Monday, 28 November 2011

Air Asia Indonesia

I seem to write a lot about Air Asia, now that every one can fly but I guess that is because something always happens when I do fly with them, good or bad but still it happens, however on this occasion I thought I would bring the world up to speed with what has been happening down our neck of the woods Air Asia
Last week all Air Asia Indonesia flights from Jakarta were moved to the highly polished and badly signed Terminal 3 at the airport, which has to be ultimately the best thing that could have happened. Why? well mainly it is simply the nicest part of the airport and the newest and shiniest part.

Now in Indonesia you can fly from different airports to different places in Asia but hardly anywhere inside the country.
From Jakarta you can fly to Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore internationally yet only to Yogyakarta and Bali no more than 6 times a day. Thats it there is no other route from Jakarta to Medan or Makassar, but just the 2 destinations. I guess that the other routes are not profitable so they withdrew the service.
The prices for flights are dependent on the season, time of flight and the promotion Air Asia is having.

As a low cost airline they are just that. Professional but cheap. Nothing wrong with the planes but the crews look tired and in need of a break and the ground staff at times lack any kind of desire to help. But again thats not always true as I have received so great help and service from the people working for the airline.

So Terminal 3, is a vast new terminal and big and airy and quite nice to relax in before your flight.

The terminal has been changed now so that there is an international departure check in and a domestic check in. All self scan and if you need to check luggage in then there are open desks. It is really simple to do and if there is any issues someone will help you.
Through the sliding doors you enter into another vast space where there is GM Baki, JCO, Circle K, some ATMs etc and a few screens telling you all the flights are late. You can either go to the arrival gate and wait for people or go up the escalator to the departure lounges and shop in the massively over priced and useless Keris (they have large pieces of luggage for sale, not sure how you get that on the plane), an overpriced book store, some small restaurants, a typical airport Starbucks high on smiles, low on cleaning tables and not much else. There are more screens here and there still not telling you much.
The tannoy is equally as bad as the place is not designed for the use of a sound system acoustically but it still gets its fair share of usage.
To the left is the international lounge which is all behind glass and screens and to the right domestic departures. You pay your 40,000 idr to leave just before you go into the departure lounge. Forget what the ticket states for the departure gate, there is only one way down to the aircraft. The screens inside do not tell you anything about your flight and the only tannoy announcements you hear are for someone to board the flight to Singapore. However boarding the plane is simple, easy and hassle free.

Coming back into the airport the arrivals is of course on the ground floor and you have to walk to the building from the aircraft. This huge cave of a building is soul less and empty of life when you walk through it and the conveyor for your luggage is signed but never moves quickly.
To leave you just walk straight and thats it. Security might glance at you but nothing more. Walk past the restaurant with the live music welcoming you to Jakarta and then follow the signs to the exit. In true Indonesian style only one set of exit doors will be operational and then head into the chaos that exists outside all terminals at Jakarta airport. Taxis and Buses and people trying to sell you taxi bus or other vehicle rides.

The main taxi company for T3 seems to be Diamond, and I cant use them. Gading again seem to be there, cant trust them either. White Horse premium is pushed and pushed but they are way too expensive. So you sit and wait for a normal cab (Blue Bird, gamya, Express etc) while the taxi people push and shout at each other to gain service. Its a mess. And as it is T3 it is a way from the main terminals so there are fewer taxis.
There is a bus to T1 or 2 and that runs every 5-10 minutes and from T2 you can get a bus into the city to Blok M or Gambir railway station.

The taxi ride into the city is metered and you have to pay a surcharge to different zoned parts of the city as well as the tolls which is 12,000 at Pluit.

Despite my moaning, T3 is the nicer of terminals and is more relaxed and clean and cool than T1 or 2 and I ultimately do enjoy flying with Air Asia as they do what they say on the tin, they fly people in the air through Asia.

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