If you’re traveling back from Indonesia, ensure you have 150,000 rupiah set aside to pay the airport departure tax! I paid mine at the check-in counter for AirAsia, and the sticker was pasted onto my boarding pass (I did web check-in).
Things to note at Soekarno-Hatta Airport:
1) Don’t get to your boarding gate too early – the waiting area is huge but the air-conditioning doesn’t seem to be working well, so it’s really warm in there.
2) There is a water dispenser near one of the coffee machines at the waiting area – if you have a water bottle with you, time to fill it up!
3) If you have a lot of time before your flight departs, you can head to level 2 where there’s a massage centre – a 30 minute massage costs Rp90,000. [Likewise, don’t head to the boarding gate if you still have a lot of time to kill]
4) The airport WIFI is spotty at best, so don’t count on getting much work done at the airport while waiting. Best if you read a book or take a nap.
5) The nasi ayam penyet at Laras Resto isn’t the best. I get better ayam penyet in Singapore. I’ll give that a miss the next time I’m at that airport.
6) If your flight has just landed at the airport, don’t head out of the airport to flag down a cab if you are traveling alone and are unsure about which cab companies are the safer ones to travel with. Just walk to the “public transport” counter within the Arrival Hall and request for a cab from Blue Bird Group. You’ll be quoted a high price upfront (e.g. Rp 350,000) but just insist that you’re alone and have no need for a big cab, and you can get one at Rp 220,000 (like I did).
7) The bubble tea store serves pretty decent beverages. I bought a grass jelly milk tea and enjoyed it. Best to have a cold drink in hand before stepping out of the airport and into Jakarta’s hot weather!
8) My cab ride to Sari Pan Pacific Jakarta took an hour on a Friday morning while the ride to the airport on Saturday morning took considerably less time. Still, ensure you schedule enough time for your taxi journeys so you won’t miss your flight due to Jakarta’s unpredictable traffic and sometimes really horrible traffic jams.