EuroTrip, Vacation, Weekend Trip

#2047 – A Winter Weekend in London (Part II: The Long Way Home)


Posts in the A Winter Weekend in London mini series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: London
3. Part II: The Long Way Home

With the departure of my new flight being scheduled at 11:45 AM, I planned to check out at around 8. But before that of course I planned to have the complimentary breakfast that was already included in my reservation. The breakfast was amazing, btw! 🙂

The amazing hotel breakfast

Anyway, it was snowing quite hard when I was checking out. The problem was, it turned out to still be quite early on a Sunday that there was still no overground train running from the station near my hotel. So it appeared that I had no other option than to soldier through the snow and walked to the nearest Piccadilly line Tube station from where I could catch a tube to Heathrow.

Soldiering through snow in London

While at least it was snowing (and not raining) hence “soldiering through it” was still doable, it was still not the most pleasant experience ever! Haha 😆 I arrived at the Tube station like a mess with my coat and body covered in snow, lol 😆 . Long story short, I caught the first metro to Terminal 4 of Heathrow and about 45 minutes later I arrived at the airport.

I checked-in and then cleared the security check via the priority lane thanks to my SkyTeam Elite Plus status 😛 . And then, obviously I went to the awesome SkyTeam Lounge at the airport. I settled myself onto one of the seats and treated myself with some sweets and drinks. I felt like I deserved it after the rough morning I had with the snow, haha 😛 .

The awesome drinks section at the SkyTeam Lounge at Heathrow

Upon checking-in at the lounge, the receptionist asked me if I would like to sign up for the complimentary 15 minutes facial spa treatment by Clarins. Oh wow, this was so awesome and was similar to the same lounge treatment I experienced at the Air France lounge at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York! Obviously I said yes! Haha 😛 The spa treatment was very nice and relaxing; and at the end of it the beautician also gave me a small package of Clarins moisturizer as a gift! :mrgreen:

Facial spa treatment at the SkyTeam Lounge at Heathrow

By checking my Flightradar24 app, I knew my flight would be delayed. It was not surprising given the weather. Even at Heathrow it was snowing quite bad at times. And indeed at around 11:30 AM, it was announced that my flight had been delayed to 1:20 PM. And so I just enjoyed my time at the lounge and, in the meantime, had some lunch as well.

It was snowing badly at Heathrow too

However I kept seeing no sign of a KLM bird departing from Schiphol to Heathrow via my app. On the other hand, it was 1:30 PM already and the departure monitor still indicated the 1:20 PM departure. I then asked the reception and at the time she just got the information from KLM that my flight had been cancelled! 😱She informed me to go back to the KLM ticketing counter in front of the check-in area from where the KLM people would be able to assist me.

It was quite a long hassle to go from the airside to the ticketing counter at the landside of Heathrow, btw, as this was a British airport so I would need to clear immigration as well! And when I was there, long lines had been formed in front of the counter, including the SkyPriority lane! There was nothing I could do at this point than to just wait patiently and see.

Long queues of cancelled passengers at Heathrow

While I was waiting, some officers distributed the compensation guideline from KLM. They also informed us that all flights to Amsterdam had been cancelled today and there was high uncertainty on how things would go the next day. They assured us that KLM was working on rebooking us to the next available flights; but this would take some time because the bad weather problem was at Schiphol, KLM’s base; meaning KLM was facing a huge chaos at the moment.

Cancelled flight

While waiting, I started to look for room availability at the hotels nearby Heathrow. Thankfully I still found some with reasonable last-minute price; which assured me a little bit. I was standing in the line, which only barely moving, for more than an hour.

Until up to a point, the ticketing lady asked if any of us were passengers with Amsterdam as our final destination. Probably around 50 people raised their hands, including myself. She informed us that if we were still to fly, it appeared that we would not be able to fly until Tuesday because Monday’s weather forecast was even worse than today’s (Today was a Sunday). As an alternative, KLM had hired a bus to get to Schiphol with very soon departure. While this was certainly not pleasant, at least we would be able to arrive in Amsterdam on Monday early morning. The bus was totally optional and if we did not want it, KLM would still rebook us to the next available flight to Amsterdam.

The approximated route with the bus if we were up for it.

I decided to take the bus because at this point, I still was not given my new flight confirmation. Beside, this would actually mean the fulfillment of a long forgotten bucket list item of mine, that was to travel with all means of public transportation between the Netherlands and London. Bus was the only one missing (the others were: flights, trains, and ferry services); and perhaps this was the “answer” to this item, haha. Upon signing in, KLM also gave us each a £4.50 voucher for us to spend on food and drink for the bus trip.

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When all flights to Amsterdam from London get cancelled due to heavy snow at Schiphol and KLM (the airline) arranges a bus service between the two as the best possible solution due to tomorrow's forecast that isn't any better. Funnily I don't think it is that bad because this actually means the fulfillment of a long forgotten bucket list item of mine that is to travel between the Netherlands and London with all possible means of public transport. Bus was the only one missing as I have (obviously) taken many flights, the Eurostar trains, and the ferry boat services! Lol #Zilkos2017WeekendTrip #travelexperience #selfie #Heathrow #HeathrowSelfie #London #England #travelling #travelwoes #winter #winterproblems #snowproblems #UK #🇬🇧 #✈️ #experience #bucketlist #thisislife #KL1010 #LHRAMS #KLM #frequentflyer #instaselfie #selfienation #thisiswhyitravel #instawinter #wintergram #HeathrowTerminal4 #instaHeathrow

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Long story short, the bus arrived at the bus stop in front of the terminal. I settled onto one of the seats and thankfully the bus was not full and the seat next to me was empty, haha. I was hoping for the bus to have wifi but unfortunately it did not 😛 . After all passengers boarded, we began our land trip to the Netherlands. Yeah, somehow we were all thinking of a comfortable 1 hour flight from London to Amsterdam this morning and we all ended up taking a bus on this route. What an adventure this day had been!

Taking the bus KLM arranged as an alternative to get to Schiphol via land.

During the trip, I got a notification from KLM that I had been rebooked to the first available flight, that would be flight KL1002 with departure time at 08:40 on: Tuesday morning! Haha. Well, I was quite glad that I took this bus option at the time.

Also, the attendee found out that the Channel Tunnel was closed due to the weather. This unfortunately meant we would need to take the slow way to cross the Channel Strate: by the ferry boat. About three hours after departure, we arrived at the Port of Dover where the ferry would depart from. Originally, we planned to take the 19:55 service to Calais in France because (1) it was the earliest scheduled one and (2) it was the shorter ferry route to France from Dover (You know, a ferry boat moves slowly so minimizing the time on the boat would be crucial to minimize the total travel time). However, the ferry would be delayed until 21:30 and so the attendee decided to take the 20:00 to Dunkerque in France. It would be a slightly longer ferry route but this was the fastest possible option that evening. As a side note, it was quite cool though that the security and immigration check were done even without us, the passengers, needing to leave the bus!

Port of Dover in England.

Long story short, we boarded the ferry boat just before 20:00. The total ferrying time would be around two hours so obviously they would not “trap” us inside the bus during the whole time. They let us out to the passengers area in the ferry. With only nine decks, the ferry was much smaller than my “usual” twelve decks Hoek van Holland – Harwich ferry. I went to the restaurant and had a chicken schnitzel (which mushroom sauce tasted weird IMO) as a dinner.

The total journey was two hours. Being a smaller ship, its “sway” was also more promiment than the Hoek van Holland – Harwich ferry I took before. To prevent myself from catching a sea sickness because of this, I decided to walk around the two passengers deck during the entire time, haha. There was one shop, two restaurants, a bar/cafe, an arcade game area, and several lounges on board the ship.

On board the Dover – Dunkerque ferry boat

At around 23:00 local time, we were docking at Dunkerque in France. We went back to our bus and after the door opened, we continued our trip to Schiphol via Belgium. The journey took a little bit longer than expected because the driver needed to be careful with the slippery road due to the snow.  I was already super tired at this time and so I slept pretty much all the way to Schiphol!

About 20 minutes before arriving, the attendee woke us up notifying that we almost arrived at the destination. He wished us well and reminded us not to forget anything on the bus because he, the driver, and the bus would immediately return to the UK after dropping us off at Schiphol! :O That was insane indeed! And so we gave him a round of applause for all the trouble of taking us safely to the Netherlands!

It felt so good to finally arrive at Schiphol!

We arrived at Schiphol at around 3 AM on Monday morning. There I also saw a lot of stranded passengers staying overnight at the troubled airport. As there was no convenient public transport option at this ungodly hour, I decided to take a cab to go straight home. This was, btw, my first time ever taking a cab from Schiphol! Haha 😆 .

And finally after about 30 minutes more of taxi trip which cost €60 (which, in the end, KLM was willing to reimburse as a customer service gesture 😍), I arrived at home!


Posting-posting dalam mini seri A Winter Weekend in London:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: London
3. Part II: The Long Way Home

Dengan keberangkatan penerbangan baruku yang jam 11:45 pagi, aku berencana untuk check out sekitar jam 8. Tetapi tentu saja sebelumnya aku sarapan dulu dong karena sarapan sudah termasuk di dalam reservasi kamarku. Sarapannya sendiri enak banget, btw! 🙂

Sarapan yang asyik banget di hotel

Di luar sedang bersalju ketika aku check out. Masalahnya, karena ternyata masih kepagian di suatu hari Minggu maka belum ada kereta yang dijadwalkan berangkat dari stasiun di dekat hotelku. Jadilah nampaknya aku tidak ada pilihan lain selain berjalan kaki menembus salju menuju stasiun tube jalur Piccadilly terdekat dari mana aku bisa naik tube menuju Heathrow.

Berjalan menembus salju di London

Walaupun setidaknya ini hanya lah salju (dan bukannya hujan) sehingga “berjalan menembusnya” masih adalah pilihan yang bisa dilakukan, tetap aja ini bukan lah hal yang mengasyikkan! Haha 😆 . Aku tiba di stasiunnya dengan kacau banget deh dimana mantel dan tubuhku terlumuri salju semua, haha 😆 . Singkat cerita, akhirnya aku menaiki tube dan tiba di Terminal 4 Bandara Heathrow sekitar 45 menit kemudian.

Aku check-in dan kemudian melalui pemeriksaan sekuriti melalui jalur prioritas berkat status SkyTeam Elite Plusku 😛 . Dan kemudian, jelas aku masuk ke Lounge SkyTeam yang kece banget di bandara ini. Aku duduk di salah satu kursinya dan menraktir diriku sendiri dengan kue-kue dan minuman yang enak-enak deh. Ya habis rasanya aku berhak dihadiahi gitu kan setelah pagi keras dengan salju yang baru saja aku hadapi, haha 😛 .

Bagian minumannya Lounge SkyTeam yang kece banget di Heathrow

Nah, ketika check-in di lounge-nya, resepsionisnya bertanya apakah aku mau didaftarkan untuk komplimen facial spa treatment selama 15 menit dari Clarins. Oh wow, asyik banget nih ya dan sama seperti fasilitas di lounge yang aku dapatkan di Lounge Air France di Bandara John F. Kennedy di New York! Jelas aja lah ya aku mau! Huahaha 😛 . Spa treatment-nya asyik banget lho dan memang relaxing banget lah; dan setelahnya beautician-nya juga memberiku satu botol kecil moisturizer-nya Clarins sebagai hadiah! :mrgreen:

Facial spa treatment di Lounge SkyTeam di Heathrow

Melalui app Flightradar24-ku, aku tahu bahwa penerbanganku akan terlambat. Nggak mengherankan sih karena cuacanya. Bahkan di Heathrow-pun juga bersalju lumayan parah lho. Dan memang, sekitar jam 11:30 pagi diumumkan bahwa penerbanganku telah ditunda hingga jam 1:20 siang. Dan jadilah aku bersantai saja di lounge-nya, sekalian makan siang juga.

Di Heathrow juga bersalju lumayan deras

Namun, tetap aja aku tidak melihat tanda-tanda adanya pesawat KLM yang berangkat dari Schiphol ke Heathrow di app-ku. Di sisi lain, jam sudah menunjukkan pukul 1:30 sementara monitornya masih menunjukkan jadwal jam 1:20 siang itu. Jadilah aku bertanya ke resepsionisnya yang mana ketika itu baru saja diberi-tahu bahwa penerbangan KLMku resmi dibatalkan! 😱 Ia memberi-tahuku untuk kembali ke konter tiketnya KLM di area check in dari mana petugasnya KLM akan bisa membantuku.

Agak repot lho untuk kembali dari airside ke konter penjualan tiketnya di landside-nya Heathrow karena ini adalah bandara Inggris yang mana artinya aku harus melewati pemeriksaan imigrasi pula! Dan ketika aku di sana, antrian panjang telah terbentuk di depan konternya, termasuk jalur SkyPrority! Ya sudah, tak ada yang lebih yang bisa kulakukan pada waktu ini kecuali menunggu dengan sabar dan pasrah.

Antrian panjang penumpang yang penerbangannya terbatalkan di Heathrow.

Sembari menunggu, beberapa petugas membagikan petunjuk kompensasi dari KLM. Mereka juga menginformasikan bahwa semua penerbangan tujuan Amsterdam telah dibatalkan hari ini dan ketidak-pastiannya yang amat tinggi untuk keesokan harinya. Mereka meyakinkan kami bahwa KLM sedang berupaya memindahkan kami ke penerbangan pertama yang tersedia; tetapi ini akan memakan waktu karena yang terkena masalah cuaca parah adalah Bandara Schiphol, bandara pusat aktivitasnya KLM. Artinya KLM sendiri sedang menghadapi situasi chaos yang amat besar saat ini.

Penerbanganku dibatalkan.

Sembari menunggu, sekalian aku mencari kamar hotel di dekat Heathrow. Untungnya, aku masih menemukan beberapa dengan harga last minute yang masih masuk akal; yang mana sedikit menenangkanku. Aku menunggu di antriannya, yang nyaris tak bergerak sama sekali, selama lebih dari satu jam.

Hingga di satu waktu, petugas tiketnya bertanya siapa saja kah penumpang dengan tujuan akhir Amsterdam. Mungkin sekitar 50 penumpang mengacungkan jari, termasuk aku. Ia memberi-tahu kami bahwa jika kami masih mau naik pesawat, kemungkinan kami baru bisa berangkat di hari Selasa karena ramalan cuaca hari Seninnya bahkan lebih buruk daripada hari ini (Minggu). Sebagai alternatif, KLM telah menyiapkan sebuah bus untuk mengantarkan kami ke Schiphol yang akan segera diberangkatkan. Jelas ini tidak akan menjadi perjalanan yang nyaman , tetapi setidaknya kami akan dipastikan tiba di Amsterdam di hari Senin subuh. Pilihan bus ini tidak lah wajib sama sekali btw dan jika kami tidak menghendakinya, KLM masih akan tetap memindahkan kami ke penerbangan pertama ke Amsterdam yang memungkinkan.

Perkiraan rutenya apabila kami memilih perjalanan dengan bus.

Aku memutuskan untuk mengambil alternatif dengan bus ini karena juga waktu itu aku belum mendapatkan kepastian konfirmasi penerbangan penggantiku. Di samping itu, ini juga berarti terpenuhinya satu item di bucket list-ku yang sebenarnya sudah terlupakan dan tersisihkan, yaitu untuk bepergian dengan semua moda transportasi umum di antara Belanda dan London. Hanya bus lah satu-satunya yang tersisa (lainnya adalah: pesawat, kereta api, dan kapal feri); jadi ini terasa seperti “jawaban” alam semesta akan item ini, haha. Ketika mendaftarkan-diri di busnya, KLM juga memberikan voucher senilai £4,50 untuk membeli bekal untuk perjalanan panjang dengan bus ini.

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When all flights to Amsterdam from London get cancelled due to heavy snow at Schiphol and KLM (the airline) arranges a bus service between the two as the best possible solution due to tomorrow's forecast that isn't any better. Funnily I don't think it is that bad because this actually means the fulfillment of a long forgotten bucket list item of mine that is to travel between the Netherlands and London with all possible means of public transport. Bus was the only one missing as I have (obviously) taken many flights, the Eurostar trains, and the ferry boat services! Lol #Zilkos2017WeekendTrip #travelexperience #selfie #Heathrow #HeathrowSelfie #London #England #travelling #travelwoes #winter #winterproblems #snowproblems #UK #🇬🇧 #✈️ #experience #bucketlist #thisislife #KL1010 #LHRAMS #KLM #frequentflyer #instaselfie #selfienation #thisiswhyitravel #instawinter #wintergram #HeathrowTerminal4 #instaHeathrow

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Singkat cerita, bus kami tiba di depan terminal. Setelah naik, aku duduk di salah satu kursinya dan untungnya busnya tidak penuh sehingga kursi di sebelahku kosong, haha. Aku berharap busnya dilengkapi dengan wifi tetapi sayangnya harapanku tidak dikabulkan 😛 . Setelah semua penumpang naik, perjalanan darat kami ke Belanda dimulai. Iya, entah bagaimana kami memulai hari ini dengan berpikir akan naik penerbangan nyaman selama satu jam dari London ke Amsterdam dan kenyataannya kami sekarang berada di atas bus di rute yang sama. Sungguh sebuah hari yang penuh petualangan ya!

Menaiki bus yang sudah disediakan KLM sebagai alternatif untuk menuju Schiphol melalui jalur darat.

Di perjalanan ini, aku mendapatkan notifikasi dari KLM bahwa aku sudah digantikan tiket di penerbangan pertama yang tersedia, yaitu di penerbangan KL1002 dengan keberangkatan jam 08:40 di: hari Selasa pagi! Haha. Ya, waktu itu sih aku cukup lega aku memilih alternatif dengan bus ini.

Juga, petugas pengantar kami mendapatkan informasi bahwa Terowongan Channel ditutup karena cuaca buruk. Sayangnya, ini berarti kami harus menyeberangi Selat Channel dengan cara yang pelan: yaitu dengan menumpang kapal feri. Jadilah tiga jam setelah keberangkatan, kami tiba di Pelabuhan Dover darimana kapal ferinya akan berangkat. Awalnya, kami berencana naik kapal feri jam 19:55 dengan tujuan Calais di Prancis karena (1) ini adalah jadwal paling awal dan (2) rute ini adalah rute yang lebih pendek ke Prancis (Karena kecepatan kapal feri yang rendah, artinya meminimalisasi waktu di kapal feri juga berarti minimalisasi total waktu perjalanan). Namun, kapal ferinya ternyata terlambat malam itu dan baru akan diberangkatkan jam 21:30. Jadilah petugas pengantar kami memutuskan untuk naik kapal jam 20:00 dengan tujuan Dunkerque di Prancis. Rute feri ini sedikit lebih jauh tetapi ini adalah pilihan tercepat malam itu. Btw untuk catatan sampingan nih, keren lho pemeriksaan sekuriti dan imigrasinya dilakukan tanpa kami, para penumpang, harus turun dari bus!

Pelabuhan Dover di Inggris.

Singkat cerita, kami menaiki kapalnya tepat sebelum jam 20:00. Total perjalanan dengan kapal ferinya adalah dua jam sehingga tentu saja kami tidak akan “dikurung” di dalam bus di perjalanan ini. Kami “dilepas” ke area penumpang di kapalnya. Dengan hanya sembilan dek, kapal ini jauh lebih kecil daripada kapal feri “biasa”-ku dari Hoek van Holland – Harwich yang memiliki dua belas dek. Aku pergi ke restorannya dan memesan schnitzel ayam (yang mana saus jamurnya terasa aneh banget menurutku) untuk makan malam.

Total perjalanannya adalah sekitar dua jam. Karena kaparnya lebih kecil, “goyangan”-nya juga lebih terasa daripada kapal feri Hoek van Holland – Harwich yang kunaiki sebelumnya. Untuk mencegah diriku mabuk laut, aku memutuskan untuk jalan-jalan aja mengelilingi dua dek area penumpang di dalam kapalnya, haha. Ada sebuah toko, dua restoran, sebuah bar/kafe, area game, dan beberapa lounge di kapal ini.

Di dalam kapal feri Dover – Dunkerque

Sekitar jam 23:00 waktu setempat, kami merapat di Dunkerque di Prancis. Kami kembali ke bus dan setelah pintu kapal dibuka, kami melanjutkan perjalanan ke Schiphol dengan melintasi Belgia. Perjalanannya sedikit lebih lama dari perkiraan karena sopirnya harus berhati-hati dengan jalanan yang licin akibat salju. Aku sendiri sangat lelah sehingga aku tertidur di sepanjang perjalanan ke Schiphol!

Sekitar 20 menit sebelum mendarat, pengantarnya membangunkan kami dan memberi-tahu bahwa kami sudah nyaris tiba di tujuan. Ia mengucapkan salam kepada kami dan mengingatkan kami untuk tidak melupakan apa pun di dalam busnya karena ia, sopirnya, dan busnya akan langsung kembali ke Inggris begitu menurunkan kami di Schiphol! :O Gila ya! Dan jadilah kami memberikan tepuk tangan kepada mereka karena telah bercapek-capek mengantarkan kami ke Belanda.

Rasanya senang sekali akhirnya tiba di Schiphol!

Kami tiba di Schiphol sekitar jam 3 subuh di hari Senin. Aku lihat ada banyak penumpang terlantar yang harus menginap semalam di bandara yang lalu-lintasnya terganggu dan kacau balau ini. Karena tidak ada transportasi umum yang jadwalnya enak di jam-jam kayak begini, aku memutuskan untuk naik taksi untuk langsung pulang ke rumah. Ini, btw, adalah pertama kalinya aku naik taksi dari Schiphol lho! Haha 😛 .

Dan akhirnya setelah perjalanan dengan taksi selama 30an menit yang menghabiskan biaya €60 (hampir Rp 1 juta 😅; yang mana ditanggung KLM sebagai customer service gesture 😍), aku akhirnya tiba di rumah juga!

Asia Trip, Aviation, Indonesia Trip, Southeast Asia, Trip Report, Vacation

#2040 – November 2017 Indonesia Trip (Part VI: Back to Europe)


Posts in the November 2017 Indonesia Trip series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to Indonesia
3. Part II: Jakarta
4. Part III: Yogyakarta
5. Part IV: The Wedding
6. Part V: Solo
7. Part VI: Back to Europe

My routing this time was (almost) a carbon copy of my trip back to Europe from my Indonesia Summer Trip back in 2015. The only differences were that (1) Instead of taking flight GA213 from Yogyakarta to Jakarta, I took flight GA211, (2) Instead of Terminal 2, Garuda Indonesia already moved to the brand new Terminal 3 Ultimate in Jakarta, and (3) This time I was entitled the SkyPriority benefits with my KLM status; I hadn’t reached that status yet back in August 2015. Anyway, let the trip report begin!

The route map this year was a carbon copy of my 2015 trip. Created with

Garuda Indonesia GA211 (JOG – CGK)

Flight: Garuda Indonesia GA 211
Equipment: Boeing 737-800 reg PK-GNG
ATD: 15:51 WIB (Runway 27 of JOG)
ATA: 16:46 WIB (Runway 25L of CGK)

After checking-in at the SkyPriority desk, I went to Garuda Indonesia Executive Lounge at the airport. This was my second visit to this small lounge this year, after the first time being earlier this year during my trip back to Amsterdam via Bali, Shanghai, and Paris, haha. Unlike that other time, the lounge was very busy this time around.

The Garuda Indonesia Executive Lounge at Adisutjipto Airport.

Anyway, my flight to Jakarta today would be operated with a Boeing 737-800 reg PK-GNG which had Boeing Sky Interior! From Flightradar24 I knew beforehand that the flight would be slightly delayed, though.

A Garuda Indonesia’s Boeing 737-800 reg PK-GNG at Adisutjipto Airport

Long story short, I went to the gate and was the first passenger to board, haha 😛 . I settled onto my comfortable 21K seat in the first row of economy. After all passengers boarded, we departed and took off from runway 27 of Adisutjipto Airport. See you, Yogyakarta!

See you, Jogja!

Overall it was a pleasant, regular, short-haul flight with Garuda Indonesia. A snack service was distributed short after take-off. I used the AVOD IFE to listen to some music. And as it was an afternoon flight, I spent most of my time also starring out of the window, haha 😛 . About 45 minutes later, we were already on descent to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and the flight attendants prepared for landing.

Not long after, we landed at runway 25L of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, the farther runway from Terminal 3 Ultimate meaning the taxiing to the stand would be quite long, haha. Anyway, here is the landing video:

Transiting at Terminal 3 Ultimate

It happened that my arrival gate at Jakarta was at the far end of the domestic side of the terminal. Having an international connection made me realize the gigantic size of Terminal 3 Ultimate. I basically had to walk down almost the entire 1.2 km length of the terminal to get to my connecting gate! Haha 😛 .

White wine at the Garuda Lounge

Anyway, long story short I cleared security and immigration; and then I went to Garuda Indonesia’s International Lounge at the brand new terminal. The lounge appeared to be smaller than its domestic counterpart (see Part II). It a was nice and comfortable lounge with good food and drink selection. As it was an international lounge, white and red wine were also available at the bar section. The wifi connection was also especially fast for Indonesian standard.

Garuda Indonesia GA88 (CGK – SIN)

Flight: Garuda Indonesia GA 88
Equipment: Boeing 777-300ER reg PK-GII in SkyTeam Livery
ATD: 21:25 WIB (Runway 25R of CGK)
ATA: 23:38 SGT (Runway 02C of SIN)

I felt very lucky and was very excited when I found out that this Boeing 777-300ER would be my ride tonight:

A Garuda Indonesia’s Boeing 777-300ER reg PK-GII in SkyTeam Livery at Terminal 3 Ultimate

Yes, PK-GII, i.e. Garuda Indonesia’s Boeing 777-300ER which was in SkyTeam Livery!! 😍 It would be my first time ever catching a Garuda bird in this special alliance colour!

Boarding started a little bit late. I was amongst the first passengers to board and settled onto my comfortable 21K seat. This flight to Singapore made me notice the cost-cutting effort the Garuda management has tried to impose to remain competitive. For once, there was no welcome drink in economy like what I got two years ago on this very same flight, haha.

Boarding screen

Anyway, even after boarding completed, we could not depart because we were still waiting for some documents to be completed. This caused a delay of about 30 minutes. And then of course once we actually departed, we had to face the typical long queue for take-off at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. In the end, we could only take off at 21:25 while our scheduled departure time was 20:30.

Waiting on my 21K seat

We took off from runway 25R and made a turn towards Singapore. Not too long after take-off, the dinner service was provided. The choices were beef lasagna or chicken with noodles. I opted for the first along with wine wine and water as my drink of choice. I found the lasagna to be okay. During this time, I also watched two episodes of The Big Bang Theory, haha…

Beef lasagna for dinner and The Big Bang Theory

About an hour later we started our approach towards Singapore Changi Airport and then landed at runway 02C. Here is the landing video:

It was quite a long taxi towards Terminal 3. Transit passengers were told to disembark the plane and the transit time would be one hour.

Transiting at Changi Airport

Another clear cost-cutting effort was the now non-existence of transit stuffies in Singapore. Two years ago, I got a snack box and a S$30 voucher for shopping at Changi. This year, I got nothing! Haha 😛 . And so I just went to the Information Kiosk to get a wifi password before immediately going to the gate to wait for boarding.

No transit stuffies this time around.

Anyway, technically, the next flight would be a fifth freedom flight as I would be flying a Garuda Indonesia flight from Singapore to the Netherlands! An aspect which I was quite excited about because it would be my only fifth freedom flight this year.

Garuda Indonesia GA88 (SIN – AMS)

Flight: Garuda Indonesia GA 88
Equipment: Boeing 777-300ER reg PK-GII in SkyTeam Livery
ATD: 01:54 SGT (Runway 02L of SIN)
ATA: 07:38 CET (Runway 18C of AMS)

Upon boarding, I found out that my neighbouring two seats were taken by a young couple with a baby! Because my seat was a window seat, I immediately realized that the spaciousness I previously got from my 21K seat would be heavily compromised. After take-off, a baby basinet would be installed occupying most of that space. While this was certainly a discomfort to me, this was actually indeed the “risk” of picking this seat, haha. Of course I could not “win” all the time.

The safety demo

Anyway, long story short we departed after boarding finished. It was almost a full flight to Amsterdam today, with a load factor of at least 95% in economy, which was really impressive IMO! We took off from runway 02L and headed northwest towards Europe.

Another round of dinner service (with the same options) was served not long after take-off. I was still feeling full so I declined the service and only asked for a glass of guava juice, haha. During this time, we were flying above Aceh, not too far away (I guess) from where Cyclone “Dahlia” was the day before. As a result, we faced some not-so-light turbulences, haha.

There were turbulences in this area.

In the meantime, I tried to sleep because I was feeling really sleepy. As a matter of fact, I actually could sleep for about six hours, which was quite impressive for my standard! It also happened that I slept during the part of the flight along the turbulence area, haha. Btw somewhere along the way, the in-between-fuel service was served, which was a salmon sandwich.

The in-between fuel service

I woke up when we were already somewhere above the Turkish airspace. I was quite awake already that I knew trying to go back to sleep would be a futile attempt, haha. So I watched several more episodes of The Big Bang Theory.

About two hours before landing, the breakfast service started. The options were between omelette and chicken with rice; I opted for the latter. To accompany my breakfast, I was torn to watch either Hidden Figures or Trinity, the Nekad Traveller, haha 😛 . Thinking that it would be difficult for me to watch an Indonesian movie in the Netherlands, I chose he latter 😛 .

Chicken and rice for breakfast.

Anyway at around 7:15 local time we were already on approach to Schiphol Airport. It was still dark outside when the flight attendants were preparing for landing:

And not too long after, we landed at runway 18C of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Here is the landing video:

PK-GII then parked at gate G5. We disembarked and I cleared immigration. It was awesome that my luggages were delivered at the belt exactly by the time I reached the luggage area! This was certainly because of my SkyTeam Elite Plus status! My luggages were tagged with priority labels so I got to “avoid” the problem of long waiting for luggages at Schiphol! 😛

Anyway, then I took the train to Amsterdam Centraal; and here my November 2017 Indonesia Trip officially ended.



Posting-posting dalam seri November 2017 Indonesia Trip:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to Indonesia
3. Part II: Jakarta
4. Part III: Yogyakarta
5. Part IV: The Wedding
6. Part V: Solo
7. Part VI: Back to Europe

Ruteku kali ini (nyaris) sama persis dari perjalananku kembali ke Erop dari liburan musim panasku di Indonesia tahun 2015. Perbedaannya adalah (1) Bukannya dengan penerbangan GA213 dari Yogyakarta ke Jakarta, kali ini aku naik GA211, (2) Bukannya Terminal 2, Garuda Indonesia sudah pindah ke Terminal 3 Ultimate di Jakarta, dan (3) Kali ini aku mendapatkan fasilitas SkyPriority dengan status KLMku; aku masih belum mendapatkan status ini di bulan Agustus 2015. Anyway, mari trip report-nya langsung kita mulai!

Peta ruteku tahun ini sama persis seperti perjalananku di tahun 2015. Dibuat dengan

Garuda Indonesia GA211 (JOG – CGK)

Penerbangan: Garuda Indonesia GA 211
Pesawat: Boeing 737-800 reg PK-GNG
ATD: 15:51 WIB (Runway 27 of JOG)
ATA: 16:46 WIB (Runway 25L of CGK)

Setelah check-in di konter SkyPriority, aku pergi ke Executive Lounge-nya Garuda Indonesia di bandara. Ini adalah kali kedua aku mengunjungi lounge kecil ini tahun ini, setelah yang pertama adalah awal tahun ini dalam perjalananku kembali ke Amsterdam dengan transit di Bali, Shanghai, dan Paris, haha. Tetapi tidak seperti waktu itu, kali ini lounge-nya ramai sekali.

Garuda Indonesia Executive Lounge di Bandara Adisutjipto.

Anyway, penerbanganku ke Jakarta hari ini akan dioperasikan dengan Boeing 737-800 rego PK-GNG yang dilengkapi dengan Boeing Sky Interior! Melalui Flightradar24, aku sudah tahu bahwa penerbangan ini akan mengalami keterlambatan sih.

Sebuah Boeing 737-800 milik Garuda Indonesia dengan rego PK-GNG di Bandara Adisutjipto.

Singkat cerita, aku pergi ke gerbang keberangkatan dan adalah penumpang pertama yang naik pesawat, haha 😛 . Aku duduk di kursi 21K yang nyaman di baris pertama kelas ekonomi. Setelah semua penumpang naik, pesawat berangkat dan lepas landas dari landasan pacu 27 Bandara Adisutjipto. Sampai jumpa lagi, Yogyakarta!

Sampai jumpa, Jogja!

Secara umum, ini adalah penerbangan reguler jarak dekat yang nyaman dengan Garuda Indonesia. Layanan snack diberikan sesaat setelah lepas landas. Melalui AVODnya aku mendengarkan beberapa lagu. Dan karena penerbangannya berlangsung di siang hari, aku banyak melihat ke luar jendela deh, haha 😛 . Sekitar 45 menit kemudian, kami sudah mulai turun menuju Bandara Internasional Soekarno-Hatta dan awak kapal mulai bersiap untuk mendarat.

Tak lama setelahnya, kami mendarat di landasan pacu 25L, landasan yang agak jauh dari Terminal 3 Ultimate sehingga taxiing-nya lumayan lama, haha. Berikut ini video pendaratannya:

Transit di Terminal 3 Ultimate

Kebetulan pesawat diparkir di gerbang yang berlokasi jauh di ujung sisi domestik dari terminalnya. Penerbangan lanjutanku yang merupakan penerbangan internasional membuatku merasakan sebagaimana raksasanya Terminal 3 Ultimate itu. Pada dasarnya aku harus berjalan nyaris di keseluruhan panjang terminalnya yang sepanjang 1,2 km itu untuk mencapai gerbang penerbangan lanjutanku! Haha 😛 .

White wine di Garuda Lounge

Anyway, singkat cerita aku melalui pemeriksaan sekuriti dan imigrasi; dan kemudian aku pergi ke Lounge Internasionalnya Garuda Indonesia di terminal baru ini. Lounge-nya sendiri lebih kecil daripada yang domestik (baca Bagian II) tetapi yang penting nyaman dengan pilihan makanan dan minuman yang cukup beragam. Karena merupakan lounge internasional, minuman wine juga tersedia di barnya. Koneksi wifi-nya juga cepat banget loh untuk ukuran Indonesia.

Garuda Indonesia GA88 (CGK – SIN)

Penerbangan: Garuda Indonesia GA 88
Pesawat: Boeing 777-300ER reg PK-GII dengan livery SkyTeam
ATD: 21:25 WIB (Runway 25R of CGK)
ATA: 23:38 SGT (Runway 02C of SIN)

Aku merasa amat beruntung dan excited banget ketika tahu bahwa Boeing 777-300ER yang akan membawaku malam ini adalah yang ini:

Sebuah Boeing 777-300ERnya Garuda Indonesia dengan rego PK-GII dengan livery SkyTeam di Terminal 3 Ultimate

Iyaaa, PK-GII, alias Boeing 777-300ERnya Garuda Indonesia yang ber-livery SkyTeam!! 😍 Ini akan menjadi pertama kalinya aku menaiki burungnya Garuda yang berwarnakan corak khusus aliansi ini!

Boarding dimulai agak terlambat kali ini. Aku adalah salah satu penumpang pertama yang naik dan duduk nyaman di kursi 21K-ku. Di penerbangan ke Singapura ini lah aku paling merasakan efek dari pemangkasan biaya yang diusahakan oleh manajemennya Garuda agar perusahaan tetap kompetitif. Misalnya, tidak ada welcome drink dong di kelas ekonomi padahal dua tahun yang lalu di penerbangan yang sama kan ada, haha.

Layar boarding

Anyway, walaupun semua penumpang sudah naik, kami masih belum bisa berangkat karena pilot masih harus menunggu dokumen-dokumen untuk dilengkapi. Ini mengakibatkan keterlambatan selama 30an menit. Dan tentu saja setelah berangkat, kami harus menghadapi yang namanya antrian untuk menunggu giliran lepas landas dari Bandara Internasional Soekarno-Hatta. Pada akhirnya, kami baru bisa lepas landas jam 21:25 sementara penerbangan sebenarnya dijadwalkan berangkat jam 20:30. h

Menunggu di kursi 21K-ku.

Pesawat lepas landas dari landasan pacu 25R dan kemudian berbelok menuju Singapura. Tak lama kemudian, layanan makan malam dibagikan. Pilihannya adalah lasagna daging sapi atau mie dengan ayam. Aku memilih pilihan pertama dengan white wine dan air putih untuk minum. Rasa lasagnanya lumayan juga. Aku makan sambil menonton dua episodenya The Big Bang Theory, haha…

Lasagna daging sapi untuk makan malam dan The Big Bang Theory

Sekitar satu jam kemudian, kami mulai turun menuju Bandara Changi dan kemudian mendarat di landasan pacu 02C. Berikut ini video pendaratannya:

Pesawat taxiing lumayan jauh ke Terminal 3. Penumpang transit diminta untuk turun dengan waktu transit selama sekitar satu jam.

Transit di Bandara Changi

Satu upaya pemangkasan biaya lain yang nampak jelas adalah ketiadaan fasilitas transit di Singapura. Dua tahun yang lalu, aku mendapatkan satu kotak snack dan voucher senilai S$30 untuk dibelanjakan di Changi. Tahun ini aku nggak mendapatkan apa-apa dong! Haha 😛 . Dan jadilah setelah turun aku mampir dulu ke Kios Informasinya Changi untuk mendapatkan password wifi dan setelahnya langsung masuk ke gate lagi menunggu boarding.

Nggak dapat apa-apa ketika transit di Singapura kali ini.

Anyway, secara teknis penerbanganku selanjutnya adalah penerbangan kebebasan kelima karena aku akan terbang dengan Garuda Indonesia dari Singapura ke Belanda! Satu aspek yang juga membuatku excited karena ini akan menjadi satu-satunya penerbangan kebebasan kelimaku tahun ini!

Garuda Indonesia GA88 (SIN – AMS)

Penerbangan: Garuda Indonesia GA 88
Pesawat: Boeing 777-300ER reg PK-GII dengan livery SkyTeam
ATD: 01:54 SGT (Runway 02L of SIN)
ATA: 07:38 CET (Runway 18C of AMS)

Ketika boarding, aku jadi tahu bahwa dua kursi di sebelahku diduduki oleh sepasang suami-istri muda yang terbang dengan bayi mereka. Karena kursiku adalah kursi jendela, aku langsung paham bahwa keleluasaan yang sebelumnya kudapatkan dari banyaknya ruang di kursi 21K-ku akan banyak hilang kali ini. Setelah lepas landas, kotak/ranjang bayi akan dipasangkan di depan kursi untuk bayinya yang mana jelas akan memakan hampir semua ruang di depanku. Walaupun memang ini membuat sedikit ketidak-nyamanan bagiku, tetapi ya memang ini lah “risiko” duduk di kursi ini kok, haha. Kan nggak mungkin dong ya kita “menang” terus.

Peragaan keselamatan.

Anyway, singkat cerita kami berangkat begitu semua penumpang naik. Penerbangan ke Amsterdam ini nyaris penuh loh, dengan load factor di kelas ekonomi yang aku bilang setidaknya 95%, yang mana keren banget menurutku! Kami lepas landas dari landasan pacu 02L dan kemudian mengarah ke arah barat laut menuju Eropa.

Satu ronde makan malam diberikan lagi (dengan pilihan menu yang sama seperti yang sebelumnya) setelah lepas landas. Karena masih kenyang, aku menolaknya dan meminta jus jambu saja, haha. Di waktu ini, kami terbang di atas Aceh, tidak terlalu jauh dari (yang kuperkirakan) lokasi Siklon “Dahlia” sehari sebelumnya. Sebagai akibatnya, kami mengalami beberapa turbulensi yang kekuatannya lumayan, haha.

Ada banyak turbulensi di area ini.

Sementara itu, aku mencoba untuk tidur karena sudah mengantuk sekali. Malahan, aku bisa tidur selama sekitar enam jam-an loh di penerbangan ini, yang mana impresif sekali untukku! Kebetulan juga aku tidurnya di bagian penerbangan yang banyak turbulensinya, haha. Btw, di tengah jalan waktu itu, layanan in-between fuel juga diberikan yang berupa sandwich daging salmon.

Layanan in-between fuel

Aku bangun ketika pesawat sudah berada di atas area Turki. Aku sudah lumayan bangun dan aku tahu percuma kalau mau memaksakan tidur lagi, haha. Ya sudah jadilah aku menonton beberapa episodenya The Big Bang Theory lagi.

Sekitar dua jam sebelum mendarat, layanan sarapan disajikan. Pilihannya adalah omelet atau nasi dengan ayam; aku memilih yang kedua. Untuk menemaniku sarapan, awalnya aku bingung antara mau menonton Hidden Figures atau Trinity, the Nekad Traveller, haha 😛 . Dengan mempertimbangkan agak sulit bagiku menonton film Indonesia di Belanda, aku memilih yang kedua 😛 .

Ayam dan nasi untuk sarapan.

Anyway sekitar jam 7:15 waktu setempat kami sudah mulai mendekati Bandara Schiphol. Kondisi di luar masih gelap sekali ketika awak kapal mulai bersiap untuk mendarat:

Dan tak lama setelahnya, kami mendarat di landasan pacu 18C Bandara Amsterdam Schiphol. Berikut ini video pendaratannya:

PK-GII kemudian diparkir di gate G5. Penumpang dipersilakan turun dan aku melewati imigrasi. Keren banget lho dimana bagasiku keluar begitu aku masuk di area bagasinya! Ini jelas karena status SkyTeam Elite Plus-ku lah! Bagasiku diberi label prioritas sehingga aku jadi “menghindari” masalah penungguan bagasi yang biasanya lama banget di Schiphol ! 😛

Anyway, kemudian aku naik kereta ke Amsterdam Centraal; dan di sini perjalanan November 2017ku ke Indonesia resmi berakhir.


Asia Trip, Aviation, Indonesia Trip, Southeast Asia, Trip Report, Vacation

#2026 – November 2017 Indonesia Trip (Part I: Getting to Indonesia)


Posts in the November 2017 Indonesia Trip series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to Indonesia
3. Part II: Jakarta
4. Part III: Yogyakarta
5. Part IV: The Wedding
6. Part V: Solo
7. Part VI: Back to Europe

I chose Garuda Indonesia’s non-stop Amsterdam – Jakarta flight GA89 to get to Indonesia this time. This was actually my third time flying this route, as the first two times were three and two years ago, both during the summer.

Starting in late October, Garuda Indonesia operated their Amsterdam route exclusively with their two-class Boeing 777-300ER, a news which I liked because it meant the possibility for me to add new registrations into my logbook. And it turned out I was lucky because Garuda deployed PK-GIK to Amsterdam for my flight today! Aside from being a new registration for me, PK-GIK was also Garuda’s newest Boeing 777-300ER! Yay! :mrgreen:

A Garuda Indonesia’s Boeing 777-300ER reg PK-GIK was on its way to Amsterdam. A screenshot from

Anyway I left my apartment to arrive at Schiphol just in time before check-in opened. Thanks to my SkyTeam Elite Plus status from Air France/KLM, I could block a seat in the first row of economy class for free (Otherwise I would have had to pay US$80 extra one way for this seat. Yay! 😀 ). I also checked-in my luggage (which I got 50 kg allowance thanks to my status 😛 ) and got my boarding pass. As usual, then I cleared security and immigration, and waited for the flight at KLM’s Crown Lounge.

Flight: Garuda Indonesia GA 89
Equipment: Boeing 777-300ER reg PK-GIK
ATD: 16:09 CET (Runway 24 of AMS)
ATA: 11:14 WIB (Runway 07R of CGK)

Garuda Indonesia’s Boeing 777-300ER reg PK-GIK at Schiphol Airport

I went to the gate a little bit too early, where PK-GIK wasn’t even towed to the gate yet when I arrived there, haha. Long story short, boarding commenced a little bit late and I settled onto my 21K seat. The seat was very comfortable as I got two windows for myself, ample of leg room (for economy standard), and basically free access to the aisle due to the legroom. As a result, I would not need to bother my seatmates whenever I wanted to “go out” of my seat throughout the flight! :mrgreen: The first thing I did after sitting down, however, was to charge my phone via the USB port attached to the seat. Haha 😛

My seat 21K on PK-GIK
Charging my phone

I observed the flight was quite full today; while the load factor was certainly not at 100%, I estimated it would be somewhere around 70-80%; not too bad in my opinion considering PK-GIK being configured in two-class, meaning significant increase in capacity in economy class. After the doors were closed, we departed from the gate. The safety demo was played and the flight attendants distributed mineral water. At 16:09, we took off from runway 24 of Schiphol under the rainy Dutch Fall weather.

Taking off from runway 24 of Schiphol during rain

Just after take-off, a snack service was provided which consisted of a bag of peanuts and the flight attendants went another round to distributed the amenity kits, which consisted of a pair of socks, a pair of ear plug, and an eye pad (which is quite a “luxury” in long-haul economy class as not all airlines provided these! Garuda, you rock!).

A mandatory selfie because I paid for the wifi

I decided to purchase the wifi access for the duration of the flight, which price I found fair enough. The cabin was then dimmed with purple mood lighting and the purser announced the planned service throughout the flight. The sun set not long after take-off, probably when we were already somewhere above Czech Republic, thus providing me with this beautiful view from my window:

A sunset view

About an hour after take-off, the dinner service was provided. The choice was chicken with rice or beef with potatoes. I opted for the latter where the beef was served in mustard sauce and potato wedges, which was delicious. I accompanied the dinner with Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them which I watched at the AVOD screen. I started to feel sleepy after the dinner and the movie; but then I made a “mistake” by going to the lavatory which for whatever reason made me “awake” again, lol 😆 .

The complimentary dinner service on board flight GA89

Nonetheless, I decided to try to sleep anyway by wearing my eye pad, though unfortunately it ended with no avail. Some light snacks (chips, energy bars, and peanuts) were served in the galley, btw. And about eight hours into the flight, the in-between fuel service, in the form of chocolate muffin, was served. The flight attendants were also very attentive. I was wearing my eye pad trying to sleep during the service, so she quietly placed two (!) muffins and a mineral water on my tray (which I intentionally left open as a place holder) without me noticing!

The in-between fuel service: chocolate muffin

I was able to sleep for about an hour after that, and I woke up when we were already above the Bay of Bengal. I noticed the light was already out outside so I peeked out the window and got the following beautiful morning view:

A morning view above the Bay of Bengal

At this point, I decided I would not sleep anymore as we were already approaching Indonesia anyway. So I turned on the AVOD and watched Despicable Me 3, haha. It was a nice coincidence btw that I watched Despicable Me 2 also on board flight GA89 to Indonesia two years ago! 😛

The flight entered Indonesia from the north of Sabang, then passed Lake Toba down along the island of Sumatra to Jakarta. During this time, the breakfast service was provided where the options was a chicken frittata or beef with yellow rice. I opted for the latter which was quite delicious too!

The breakfast service on board flight GA89

At about 11 AM, the flight started its descend towards Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and the cabin crews prepared for landing.

Earlier the first officer mentioned we would land at runway 25R, but eventually we landed at runway 07R of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Here is the landing video:

PK-GIK then had to make the long taxi all the way to Terminal 3 Ultimate. I was quite excited about this because it would be my first time ever using this brand new terminal! Haha 😛 . I got off from PK-GIK and entered the arrival area, which turned out to be just an alley leading to immigration and the arrival hall.

Speaking of immigration, upon check-in at Schiphol I was given the following card:

A Fast Track card

thanks to my SkyTeam Elite Plus status. Yep, a “Fast Track” card so I could use the priority lane at immigration in Jakarta! It was quite helpful as there were a few international arrivals at around the same time! Yeay Garuda! 😀

The baggage area of Terminal 3 Ultimate

My luggage was also one of the first to come out in the carrousel thanks to the priority label. I then went out the terminal building and got a taxi to go to Jakarta for the first time in more than seven years.



Posting-posting dalam seri November 2017 Indonesia Trip:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to Indonesia
3. Part II: Jakarta
4. Part III: Yogyakarta
5. Part IV: The Wedding
6. Part V: Solo
7. Part VI: Back to Europe

Aku memilih untuk terbang dengan penerbangan non-stop Garuda Indonesia Amsterdam – Jakarta GA89 untuk berangkat ke Indonesia kali ini. Ini adalah kali ketiga aku menaiki peenrbangan ini, dengan yang dua pertama adalah tiga dan dua tahun yang lalu, yang mana keduanya adalah di musim panas.

Mulai Oktober lalu, Garuda Indonesia mengirimkan pesawat Boeing 777-300ER yang dikonfigurasi dengan dua kelas saja untuk rute Amsterdam, sebuah berita yang kusukai karena berarti aku jadi berkesempatan menambah registrasi baru ke dalam logbook-ku. Dan ternyata aku beruntung karena Garuda mengirimkan PK-GIK ek Amsterdam kali ini! Selain registrasi baru, PK-GIK jugalah Boeing 777-300ERnya Garuda yang paling baru! Hore! :mrgreen:

Sebuah Boeing 777-300ER milik Garuda Indonesia dengan rego PK-GIK dalam perjalanan ke Amsterdam. Screenshot dari

Anyway aku berangkat dari apartemenku ke Schiphol pas ketika check-in dibuka. Dengan status SkyTeam Elite Plus-ku dari Air France/KLM, aku bisa mem-block seat kursi di deretan pertama ekonomi dengan gratis loh (Tanpa status itu, aku harus membayar ekstra US$80 sekali jalan untuk kursi ini. Lumayan lah ya! 😀 ). Aku juga meng-check-in-kan bagasiku (yang mana aku mendapatkan jatah 50 kg dengan statusku 😛 ) dan mendapatkan boarding pass. Seperti biasa, setelah pemeriksaan sekuriti dan imigrasi, aku menunggu di Crown Lounge-nya KLM.

Penerbangan: Garuda Indonesia GA 89
Pesawat: Boeing 777-300ER reg PK-GIK
ATD: 16:09 CET (Runway 24 of AMS)
ATA: 11:14 WIB (Runway 07R of CGK)

Sebuah Boeing 777-300ERnya Garuda Indonesia dengan rego PK-GIK di Bandara Schiphol

Aku sampai di gerbang agak terlalu awal hari ini, dimana bahkan PK-GIK belum di-tow ke sana ketika aku tiba, haha. Singkat cerita, boarding dimulai sedikit terlambat dan aku duduk nyaman di kursi 21K-ku. Oh iya kursinya enak lho dimana aku mendapatkan dua jendela untukku sendiri, leg room yang lapang banget (untuk ukuran ekonomi), dan pada dasarnya akses bebas ke lorong karena leg room-nya yang lapang itu. Sebagai akibatnya, aku nggak harus mengganggu orang yang duduk di sebelahku untuk “keluar” dari kursiku di sepanjang penerbangannya! :mrgreen: Hal pertama yang kulakukan setelah duduk adalah meng-charge hapeku dengan USB port yang berada di kursinya. Haha 😛

Kursi 21K di dalam PK-GIK
Meng-charge hapeku

Aku amati penerbangan hari ini cukup penuh juha; walaupun memang nggak 100% sih, aku estimasi sekitar 70-80% lah; lumayan sih menurutku mengingat PK-GIK dikonfigurasi dengan dua kelas, yang mana berarti peningkatan kapasitas yang signifikan di kelas ekonomi. Setelah pintu ditutup, penerbangan berangkat. Video keselamatan dimainkan dan para pramugari kemudian membagikan air putih botolan kepada penumpang. Jam 16:09, pesawat lepas landas dari landasan pacu 24 Bandara Schiphol di bawah guyuran hujan Belanda di musim gugur.

Lepas landas dari landasan pacu 24 Bandara Schiphol ketika hujan.

Setelah lepas landas, layanan snack ringan dibagikan yang mana terdiri dari sebungkus kacang dan minuman; dan setelahnya pramugari kembali berkeliling membagikan amenity kits yang terdiri dari sepasang kaus kaki, sepasang sumbat telinga, dan sebuah penutup mata (yang mana merupakan suatu “kemewahan” loh di penerbangan ekonomi jarak-jauh karena tidak semua maskapai menyediakannya! Garuda, kamu keren!).

Wajib selfie dong karena aku kan membeli paket wifi-nya.

Aku juga memutuskan untuk membeli akses wifi untuk keseluruhan durasi penerbangan, yang mana menurutku harganya pantas lah. Mood lighting keunguan kemudian dimainkan di dalam akbin dan purser mengumumkan layanan di sepanjang penerbangan. Matahari terbenam tak lama kemudian, ketika kami berada di atas Ceko, yang mana pemandangan dari jendelanya keren banget kayak gini:

Pemandangan matahari terbenam

Sekitar satu jam setelah lepas landas, layanan makan malam dibagikan. Pilihannya adalah ayam dengan nasi atau daging sapi dengan kentang. Aku memilih yang kedua yang mana daging sapinya dimasak dengan saus mustard dan dilengkapi dengan potato wedges, yang mana enak! Aku makan malam sambil menonton Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them dari layar AVODnya. Setelah makan malam dan selesai menonton film, aku mulai merasa ngantuk; tetapi kemudian aku membuat “kesalahan” dengan pergi ke toilet karena entah mengapa, ketika kembali duduk aku jadi “nggak ngantuk” lagi dong, haha 😆 .

Layanan makan malam di penerbangan GA89 kali ini.

Toh aku tetap memaksakan diri untuk mencoba tidur, yang mana akhirnya gagal juga, haha. Beberapa cemilan ringan (chips, energy bars, dan kacang) disajikan di galley, btw. Sekitar delapan jam setelah berangkat, layanan in-between fuel yang kali ini berupa kue muffin coklat dibagikan. Pramugarinya perhatian banget lho. Ceritanya aku kan mengenakan eye pad untuk mencoba tidur, ia kemudian meletakkan dua (!) buah muffin dan air mineral di tray-ku lho (yang memang sengaja aku buka untuk menaruh barang) tanpa membangunkanku!

Layanan in-between fuel kali ini: coklat muffin

Aku akhirnya berhasil tidur juga selama sekitar satu jam setelahnya, dan aku terbangun kembali di atas Teluk Bengal. Aku perhatikan sepertinya di luar sudah terang, jadilah aku mengintip keluar jendela dan mendapatkan pemandangan pagi kece ini:

Pemandangan pagi di atas Teluk Bengal

Di waktu ini, aku memutuskan untuk nggak tidur lagi lah karena toh sudah hampir masuk Indonesia juga kan. Jadilah layar AVODnya kunyalakan lagi dan aku menonton Despicable Me 3, haha. Kebetulan lho dimana aku menonton Despicable Me 2 juga di peenrbangan GA89 ke Indonesia dua tahun yang lalu! 😛

Pesawat memasuki area Indonesia dari arah utara Sabang, kemudian terbang di atas Danau Toba dan di atas pulau Sumatra menuju Jakarta. Di waktu ini, layanan sarapan dibagikan. Pilihannya adalah frittata ayam atau daging sapi dengan nasi kuning. Aku memilih yang kedua yang mana enak juga!

Layanan sarapan di penerbangan GA89

Sekitar jam 11 pagi, pesawat mulai turun menuju Bandara Internasional Soekarno-Hatta dan awak kabin mulai bersiap-siap untuk mendarat.

Sebelumnya, first officer menyebutkan kami akan mendarat di landasan pacu 25R, tetapi akhirnya kami mendarat di landasan pacu 07R Bandara Internasional Soekarno-Hatta. Berikut ini video pendaratannya:

PK-GIK harus taxiing agak jauh menuju Terminal 3 Ultimate. Aku lumayan excited dengan ini karena ini adalah kali pertama aku akan menggunakan terminal baru ini! Haha 😛 . Aku turun dari pesawat dan memasuki area kedatangan, yang mana ternyata hanya lah lorong untuk menuju imigrasi dan area pengambilan bagasi.

Ngomongin masalah imigrasi, ketika check-in di Schiphol aku diberikan kartu khusus ini:

Kartu Fast Track

karena status SkyTeam Elite Plus-ku. Iya, kartu “Fast Track” dimana aku bisa menggunakan jalur prioritas di antrian imigrasi di Jakarta! Ini lumayan membantu lho karena waktu itu ada beberapa kedatangan internasional di waktu yang hampir sama! Hore Garuda! 😀

Area bagasi di Terminal 3 Ultimate

Bagasiku juga termasuk salah satu yang dikeluarkan pertama karena label prioritasnya. Aku kemudian keluar dari gedung terminal dan menaiki sebuah taksi untuk pergi ke Jakarta untuk pertama kalinya setelah tujuh tahun lebih.


Aviation, EuroTrip, Trip Report, Vacation, Weekend Trip

#2001 – AvGeek Weekend Trip #12 (AMS – CDG – LHR – CDG – AMS)


I went on an Avgeek Weekend Trip this weekend which was very interesting as it involved an Air France’s brand new (not even a month old) Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. And here is the story of this fun weekend trip I just had.

The routing this weekend. Created with:

So as you know the routing this time was Amsterdam – Paris-CDG – London-Heathrow and back. And so I have decided to skip the Amsterdam – Paris-CDG vv part because I have flown this route so many times, haha. I would just go as far as saying that I flew an Air France’s Airbus A320-200 reg F-GKXL and a KLM’s Boeing 737-700 reg PH-BGW on these two flights.

An Air France’s Airbus A320-200 F-GKXL
A KLM’s Boeing 737-700 reg PH-BGW.

Paris – CDG, Terminal 2E Hall K

After arriving in Paris, I checked the transfer monitor and learned that my connecting flight to London would depart from Hall K of Terminal 2E. So I followed the signage to this hall, which was at the other side of Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport’s Terminal 2. I cleared immigration as well during this transfer, which was really a breeze because there was noone else, haha 😛 .

At Hall K, I immediately went to the Air France’s lounge there. I just realized that this was actually my first time at a non-Schengen Air France Lounge at Paris-CDG Airport! Haha 😛 . The lounge was really spacious, much more spacious than the two lounges at Terminal 2F, though the offering was pretty much the same.

Salon Air France at Terminal 2E Hall K

About an hour before departure, I left the lounge to look for the gate. Though I was travelling via Paris-CDG a lot, this was actually just my second time using its Hall K (the first time was when I was catching my Japan Airlines flight to Tokyo-Narita 2.5 years ago), so I wasn’t that familiar with this hall. The interior design of Paris – CDG Terminal 2E’s Hall K was really beautiful, btw. However, it was clearly not designed for avgeeks because it was very difficult to take pictures of the planes parked at this hall! Haha 😛

The beautiful Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport Terminal 2E Hall K

AF 1180 (CDG – LHR)

Flight: Air France AF1180
Equipment: Airbus A320-200 reg F-GKXJ with a Paris 2024 sticker
ATD: 19:24 CET (Runway 08L of CDG)
ATA: 19:14 BST (Runway 27R of LHR)

Anyway, my flight to London today would be operated with an Air France’s Airbus A320-200 reg F-GKXJ, which was plastered with a Paris 2024 sticker. F-GKXJ was actually parked at the gate next to the Air France Lounge and so I knew that this plane had been sitting there for quite some time. I guess due to the importance of its London-Heathrow route (London-Heathrow is considered as one of the most “premium” airports, in terms of the type of passengers it attracts, in the industry), Air France wouldn’t want to take the risk of any of its London-Heathrow flights being delayed; and so the long on-the-ground time.

An Air France’s Airbus A320-200 F-GKXJ with Paris 2024 sticker

Long story short, I boarded the plane and sat at my 6A seat in the first row of economy today. Not too long after, the push back began and the flight departed. We took off from runway 08L of Paris-CDG and headed northwest towards London. It was a short flight so the complimentary snack service was provided right away.

A flight to London-Heathrow wouldn’t be complete without the plane having to make a few turns above London before being allowed to land, haha. Unfortunately there was some cloud hanging above the city today so I couldn’t really see anything. Anyway, at 19:14 local time we landed at runway 27R of London-Heathrow Airport.

Landing at runway 27R of London-Heathrow

We had to taxi for quite a distance and time (due to the airport’s crowdedness), where I spotted a Garuda Indonesia’s Boeing 777-300ER being prepared for its non-stop flight back to Jakarta later tonight. And finally, we parked at a gate in Terminal 4 at the south part of the airport.


The last and only other time I was entering the UK via Heathrow was more than four years ago, haha. And I, sort of, forgot the possible inconvenience of entering London via this popular airport: a really long line at immigration!! The line was so long that I remembered the last time I encountered a line at least this “bad” was when I arrived in New York from Mexico City almost two years ago! While I wasn’t spending 90 minutes just for queuing this time (it was closer to 45 I think), it made me think that the next time I would travel to London, it would be better to arrive at London City Airport! Haha 😛

Rump steak for dinner

Anyway, I spent a night at a hotel nearby the airport today, where I also had my rump steak dinner.

The next morning, I checked out just before 7 AM to catch my 9:45 AM flight back to Paris. I already had my mobile boarding pass so I headed straight to security. The officer noticed the “Sky Priority” tag in my boarding pass and informed me that this allowed me to use the VIP security lane. Yeay! I didn’t have to queue with this lane and I cleared security in less than two minutes, haha.

The entrance to the SkyTeam Lounge at Heathrow

Once in the departure area, I looked for the SkyTeam Lounge at the airport. You see, London-Heathrow is not a SkyTeam airport but its importance means that a lot of SkyTeam airlines are using it. So to cater this, SkyTeam invests in a lounge at the airport’s Terminal 4, where most SkyTeam airlines fly to (Strangely, Garuda Indonesia operates from Terminal 3 despite it being a SkyTeam member).

The entrance to the lounge was quite small but the lounge itself was actually quite spacious, as it had two floors! I went to the upstairs area because the attendant told me breakfast was served there. The breakfast was actually quite decent with a selection of English or continental all you can eat breakfast. The design of the lounge itself was also really cool and looked so much better than the overall “outdated” feel of Terminal 4 of Heathrow, haha.

SkyTeam Lounge at Heathrow

AF 1681 (LHR-CDG)

Flight: Air France AF1681
Equipment: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner F-HRBC
ATD: 10:22 BST (Runway 27R of LHR)
ATA: 12:07 BST (Runway 26L of CDG)

I was very excited when I saw in my Flightradar24 app that my flight today would be operated with F-HRBC, Air France’s newest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner that wasn’t even one month old! Unfortunately, the flight used Gate 2 today which was a horrible gate at the terminal because it was impossible to take a good picture of the plane! Haha 😛

Long story short, I boarded F-HRBC and sat at seat 18K. This time, I sat in the regular economy cabin unlike my last trip with an Air France’s Dreamliner where I sat in the premium economy cabin. I deliberately chose not to “upgrade” myself for the small fee because I would like to compare the two cabins, haha.

The regular economy cabin of Air France’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner F-HRBC

The regular economy cabin was actually quite comfortable with good seat pitch and Air France’s newest IFE (Air France Touch). After all passengers boarded, the flight departed and the very chic safety demo was played on the IFE.

Don’t forget to put on your safety belt as, aside from ensuring our safety, it also elegantly hightlights your waistline…

Anyway, a departure from London-Heathrow wouldn’t also be complete without experiencing its traffic jam for take-off, haha. The departure runway this morning was runway 27R so we had to taxi for quite some distance there, and we encountered quite a traffic jam as we were nearing the runway. This doesn’t happen that often at Schiphol or Paris-CDG, and reminded me of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta! Haha 😛 .

Traffic jam at Heathrow

Long story short, we finally took off and began our short hop to Paris-CDG. As in flight AF1180, the service began immediately after take-off. A Boeing 787-9 was a much bigger plane than an Airbus A320 so I could imagine the flight attendants must be feeling some kind of time pressure for the service, and they did a really great job! Overall it was a very pleasant and smooth flight with Air France’s F-HRBC. At 12:07 local time, we landed at runway 26R of Paris-CDG Airport.

Air France’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner F-HRBC at Paris-CDG

The plane parked at Terminal 2E Hall L. Then I cleared security and immigration to transfer to Terminal 2F to catch my last flight of this trip back to Amsterdam with KLM.


Aku pergi dalam sebuah Avgeek Weekend Trip akhir pekan kemarin yang mana seru banget karena melibatkan sebuah Boeing 787-9 Dreamlinernya Air France yang baru banget (bahkan umurnya belum ada satu bulan). Dan berikut ini cerita dari akhir pekan seruku ini.

Rute akhir pekan ini. Dibuat dengan:

Rute kali ini adalah Amsterdam – Paris-CDG – London-Heathrow pp. Dan sudah kuputuskan aku tidak akan membahas penerbangan pp Amsterdam – Paris-CDGku karena aku sudah sering banget terbang di rute ini, haha. Cuma akan kusebutkan bahwa aku terbang dengan pesawat Airbus A320-200 rego F-GKXLnya Air France dan Boeing 737-700 rego PH-BGWnya KLM di dua penerbangan ini.

Sebuah Airbus A320-200 F-GKXLnya Air France
Sebuah Boeing 737-700 PH-BGWnya KLM.

Paris – CDG, Terminal 2E Hall K

Setelah tiba di Paris, aku mengecek monitor penerbangan transit dan aku diberi-tahu bahwa penerbangan lanjutanku ke London akan berangkat dari Hall K di Terminal 2E. Aku mengikuti petunjuk jalan ke arah sana, yang mana berada di sisi lain dari Terminal 2nya Bandara Charles De Gaulle. Aku melewati imigrasi ketika transit ini, yang mana berlangsung mulus banget karena nggak ada penumpang lain selain aku sehingga nggak perlu antri, haha 😛 .

Di Hall K, aku langsung pergi ke lounge-nya Air France di sana. Aku baru sadar bahwa ini adalah kali pertama aku mampir di sebuah lounge non-Schengennya Air France di Bandara Paris-CDG loh! Haha 😛 . Lounge-nya sendiri amat luas, lebih luas dari dua lounge-nya di Terminal 2F, walaupun layanannya sih kurang lebih sama lah.

Salon Air France di Terminal 2E Hall K

Sekitar satu jam sebelum waktu keberangkatan, aku meninggalkan lounge-nya menuju ke gate. Walaupun aku sering terbang melewati Bandara Paris-CDG, ini baru lah kali kedua aku menggunakan Hall K-nya (kali pertama adalah ketika aku menaiki penerbangan Japan Airlines ke Tokyo-Narita 2,5 tahun lalu), jadi aku kurang begitu familier dengan hall ini. Disain interior hall ini indah dan kece banget sebenarnya, btw. Namun, jelas disainnya tidak ramah untuk avgeek karena sulit sekali untuk bisa mendapatkan foto pesawat yang diparkir di hall ini dengan oke! Haha 😛

Terminal 2E Hall K Bandara Charles De Gaulle Paris yang indah dan kece banget.

AF 1180 (CDG – LHR)

Penerbangan: Air France AF1180
Pesawat: Airbus A320-200 reg F-GKXJ dengan stiker Paris 2024
ATD: 19:24 CET (Runway 08L of CDG)
ATA: 19:14 BST (Runway 27R of LHR)

Anyway, penerbanganku ke London hari ini dioperasikan dengan Airbus A320-200nya Air France dengan rego F-GKXJ, yang ditempeli stiker Paris 2024. F-GKXJ sebenarnya diparkir di gate di sebelah lounge-nya Air France jadi aku tahu bahwa pesawat ini sudah diparkir di sana lumayan lama. Aku kira karena pentingnya rute London-Heathrow (London-Heathrow banyak dipandang sebagai satu dari bandara yang “premium”, dari segi tipe penumpang yang bepergian ke sana, di industri penerbangan), Air France tidak mau ambil risiko yang bisa menyebabkan penerbangan-penerbangan ke London-Heathrow terlambat; makanya pesawatnya diparkir lama di darat.

Sebuah Airbus A320-200 F-GKXJnya Air France dengan stiker Paris 2024

Singkat cerita, aku menaiki pesawatnya dan duduk di kursi 6A di barisan pertama ekonomi hari ini. Tak lama setelahnya, pesawat didorong mundur dan berangkat. Kami lepas landas dari landasan pacu 08L Bandara Paris-CDG dan kemudian berbelok ke arah barat laut menuju London. Karena durasi penerbangannya yang singkat, layanan snack langsung disajikan.

Yang namanya penerbangan ke London-Heathrow tak akan lengkap tanpa yang namanya berputar-putar dulu di atas London sebelum diberikan izin mendarat, haha. Sayangnya, langit London berawan malam ini sehingga aku tidak bisa melihat apa-apa. Anyway, jam 19:14 waktu setempat kami mendarat di landasan pacu 27R Bandara Heathrow.

Mendarat di landasan pacu 27R Bandara London-Heathrow

Kami harus taxiing cukup jauh dengan waktu lumayan lama (soalnya bandaranya ramai banget), dimana aku bisa melihat sebuah Boeing 777-300ERnya Garuda Indonesia sedang disiapkan untuk penerbangan non-stopnya ke Jakarta malam itu. Dan akhirnya, pesawat diparkir di Terminal 4 di sisi selatan bandaranya.


Pertama dan terakhir kalinya aku masuk ke UK melalui Heathrow sebelum hari ini adalah lebih dari empat tahun yang lalu, haha. Jadilah aku lupa mengenai kemungkinan ketidak-nyamanannya masuk ke London melalui bandara ini: antrian imigrasi yang gila panjangnya!! Antriannya panjang banget sampai aku langsung teringat terakhir kali aku menghadapi antrian imigrasi yang “separah” ini adalah ketika aku tiba di New York dari Mexico City hampir dua tahun yang lalu! Walaupun memang sih aku tidak menghabiskan 90 menit untuk mengantri kali ini (sekitar 45an lah), ini membuatku berpikir bahwa untuk perjalananku ke London yang selanjutnya, mendingan aku terbang ke Bandara London City aja deh! haha 😛

Rump steak untuk makan malam

Anyway, aku menginap semalam di hotel di dekat bandara hari ini, dimana aku juga makan rump steak untuk makan malam.

Keesokan paginya, aku check-out sebelum jam 7 pagi untuk mengejar penerbangan jam 9:45ku ke Paris. Aku sudah memiliki mobile boarding pass sehingga aku langsung menuju ke area sekuriti. Petugasnya melihat label “Sky Priority” di boarding pass-ku dan memberi-tahuku bahwa dengannya aku bisa masuk melalui jalur pemeriksaan VIP. Hore! Di jalur ini aku nggak perlu ngantri dan melewati pemeriksaan sekuriti total dalam waktu kurang dari dua menit saja, haha.

Pintu masuk SkyTeam Lounge di Heathrow

Begitu di area keberangkatan, aku langsung mencari SkyTeam Lounge di terminal ini. London-Heathrow bukanlah bandara SkyTeam tetapi pentingnya bandara ini membuat maskapai-maskapai SkyTeam memiliki banyak penerbangan melalui bandara ini. Jadilah SkyTeam memutuskan untuk berinvestasi dengan membuka sebuah lounge di Terminal 4 bandara ini, dimana kebanyakan penerbangan SkyTeam diberangkatkan (Anehnya, Garuda Indonesia beroperasi di Terminal 3 padahal Garuda kan anggota SkyTeam juga).

Pintu masuk lounge ini cukup kecil tetapi lounge-nya sendiri luas loh, dua lantai pula! Aku naik ke lantai atas karena petugasnya memberi-tahuku bahwa sarapan disajikan di sana. Pilihan sarapannya sendiri cukup oke dimana ada sarapan ala Inggris atau kontinental dengan model all you can eat. Disain lounge-nya sendiri juga keren banget dan nampak jauh lebih modern daripada Terminal 4nya Heathrow yang terasa “usang”, haha.

SkyTeam Lounge di Heathrow

AF 1681 (LHR-CDG)

Penerbangan: Air France AF1681
Pesawat: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner F-HRBC
ATD: 10:22 BST (Runway 27R of LHR)
ATA: 12:07 BST (Runway 26L of CDG)

Aku merasa bersemangat banget ketika aku lihat di app Flightradar24-ku bahwa penerbanganku akan dioperasikan dengan F-HRBC, Boeing 787-9 Dreamlinernya Air France yang paling baru yang umurnya bahkan belum ada satu bulan! Sayangnya, penerbangan hari ini menggunakan Gate 2 yang mana merupakan gate di terminal ini yang menyebalkan sekali karena tidak mungkin bagiku untuk bisa memfoto pesawatnya dengan sudut yang baik! haha 😛

Singkat cerita, aku menaiki F-HRBC dan duduk di kursi 18K. Kali ini, aku duduk di kabin ekonomi reguler, tidak seperti penerbanganku sebelumnya dengan Dreamlinernya Air France dimana aku duduk di kabin premium economy. Sengaja aku memilih untuk tidak meng-“upgrade” kursiku dengan biaya yang sebenarnya tidak terlalu mahal karena aku ingin membandingkan dua kabinnya, haha.

Kabin ekonomi reguler Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner F-HRBCnya Air France

Kabin ekonomi regulernya ternyata cukup nyaman dengan seat pitch kursi yang oke dan IFE terbarunya Air France (Air France Touch). Setelah semua penumpang naik pesawat, kami berangkat dan video peragaan keselamatan yang chic banget itu dimainkan di layar IFEnya.

Jangan lupa memasang sabuk pengaman karena, selain untuk memastikan keselamatan Anda, sabuknya juga meng-highlight lingkar pinggang Anda dengan elegan…

Anyway, yang namanya keberangkatan dari London-Heathrow tak akan komplit tanpa mengalami yang namanya kemacetan sebelum lepas landas, haha. Landasan pacu keberangkatan pagi ini adalah landasan 27R sehingga kami harus taxiing lumayan jauh ke sana, dan di dekat landasannya ada kemacetan untuk menunggu giliran lepas landas. Ini hampir tidak pernah terjadi di Schiphol atau Paris-CDG, dan mengingatkan akan Bandara Internasional Soekarno-Hatta di Jakarta! Haha 😛 .

Kemacetan di Heathrow

Singkat cerita, kami akhirnya lepas landas dan memulai penerbangan singkat ke Paris-CDG. Seperti di penerbangan AF1180, layanan snack-nya langsung disajikan setelah lepas landas. Boeing 787-9 berukuran lebih besar daripada Airbus A320 sehingga aku paham tentu pramugari/a-nya diburu-buru waktu ya untuk layanan ini, dan mereka meng-handle-nya dengan baik! Secara umum penerbangan ini adalah penerbangan yang nyaman dan mulus dengan F-HRBCnya Air France. Jam 12:07 waktu setempat, kami mendarat di landasan pacu 26R Bandara Paris-CDG.

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner F-HRBCnya Air France di Paris-CDG

Pesawat diparkir di Hall L Terminal 2E. Lalu, aku melewati pemeriksaan sekuriti dan imigrasi ketika transit ke Terminal 2F untuk mengehjar penerbanganku kembali ke Amsterdam dengan KLM.

Aviation, EuroTrip, Trip Report, Vacation, Weekend Trip

#1990 – AvGeek Weekend Trip #10 (AMS – OSL – CDG – AMS)


Not too long ago, I went on another AvGeek Weekend Trip with quite an interesting routing:

The routing this weekend. Map created with

At first, I didn’t plan to write a self-standing post of the trip. But I changed my mind after the experiences I had during the trip, which actually made the trip unique enough for a self-standing post. Anyway, this post is the self-standing post and let just the story begin…

KLM KL1143 (AMS – OSL)

Flight: KLM KL1143
Equipment: Boeing 737-700 reg PH-BGQ named “Wielewaal”
ATD: 09:23 CET (Runway 24 of AMS)
ATA: 10:54 CET (Runway 01L of OSL)

To save some budget, I chose KLM’s 09:20 flight to Oslo (the 11:50 would have been better schedule-wise, but it was also much more expensive). Consequently, I had to depart from home quite early. And I departed a bit too early, actually, where I arrived at the tram stop some 20 minutes before the scheduled service! (I should have checked the transportation app indeed, so it was my fault).

A KLM’s Boeing 737-700 reg PH-BGQ which would take me to Oslo today.

Long story short, I arrived at Schiphol, waited and had my breakfast at KLM’s Crown Lounge, and boarded the plane: a KLM’s Boeing 737-700 reg PH-BGQ. The flight itselft was a pleasant regular intra-European flight with KLM. I sat next to (I assume) a professor who was working on his grant proposal and was so into his work that he refused all the KLM service provided on his flight, haha.

Anyway, as I said in the teaser post, I was lucky that I was sitting on a window seat in the left side of the plane and the flight was landing at runway 01L. This provided me with a really cool bird’s eye view of the city of Oslo!

Oslo, not Solo!

Oslo-Gardermoen Airport

I have been to Oslo before, just a little over two years ago, actually. But somehow, I didn’t remember Oslo-Gardermoen Airport to be as good and cool as I encountered during this trip! Seriously, I found the terminal building to be really beautiful, one of the most beautiful one in Europe that I have been to!

Oslo-Gardermoen Airport

Anyway, one reason why I said KLM’s 11:50 flight would have been better scheduled-wise was that now, I had an almost six hours of transit, haha. I didn’t feel like going to the city of Oslo, so I was “stuck” at the (beautiful) airport. Though, I wasn’t worried at all as I knew that Air France/KLM had a cooperation with a lounge at the airport. The lounge was the OSL Lounge, located pretty much next to SAS’ business lounge.

OSL Lounge at Gardermoen Airport

The lounge itself was actually quite good! It wasn’t the most spacious lounge in terms of space, but the service and facilities were quite nice. There were quite some selections of drink and (typical lounge) food. The seats were generally comfortable as well. There was a row of three or four recliner chairs which I settled myself onto one of them. The chairs were quite old, actually, but they still worked fine and were still quite comfortable.

Air France AF1375 (OSL – CDG)

Flight: Air France AF1375 operated by HOP! Regional
Equipment: Embraer ERJ190 reg F-HBLE
ATD: 17:01 CET (Runway 01L of OSL)
ATA: 18:50 CET (Runway 26L of CDG)

I boarded my second flight today at around 16:10. It was an Air France flight that was operated by HOP! Regional’s Embraer ERJ190 reg F-HBLE. I sat on my 3F seat in the 2-2 configured plane which was super comfortable today because the seat next to me was vacant, yeay! Haha 😆 Long story short, the plane departed and took off from runway 01L of Oslo-Gardermoen Airport.

Taking off from runway 01L of OSL with HOP! Regional’s Embraer 190

Not long after take-off, the snack service was provided. And I was pleasantly surprised to see that the service standard was higher than the other regular intra-European Air France flights I had taken before. First of all, there were actually options for the sandwich service (chicken or vegetarian sandwich). And second of all, rosé wine was available as one of the wine options! Options and rosé wine were something I had never encountered in short-haul intra-European Air France flights before!

The service on board flight AF1375 from Oslo to Paris. Rosé wine was available and there were chicken or vegetable choices for the sandwich!

I tried to figure out the reason behind this. And then, it hit me that this AF1375 was actually my first intra-European flight with Air France (though operated by HOP! Regional) that was blocked for more than two hours one-way (its scheduled departure time was 16:45 with arrival time of 19:10, making it a 2 hours 25 minutes flight). I knew KLM had different level of service for flights below and above two-hours block, so it was not surprising that Air France appeared to have one too!

Aside from that, it was a pleasant regular flight with Air France and at 18:50, we landed at runway 26L of Paris – Charles De Gaulle Airport. The plane parked at Terminal 2G so I had to take the transfer bus to Terminal 2F.

HOP! Regional’s Embraer ERJ190 reg F-HBLE at Terminal 2G of Paris-CDG after arriving as flight AF1375 from Oslo.

KLM KL1246 (CDG – AMS)

Flight: KLM KL1246
Equipment: Boeing 737-700 reg PH-BGN named “Jan van Gent”
ATD: 20:25 CET (Runway 27L of CDG)
ATA: 21:10 CET (Runway 18R of AMS)

After a super quick dinner at Salon Air France at Terminal 2F, I boarded my KLM flight back to Amsterdam today, that was a Boeing 737-700 reg PH-BGN flight KL1246, Air France/KLM’s last flight to Amsterdam from Paris. This was actually a pleasant regular short-haul flight with KLM so there was not much to tell from the flight itself.

However, though, from my side I encountered an “interesting” experience. Suddenly just after the snack service began, I started to feel a terrible stomachache where I needed to go to a toilet soon. But then, it was already halfway through the flight (which was a short one anyway) and the flight attendants were still very busy in the aisle distributing the service. On top of that, I was sitting on a window seat with both the aisle and middle seats next to me taken. And so I thought that it was a short flight anyway so we would land at Schiphol soon and in the meantime I could just “hold” it, haha.

A KLM’s Boeing 737-700 reg PH-BGN which brought me back to Amsterdam today.

But then, as I suspected as it was an evening flight and was the worst scenario for my situation, we landed at the friggin’ Polderbaan! Damn!! So we had to taxi for another like 15 minutes before arriving at Pier D of Schiphol. Even then, it turned out that the nearest toilet to the gate was under maintenance at the time! Well, talking about my “luck” this evening😅.


Pertengahan September kemarin, aku pergi dalam sebuah AvGeek Weekend Trip lagi dengan rute yang cukup menarik:

Rute akhir pekan kali ini. Peta dibuat dengan

Awalnya, aku berencana untuk tidak menulis posting tersendiri tentangnya. Tetapi rencana ini harus kuubah karena setelah pengalaman-pengalamanku di perjalanan ini, yang mana membuat perjalanannya cukup unik untuk dijadikan sebuah posting tersendiri. Posting ini adalah posting tersebut, dan langsung kita mulai saja lah ya…

KLM KL1143 (AMS – OSL)

Penerbangan: KLM KL1143
Pesawat: Boeing 737-700 reg PH-BGQ bernama “Wielewaal”
ATD: 09:23 CET (Runway 24 of AMS)
ATA: 10:54 CET (Runway 01L of OSL)

Untuk mengirit biaya, aku memilih penerbangannya KLM jam 09:20 pagi ke Oslo (penerbangan yang jam 11:50 sebenarnya lebih enak sih dari segi jadwal, tetapi masalahnya tiketnya juga lebih mahal lumayan, haha). Sebagai akibatnya, aku harus berangkat pagi deh. Dan aku malah berangkat kepagian lho, dimana aku tiba di halte tramnya 20 menit sebelum tramnya dijadwalkan berangkat! (Iya, seharusnya aku mengecek app transportasi umum dulu sebelum berangkat. Salahku sih memang).

Sebuah Boeing 737-700nya KLM rego PH-BGQ yang akan membawaku ke Oslo hari ini.

Singkat cerita, aku tiba di Schiphol, menunggu sekalian sarapan di KLM Crown Lounge, dan menaiki pesawatku: sebuah Boeing 737-700nya KLM dengan rego PH-BGQ. Penerbangannya sendiri adalah penerbangan reguler intra-Eropa yang nyaman dengan KLM. Aku duduk di sebelah seorang (yang kuasumsikan) profesor gitu yang sibuk mengerjakan proposal permohonan funding untuk risetnya di sepanjang jalan. Ia sebegitu seriusnya dengan pekerjaannya sampai-sampai semua layanannya KLM di penerbangan ini ia tolak loh, haha.

Anyway, seperti yang kuceritakan di posting yang dulu, aku beruntung aku duduk di kursi jendela di sisi kiri pesawat dan penerbangannya sendiri mendarat di landasan pacu 01L. Ini memberikanku pemandangan kota Oslo dari atas yang mana kece banget!

Oslo, bukan Solo!

Bandara Oslo-Gardermoen

Aku sudah pernah ke Oslo sebelumnya, dua tahun lebih sedikit yang lalu, sebenarnya. Tetapi entah bagaimana, aku tidak ingat dong bahwa Bandara Oslo-Gardemoen itu keren banget seperti yang kulihat di perjalanan ini! Beneran deh, bagiku gedung terminalnya indah banget, termasuk salah satu yang terindah yang pernah kukunjungi di Eropa!

Bandara Oslo-Gardermoen

Anyway, satu alasan mengapa kubilang penerbangannya KLM yang jam 11:50 itu lebih ideal dari segi jadwal karena sekarang aku harus transit selama enam jam, haha. Aku sedang merasa malas untuk pergi ke kota Oslo dan jadilah aku jadi “terjebak” di bandaranya (yang kece banget) kan. Walaupun aku nggak khawatir juga sih karena aku tahu Air France/KLM memiliki kerja-sama dengan sebuah lounge di bandaranya. Lounge-nya adalah OSL Lounge, yang berlokasi di sebelah lounge kelas bisnisnya SAS.

OSL Lounge di Bandara Gardermoen

Lounge-nya sendiri cukup oke lho! Memang sih dari segi ukuran nggak sebegitu besar, tetapi layanan dan fasilitasnya memadai banget kok. Ada cukup banyak pilihan minuman dan makanan (yang mana tipikal makanan lounge gitu sih). Kursi-kursinya juga cukup nyaman. Ada sebaris kursi recliner yang mana salah satunya aku gunakan, haha. Kursinya sudah cukup tua sih, tetapi masih bekerja dengan baik dan cukup nyaman kok.

Air France AF1375 (OSL – CDG)

Penerbangan: Air France AF1375 dioperasikan oleh HOP! Regional
Pesawat: Embraer ERJ190 rego F-HBLE
ATD: 17:01 CET (Runway 01L of OSL)
ATA: 18:50 CET (Runway 26L of CDG)

Aku menaiki penerbangan keduaku sekitar jam 16:10. Ini adalah penerbangannya Air France yang dioperasikan oleh HOP! Regional dengan pesawat Embraer ERJ190 rego F-HBLE. Aku duduk di kursi 3F di pesawat yang dikonfigurasi 2-2 ini yang hari ini nyaman banget soalnya kursi di sebelahku kosong dong, hore! Haha 😆 . Singkat cerita, pesawatnya berangkat dan lepas landas dari landasan pacu 01L Bandara Oslo-Gardermoen.

Lepas landas dari landasan pacu 01L-nya OSL dengan Embraer 190nya HOP! Regional

Tak lama setelah lepas landas, layanan snack dibagikan. Dan aku dikejutkan (secara positif) dengan standar layanannya yang lebih tinggi daripada standar layanan di penerbangan-penerbangan intra-Eropanya Air France yang sudah pernah kunaiki sebelumnya. Pertama-tama, ada pilihan lho untuk menu sandwich-nya (ayam atau vegetarian). Dan yang kedua, bahkan ada anggur rosé sebagai salah satu pilihan anggurnya! Pilihan dan anggur rosé kan tidak pernah aku temui di penerbangan jarak dekat intra-Eropa dengan Air France sebelumnya!

Layanan di penerbangan AF1375 dari Oslo ke Paris. Anggur rosé tersedia dan ada pilihan sandwich ayam atau vegetarian!

Aku mencoba menerka alasan di balik ini. Dan kemudian, barula aku sadar bahwa penerbangan AF1375 ini adalah penerbangan intra-Eropaku dengan Air France (walaupun dioperasikan oleh HOP! Regional) yang pertama yang diblok berdurasi lebih dari dua jam satu arah (penerbangannya dijadwalkan berangkat jam 16:45 dan tiba jam 19:10, artinya panjangnya 2 jam 25 menit). Aku tahu bahwa KLM memang memiliki pembedaan standar layanan untuk penerbangan di bawah atau di atas blok dua jam, jadi tidak mengherankan kalau Air France memiliki prosedur serupa ya!

Di samping itu, ini adalah penerbangan yang nyaman dengan Air France. Dan jam 18:50, pesawat mendarat di landasan pacu 26L Bandara Paris – Charles De Gaulle. Pesawat parkir di Terminal 2G sehingga aku harus menaiki bus transfer ke Terminal 2F.

Embraer ERJ190 rego F-HBLEnya HOP! Regional di Terminal 2G Paris – CDG setelah tiba dari Oslo sebagai penerbangan AF1375.

KLM KL1246 (CDG – AMS)

Penerbangan: KLM KL1246
Pesawat: Boeing 737-700 rego PH-BGN bernama “Jan van Gent”
ATD: 20:25 CET (Runway 27L of CDG)
ATA: 21:10 CET (Runway 18R of AMS)

Setelah makan malam super kilat di Salon Air France di Terminal 2F, aku menaiki penerbangan KLMku untuk kembali ke Amsterdam. Penerbangannya dioperasikan dengan pesawat Boeing 737-700 rego PH-BGN penerbangan KL1246, penerbangan Air France/KLM terakhir ke Amsterdam dari Paris hari ini. Ini adalah penerbangan reguler yang nyaman dengan KLM seperti biasanya sehingga sebenarnya nggak banyak yang bisa diceritakan dari penerbangannya sendiri.

Tetapi, aku mengalami kejadian yang “menarik”. Tiba-tiba setelah layanan snack dimulai, aku mulai sakit perut yang cukup parah yang membuatku merasa perlu untuk pergi ke toilet. Tetapi masalahnya, penerbangannya sudah berlangsung setengah jalan (mana ini adalah penerbangan singkat pula) dan pramugari/a-nya juga sedang sibuk di lorong untuk membagikan snack dan minuman. Ditambah lagi, aku duduk di kursi jendela sementara kursi lorong dan tengah di sebelahku terisi. Jadilah aku pikir karena toh penerbangannya singkat, nggak lama lagi pesawat akan mendarat di Schiphol dan untuk sementara itu bisa lah aku “tahan”, haha.

Sebuah Boeing 737-700 rego PH-BGN-nya KLM yang membawaku kembali ke Amsterdam hari ini.

Tetapi kemudian, seperti yang kuduga karena penerbangan malam dan merupakan skenario terburuk untuk situasiku, kami mendarat di Polderbaan laknat itu dong! Sialan!! Pesawat harus taxiing selama sekitar 15 menit sebelum tiba di Pier D di Bandara Schiphol. Setelah itu pun, ternyata toilet yang terdekat dengan gate-nya sedang direnovasi dong waktu itu!  Ini Dewi Fortunaku lagi “liburan” atau bagaimana ini ya malam ini 😅.

EuroTrip, Vacation, Weekend Trip

#1987 – A Weekend in Manchester


I went to Manchester for a weekend not too long ago. So let’s start the story 😀

Getting to/back from Manchester

A KLM’s Boeing 737-700 reg PH-BGL at Schiphol

I flew on three segments this weekend, a direct Amsterdam – Manchester flight with a KLM’s Boeing 737-700 reg PH-BGL and Manchester – Paris and Paris – Amsterdam with Air France’s Airbus A320-200 reg F-HEPA and Airbus A319-100 reg F-GRXE, respectively, haha 😛 .

The weather in the weekend was not in the best condition, though; where there were quite many minor turbulences along the way especially on the two Air France flights I took on Sunday, even more so on the AF1188 flight to Amsterdam. The KLM flight was smooth, though, even though we had to land during rain at Manchester. Here is the landing video was we were landing at runway 23R of the airport:

The KLM flight to Manchester was a little bit “unusual”, though. I was just flying economy but mid-flight, the purser came to my seat, addressed me by name (“Mr. Zilko”), and asked if everything about the flight was alright to me. Wow! As I said before, usually the flight attendants use the neutral “Sir/Ma’am/Miss” in economy! She mentioned that she wanted to make sure everything was alright as she knew that I was flying a lot with KLM/SkyTeam (and for this reason she didn’t ask my seatmates at all, haha 😛 ). Oh wow, I was really impressed by this and was certainly felt really respected for my loyalty. You know, small things like this sometimes can go very far, can’t they? 🙂


Manchester Town Hall

I forgot to take into the account the time I would need to spend waiting at immigration when I booked the ticket. The KLM flight was scheduled to land just before 1 PM UK time, so I thought I would have quite plenty of time to spend in Manchester without having to get up too early that day to get to Schiphol, haha. But it turned out that this schedule coincided with the arrival schedule of several other flights from all over Europe as well, thus creating long lines at immigration! And with Manchester Airport’s Terminal 3 being located quite far away from the train station, all in all I could only check-in at my hotel in Manchester just after 3 PM! Haha 😆 .

As I said above, the weather was also not in the best shape today, where it was raining constantly. So I decided to rest at the hotel while waiting for the rain to stop. I knew this would leave me with very little time to explore Manchester; but nonetheless I had been there once before anyway so it was not like I was going to miss much. Especially that I stayed for four nights the last time I was there, haha.

The (famous) Merchants’ Bridge in Castlefield, Manchester

And so I decided to make use of my short exploring time to go to a site I didn’t visit back then in 2013-2014: Castlefield. In my previous trip I saw the famous Merchants’ Bridge in Castlefield from the tram rides but back then I did not know that it was famous, haha. Since then, I have seen a few movies/tv-series with scenes taking place there, so I told myself the next time I would be in Manchester, I needed to cross that bridge, haha 😆 . Castlefield was indeed a nice cute part of the industrial Manchester.

Speaking of the city, one difference I noticed was that I saw more homeless people in the street now than 3.5 years ago. This was certainly not a good sign of the state of the economy, perhaps. But I am not going to get into this as social politics or economy are not the scope of this personal blog at all. So I will just leave it here.

Bridges in Manchester

The Food

I decided to consult to Yelp to find a place for dinner. There, I stumbled across Burger and Lobster that was not amongst the best rated in the app but the “lobster” part in the name caught my attention and made me want some lobster, haha. Now that I think about it, the last time I had a lobster was probably almost two years ago at the famous Neptune Oyster in Boston!

When looking at the menu, I was torn between a full lobster dish (steamed or grilled) or a lobster beef burger. I decided to go with the burger because that was the freaking name of the restaurant: burger and lobster, haha 😆 . A lady sitting across me apparently ordered a full lobster dish and when her order was served, I regretted a little bit that I didn’t opt for that one. But then, I also saw that eating a full lobster was actually not that simple with all the claws and shells and all that; so my regret was immediately gone, haha.

A lobster beef burger

Anyway, the lobster burger was good. I felt like the burger itself was in the smaller size, though; but this was quite possibly because of the expensive lobster meat in it. Though, this was compensated by the chips and side-salad. It was a decent dish, I must say.

The next morning for breakfast, I went to a Frankie and Benny’s. As I entered the restaurant, I realized that it was the same Frankie and Benny’s I had dinner at on New Year’s Eve 3.5 years ago! Somehow it felt really nostalgic! Haha 😆

Traditional English Breakfast

Anyway, the reason I went there was because I remembered from my previous trip that they served traditional English breakfast. And this time, I felt like having one, haha. And it was, indeed, good! 🙂 It was also nice that the hot drink was “bottomless” so I could ask for a refill for my cafe latte, haha 😛 .


Aku pergi ke Manchester di sebuah akhir pekan belum lama ini. Jadi mari ceritanya kita mulai 😀 .

Perjalanan ke/dari Manchester

Sebuah Boeing 737-700nya KLM dengan rego PH-BGL di Schiphol

Aku menaiki tiga penerbangan kali ini, sebuah penerbangan langsung Amsterdam – Manchester dengan Boeing 737-700 rego PH-BGLnya KLM, dan Manchester – Paris dan Paris – Amsterdam dengan Airbus A320-200 rego F-HEPA dan Airbus A319-100 rego F-GRXEnya Air France, haha 😛 .

Cuaca di akhir pekan ini sedang kurang baik sih, dimana ada cukup banyak turbulensi minor di sepanjang jalan terutama di dua penerbangan Air France yang kunaiki di hari Minggu; terutama di penerbangan AF1188 ke Amsterdam yang rasanya kok penuh turbulensi di sepanjang jalan, haha. Penerbangannya KLM sendiri sih mulus, walaupun kami harus mendarat ketika sedang hujan di Manchester. Berikut ini video pendaratan di landasan pacu 23Rnya:

Penerbangan KLM ke Manchester ini agak sedikit “tidak biasa” untukku. Aku hanya terbang di kelas ekonomi saja tetapi di tengah perjalanan, purser-nya datang ke kursiku, menyapaku dengan nama (“Mr. Zilko”), dan bertanya apakah semuanya baik-baik saja denganku di penerbangan ini. Wow! Seperti yang kubilang sebelumnya, biasanya pramugara/i menggunakan panggilan netral “Sir/Ma’am/Miss” di ekonomi kan! Ia menyebutkan bahwa ia ingin memastikan bahwa semuanya baik-baik saja untukku karena ia tahu aku sering terbang dengan KLM/SkyTeam (dan karena alasan ini lah hanya aku saja yang disapa sementara penumpang-penumpang di sebelahku tidak, haha 😛 ). Oh wow, aku sungguh terkesan dengan ini dan merasa loyalitasku dihargai banget. Tahu lah, kadang hal-hal kecil/sepele semacam ini justru bisa berdampak jangka panjang kan ya? 🙂


Manchester Town Hall

Aku lupa memperhitungkan waktu menunggu pemeriksaan imigrasi ketika membeli tiket. Penerbangan KLMnya dijadwalkan mendarat sebelum jam 1 siang waktu Inggris sehingga aku kira masih ada cukup banyak waktu lah untukku hari itu jalan-jalan di Manchester tanpa harus bangun pagi banget untuk berangkat ke Schiphol, haha. Tetapi ternyata jadwal ketibaan ini bebarengan dengan jadwal ketibaan beberapa penerbangan maskapai lain dari Eropa sehingga antrian di imigrasinya jadi panjang banget! Dan lagi lokasi Terminal 3 Bandara Manchester yang lumayan jauh dari stasiun keretanya, akhirnya totalnya aku baru bisa check-in di hotelku di Manchester lewat jam 3 sore loh! Haha 😆

Seperti yang kusebutkan sebelumnya, cuaca hari ini memang sedang kurang oke, dimana hujan terus-terusan turun. Jadilah aku memutuskan untuk beristirahat dulu di hotel sambil menunggu hujan reda. Aku tahu ini akan berakibat pada waktuku untuk jalan-jalan di Manchester menjadi semakin sempit lagi; tetapi toh aku sudah pernah kesana sebelumnya sehingga nggak akan banyak yang terlewatkan kan ya. Terutama lagi dulu aku kan menginap empat malam di sana, haha.

Jembatan Merchants’ (yang terkenal) di Castlefield, Manchester

Dan jadilah waktu yang sedikit itu kumanfaatkan untuk jalan-jalan di area yang dulu di tahun 2013-2014 belum sempat aku kunjungi: Castlefield. Di perjalanan dulu aku melihat Jembatan Merchants’ di Castlefield yang terkenal itu dari tram tetapi dulu aku kan nggak tahu kalau jembatannya terkenal, haha. Semenjak waktu itu, aku sudah menonton beberapa film/acara tv yang mana pernah syuting di jembatannya. Jadilah aku pikir kalau aku ke Manchester lagi, aku akan mampir, haha 😆 . Castlefield memang adalah satu bagian Manchester yang menarik dan oke kok untuk jalan-jalan.

Ngomongin kotanya, satu perbedaan yang kuperhatikan adalah ada lebih banyak gelandangan sekarang daripada 3,5 tahun yang lalu. Ini jelas bukan pertanda baik dari ekonominya, mungkin. Ah, tetapi aku nggak akan ngomongin ini karena sosial politik dan ekonomi bukanlah cakupan dari blog personal ini kan ya. Jadi aku berhenti di sini saja deh.

Jembatan-jembatan di Manchester


Aku memutuskan untuk berkonsultasi dengan Yelp untuk makan malam. Di sana, aku melihat restoran Burger and Lobster yang sebenarnya bukan termasuk yang dinilai tinggi-tinggit amat tetapi bagian “lobster” dari namanya menarik perhatianku sampai-sampai aku jadi ingin makan lobster, haha. Kalau dipikir-pikir lagi, kalau nggak salah terakhir kali aku makan lobster adalah nyaris dua tahun yang lalu loh di Neptune Oyster di Boston yang memang terkenal banget itu!

Ketika melihat menunya, aku galau antarai memilih menu lobster utuh (dikukus atau dibakar) atau burger sapi dan lobster. Aku memutuskan untuk memilih burger pada akhirnya karena sesuai dengan nama restorannya kan ya: burger dan lobster, haha 😆 . Nah, seorang wanita yang duduk di seberangku ternyata memesan satu lobster utuh dan ketika pesanannya diantarkan, aku sedikit menyesal aku tidak memesannya. Tetapi kemudian, aku baru ingat bawa makan satu lobster utuh itu ribet karena ada capitnya dan kulitnya itu kan; jadilah penyesalanku langsung sirna, haha.

Sebuah burger sapi dan lobster

Anyway, burgernya sendiri lumayan enak kok. Ukuran burgernya cenderung kecil sih; dan aku duga ini dikarenakan daging lobster yang memang mahal kan. Walaupun begitu, kentang goreng dan saladnya membantu banget kok. Lumayan lah secara keseluruhan.

Keesokan paginya untuk sarapan, aku mampir di Frankie and Benny’s. Ketika aku memasuki restorannya, aku baru menyadari bahwa ini adalah Frankie and Benny’s yang sama dengan dimana aku makan malam di malam tahun baru 3,5 tahun yang lalu! Rasanya kok jadi agak-agak nostalgia gitu! Haha 😆

Sarapan tradisional ala Inggris

Anyway, alasan aku mampir kesana adalah aku ingat dari perjalananku yang lalu bahwa mereka menyediakan sarapan tradisional ala Inggris untuk sarapan. Dan kali ini, aku sedang ingin sarapan itu, haha. Dan memang enak kok! 🙂 Aku juga suka bahwa minuman hangatnya itu bottomless loh, dimana aku bisa meminta refill untuk cafe latte-ku, haha 😛 .

EuroTrip, Trip Report, Vacation, Weekend Trip

#1915 – 2017 Easter Long Weekend Trip (The Transport)


Posts in the 2017 Easter Long Weekend Trip series:
1. Introduction
2. The Transport
3. Zürich

My routing to get to/back from Zurich was quite interesting:

The routing this long weekend. Created with

Yep, I flew Amsterdam – Paris CDG – Rome FCO – Amsterdam, haha 😆 .

Departure to Zurich

My KLM Amsterdam – Paris flight departed from an “unusual” gate at Schiphol. Usually, an Air France/KLM Amsterdam – Paris vv flight uses a gate in Pier C of Schiphol. This one, though, used gate D61, thus indicating (to me) that the plane was used from a non-Schengen route before my KL1233 flight to Paris.

Delayed flight to Paris

Anyway, the flight was delayed today due to its late arrival from Birmingham (See, my guess was correct 😀 ). I wasn’t worried with my connection as the delay wasn’t that bad and I had enough transit time in Paris.

It was another full flight today with a Boeing 737-800 reg PH-BXE that was named “Havik”. It was a regular Amsterdam – Paris flight where we took off from Polderbaan and landed at runway 27R of Paris – Charles De Gaulle.

A KLM’s Boeing 737-800 reg PH-BXE

Obviously, I waited at a Salon Air France in Paris. During my latest AvGeek Weekend Trip, the lounge was closed for a renovation. So obviously I was quite excited to see the “new” lounge.

I was disappointed with the renovation result. The small alley connecting the two sides of the lounge was removed and I only noticed minor changes with the furniture. What disappointed me the most was, however, the food service. Only few things were served in the food area. Considering this was an Air France lounge in their main hub (Paris – Charles De Gaulle Airport), this was sad.

The food service at an Air France’s lounge in Paris. This looked sad to me.

My flight AF1814 to Zurich departed on time. It was operated with an Airbus A318 reg F-GUGK. We took off from runway 26R of Paris – CDG and then headed east towards Zurich. As before, I felt like the complimentary snack quality in Air France decreased this year. They served vegetarian sandwich in this flight. While it was bigger than KLM’s sandwich, it was much less tasty to me; which was a shame considering they were French 😦 .

A vegetarian sandwich as a complimentary snack

Anyway, about one hour later, we landed at runway 28 of Zurich – Kloten Airport. Here is the landing video:

To my liking, we parked at a remote stand upon arrival, where the passengers were, then, brought by a bus to the terminal building, haha.

An Air France’s Airbus A318 reg F-GUGK

Back to the Netherlands

I was excited especially for my first flight because: (1) it would be operated with an airline I had never tried before (Alitalia CityLiner) and (2) it would be operated with an airplane type I had never tried before (Embraer ERJ175). Yeay!! 😀

I arrived at Zurich – Kloten Airport about two hours before the flight. After checking-in and passing security, I headed to a Dnata lounge. The lounge was nice enough for an “off airport” SkyTeam lounge (Zurich Airport was more of a Star Alliance Airport, given that it was the main hub of Swiss International Air Lines). I was still full with my complimentary breakfast at the hotel, though, so I was not really in the mood of eating anything in the lounge anyway.

Dnata Lounge at Zurich – Kloten

Boarding went quite smoothly, where the 88-seater Alitalia CityLine Embraer ERJ175 reg EI-RDG was ready to take us to Rome – Fiumicino. It was a regular Alitalia flight, where a bag of mini chocolate biscuits was served with some limited selection of drinks. The weather in Rome was also nice today, as we were landing in runway 34R of Fiumicino Airport. Here is the landing video:

Again, I was happy that the plane parked at a remote stand today, haha 😛 .

An Alitalia CityLiner’s Embraer ERJ175 reg EI-RDG upon arrival in Rome-Fiumicino

My transit time was not very long today and I knew that Alitalia’s lounge was quite far away. So I decided to walk briskly there, had a quick lunch for 15 minutes, then went back to the departure area, haha 😛 . The food in the lounge was quite good, though, in my opinion. The lounge lady was also super friendly. Yeah, still pretty much the same impression of the last time 🙂 .

The food service at Alitalia’s Schengen lounge

My AZ110 flight back to Amsterdam was operated with an Airbus A320-200 reg EI-DTA. Here is a timelapsed video of the departure from Rome-Fiumicino:

It was an uneventful flight with Alitalia. This flight made me realize that, indeed, Alitalia had cut “cost” big time with their services on board. When I asked the flight attendant what they served as drinks, it turned out that they only had water, tea, coffee, and cola. Yep, that was all. No juice, no beer/wine. For snacks, on the 2 hours and 15 minutes flight to Amsterdam, the choices were only biscuits or crackers. Given that Alitalia has been struggling financially, this might not be of a big surprise, though.

Complimentary snack and drink on board Alitalia’s AZ110

We landed at runway 36R of Schiphol Airport. This was a convenient runway where the taxi time to the terminal building was very short, haha. I got off the plane, and then took the train back to Amsterdam. Here, my short long weekend ended 🙂 .


Posting-posting dalam seri 2017 Easter Long Weekend Trip:
1. Introduction
2. The Transport
3. Zürich

Ruteku untuk pergi ke/kembali dari Zurich cukup menarik:

Ruteku long weekend ini. Dibuat dengan

Yep, aku terbang Amsterdam – Paris CDG – Rome FCO – Amsterdam, haha 😆 .

Keberangkatan ke Zurich

Penerbangan KLM Amsterdam – Parisku berangkat dari gate yang agak “nggak biasa” di Schiphol. Biasanya, penerbangan Air France/KLM rute Amsterdam – Paris pp menggunakan sebuah gate di Pier C Schiphol. Kali ini, yang digunakan adalah gate D61, yang mana (untukku) mengindikasikan pesawatnya digunakan di rute non-Schengen di penerbangan sebelumnya.

Penerbangan ke Paris terlambat

Anyway, penerbangannya sedikit terlambat hari ini akibat pesawatnya terlambat tiba dari Birmingham (Nah kan, tebakanku benar 😀 ). Aku sih tidak khawatir dengan keterlambatan sebentar ini karena waktu transitku di Paris cukup panjang.

Penerbangan ini penuh dengan pesawat Boeing 737-800 dengan rego PH-BXE dan bernama “Havik”. Ini adalah penerbangan biasa di rute Amsterdam – Paris dimana kami lepas landas dari Polderbaan dan mendarat di landasan pacu 27R Bandara Paris – Charles De Gaulle.

Sebuah Boeing 737-800nya KLM dengan rego PH-BXE

Jelas, aku menunggu di Salon Air France di Paris. Nah, di waktu AvGeek Weekend Trip terakhirku, lounge-nya sedang ditutup akibat pekerjaan renovasi. Jelas dong kali ini aku penasaran dengan lounge “baru”-nya.

Aku sungguh kecewa dengan hasil renovasinya. Gang kecil yang menghubungkan dua sisi lounge-nya kini tidak ada lagi dan aku hanya melihat adanya sedikit perubahan saja dengan mebel-mebelnya. Yang paling mengecewakan adalah layanan makanannya. Hanya sedikit sekali yang disajikan hari itu. Dengan mempertimbangkan ini adalah lounge-nya Air France di bandara yang merupakan markas mereka sendiri (Paris – Charles De Gaulle), menurutku ini menyedihkan.

Layanan makanan di lounge-nya Air France di Paris. Untukku, ini nampak menyedihkan.

Penerbangan AF1814ku ke Zurich berangkat tepat waktu. Penerbangan ini dioperasikan dengan sebuah Airbus A318 dengan rego F-GUGK. Kami lepas landas dari landasan pacu 26R Bandara Paris – CDG dan kemudian bergerak menuju arah timur. Seperti yang lalu, aku merasa layanan snack di penerbangannya Air France juga menurun kualitasnya. Mereka menyajikan sandwich vegetarian di penerbangan ini. Walaupun ukurannya lebih besar daripada sandwichnya KLM, rasanya lebih tidak enak untukku; yang mana sungguh disayangkan dengan mengingat mereka kan maskapai Prancis ya 😦 .

Sandwich vegetarian sebagai layanan snack

Anyway, sekitar satu jam kemudian, kami mendarat di landasan pacu 28 Bandara Zurich – Kloten. Berikut ini video pendaratannya:

Yang aku suka, kami parkir di sebuah tempat parkir remote loh, dimana penumpang dibawa dengan bus ke gedung terminal, haha.

Sebuah Airbus A318 milik Air France dengan rego F-GUGK

Kembali ke Belanda

Aku merasa bersemangat terutama dengan penerbangan pertama hari ini karena (1) akan dioperasikan dengan maskapai yang belum pernah kunaiki sebelumnya (Alitalia CityLiner) dan (2) akan dioperasikan dengan tipe pesawat yang belum pernah kunaiki sebelumnya (Embraer ERJ175). Hore! 😀

Aku tiba di Bandara Zurich – Kloten sekitar dua jam sebelum keberangkatan. Setelah check-in dan melewati sekuriti, aku menuju ke Lounge Dnata. Lounge-nya cukup oke untuk ukuran lounge SkyTeam “airport luar” (Bandara Zurich adalah bandara Star Alliance karena merupakan markasnya Swiss International Air Lines). Aku masih kenyang sih dari sarapanku di hotel, sehingga aku sedang tidak ingin makan apa-apa di lounge-nya.

Lounge Dnata di Zurich – Kloten

Boarding berlangsung lancar, dimana Embraer ERj175nya Alitalia CityLiner yang berkursi 88 buah itu siap mengantarkan kami ke Roma – Fiumicino. Ini adalah penerbangan reguler dengan Alitalia, dimana sebungkus biskuit coklat disajikan dengan pilihan minuman yang terbatas. Cuaca di Roma juga sedang baik hari ini, seperti yang nampak ketika mendarat di landasan pacu 34 Bandara Roma – Fiumicino seperti di video berikut:

Lagi, aku senang pesawatnya parkir di tempat parkir remote, haha 😛 .

Sebuah Embraer ERJ175 milik Alitalia CityLiner dengan rego EI-RDG ketika tiba di Roma-Fiumicino

Waktuku transit tidak terlalu lama sementara aku tahu lounge-nya Alitalia cukup jauh. Jadilah aku berjalan cepat kesana, makan siang cepat-cepat selama 15 menit, dan kembali ke area keberangkatan, haha 😛 . Makanan di lounge-nya lumayan oke, menurutku. Petugas lounge-nya juga ramah banget. Ya, impresi positifku masih seperti ketika terakhir kali aku ke sana 🙂 .

Layanan makanan di lounge Schengen-nya Alitalia

Penerbangan AZ110ku kembali ke Amsterdam dioperasikan dengan pesawat Airbus A320-200 dengan rego EI-DTA. Berikut ini video timelapse keberangkatan dari Roma-Fiumicino:

Ini adalah penerbangan uneventful dengan Alitalia. Di penerbangan ini, aku disadarkan dengan pemotongan “biaya” besar-besarannya Alitalia dengan layanan mereka di pesawat. Ketika aku bertanya ke salah seorang pramugara mengenai pilihan minuman, dijawab mereka hanya menyediakan air putih, teh, kopi, atau cola. Iya, itu doang. Nggak ada jus, nggak ada bir/anggur. Untuk snack, di penerbangan 2 jam 15 menit ke Amsterdam ini hanya diberikan pilihan biskuit atau crackers. Yah, dengan mempertimbangkan kesulitan finansialnya Alitalia, ini tidak lah begitu mengherankan sih ya.

Layanan snack dan minuman di penerbangan AZ110nya Alitalia

Kami mendarat di landasan pacu 36R Bandara Schiphol. Landasan pacu yang nyaman banget dimana waktu taxiing-nya singkat, haha. Aku keluar dari pesawat, dan kemudian menaiki kereta kembali ke Amsterdam. Di sini, perjalanan singkat long weekend-ku berakhir 🙂 .