Our 3-week trip through Java to Karimunjawa included a short local flight from the Indonesian capital – Jakarta, to Semarang in central Java.
So, on arrival in Jakarta, we were heading straight out again without delay. We had booked a domestic flight with the carrier Lion Air to take us to Semarang. Although Lion Air is a budget airline, we were hoping that our inflight experience would be a painless one.
Who are Lion Air?
Lion Air is a popular Indonesian budget airline. So popular, in fact, that they have a sub-terminal at Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta Airport (Terminal 1C) dedicated to their own flights.
Their terminal and departure lounge is beautifully laid out and decorated in traditional Indonesian style on the ground floor. On all sides are windows with views over luxuriant, well maintained gardens.
Lion Air is Indonesia’s largest privately run airline, the second largest low-cost airline in Southeast Asia after AirAsia. In fact, it is the second largest airline of Indonesia, flying to more than 79 destinations in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.
Lion Air also offers charter routes to China and Hong Kong.
The airline has been criticized for poor operational management in areas such as scheduling and safety, although steps have been taken to improve its safety. In 2016, the European Union lifted the ban it had placed on the airline from flying into European airspace.
Booking the Flight
We had booked our flight several weeks previously, using the Indonesian Tiket.com website. We paid a total of IDR 317,000 (€22) per person, and received our eTickets by email. Our flight included a check-in luggage allowance of 20 kg per person, and a carry-on baggage allowance of 7 kg.
Since our backpacks weighed only around 7.5 kg each (we believe in travelling light), we just used our carry-on allowance.
Our short one-hour flight was comfortable and on time, with inflight snacks available for purchase.
Although Lion Air don’t score highly in global domestic airline ratings, our experience was definitely a positive one.
… much more positive than what was about to happen to us shortly after our arrival in Semarang: “Honey, the ATM just ate my card!”
If you enjoyed our Lion Air inflight experience, check out our Central Java Travel Plan. You may also like: