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Security Checks at airports

Flying internationally from Jakarta you need to make sure that you are through the security gates in time now. The procedures are finally being tightened.

Belts, watches, need to be removed. Laptops tabs etc also need to be removed from bags and be prepared to queue.

Recently it took 20 minutes to get through and whilst that's not long compared to elsewhere there is no signage or information about this. And add this to the way you can check in 90 minutes before your international flight the time lines are short.

And of course dependent on traffic and weather getting to Jakarta airport can also be a delight.

However there are none on entering Indonesia.
Singapore up to recently were checking people as they came off flights as well as boarding but that seems to have stopped.

Perhaps it would be good to share what other airports are doing at the moment.

I assume this is a response to the last nasty attack in Turkey, and a welcome one.
Delays are inevitable when you have to guard against people such as that, but delays are better than deaths.
Thanks for keeping us up to date with developments.

Jakarta is the 7th busiest airport in the world and they are trying to catch up with international standards. Security is lapse and always has been. The checks are relatively new and procedures are being slowly forced.

I heard recently that passengers from flights over seas have a x chalked onto luggage to help customs identify who to search.

Also the customs declaration piece of paper has not been issued on the last couple of flights I have taken which is annoying as you have to complete one just before you leave arrivals.

KLIA2 in Malaysia has become ridiculous with huge queues firstly for check-in, then for immigration and thirdly for customs check. Recently some Indonesian friends returning from KL back to Jakarta arrived 2 hours prior to departure, and then missed their flight and had to buy completely new tickets.

Bandung has a new airport. However, it hasn't done much to improve the services except for creating a large waiting lounge with shops. Check-in is pretty fast as it always has been, but arriving back in Bandung is slow due to there being only one baggage belt in the arrival hall, and the fact that Customs inspects ALL handcrarried baggage and any suspicious checked in baggage. There are still big queues at immigration on arrival so the faster you walk across the tarmac to the airport building, the sooner you can get out of the airport.

Ngurah Rai airport in Bali, I really hate it. The old airport was a bit run down but still alright and fast to check in and board. The new airport has huge queues everywhere, even for domestic flights. Tiring when you are traveling with small kids.

lukereg :

Jakarta is the 7th busiest airport in the world and they are trying to catch up with international standards. Security is lapse and always has been. The checks are relatively new and procedures are being slowly forced.

I heard recently that passengers from flights over seas have a x chalked onto luggage to help customs identify who to search.

Also the customs declaration piece of paper has not been issued on the last couple of flights I have taken which is annoying as you have to complete one just before you leave arrivals.

**

Yes Luke, they put white chalk crosses on baggage in Bandung too. I've actually seen people cleaning off those chalk crosses with wet wipes in Jakarta airport but I would strongly advise anyone against doing that as it is illegal and interfering with the customs checking of baggage and may result in serious trouble.

Fortunately in Bandung the customs officers have a clear view over the only baggage belt and passengers are not able to do this. The advice is that if you are not sure if you are bringing something illegal into the country then declare it just to be on the safe side.

Very informative, thanks for sharing.  Not pertaining to Indonesia's Airports but when landing in Frankfurt, especially if you have a connecting flight to board, do request for a few hours in between although your baggage is checked in to the final destination.  The custom checks in to your every hand luggage you carry on board and that takes a long time since the queue is endless. Beware of that.  I luckily had a couple of nice ladies to let me pass w my hand lotions and what not as long as I buy a zip lock plastic bag to put them in so they could see them.  They waited as I frantically ran looking for those bag and someone pointed me where to go which was somewhere there.  I think I didn't buy them, someone just gave it to me.

I once flew to Makassar for a project a few years ago. I can remember seeing in the arrival hall of Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport the ceiling had begun to collapse, I guess due to poor quality materials used in it's construction. There were literally pieces of concrete hanging off the ceiling and broken cement pieces on the floor. This was a long time before the collapse of one of their hangars under construction last year which killed several workers. However, the procedures for arrival and departure were pretty easy and fast and the officers were all very polite.

I used to fly in to Kemayoran Airport and Halim Airport regularly for work, that's before Soekarno-Hatta International Airport was built. The procedures for immigration and customs were far simpler and quicker than now. Hardly any queues and everyone was polite and friendly and not even a hint of corruption nor anyone asking for coffee money. I could be carrying a motherboard or a CPU for a main frame and customs wouldn't bat an eyelid.

Now, arriving at the new Ngurah Rai Airport on an international flight, the queues to get your bags scanned before exiting the airport is horrendous. Immigration officers however are nice and friendly especially if you are resident in Indonesia. If you are a tourist then be prepared for long queues.

We just picked up a friend from Chicago at Ngurah Rai airport yesterday who sailed through the immigration and customs check within 35 minutes of landing. 

The new Ngurah Rai airport in Bali is awesome, and considered by many as the best airport in Indonesia, and top class for SE Asia. 

“In 2014, Ngurah Rai International Airport became the world's 7th best and best in Indonesia in Airport Service Quality by Airport Council International among 79 airports with passenger capacity between 5-15 million a year, and rose again to the number 3 position in the first quarter of 2015.” 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ngurah_Ra … al_Airport

That said, there can be arrival processing delays if two or more arrivals are late and thus several arrivals all touch down within just a few minutes of each other.  Other than that, I don’t hear any complaints from either international or domestic travelers, be they arriving, or departing.  I can add to that my own experience, although that is limited to only three times since the new facility opened in 2014.  Each time I found departure and arrival to be smooth and expedient.
***

Hansson :

Now, arriving at the new Ngurah Rai Airport on an international flight, the queues to get your bags scanned before exiting the airport is horrendous. Immigration officers however are nice and friendly especially if you are resident in Indonesia. If you are a tourist then be prepared for long queues.

I'll stand the queues in favour of keeping drugs out of Indonesia.
As much as a pain as the queues can be, they're a small price to pay considering what would happen if the scanners were removed.

Yup I'll agree with that. You know my opinion of drug traffickers.

However, after a 7 hour Garuda flight from Tokyo last month, both my wife and I carrying our sleeping kids, hand luggage and pushing suitcases, and with people continuously trying to jump the queue, half an hour seems like a long wait to have the bags checked. To be honest, I've never had to wait that long to have baggage checked on arrival at any other airport. Jakarta airport is super fast by comparison as is Bandung Airport.

And thank goodness we didn't have to queue up in those long queues at immigration along with all the tourists. One of the great pleasures of having a KITAS and an Indonesian family.

According to my niece, who I just called for the heck of it, the average wait time at immigration processing at Ngurah Rai for international arrivals is 6 ½ minutes.  Of course that means that 50% of folks get through in less than 6 ½ minutes, and for the other 50%, it took longer. 

She would know, as during her years of study at the Tourism College in Nusa Dua she also worked for the Bali Department of Tourism and regularly worked doing surveys at the new Ngurah Rai airport.   

As I wrote earlier, if too many planes arrive at the same time because of flight delays, then the number of passengers to be processed can, and does put a strain on both immigration and customs.

That being said, and as she reminded me, in those situations there are stand by immigration officers who will open up additional windows for passport processing unless it’s in the dead of night. 

Ngurah Rai is an excellent airport and with excellent service to the approximately 11 million folks who use it annually as both international and domestic travelers.  If this wasn’t the case, then it would never have earned the distinction I quoted earlier: 

“In 2014, Ngurah Rai International Airport became the world's 7th best and best in Indonesia in Airport Service Quality by Airport Council International among 79 airports with passenger capacity between 5-15 million a year, and rose again to the number 3 position in the first quarter of 2015.”

I would think that Bali airport had to be quicker and easier than Jakarta for the sheer amount of tourists arriving and their expectation of airports from the country they have traveled from.
The introduction of further security checks should not be seen as a hindrance but rather a sign that the country you are in wants you to feel safe when you travel.

Jakarta airport has for a long time suffered from poor everything and so finally it is getting it's act together as it starts to complete internationally. Bali is already doing that hence the shiny new airport and increased levels of service and it's fine reputation.

However what all airports need to do is to change the check in times to accommodate these checks and also work on changing the 'I am important so I have my own rules' culture so that everyone is treated the same.

You are spot on Luke!  First impressions are highly important, and the Bali Board of Tourism is acutely aware of that fact.  As such, there is great deal of attention and effort given to assure that when guests arrive at Ngurah Rai, that they are processed as quickly as possible.

Is it possible for an occasional visitor to experience long delays at Ngurah Rai?  Of course it is, but those few experiences are not representative of the norm, nor should those experiences be allowed to provide the basis for making broad, grossly generalized, and totally inaccurate statements about what tourists should expect on arrival at Ngurah Rai…thus the basis of my recent posts on this topic.   ;)

Cheers amigo!

Yup absolutely Luke. That's the way it should be.

In Jakarta, whenever we fly in from overseas it's a pretty quick process to pass through immigration and customs. I've rarely seen more than 4 or 5 people queue to go through the baggage check. And at the new terminal it is not much different, actually it's super fast for immigration and customs.

But despite it's worn out look, I honestly preferred the old airport in Bali because it was so quick to check in, up the escalator to passport check at immigration and you're through to the duty free in no time, only very short queues if any. But with Bali's new airport, I find it very pretty, but I just don't know why but it is very time consuming to get through. I mean check-in is the same as always but everything after that seems to have queues.

But even that is OK compared to when we arrived in Bali from Tokyo. As Ubudian mentioned, maybe there were too many flights arriving at around the same time, and maybe due to global terror threats the checks were more thorough than usual, but the queues for immigration were extremely long for non Indonesian residents, and the queues for the Customs X-ray machines were just ridiculous. ***

I mean even the old airport had long queues at immigration for tourists and only some short queues at the baggage check but you rarely had to wait more than 2 or 3 minutes to pass through customs, if that. We'll be flying off to Tokyo again next month, so if this thread is still around I will give an update.

Anyway, that was my experience of my last international arrival in Bali. We actually used to fly on JAL from Jakarta but it's four hours to get to the airport from Bandung and the in-flight meals aren't nice. So since the fares on Garuda are often more attractive with a stopover in Bali that is the reason why we recently transit there.

Having said that. Bandung's new airport is still not very good but a bit better than it used to be. It's owned by the military and really not well designed at all. The old airport had a single conveyor belt in the arrival room, I mean a straight and short conveyor belt in a small hall the size of a living room, where if nobody grabs your bag it drops off the end onto the floor. Now, at least there is a proper conveyor belt and a bigger arrival hall. And I haven't even mentioned the awful car park and drop off area. That being said, the airport is more or less down town which is nice.

I have flown from Bandung and it is not easy to get too but at the there were cafes selling beer (so it's been awhile) and the flight was on time.
I flew to Bali a couple of times as the promo price was cheaper and the time times more convenient than Jakarta and the cost of the transport added in still made the flights cheaper.
I am sure the new one has to be an improvement.

“But despite it's worn out look, I honestly preferred the old airport in Bali because it was so quick to check in…”  (from post #15).

Of course it was quicker to check in.  The security procedures now in place are the reason for longer times to check in…the new airport itself having nothing to do with more time being necessary to check in.  And BTW…this is universal, the world over…longer check in times being required at virtually every airport in the world. 

Good grief!  I can only imagine what it would be like today if we hadn’t re-build Ngurah Rai.  I highly doubt anyone would be signing nostalgic songs about it!  Actually, I am very certain of that.   :lol:

Seriously, I have to laugh out loud with the very idea of 11 million annual visitors being processed through the old Ngurah Rai airport.  A photo of that would likely be found in a dictionary alongside the word, “nightmare.”

***

Jakarta's terminal two is for international flights and gets pretty busy, but the trick is easy.
Travel at unpopular times of day, usually the very early flights are best.
No queues to get into the airport for flights before you, and an empty airport. You're first at check in and can dance your way to the counter because hardly anyone is in the building.
Security is no issue at all as the staff are just sitting around waiting for the first passengers to roll in, so you walk up and dump your bags on the x-ray machine with ease.
No one pushing you, no irate passengers worried about missing their flight and no queue anywhere else.
You can sit around in a cafe for a while and still get through the departure lounge security with hardly any delay.waiting around in queues.

I have no idea why anyone would take a flight at any other time unless they had time issues to contend with.

One extra note - there are wrapping machines in the check in area and it never hurts to have your bag wrapped up. It avoids problems with thieves and removes the security headaches as customs at the arrival airport know the bag has already been scanned.

I travel with hand luggage only when possible, but I would wrap any check in luggage as a matter of course.

That's an excellent point about the plastic wrapping machines.

Less than a year ago I bought a large Delsey suitcase in Kuala Lumpur, the type without a zip around the edge but instead a sort of overlap. When we arrived in Tokyo we noticed that someone had inserted a knife or similar object in an attempt to try to force it open as a part of the suitcase was a bit distorted on one side and the fabric on the inside slightly sliced through. We flew Airasia that time. Since we didn't have insurance they said they could do nothing. Then on the return flight exactly the same thing happened. Fortunately they hadn't managed to break open the suitcase so nothing was stolen and the suitcase could easily be put back into shape without much hassle.

Japan has a very low crime rate for things like this.***

For that very reason, I now always without fail get my suitcases wrapped, be it at Jakarta, Bandung, Bali or Japan. I haven't had another problem like that ever again.

I've also just bought another couple of Delsey's which look almost impossible to break into and these can be tracked online apparently anywhere in the world. And I always get them wrapped.

So absolutely yes, whether it costs Rp30k as in Bandung or Rp50k or Rp80k as I think I paid in Bali, I now ALWAYS get my baggage wrapped.

.

http://i1339.photobucket.com/albums/o701/philhansson/20150514_062806_zpse9w6vkqr.jpg

This is how my suitcase arrived in Japan. Some of the inner material had been sliced with a sharp utensil.

And just to be clear...according to you, (post 19) this intrusion into your wonderful bright pink piece of luggage occurred between a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Japan which leaves Indonesia totally out of the discussion about your bright pink bag and what happened to it.   

IMHO, it's important to note this distinction, as this thread concerns Indonesia.     ;)

So, with that in mind, doesn't your post belong on the Malaysia Board? 

Or, to ask the question a bit differently...why are your last two posts here?

No, the picture of the suitcase exemplifies the importance of having your baggage plastic wrapped before checking it in. The picture shows what can happen to a bag if it isn't wrapped. Now, whether I fly from Bali, Bandung or Jakarta, I always have my bags wrapped other they could end up like the red suitcase.

OK fine.

I think it's important to distinguish things that happen here (in Indonesia) from places other than Indonesia. 

IMHO that's particularly important, since this board is about Indonesia...period!

***

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