Airport Arrival and Departure Information
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Jakarta’s airport is named after the first President of Indonesia, Soekarno, and the first vice-president, Mohammad Hatta. Soekarno-Hatta International Airport is often called Cengkareng by Indonesians, after the sub-district where it is located. Its IATA code “CGK” originates from the name Cengkareng. The airport is located approximately 20 kilometers northwest of Jakarta city center and is accessible via a toll road.
Bali’s airport is named after I Gusti Ngurah Rai, an Indonesian national hero who died in 1946. It is located 13 kms south of the capital Denpasar.
All international flights to and from Jakarta arrive and depart from Terminal 2 (D, E, & F) of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport located in Cengkareng, West Jakarta. Air Asia flights (codes QZ, FD and AK) all use the new Terminal 3. There are some flights by Mandala (code RI) which now also use Terminal 3. In Jakarta domestic flights by Garuda ( GA) and Merpati ( MZ) arrive and depart from Terminal 2. Other airline’s domestic flights arrive and depart from Terminal 1.
In Jakarta the three terminals are distant and isolated from each other, and ground transport between them has to be used for connections and transfers. In Bali the International and Domestic terminals are adjacent and can be reached easily on foot.
To be admitted to Indonesia you will need:
If you are coming to work, seek work, study or perform the a special visa may be needed and have to be obtained in advance and before travel. Details about all types of visas for Indonesia are comprehensively covered on our Visas and Documentation page.
If you are coming for social, holiday or tourist purposes or to attend meetings or conferences, most visitors can purchase a Visa on Arrival.
Southeast Asian citizens and citizens of other select countries may qualify for a Free Visa, or BVKS
Citizens of other countriesnot on the visa on arrival or visa free lists will be required to apply for a visa overseas - in their home country - before entering Indonesia.
You are admitted into the country when your passport is stamped by an immigration officer at the immigration counter.
The officer will scan your passport and may take your photo and and/or fingerprints. This process will only need to be done once, and the system will recognize your data up on your next visit.
Important: Before you leave the Immigration Counter, CHECK that your passport has had the entry stamp and a VOA sticker (if applicable) inserted. Sometimes busy and tired immigration officers forget to stamp a passport, and this leads to unnecessary problems and expense on departure.
Ensure that you keep the “Disembarkation/Embarkation Card” with your passport for processing on departure from the country.
There are often long lines at the visa and immigration counters. For those who prefer a "fast track" option (frequent travelers, older or young passengers, first time arrivers, those with tight connections, families and business fliers) there are approved and licensed "meet and assist" services available. The staff of these services will meet you at the plane door and escort/fast track you through the visa/immigration/baggage retrieval/customs process until you reach your transportation outside the terminal. PT Jas and AirportJakarta.com are two such service providers. Indonesian residents can also join the automated border crossing service Saphire.
The service staff will meet you at the gate or air bridge as you exit the airport and whisk you through immigration, baggage claim and customs safely and quickly to your driver or your next flight. The services can be ordered online either through regional booking networks (more costly option) or direct local operators (less expensive). Service levels are the same.
Regional booking networks covering Indonesia
Local Service Providers
Saphire - Locals, Indonesian residents, KITAS holders and some nationalities who do not need to buy a visa to enter Indonesia can join the automated border crossing service and enjoy self-service unescorted fast track: but eligibility is strict and visitors cannot really use this service. | www.saphire.co.id
After immigration is completed you pass to the baggage collection area. Here, trolleys are available free of charge.
If you wish, uniformed porters will help you with your luggage, and the normal fee is around IDR 15,000 (about USD1.50) per bag.
In Jakarta's international terminal there are several ATM machines in the baggage claim area which dispense IDR cash. In Jakarta's domestic terminal and in Bali this is where the car companies and forex booths can also be found.
If you have no goods to declare to Customs, move towards the gates marked with a green arrow, join the line, and hand your customs declaration form to the official. Each family only needs to fill out one declaration form for the entire family.
While most people pass straight through, Customs does conduct random checks and may also choose to X-ray your luggage or ask you to open it for a physical inspection. If this happens, you will be asked to place your luggage and carry ons onto the conveyer belt to be xrayed. Checked bags with white customs’ chalk marks will be inspected.
If you are bringing in significant amounts of commercial samples or expensive / specialist equipment (e.g., film & lighting equipment) you must have the correct carnets and documentation ready or you will experience delays and expense on arrival and departure.
The meeting area is inside the terminal, either to the left or right immediately after customs.
In Jakarta there is now a “sterile” meeting area inside the terminal building -- either to the left or right, immediately after customs --- where you can walk around (without being harassed by touts) to look for your driver, hotel rep, or to book a car (see below). In Bali this sterile area is just outside the terminal building There are licensed taxi, limo, and car rental cubicles there.
If you have not yet used the ATM to get cash near the baggage claim, this is where you'll find foreign exchange booths. If you want to change currency, be sure to bring $50 or $100 bills in mint condition to get the best rates. Most of the money exchange services in Indonesia won't exchange anything smaller than a USD 50 bill.
The exchange rate will not be great but may be better than your hotel concierge’s rate. It is OK to haggle on the rate by a 1% or 2% and note that different booths offer different rates (and change rates as different flights arrive!), so check several booths before deciding who to exchange with.
Licensed transportation companies have counters inside the arrival terminals after you exit from customs and their representatives wear uniforms with an ID. In Jakarta, there are taxi queues curbside when you exit the terminal building. In Bali they are some distance away due to security and construction.
If you are being met by a person whom you do not know he/she will probably be in the waiting area just outside customs and will be holding up a small sign with your name on it. In Jakarta, if you are already outside the terminal building, you have missed them!
Warning: There are many hawkers, touts, helpers and unofficial taxi drivers who gather around the exit doors at the airport and approach foreigners. Never take transportation that is offered by a broker or freelancer: it can be dangerous, expensive and unpleasant. Any deal that you are offered will not be cheaper than a metered taxi and you will run the risk of being ripped off or worse. Also, do not accept any offer of help to be guided to a taxi, or to push your trolley or a tip will be demanded. Be polite in your refusals and keep moving.
Airport Buses in Jakarta: Buses into jakarta are available from the terminals. The DAMRI airport bus connects the airport to several points in the city - Gambir Train Station in Central Jakarta, Blok M Bus Station and Lebak Bulus Bus Station both in South Jakarta. Taking a bus will be a lot cheaper than a taxi, especially for those traveling alone. The DAMRI bus also serves Bogor. There are also shuttle bus services to several points in the city (as well as to Bandung) using small buses or minivans under the name X-Trans and Cipaganti Travel. There is also a bus service directly to Bandung operated by Primajasa. Buses are for the adventurous traveler and are not recommended for families or older travellers.
Taxis: In Bali the taxi fare will depend on the hotel or destination. The airport taxi booth will give you a fair and fixed rate to where the hotel is actually located, not where its marketing material claims it is. The trip will take between 5 minutes (e.g. Tuban) to 3 hours (e.g. Lovina and the north). When using the official taxi from the airport you will be given a card with the taxis' details on it. Keep this, in case you have any problems later. Taxi passengers have to pay the motorway tolls, and an airport surcharge, in addition to the meter fare.
In Jakarta the fare to the city centre is approximately Rp 100,000 to Rp 200,000 and will take 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the traffic and road conditions. When taking a taxi from the airport passengers are charged a small surcharge that is based on your destination (airport surcharge): information about this is on the back of the taxi card that you will be given.
Unless the fare has been clearly and explicitly agreed at a fixed rate before leaving, make sure the driver has put the meter on and that it is set to the minimum fare. A tip will be expected. The driver will probably not speak English.
Executive Taxis: These are taxis with better services which are well maintained and considered by expats to be the safest and most reliable taxis. Their fare to the city center will be about Rp 150,000 to Rp 250,000 according to the meter and will take 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the traffic and road conditions. You pay the driver. When taking a taxi from the airport passengers are charged a small surcharge that is based on your destination (airport surcharge): information about this is on the back of the taxi card that you are given. Toll charges will be extra. A tip will be welcomed. The driver will speak some English.
At the Jakarta airport there are curbside booths for these executive taxis where a uniformed staff member will assist you. The 3 major executive taxi companies are: Silver Bird, White Horse, and Tiara Express.
Car and Driver: In both Jakarta and Bali Golden Bird has a cubicle in the meeting area or outside where you can order and pay for a “private hire” journey (i.e., no meter), either for an airport transfer to your hotel or for an “as you direct” service. You pay at the cubicle. In Jakarta this can be very economical for a transfer if it’s a long journey or traffic is bad. However, note that in Jakarta at peak times (i.e., Friday, Sunday night, mornings, Idul Fitri, in heavy rain) cars or specific car types often are not available (especially the cheaper ones) and you will have to wait or trade up to a more expensive model. It is however possible to pre-order Golden Bird in both Jakarta and Bali.
Once you have paid for the service, in Jakarta the vehicle will then be called from the holding area and this takes 5-15 minutes to arrive. In Bali you walk with your driver or with Golden Bird staff to the pick-up zone.
In Jakarta the fixed price ride from airport to the city centre (note that no stop-offs or drop-offs are allowed) will be about Rp 180,000 to Rp 500,000 depending on the vehicle size and type. The trip to the city center will take 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the traffic and road conditions.
In Bali the fixed price ride to your destination will depend on the vehicle type, grade, and distance (to where the hotel actually is, not where it’s marketing material claims it is). The trip will take between 5 minutes (e.g. Tuban) and 3 hours (e.g. Lovina).
For a fixed ride (e.g. airport transfer) the toll charges at Jakarta will be included and there is no taxi surcharge.
Golden Bird: Jakarta 021 794 4444 | Bali 0361 701 111 www.bluebirdgroup.com
Chauffeur Service & Executive Limos - Your hotel can usually arrange an airport transfer (often quite cheaply) but the quality may vary and you may end up sharing with another guest. Be careful when booking so that you know the service you will be receiving. And if you then need a car next day, it can get much more expensive.
In Bali there are many cars and drivers. For reliability, and to avoid being dragged to tourist shopping areas so the driver can get commission, you can pre-book a Golden Bird car. Driving conditions are not too difficult in Bali except around the airport and in Kuta.
Jakarta is quite different. In Jakarta having a driver you can communicate with, who drives safety, knows the best routes and where the black spots are, who understands what foreign visitors want to do, and knows where all the offices and hotels are, is vital if you are to make your flight or meetings, and remain sane.
Most hotels subcontract with Golden Bird or White Horse or have a Blue Bird/Silver Bird taxi queue.
Whitehorse Limos (Jakarta) www.whitehorse.co.id or Golden Bird (Jakarta & Bali) www.bluebirdgroup.com: go to their cubicle in the meeting area to pay (note that the driver does not wait in the meeting hall). A vehicle will be called from the offsite pool which takes 5 -15 minutes. They have Benz E Class (3 pax), Toyota Camry sedan (3 pax) or Toyota Alphard (6 pax) or Toyota Innova (3-5 pax). Cars can run out at peak times. It is possible to book with patience.
Jakarta Chauffeur: www.jakartachauffeur.com handles regular repeat foreign clients: road shows, execs, families, and relatives of foreigners working in Jakarta. Available as an add on to their VIP fast track package through immigration, direct to a quite area upstairs where their vehicle is already waiting. Booking required: Call Eric | +62 815 1919 3838 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
VIP Police Escort: special service for foreigners with tight schedules or who are meeting important locals. The service is licensed, uses two police motorbikes which escort a retrofitted MPV (sirens, blue lights, scanners) from the VIP parking bay at the airport. Call +62 21 9988 7979 www.jakartachauffeur.com E| email@example.com
Increasingly foreign visitors are flying into Jakarta, clearing immigration at the Jakarta airport and then transferring or connecting immediately to a domestic flight.
Because there are three separate and unconnected terminals, this can lead to some complications with interline baggage rules, and inter-terminal transfers.
There is a complementary airport shuttle which operates in a loop to all the terminals from 5AM to around 10PM. The commercial 'Meet and Assist' companies can also assist with tight or complicated connections.
Staying at the Airport
In Bali, there are a large number of hotels very near the airport in the Tuban area. The closest is the Harris Tuban www.hasrrishotels.com only a couple of hundred meters away from the airport.
At Jakarta when departing, allow sufficient time to travel from the city to the Airport. Rules of thumb for Monday – Saturday and from the city center:
Traffic snarls can be extreme during rainy weather or when there are accidents, be sure to add time on to account for unforeseen delays.
At Bali, traffic in the immediate airport area can be heavy – check with your hotel.
The departure drop off zones are quite well organized. You will need to enter through the correct gate in Jakarta (2D, 2E, 2F) and you will be asked to show the security guard a copy of your ticket.
An airport tax of Rp. 150,000 applies to all international departures and must be paid in cash at the check-in counter or at a booth prior to departure. The airport tax for domestic departures from Jakarta is Rp 40,000. Airport taxes at other airports in Indonesia range from Rp 20,000 to Rp 100,000/passenger depending on the airport you are flying from and whether or not your departure is domestic or international. Children under 2 years, provided not occupying a seat in the aircraft, may possibly be exempt.
Immigration lines in the departure area can get as long as in arrivals: again the 'Meet and Assist' companies can fast track those who don’t like waiting in long lines. If you have lost you arrival card just fill in another one. If you have overstayed then you will be escorted to the immigration office and delayed until the fine has been agreed upon and paid.
Effective 1 January 2011, Indonesian residents, including expatriates, will no longer be required to pay fiscal tax or produce their tax ID card to receive an exemption.
Airport Departure Lounges
There are a number of walk-in, pay-in lounges from Rp 70,000 upwards and available to passengers without an airline, member, or privilege card option.
In Bali the best international terminal lounge is the JAS premier Lounge (none of the domestic lounges are very comfortable). In Jakarta there are many to choose from near your gate.
Red Dot Lounges let you book and pay online for executive lounge access in Indonesia www.reddotlounges.com
Additional information can be found on Jakarta Airport Online and Wikipedia Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Cengkareng
Last updated December 18, 2012.
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