We appreciate that it is not always easy to navigate a foreign country for the first time. This page will provide useful step by step information from the moment you land in Soekarno-Hatta Airport to the moment you arrive in the Susi Air complex in Pangandaran.
Arriving in Soekarno-Hatta Airport
On exiting the terminal, expect to be greeted by several taxi operators offering their services. Some operators are more legitimate than others. Never pay a fixed price for a taxi; always make sure that your taxi has a meter. Some of the more reputable taxi operators include Bluebird and Express. You may need to queue, however this short wait may well save you a great deal of hassle, not to mention money.
The vast majority of taxis have no GPS and it is not unusual for the driver to ask you for directions to your destination. It therefore makes sense to prepare in advance, by either printing out the route to your destination from Soekarno-Hatta, or more ideally, by using the GPS on your phone.
This brings us to the next point; using your phone in Indonesia. Before you take a taxi, it may be wise to locate the nearest shop and buy a sim card. Simpati is a popular choice, with data packages starting from around Rp 60,000 (approx 5 USD).
Depending on traffic, it may take anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours to travel from Soekarno-Hatta (the main international airport, located North-West of Jakarta), to Halim Airport (where Susi Air operates from, located in the South-East). Expect to pay between Rp 150,000 to Rp 250,000 (approx 12 USD to 20 USD). Taxi drivers will seldom speak English, and so it is recommended that you revise some basic phrases before travelling to Indonesia.
Staying overnight in Jakarta
Depending on your situation, you may be invited by the company to stay in Patria Park, located in Cawang, close to Halim Airport. Patria Park is an apartment complex for Susi Air pilots who are currently on duty. If you are travelling to Indonesia for the initial interview, you may not be eligible to stay here for free.
There are plenty of low cost hotels in Jakarta which provide a decent standard of food and accommodation. These may be found using booking websites such as Agoda. A personal favourite of mine, if you can afford to splash out for a couple of nights, is The Hive Best Western. Rooms at this hotel start from around 60 USD, which for a 4 star hotel located in a large city, is pretty good. The Hive is also just 5 minutes walk from Patria Park, so is ideal if you are interested in meeting other Susi Air employees.
If you’re budget is tighter, there are plenty of other reasonable hotels in Jakarta to choose from, starting at around 30 USD onwards. It is recommended that you book a hotel which is reasonably close to Halim Airport, as traffic can be very severe in the mornings.
Arriving in Halim Airport
You should aim to arrive at Halim Airport at least 1 hour before your flight’s departure time. It is standard in Indonesia to pay the airport tax seperately to your ticket, so make sure you have some spare cash. Airport tax in Halim is currently Rp 40,000 (just over 3 USD).
Please avoid taking large amounts of luggage with you on your flight. On rare occasions, the payload may exceed the aircrafts MTOW. When this happens, luggage may need to be off loaded and sent on the next flight. In the interests of fairness, if you’ve exceeded your baggage allowance, then your luggage may be off loaded first. Your carry on luggage should be less than 6kg and be small enough to fit underneath your seat.
Nusawiru is the closest commercial airport to Pangandaran, at just under an hour’s drive. More likely than not, you will be able to fly to Nusawiru directly from Halim. If there is limited availability on this flight however, you may need to travel via Cilicap, which is just over 2 hours drive away from Pangandaran.
Your first experience flying with Susi Air
Depending on the schedule, you may fly Our Cessna Grand Caravan. Cessna Grand Caravan is an open cockpit aircraft, so it is an excellent opportunity for you to observe the Susi Air operation.
If available, please feel free to sit in the front row and take photographs and videos. Exercise common sense however; make sure that you do not distract the flight crew from their duties.
On arrival at Nusawiru or Cilacap, there should be a Susi Air vehicle ready to pick you up and take you to the Susi Air complex in Pangandaran.