Review: Batik Air Business Class (CGK-DPS)

Jyaga likes (4/5)

Batik Air Business Class

Airline : Batik Air
Flight No : ID6061
Departure City : Jakarta – Soekarno-Hatta (CGK)
Arrival City : Denpasar – Ngurah Rai (DPS)
Equipment : Boeing 737-900ER (PK-LBI)
Blocked Time : 1h50m
Seat No: 1F

Airline Background

Batik Air is an Indonesian full-service carrier that belongs to the Lion Group, whose namesake airline is Indonesia’s largest airline and also amongst the biggest LCCs in SEA. The airline was initially called ‘SpaceJet’ and was poised as a rival to the flag carrier, Garuda Indonesia. The airline became Lion Air’s premium subsidiary, meaning that the airline’s launch in 2014 marked the end of Lion Air’s Business Class operations. Likewise, the airline maintains very close relations with its parent; nearly everything is plastered with Lion Air’s emblem, perhaps in an effort to alleviate its own reputation.

Batik has since grown very quickly, now flying 73 planes consisting of Airbus A320s, Boeing 737s, as well two Airbus A330-300s.

Booking Batik Air

Being a full-service carrier, Batik Air is one of the only two airlines to feature an actual Business Class experience in Indonesia. I say ‘actual’ because there is really one more airline which offers a front cabin although the experience is said to be more akin to Spirit’s Big Front Seat. That airline is NAM Air, by the way.

I booked my Batik Air flight via their website,, which has a straightforward booking engine. I paid IDR1,979,800 one way for this flight to Denpasar, Bali, which I thought was a steal. This was a promotional fare with limited seats, whereas regular fares were around IDR3,800,000. These great fares are now all but gone, as most flights to Bali are now going for at least IDR4,232,000. While not much of a deal anymore, that is still less than half the absurd prices charged by Garuda Indonesia at a consistent and eye-watering IDR9,500,000 per way.

Having flown Batik Air Business Class several years back and had an underwhelming experience, I didn’t have high hopes about this flight. However, I was ready to be proven wrong.

Batik Air Frequent Flyer (BFF)

Batik Air runs a loyalty scheme which, to me, looks very basic and unappealing. While the loyalty scheme page‘s web URL contains a ‘miles’ suffix, it does not look to be the case that passengers could earn miles for their flights. Instead, the airline has two ‘elite’ tiers, both of which do not seem to have any meaningful value. You could earn Silver status after four flights and enjoy discounts with select merchant partnerships. That’s it. The page doesn’t even detail which merchants they are. Objectively, this is even worse than the useless Star Alliance Silver status.

It gets a bit better with Gold status, which you’d get after 15 flights (talk about a jump!). You’d enjoy priority boarding on flights from Jakarta, 10kg of free excess baggage, and ‘preferred seating in available [sic]’. Even Lion Air

Batik Air Frequent Flyer’s reward page

Batik Air Check-in

The evening before the flight, I received a text message from Batik Air offering a seemingly complimentary personal assistant to take care of the departure process. While I didn’t take up the offer, I was quite impressed! What a great start.

Batik Air flights depart from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport’s classic Terminal 2. The terminal was once the airport’s flagship. The beautiful terminal is the work of Paul Andreau, who also designed the terminals at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Roissy. Despite CDG’s bad reputation, Terminal 2 is well-designed and miles ahead of Terminal 3 in terms of convenience.

We arrived at Terminal 2 at 06.30 for our 08.55 flight. Before one could enter the check-in area, there are ticket and security checks in place as is common in Indonesia; it was a straightforward process. Afterwards, we went straight to the Batik Air check-in desks. The terminal was very crowded, and my heart sank seeing the snaking lines for check-in. Before entering the line, a Batik Air representative checked our ticket and directed us to the separate desks that handle check-in for Bali and Lombok flights.

Once there, following another inspection of our ticket, we were directed to proceed to the Business Class desk, which had a short line. Although I expected to queue, we were instead brought to the front of that line in true DYWKIA-style. The representative later explained the people already queueing were an overflow of the Economy line. Whilst the entire experience was rather embarrassing, I appreciated their thoughtful gesture. We went to the Batik Air lounge, afterwards.

Batik Air Boarding

After leaving the lounge, we headed to Concourse E, where we’d find our gate. However, we first had to clear the concourse’s centralised security, which while very crowded was thankfully orderly. Once through, we went straight to Gate E4 where our flight would be departing from… or so I thought.

Boarding Gate E4 at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport Terminal 2

Boarding was slated to start at 8:25 but an informal boarding announcement was made at 8:14. As the agents, called upon passengers to come forward, boarding unfortunately became a free-for-all. However, it soon became clear that that didn’t matter, for it turned out that our plane is parked at a remote gate.

After around 5 minutes of waiting on the bus, we were driven halfway through the airport to our plane that was parked at the even older Terminal 1. Once there, we stopped under the gate where we had to climb a flight of stairs to the jetbridge to board the plane.

Our Batik Air Boeing 737-900ER

Batik Air Cabin and Seats

As we boarded, some traditional rintik and gamelan music was played in the background, what a nice local touch! We quickly found our seats in row 1 and were seated immediately. There are a total of 12 seats in the Business cabin, relatively small compared to forward cabins in the EU or US. While the cream-coloured leather seats looked rather worn, they were still very comfortable.

Business Class seats

In the first row, legroom is undoubtedly great but our row wasn’t the exception. Every other row had a generous 45” of pitch, well beyond the 37-38” pitch on US and Aussie airlines. Each seat also features a leg rest and a pull-out inflight entertainment screen. In addition to the space on the wide centre consoles, there is also a pull-out cup-holding surface. As such, this is by far one of the most comfortable ways to fly between the islands in Indonesia.

Batik Air Boeing 737 Inflight Entertainment Screen

As boarding was underway, the cabin crew made several announcements about our flight in both Bahasa and English, all of which were very clear. As I looked out the window, I noticed checked bags being loaded based on priority. Transfer and Business Class bags were loaded last and placed door-side. I was honestly very impressed by this simple thing that many airlines often couldn’t pull off. This attention to detail was evident later on when our checked bags were the first to come out on the belt. Very nice!

Note that, unlike my previous experience on Batik Air Business Class, there wasn’t a pre-departure service of hot towels or pre-departure beverages (PDBs) on our flight. However, that had been widely the case across the industry due to the pandemic, where even Singapore Airlines doesn’t serve PDBs.

Bags being loaded

Departure from Jakarta

Following a few more busloads of passengers, the flight finally completed boarding. Business Class ended up with four empty seats, while Economy was full. It appeared that two passengers may have upgraded last minute, as 3 hours before the flight seven seats were still for sale. The seat on the opposite side was taken by a deadheading Lion Air pilot.

A safety video was screened as we pushed back, before which the crew manually pulled out screens in the centre console. We ended up pushing back 10 minutes late and took off several minutes afterwards.

Interesting traffic in CGK. Also, note the Batik Air plane with an identity crisis.

Batik Air Inflight Service

Inflight Entertainment

One of Batik Air’s main differentiators from its low-cost competitors is its inflight entertainment offering. Every seat in Business Class and Economy Class is equipped with a personal inflight entertainment screen. In Business, the screens are stowed in the centre armrest during takeoff and landing. I was impressed with the very responsive screen, especially compared to the screens found on older (i.e. most) Garuda aircraft. There were a handful of Western films and television shows, as well as a bunch of Indian and East Asian films. A flight map is also available, although unfortunately, it was one of the older kind.

In addition, most Batik Air flights are now equipped with the Tripper entertainment streaming service, similar to what was offered on my Pelita Air flight. I have also heard that a minority of new Batik Air aircraft are not equipped with screens, so your mileage may vary.

Batik Air movie selection
Batik Air flight map

Inflight Food and Drinks


After take-off, there was a significant lack of service in the cabin, where the flight attendants kept to themselves up to halfway through the flight. While seemingly bad, this was legally necessary at the time. As mandated by the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation, all airlines were prohibited to serve food and beverages on flights under two hours. Note that this law has since been repealed, following the lifting of Covid restrictions nationwide early in 2023.

About 35 minutes before landing, the cabin crew passed around the packaged meals placed inside ‘doggie bags’. As far as I could observe, both Business and Economy passengers were given identical-looking doggie bags. Although it later was a apparent that the contents were different, since Economy passengers got a box inside. Interestingly, shortly after two back-to-back announcements regarding the prohibition of inflight food consumption, the deadheading pilot sitting across casually opened his Economy food box and started eating…

Batik Air Pandemic Doggie Bag

I only got the chance to eat the meal once I arrived at my hotel. The bag consisted of a small bento box that contained something described as an ‘Oregano Cheesy Salty Choco Cake’. What was inside was two baked items that had been warmed infight. The first looked like a cross between a focaccia and a spongecake. Upon closer inspection, there was a gooey American Cheese-like spread wedged between. It was surprisingly pretty good and very moist. The chocolate cake was also surprisingly nice and moist… something I wasn’t expecting from aeroplane bread in Asia. Overall, not bad at all!

Batik Air Pandemic Meals
Restored inflight meals

The airline has since restored more substantial inflight meals on board. If my past experiences still remain to be the case, the meal would consist of a hot main from a choice of two dishes. Both choices are likely to be chicken cooked in some variation. It is served usually with a cake for dessert along with coffee and tea after the meal. The below serves as an excellent illustration of the meal.

Batik Air Business Class full inflight meal (picture: Batik Air)

Batik Air Service

The flight attendants on this flight were all very friendly and courteous. Attention to detail was also kind of good on their side. For instance, as I was about to head to the lavatory in front, I was requested to remain seated since the lavatory was occupied. It turned out they were cleaning the lavatory to ensure tip-top condition. Shortly after, the same flight attendant approached me and said that it was ready for use. Sure enough, the lavatory was in a very clean state.

Strangely, as I passed the galley on my way back to the seat, I noticed a flight attendant peeling what looked like a whole cassava root in the galley. Okay…? I’ll ignore that.

View from 1F

Other Observations.

Up to this point, I was very impressed by the airline’s performance, although this is where things went not so well. Shortly, before the meals were served, a man came up from Economy and plonked himself on the empty seat in the second row. If that weren’t bad enough, he started talking very loudly to the passenger across from him (who was probably his friend). Mind you, he was talking so loud that his saliva splattered everywhere.

Unfortunately, the crew never confronted the passenger despite passing by him multiple times. While they noticed the self-upgrading passenger, it seemed to be the case that they just weren’t willing to confront him.

Arrival in Bali

With 35 minutes of flight time left, we soon commenced the descent. The cabin was prepared for landing 20 minutes later, and soon we were on our final approach. The flight touched down smoothly and on time, despite our 10-minute late departure.

View of Jimbaran Bay on approach

Once we arrived at the baggage claim, the baggage handlers put up a sign pointing to a dedicated area for Business Class baggage. Sure enough, once the bags started coming out 3 minutes later, all the priority-marked bags were taken and placed in that area. Very nice attention to detail!


Overall, I had a very pleasant flight on Batik Air. The airline is trying hard to offer an experience that rivals that of other full-service carriers. I was particularly impressed with the various details looked upon by the airline, like the functioning priority baggage system and clean lavatories. Between the great seats with excellent legroom and the on-time arrival, the experience was frankly very comfortable. As such, I’m not afraid to recommend Batik Air to those seeking a comfortable flight to Bali.

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