Review: Pelita Air Economy Class A320 (CGK-DPS)

Jyaga okay (3.5/5)

Pelita Air flight details

Airline : Pelita Air
Flight No : IP 100
Departure City : Jakarta – Soekarno-Hata (CGK)
Arrival City : Denpasar – Ngurah Rai (DPS)
Equipment : A320-200 (PK-PWD)
Blocked Time : 1h50m
Seat No: 20A

Airline Background

Pelita Air is an Indonesian state-owned hybrid carrier based out of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, operating a small mainline fleet of A320ceo aircraft. The airline was established in 1963, as a charter carrier for the nation’s oil and gas industry and remained that way for much of its history. That all changed in 2022 when a ministerial decree relaunched the airline as a scheduled carrier targeting the domestic medium service market. This was done for the airline to be poised as a contingency replacement in the event that the financially-ailing flag carrier Garuda Indonesia were to cease operations.

Booking Pelita Air

Even several months into Pelita Air’s relaunch, the only method to book flights was through traditional travel agents and select online travel agencies. The airline has since launched a booking system on its website. I booked my flight through, a local OTA that I’ve found to be reliable. The flight cost ~IDR900,000, which was about the same as what the full-service Batik Air was charging. At that point, it was not yet possible to book seats online, so all seats were assigned at check-in. Paid seat reservations have since been introduced, though prices are high by local standards.

Pelita Air Check-in

I arrived at Terminal 3 at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport at 09.00 for this 10.40 departure. The airline’s check-in desks are located at Island E, also shared by TransNusa and Citilink, located close to door 4. As I shared in my TransNusa review, Terminal 3 isn’t quite a great terminal; while it is the airport’s newest, I find that its design isn’t user-friendly given how departing and arriving the terminal require very long walks.

Pelita Air check-in desks

There were three regular check-in desks, and a single priority desk for passengers requiring special assistance. The counters were also deserted when I arrived, so it took mere moments to be checked in. Note that like most airlines in Indonesia, all passengers are offered 20 kilograms of checked luggage, free of charge. After receiving my boarding pass, I went straight to the security checkpoint, which regularly has a long, yet quick-moving queue.

Domestic section
Gate seating

I elected to sit and wait at the central section of the terminal, before heading to the flight’s gate at the concourse at far end of the terminal; I find that the central section is often quieter than the unnamed concourse, where non-Garuda Indonesia flights are based. It ordinarily takes about 10-15 min on foot to reach the gates there, although buggy-shuttles are often available for passengers with limited mobility.

Far end concourse


Pelita Air A320 at the gate

I arrived at the gate at the printed boarding time. Boarding started 5 minutes after the printed time, starting with passengers who require special assistance and families with young children, followed by everyone else. While everyone queued in a line, it was a free-for-all, since there wasn’t a boarding order I was aware of.

Pelita Air A320 Cabin and Seats

Our aircraft, PK-PWD, is a 9.9-year-old Airbus A320-200 which used to fly for the Indian low-cost carrier, GoFirst. There are 180 slimline seats in a standard 3-3 configuration in the all-economy cabin. As far as I am aware, the airline did little to alter the interiors, apart from minor cosmetic changes. There is little padding in the ironing board-like seats, identical to Lufthansa’s offerings on their narrowbody jets.

Pelita Air A320 Economy seats

I was seated in 20A, towards the back of the middle section of the cabin. Thanks to the slimline seats, the legroom was decent; I’m 180cm (5’11) tall and had a gap of several centimetres between my knees and the seatback. The slimline seats’ lack of padding, however, was very uncomfortable on the back.

Pelita Air A320 Economy Class legroom

Departure from Jakarta

Despite the nearly full flight, the middle seat luckily stayed empty… Woohoo! This definitely helped made the flight more comfortable.

After boarding completed, the captain made a welcome announcement in Bahasa Indonesia and English, stating our flight time of 1 hour and 35 minutes and the mostly clear skies along the way. His announcement was followed by another by the cabin crew, who advised passengers to download the ‘TRIPPER’ app for inflight entertainment (more on that later). We we ended up pushing back on time, despite the 5 minute boarding delay. We had a very short taxi to the runway and took off after several minutes.

Pelita Air Inflight Service

Inflight Entertainment

Pelita Air seat pocket content

Being a medium-service carrier, Pelita Air offers all passengers complimentary entertainment streaming. The service is called StarLight Entertainment, although confusingly, it requires an app called Tripper. The app turned out to be an outsourced inflight streaming service also used by Lion Air, Batik Air, and Super Air Jet. After downloading the app (on the ground), passengers could connect to the Tripper network to access the system.

Tripper Streaming App
Flappy Bird?!

On the app, there was a choice of several older Hollywood and Asian movies and tv shows – nothing very interesting – in addition to a more recent catalogue of magazines. Unfortunately, the app neither shows a flight map nor the flight’s details, which would’ve been very useful otherwise. The app’s choice of games, however, funnily included the controversial Flappy Bird, which isn’t really downloadable anywhere these days. Sure enough, Flappy Bird loaded when prompted, and was still as difficult and infuriating as I remembered it to be.

Flappy Bird, how nostalgic.

Inflight Food and Drinks

The cabin crew started the inflight service around 20 minutes after takeoff. The crew went seat to seat distributing bottled water and a box that looked like it contained sandwich wraps. Alas, it was not the case, as the box actually contained a packaged piece of sweetened bread and a wet towel.

I found the bread to be rather dry and bland, which I suppose would be perfectly fine for an empty stomach. It isn’t great, but at least it’s free… right? All in all, I thought the food and entertainment offering was ultimately inconsequential to me. I imagine there are others who’d beg to differ.

Pelita Air inflight meal

Arrival in Bali

After the meal I browsed about the entertainment system again. Since I got fed up after three failures with Flappy Bird, I resorted to writing on my phone for the rest of the flight. The cabin crew came around the cabin to collect trash from the meal 30 minutes before landing. The seatbelt lights switched on 10 minutes before landing, by which time we were well on our way descending. We approached from the west and touched down at 13:28, 2 minutes before our scheduled arrival time.

View inflight

The cabin crew made an announcement shortly after, thanking us for choosing Pelita Air. As expected, we parked at a contact pier at the domestic terminal. Everyone stood up as soon as the seat belt sign switched off and I ended up disembarking 13 minutes later.

Our Pelita Air Airbus A320-200, PK-PWC, in Bali


Overall, how was Pelita Air on this domestic flight? Well, as expected from a state-owned airline, everything was well-organised and professional. In addition, it was great that the flight departed and arrived on time. However, between the uncomfortable seats and the passable food and entertainment, the flight was honestly nothing special. While rather inconsequential, the slightly higher prices charged by Pelita Air compared to others like Batik Air, TransNusa, and other airlines also made it less appealing. While I wouldn’t avoid Pelita Air when making future flight arrangements, I wouldn’t actively seek their flights either.

Read more Bali travel reviews here!

4 responses to “Review: Pelita Air Economy Class A320 (CGK-DPS)”

  1. Tomas

    Thank you for the review, i’ve not found reviews for this airline in English until stumbling on your website. now more confident about my pelita flight in few months!

    1. Thanks for reading! Safe travels always.

  2. Ariska Munoz

    Great info, thanks !! Now, I’m less nervous about booking a flight with Pelita air.

    1. Thanks for your kind words! I hope you enjoy your flight with them!

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