard that from domestic flights ? they just stood on the plane door and .. nod or grin ? errh?

3. Safety
I know this is more to the passengers, and i know lots of people already complaining about this. If you're going to be on Indonesia domestic flights for the first time you had to be ready for the fact that :
a. Some people will still talking or sending sms when the plane on taxing position, waiting instruction for take off.


b. Some people will turn on the cellphone right few seconds when the plane touch down at the airport, the plane still on runway and not stop yet.
c. Most people will stand up, and get their belongings, luggage's bags on upper compartment, less than 5 Min's after the plane landing, and not even parking, and the seat belt light sign still on.
These are the things that i notice with Indonesian passengers. And you know the people that did this not those that had the "hill billies" or "this-is-my-first-time-on-a-plane" kind of look. You will see people who did this look educated and sometimes like important person in government or company (nice look, or with SY's hand bag).

They don't know how danger using a cellphone when plane want to take off or landing or during the flight. Its only for 40 minutes flights for God sake ! we could live without cellphone for that long right ???

And another thing about safety is.... some of indonesia plane are older than me... hehehehe yes they are that "antique".


4. Delays
Oh God... this is the worse... i think Jambi-Jakarta or opposite flights chance to get delay is up to 70%. And once my sister flight from Jakarta suppose to depart at 4 pm but they delay it until 9 pm. I don't know whats the matter with timing in Indonesia.. even the flights are this late !!!

5. etc..
Things like online bookings, which is not all domestic flights had, come on this is 2009 !! not the ice age ! or if they do have booking some of these flights need us to sign in to their website.. hmmm... i don't think thats quite effective but i know they need that prob. for security matters.

This all things that i write here might not happened to you, i am just talking about my general flights experience which maybe quite limited for world travelers. But still i think its good enough to compare !


Important link
Before i end up this post, i should at least give you few of Indonesia Domestic Flights website (mostly fly to Jambi and other Province in Indonesia), as i said before, some could booked online with credit card, some with debit, some only giving information about fare and timetable and destination or route only and you will need to call you travel agent to book.
1. Lion Air (most of the plane are new, and well maintained)
2. Mandala Air (sometimes offer good deals/discounts)
3. Batavia Air (the price is worth to check, i use this flight several times to Jakarta)
4. Sriwijaya Air (Good service, nice cabin crew, the price bit high compare to other flights)
5. Garuda Indonesia Airlines (This is premium flight, its good if you're on company business because they offer very good service, hehe not for backpackers for sure)
6. Air Asia (this is international company belong to Malaysia, but they also had several domestic destination in Indonesia for major cities like Bali and Bandung, and Makassar, etc) This would be my choice for best fare and great service if my destination is available on their route).

Bon voyage !!

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