My first solo flight featuring the horror that is Jakarta airport!

I made it! It wasn’t exactly smooth…let’s say it was eventful.

This is a whole journey of firsts for me. First time flying from Heathrow, first long haul flight alone, first time in Bali and first time at Jakarta airport…I’d like to make it my last too!

It all started really well, I saved so much money by getting a bus to Heathrow rather than a train…Traveler tip! Always research travel options! Train = Β£40, bus =Β£4.60…no brainier really.

I got to Heathrow 4 hours early. I know I know, I sound crazy but I prefer it this way. Rather than panic about where to go and any bit of traffic, getting there earlier gave me time to get lost, find the right way again, chill out and get food…hippies do not rush! Plus 4 hours early meant I got to the front of the check in queue and an upgrade to a window seat πŸ™‚  Last minute insta post, goodbye phone calls and a snack run then it was time to board my first solo international flight!

I’m fine with flying, sometimes my imagination gets the better of me but overall I’m fine. I do enjoy having someone to use as a footrest/pillow when I’m getting comfy though…strangers don’t seem to enjoy this too much. Anyway we all know how flights work so let’s fast forward past the takeoff, multiple seatbelt warnings, movie watching, sleeping and food and get to the transfer. Oh wait, I didn’t tell you about the moment when I dreamt the plane had to make an emergency landing in Rome and woke up with a jolt to some pretty bad turbulence!

Right transfer…when I booked my flight I thought “oh awesome, 1 hour 30 transfer, no waiting around just straight through” oh how I long to be that naive once again. We landed on time but weren’t allowed to leave the plane for another 20 minutes because the shuttle was late. “No worries” naive Connie thought “how long can it take to get to the next gate?” 

1 hour that’s how long!!!!

We landed at terminal 2 and check in for Garuda transfers is at terminal 3…it went something like this.

Landed – shuttle to airport terminal 2 – up 2 flights of stairs – run like a headless chicken through airport to an immigration desk which seriously lacks English signage – passport checked – run for what felt like a mile through baggage claim to customs desk – throw all belongings in tray and run through X-Ray – grab belongings in arms like a sack of potatoes and run another mile through the airport to the shuttle station – man tells you it’s an 11 minute wait so you and said belongings drop to the floor in a sweaty tired heap – man lied to you and the shuttle arrives in 2 minutes – wildly scoop everything from the floor and run down steps almost breaking your neck on the soaking wet floor – board shuttle bus which then proceeds to take 2 wrong turns before it gets to terminal 3 – run upstairs and across another 2 miles of airport trying to find your gate – other friendly travelers you have met along the way disperse to different corners in search of information – scream crazily at one another when you have the right info and all assemble to run to gate 11 – go through boarding and utter a sigh of relief… BUT WAIT another shuttle bus! Board shuttle bus and sit stunned, confused and slightly angry as it drives you 10 minutes through the airport grounds to your plane…at terminal 2 WHERE YOUR ORIGINAL PLANE LANDED!!!! Check in is at terminal 3 but the flight is from terminal 2, well isn’t that just kick you in the crotch spit on your neck fantastic! Share exasperated “WTF is this nonsense?” Look with fellow sweaty exhausted travelers and board the plane.

Well done Jakarta for having the most ridiculously, unnecessarily stressful airport system in the entire world!

But hey, I got here safe so that’s all that matters right?



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