Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Batik Air - The Jewel of Indonesian Airlines (Part 2: Business Class)

Welcome to my part 2 trip report on Batik Air!

For my part 1, click here!



Introduction

I was particularly excited about the return trip, the joy of travelling on the airline's business class and experiencing the lounge at the small airport. The airfare was reasonable, at around $100 for the short flight. Perhaps I will try Garuda's domestic business class on my next trip, just to do a comparison. I don't think the prices of Garuda's domestic flights are as cheap as Batik Air's. 

Before I continue, here are some photos of the small airport and what to expect on arrival and departure.

Photos of Yogyakarta Airport

No aero-bridges at the airport, so only way is to walk to the arrival hall from the aircraft. If it rains, I suppose there would be umbrellas provided.



The airport staff were lenient about tarmac photography, just as long we don't stick around too long.


Welcome to Adisutjipto Airport - JOG Airport, Indonesia! 


Entering the small arrival hall and that's where the luggage carousal is at. As I had no luggage, I skipped past it and headed for the exit. 


I don't think my flight was the only one that arrived. 


Stepping into Yogyakarta for the first time, not too many taxi drivers stopping me to take their taxis. 


Photos of the air side, there are some restaurants to choose. WiFi is available, and the signal is strongest at the central part of the terminal .


This is the domestic arrival hall, just got out from there.


The airport is slightly bigger than Pangkalanbun's Iskandar Airport, you can check out that airport over here.




Lots of people around, but not many were travellers. 



This is the departure hall. Just like other airports in Indonesia, you can only enter the terminal if you have an itinerary. Whether its on paper or on phone, just show it to the officers. 


It was crowded around lunch time. 


A lot of passengers were sitting around, waiting for their flights. Its good to have a sitting area. 


This is for international arrivals. 


Customer service Centre


Later on, I came across this cafe, I decided to come here for lunch. Gosh, I kind of regretted it because it was very hot inside, the air condition seemed to be not working. 


Welcome to Adisutjipto International Airport! 


Settling for lunch over here. 


I had the sweet and sour chicken with vegetable rice, not very cheap but its decent. 


A glass of honeydew drink to come along with the dish. 


After the meal, I went out to check out the airport's surrounding. 









Once I was done exploring, it was time to head to the check-in counters to collect my air tickets and then head to the lounge to enjoy the rest of time there. 


The aircraft that flew me there, was heading back to Jakarta. 

Passing by the security was fast and I headed to Batik Air's check-in counter. As I was 3 hours early, the staff allowed me to check in and I got my boarding pass quickly. Not only that, the check-in staff asked another staff to escort me to the lounge, that's very nice. 

Some photos of the check-in area, quite crowded inside. 


I am glad I managed to avoid the long queues!


Garuda's lounge is inside the building. 


This is the issue when the terminal is small. 


Luckily only one passenger was ahead. I was tempted to fly on the earlier flight, maybe I should have if I had known that my flight back to Jakarta was to be operated on the same aircraft, PK-LBM. ID6377 was operated by PK-LBO. 


This is my boarding pass, the word - Business Class was written clearly on it. 



The check-in staff was polite, she got me the window seat which I wanted. After that she asked her male colleague to take me to the lounge and within minutes I was there. He couldn't express himself in English, but told me to make myself at home at the lounge and keep track of my departure time. After that he left, and once again I had to deal with the terrible air conditioning at the lounge. Here are some photos of it. 

The Executive Lounge at Yogyakarta Airport 


Entering the lounge, it was stuffy and crowded. 


Coffee and Tea are available 


Passengers who use this lounge will not have to return to the main terminal for departure. Once your flight is called, you go through the security here and there will be a van to take you to your aircraft.


It wasn't a pleasant experience at the lounge mainly due to the terrible air-conditioning. 


Choices of drinks and hot food. As I was not hungry, I took a drink and some snacks. 


At least there was some hot food for passengers. 




Some dessert and fried food


This was what I had - the cakes were not bad. 


I go to know some nice fellow passengers while waiting for my flight. One Chinese family and an Indonesia lady, they were friendly and because of them, time passed by quickly! 


Later on when there were empty seats near the window, I moved there hoping to get cooler air, but it was of no use. At least, I enjoyed the sight of aircraft.


It wasn't crowded at this point. 


While sitting around, I did a check on the inbound flight, disappointedly it was the same aircraft. 



Later, my flight was announced and it turned out to be a last call! I was the last J class passenger to board the aircraft, I wonder why my flight was not called earlier. Anyway, was stuck at the security for a while as I couldn't find my boarding pass, fortunately found it after a while of searching. 

I was the only one on board the vehicle which took me to my aircraft, the same one I flew in earlier, PK-LBM


My no.76 airline
Airline: Batik Air 
Flight: ID6375
Route: JOG-CGK
Aircraft: Boeing 737-900ER
Registration: PK-LBM
Date of delivery: 3th May 2013
Configuration: C12 Y168 
Engines: 2 X CFM 56-7B26E
Line number: 4441
Seat: 2A 
Gate: nil 
Departure time: 1900
Boarding: 1845 
Pushback: 1855
Take off: 1902 
Schedule arrival: 2005
Actual arrival: 1955
FL: 280
Duration: 1 hour 
Departure runway: 09
Arrival runway: 07R
Load in J class: 100%

Route: JOG-CGK

Miles: 283


Boarding the aircraft via the stairs

I wanted to snap some photos, but I wasn't sure whether I was one of the last passengers so I decided to just board quickly and true enough, the last J class passenger as every other seats were occupied. 

I was welcome on board by 2 beautiful crew and when I went to my seat, everyone was at their seats, full load for J class. A crew came over and offered to place my bag on the overhead cabin, I accepted it and then started exploring my seat. I have past by these seats many times and finally I get to enjoy it. 

Announcements were made in both English and in the local language and we were pushed back not long after I settled down. Safety video was made on the screen in front of me and soon we were on our way to Jakarta. 

Here are some photos of the seats.

Pretty decent J class seats, I find them to be comfortable and spacious considering this is on a narrow-body. 

The daylight photos were taken on the first leg.



You get more legroom space a the first row, unfortunately it wasn't available when I checked in. 


3 rows of 2-seater = 12 seats on Batik Air's Boeing 737-900ER. 



Ample legroom space for domestic flights. IFE system is stored inside the hand rest area.



Its a decent business class seat, I reckon its better than some of the J class products elsewhere .




The instructions in front of you, hard to miss it.


Comfortable legroom space 


Remote control at the side. 


Adjust the levers, to enjoy the seat, but only do it while its safe to do so. 


See the hand rest? That's where the IFE system is stored. 


A hot towel was distributed. 


I had a choice of drink: some juices and water. No alcohol was served on my flight. I chose the lime juice which I heard is a signature drink of Batik Air. 

Not a fan of nuts, but I took it anyway.


Cheers to all my trip report readers, hope you enjoy these reports as much as I do!


The fleet of Lion Air Group! 


The cabin crew who served me didn't speak any English, so we communicated by hand signal and some guessing game was involved. My seat mate didn't say a word or attempt to help us but it doesn't matter, we managed to get our message across and she was pretty polite and friendly about it, no sign of any impatience at all. 

What amazed me is that even when the plane started its descend, she still set up dinner with a couple of passengers who decided to have their meal later. I was pleasantly surprised that for such a short flight, a full service meal was served, kudos to the airline! 

What was distributed by the crew? 

An unused blanket


Headset provided by the airline.


Sony headset - its not bad, blocks out the cabin noise quite effectively.


The crew came and asked me whether I like to eat, took me a while to figure out what she was saying. 



The wire connecting to the USB port on the screen can be quite troublesome, I prefer the USB port to be at the side of the seat.


A plate of snack was served. My seat mate decided to have his after seeing what I was having.

This is pretty good for a short hop. Kudos to the cabin crew for working hard on this short hop. 


Enjoying my show while eating. 


In-flight Entertainment System

You can only use it after departure and before arrival, so sometimes IFE on the seat back may be better especially for airlines that allows Gate-to-Gate IFE. 



The functions of the IFE system is the same as the Economy Class.


I decided to watch Big Bang Theory since the duration of the flight was short.


I am a big football fan, are you?


The flight went past very fast. It was a smooth flight and enjoying the Business Class service and seats was an enjoyable moment for me. 2 of the crew serving the business class were kept busy through out and they are definitely one of the top best Indonesian crew I have come across. We landed early and the business class passengers were allowed to leave first and I got my stuff, said a few words to the crew and left. 

My aircraft, photographed at CGK airport, once again I was not stopped when I took these photos. 

Batik Air's Airbus A320 was parking beside my aircraft. 


Had a blast with this airline! It was a great experience flying with this airline. 


Thank you, PK-LBM for the rides! 


The beautiful Boeing 737-900ER of Batik Air earned itself a well deserve rest. 




My rating: 

Airport Experience (YOG): 5/10 
Check-in counter service: 7/10
Lounge: 4/10 
Seat comfort: 7/10 
Cabin interior: 9/10 
In-flight service: 9/10 
In-flight snack: 7/10
IFE system: 7/10 
Punctuality: 10/10
Aircraft condition: 10/10
Overall rating: 75/100

Conclusion

Batik Air is the jewel in Indonesia, an airline that the locals can be proud of. Both flights were enjoyable; service was great and complimentary snacks that came along with it on such a short flight. I am pleasantly surprised with the Business Class offering, didn't expect the domestic business class is up to international standard. Being accompanied to the lounges and a car ride to the aircraft, that is a surprise. I would certainly recommend this airline to anyone flying on any of the airline's domestic route. Like they say, if you provide a good service, your customers will come back for more and that applies over here. I hope to see this airline expanding and eventually start international flights to ASEAN countries for the start. 

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy the report! 

For my part 1.

Cheers
Charles Ryan Teo

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