The Flight to Jakarta
Soekarno Hatta International Airport
The airport is in Tangerang, 20 km (12 mi) to the northwest of Jakarta. All international and most domestic flights land here. The airport code comes from Cengkareng, the district of the airport and so people often called it Cengkareng Airport. During the rainy season, the road to and from Cengkareng was prone to flooding but this problem has now been alleviated with the building of a raised, dual carriageway toll road between the Jakarta and Cengkareng.
The airport is the busiest in Indonesia, and the 8th busiest in the world, with more than 60 million passengers stepping in each year. As it serves Jakarta, Indonesia’s government and economic centre, it is the hub for major airlines that fly to other cities in Indonesia.
To get to the city, the easiest option is to contact your hotel to pick you up in the airport, as many hotels in Jakarta provide free airport transfers. Getting a taxi is a little more complicated:
- If you book from the counters right after Customs, you’ll get a nice car, and jump to the head of the queue. These counters also sells SIM cards and refills.
- If you’re not booking from the counters, you can hail them from the ordinary taxi ranks. The Blue Bird Group operates blue Blue Bird and Pusaka taxis, a usually reliable option for taxi service. A ride to the downtown area should cost about Rp 150,000 – Rp 200,000 on top of the toll fare. Its premium brand, Silver Bird has a posher car and is perfect if you are traveling with up to 4 other people and have plenty of luggage, but costs about 1½ times the ordinary taxi. Express Taxi uses a similar Blue Bird car, but would cost you only around Rp 120,000 – Rp 180,000. Others will charge you Rp 100,000-120,000 but expect rudimentary service compared to the former three companies. Only pre-approved taxis may pick up and drop off passengers, which would have the sign ‘Airport Taxi’. Always ask the driver to run the meter.
If you have more time than money, frequent DAMRI shuttle buses connect to numerous destinations around Jakarta. The bus service from the airport operates from 05:00-23:30. You can get the tickets at the many counters after the airport exit. If arriving by an international flight to the terminal 2, head to the left after going out of the building until you see DAMRI ticket booths and bus stops. In terminal 3, the bus stop is just behind the taxi ranks. Buses are standard but comfortable, has a television at the front of the cabin, and Wi-Fi connectivity. Using the bus can be convenient, especially if you have plenty of baggage as they can be stored in the bin below the bus. In many cases, you can flag the bus conductor to stop the bus anywhere, especially if it passes your hotel or residence.
An express rail connection exists between the airport railway station (accessed by the Skytrain that runs every 15 minutes or so on a route that stops at each of the three terminals and the railway station) and Sudirman Baru station (also called as BNI City station) in Downtown Jakarta/Central Jakarta.The BNI City station is situated in Central Jakarta and allows connection to the Dukuh Atas MRT station and Sudirman Commuter Line station.
While GoJek, Grab or Gabir (Garuda Biru) taxis can easily be booked throughout Jakarta, only Gabir and Grab are the approved rideshare taxi in this airport; Gojek may still allow drop-offs only or sneakily book a taxi and quickly get to it. You must book at their booth as only approved taxis may pick up passengers and the fare can be different than those shown in the app (by zone instead of by distance). Don’t forget to show the given receipt to the driver when loading. These fares can be paid by cash if your credit card has not been set up already. Trains depart every 30 minutes and take you to downtown in just under one hour. There are hourly bus feeders from ‘BNI City’ Station to ‘Gambir’ Station, Jalan Sudirman and Jalan Gatot Subroto. The bus is designed to accommodate flight/train passengers with luggage and costs Rp 3,5.