Review: Batik Air Boeing 737 Economy Class (CGK-SIN)

Jyaga dislikes (2/5)

Batik Air flight details

Airline : Batik Air
Flight No : ID 7155
Departure City : Jakarta – Soekarno-Hatta (CGK)
Arrival City : Singapore – Changi (SIN)
Equipment : Boeing 737-800 (PK-LDP)
Blocked Time : 1h45m
Seat No: 18A

Batik Air is an Indonesian full-service carrier belonging to Lion Air, Indonesia’s largest low-cost carrier. 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.

Since its launch, Batik Air has grown very quickly, now operating a mixed fleet of Boeing 737-800s and Airbus A320s, along with a couple of elusive Airbus A330-300 aircraft. However, whilst the airline seemed to have high aspirations during its launch, it seems to have come to share a lot more similar traits with its parent. 

Booking Batik Air

Since I have never flown Batik Air’s Economy Class before, I thought it would be interesting to book them for review purposes. For this Batik Air flight, I booked my ticket directly from the Batik Air website, I paid IDR877,000 (£47) for a one-way international flight between Jakarta and Singapore. This price was around IDR300,000 pricier than low-cost carriers like Jetstar and AirAsia, but I gladly paid it due to the frills they supposedly offered (including checked bags and meals). Interestingly, after payment, I received an email confirmation and tickets that were sent from Lion Air. Hmm…

Booking add-ons

Whilst Batik Air generally offers (paid) frills on their domestic flights, it is interestingly not possible to select or even pay for seats on international itineraries.

Seat selection screen on

In fact, nothing can be done on their website after booking, with the exception of adding extra bags to your reservation. Funnily enough, you can’t add a BatikMiles frequent flyer number at any stage after booking, either, which seems quite ridiculous. Although to be fair, BatikMiles’ lack of mileage earning and redemption features makes it pretty much useless.

Manage booking screen on


For this 10.50 departure to Singapore, I arrived at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport at 08.00. Whilst that seems awfully early, I timed my arrival in consideration of the ending of Indonesia’s post-Eid mudik travel frenzy. Yet, as I quickly found out, that was unnecessary, since the terminal was by no means busy. To go to specifics, Batik Air uses Terminal 2F for its international flight departures, an older terminal that previously served as Garuda Indonesia’s domestic hub. 

Soekarno-Hatta International Airport Terminal 2F entrance

Terminal 2 has in recent years been designated as a low-cost carrier hub, and sure enough, it is populated by airlines like Lion Air, Thai Lion Air, AirAsia, Indonesia AirAsia, Jetstar, and Scoot. It only seems interesting that a supposed premium subsidiary is placed among low-cost carriers… but who am I to say, right? Either way, I arrived at the check-in hall to find five check-in counters labelled ‘Lion Air Group’, which also services Batik Air departures. Again, it’s quite disappointing to find that there are few differentiators between Batik Air and Lion Air. Batik Business Class passengers, however, have a single dedicated check-in desk.

Batik Air Business Class check-in counter

As I lined up for check-in, I found that the process was painstakingly slow for some reason. It took me nearly 20 minutes to get checked in, although there were only 10 people ahead of me. Surprisingly enough, when I did get to the desk, I was processed in under 30 seconds…

Terminal 2F Lion Air Group check-in

Terminal 2F Departures

Since there was nothing to do at the check-in hall, I proceeded straight past the deserted immigration checkpoint, to find a limited number of shops and restaurants. A Saphire-branded lounge is supposedly opening soon in this section of the terminal, although no timeframe was specified.

Terminal 2F arcade

Along with a set of Jakarta Duty Free shops and a Periplus Bookstore, there wasn’t much in terms of shopping opportunities in the terminal’s arcade. Similarly, food and beverage outlets were limited to a few high-street chains like Starbucks, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, a couple local restaurant chains, and two convenience stores. Uninterested in the food and shopping outlets, I opted to head straight past the security checkpoint nearby and sit at one of the seven gates of Concourse F. One thing I did like about the terminal, however, is the close distances between places. They surely don’t make airports like this anymore!

Terminal 2F security checkpoint


Since I last came to Terminal 2 five years ago, they have done substantial renovations to the gate areas, which are now interconnected airside. Seating at the gate is now plentiful, although most of them consists of uncomfortable hard plastic chairs.

Gate seating in Concourse F
Gate seating in Concourse F

The boarding pass stated a boarding time of 10.05, 45 minutes before departure. However, there was no way a Boeing 737-800 flight would board that early! Whilst the flight information screens did change ID7155’s status to ‘Boarding’ at 10.20, we just kept on waiting. And waited we did…

There was no information from the ground staff, whatsoever, prompting several people to approach them and ask about what’s going on. Lo and behold, they told those who asked that the aircraft had only arrived from Samarinda by that point. Furthermore, I was even less so impressed with the ground staff, who looked unprofessional with their eyes glued to their phones whilst sitting on passenger wheelchairs.

Non-standard livered Batik Air Boeing 737s

Boarding process

Boarding finally started at 10.42 and just sort of commenced without any prior announcements. There were no boarding groups as far as I was aware, and boarding was a complete free-for-all. Well, at least that meant that I got to board first and get empty cabin pictures!

Our flight today is operated by PK-LDP, a Boeing 737-800 delivered new to sister airline Malindo Air in 2015. Interestingly, this plane, like the other two parked nearby, looks like it has an identity crisis since it doesn’t have the standard Batik Air livery. There were also some patches of missing paint on the fuselage, which didn’t instil much confidence.

PK-LDP, the Boeing 737-800 taking us to Singapore

At the door, I had to wait a few more minutes as passengers requiring special assistance were helped on board. I was greeted by a flight attendant who confirmed that I was on the correct flight.

Batik Air B737-800 Cabin

The Batik Air Boeing 737-800 features a relatively low-density standard configuration of 162 seats. Note that Batik Air also has a higher density Boeing 737-800 configuration on leased jets with cabins ironically inherited from Garuda Indonesia.

Business Class

Towards the front are 12 Business Class seats in a 2-2 configuration. I have previously reviewed this product, which you can read about here. But to recap, the Business Class seats on Batik Air are comfortable, but definitely not worth the absurd IDR 8,000,000 (£430) premium they were charging on this short flight

Business Class cabin on Batik Air’s Boeing 737-800
Business Class cabin on Batik Air’s Boeing 737-800

Economy Class

The Economy Class cabin is equipped with 150 seats in a standard 3-3 configuration. The seats are clad in leather in a mixed brown and red trim combination that kind of reminds me of American Airlines. Theoretically, should paid seat assignments be available, rows 4-6 are considered ‘cool seats’ (contrast that with AirAsia’s Hot Seats!) and have a higher assignment fee.

Economy Class cabin on Batik Air’s Boeing 737-800
Economy Class cabin on Batik Air’s Boeing 737-800
View from the back of the cabin

Since I was not able to select seats in advance, I was assigned seat 18A, located just behind the wing. I honestly found the legroom to be quite generous for Economy Class, with its 32” pitch. At my 180 cm (5’11) height, there was a gap of 12 cm (4.7 inches) between my knees and the seat back, which was much appreciated. 

Economy Class seats on Batik Air

Furthermore, each seat features a personal inflight entertainment screen, although with a twist I will expand on later. Each screen has a USB-B charger and a credit card swipe you don’t often see anymore. I also appreciated that they opted to install overhead air vents over each seat.

Economy Class legroom on Batik Air
Economy Class legroom on Batik Air
Seat tray table
Overhead air vents

Whilst I found the seats to be mostly favourable, I did find the seat’s padding to be quite lacking. After being seated for a while, this quickly became noticeable and rather uncomfortably so. Good thing the flight time is just under one and a half hours!


Before the cabin filled up, I very quickly went to the back of the cabin to check out the lavatories. Sadly, it appears as if they weren’t cleaned between flights. Even at boarding, the lavatory looked messy and unkept, with wet floors. I can’t imagine how it would look inflight… 🙁

Batik Air lavatory

Departure from Jakarta

Boarding was completed at 11.00 and we started pushback at 11.08, a full 18 minutes past our scheduled departure time. The Business Class cabin ended up understandably empty. I mean, they were charging prices that were higher than Business Class on Singapore Airlines! And for a product that’s objectively much worse, too… It’s quite sad that Batik Air hasn’t sold any incredibly priced Business Class fares in a while, since there is no way the airline could command the prices they are trying to charge for this flight.

View at the gate

Despite our delayed departure, I was impressed at how quickly the airline could turn around its planes… well until I noticed how dirty the cabin was. The carpets had lots of particulate debris and as I looked around the seat, I noticed that the seatback pocket was filled with used tissues and food crumbs. Yuck!

Flight safety video

Anyways, the flight attendants made a few welcome announcements in Indonesian and English after the door was closed. The safety video was screened on the IFE system, though it was only available in Indonesian. English subtitles were available, however.

FLTechnics Hangar at Soekarno-Hatta Airport (notice the SunExpress tail)

We passed a few interesting jets as we taxied to the runway, including a Turkish SunExpress Boeing 737-800 being serviced at FLTechnics, as well as the elusive Batik Air A330-300.

Three A330s next to each other

We took off from Runway 07L at 11.23, 33 minutes past our scheduled departure time. We flew into some turbulent weather as we ascended into the skies before the seatbelt signs were switched off seven minutes after takeoff at 11.30.

View after takeoff

Inflight Entertainment

When Batik Air launched in 2012, it made splashes in the Indonesian travel industry with its cutting-edge inflight entertainment screens that even leapt over those of Garuda’s. Likewise, the built-in entertainment screens are still very responsive and even boast five interface languages. I was very impressed… that is until I saw the selection of movies or TV shows. To keep it short and sweet: there weren’t any. The movie and music sections were completely devoid of content, which looked quite surreal. The TV Show section did have the airline’s safety video, however.

IFE Screen
Movie ‘selection’
TV Show ‘selection’

To be fair, they still had a selection of several outdated-looking games, but that was about it from the screens. For one, the flight map didn’t work for the whole flight, either. Yikes.

Games selection
Inflight map

In place of this, Batik Air has partnered with a streaming app called Tripper, which is also used on a Pelita Air flight I’ve taken. Interestingly, however, Lion Air and Super Air Jet also use the same system, meaning there is little to no differentiation between the group’s low-cost carriers and Batik Air. The seatback pocket even has a guide on using the Tripper system.

The system requires the app to be downloaded in advance via the App Store or Play Store. After connecting to the system’s network, it will prompt an annoying sign-up screen. In the end, I did sign up for the sake of this review, and found nothing…? It looked like the system was broken on this flight, nothing appeared and all the options weren’t working. Ironically, I did manage to see the selection once I was connected to a WiFi network on the ground, however. The selection was limited, although didn’t look too bad. They even have Flappy Bird!

Inflight service 

The seatbelt signs were switched off seven minutes after takeoff, and the cart went up the aisle around five minutes after that. Slowly and going row by row, the refreshment cart rolled down the aisle from the front of the cabin. When the flight attendants got to my row, I was nonchalantly handed a small snack comprising a Lion Air-branded bread roll, followed by a cup of water. 

Batik Air refreshments

In the past, I was told that Batik Air serves two choices of hot meals in Economy Class, so this was quite the downgrade… Regardless, I was surprised to find the bread to be moist and filled with custard. For one, this was much better than any bread roll I’ve gotten on other domestic Indonesian airlines. I ended up finishing the roll since I had not eaten up to that point in the day.

Lion Boga bread roll

Arrival in Singapore

The captain made his first announcement 30 minutes before our estimated landing time, stating the start of our descent to Singapore and detailing the arrival information for our flight. By this time, the flight attendants went on another aisle run to collect any remaining trash from the meal service, before going back again to disinfect the cabin. About fifteen minutes before our scheduled arrival time, the flight attendants announced that we were approaching Singapore and commenced the preparation of the cabin for landing.

View on approach to Singapore

Since we approached Singapore from the south, those seated on the left-hand side of the plane were treated to views of the Downtown Core and Marina Bay. Then just as we neared Changi Airport, we got flew into some choppy weather which caught me by surprise.

View on approach to Changi Airport
A Rough Landing

At 13.42 local time, we finally landed on runway 02R. As we got to the runway, we sort of floated for several seconds before the wheels abruptly touched down on the runway. The tires screeched and it felt like we hit a large speed bump on high speed. The landing was very rough and one of the worst, if not the worst I’ve experienced in the last five years of constant flying. Yikes!

On the runway in Singapore Changi Airport

As we taxied to our gate at Terminal 3, we managed to pass a few interesting planes, including a Druk Air A320 and a Gulf Air Boeing 787-9.

Druk Air A320 in Singapore
Gulf Air Boeing 787-9 in Singapore
Arrival at Changi Airport

We finally pulled up to a gate at the far end of Changi Airport Terminal 3, near a Singapore Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8, and surprisingly, another Batik Air Boeing 737-800. Honestly, even after all these years, it still feels so surreal to see a narrowbody jet with the Singapore Airlines livery.

Singapore Airlines Boeing 737 MAX8
Our plane at Changi Airport, with another Batik Air plane behind

Despite Business Class being empty, the crew still closed the curtains between cabins before disembarkation. As the doors opened, everybody in the forward section took their time to disembark whilst everyone in the back pushed to get out. Sigh… After reaching the door, I thanked the crew and took the Changi Sky Train straight to immigration. Interestingly, there weren’t any post-arrival security checks, as you’d often find in Singapore on flights from Indonesia.

Arrival Hall in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3

Changi Airport never ceases to amaze me, since our bags were already waiting on the conveyor as I reached the baggage claim. I didn’t even have to wait for immigration, so I was genuinely surprised at how quickly they were able to transport our bags to the belt. Never change, Changi Airport!


For the most part, I felt that Batik Air was a complete mixed bag. Whilst I appreciated that the airline offers free baggage allowance and an inflight snack, there was just something left to be desired from the experience. For one, I felt that the journey was quite messy from start to end (slow check-in, no boarding groups, broken entertainment system, dirty cabin, etc.). I felt that the experience was only made worse by the very rough landing, which was a really poor show. Whilst I hope this is an isolated experience, I don’t think I could see myself wanting to fly on Batik Air anytime soon, bar the lack of other alternatives.

Read more from this trip

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