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The High Cost of Domestic Air Travel in Indonesia

Higher Ticket Prices and Restrictive Luggage Policies are Making Flying Less Attractive in Indonesia

The sudden increase in the cost of domestic air travel in Indonesia continues to generate complaints from air passengers. Increases implemented in January 2019 were at least partially reduced in response to the resulting public uproar. Garuda Indonesia, Sriwijaya Air and Citilink have reduced prices twice since the start of the year.

In an effort the clarify the current cost of flying domestically in Indonesia, Kompas.com surveyed the cost of domestic air travel between Jakarta and Bali on Friday, March 1, 2019,

On that date, the cheapest ticket on Garuda Indonesia was Rp. 1,951,100 for direct flights from Jakarta to Bali. Meanwhile, the Garuda subsidiary Citilink was selling direct flights from Jakarta to Bali for Rp. 1,610,000. For the same period, Lion Air’s cheapest fare between Jakarta and Bali were selling for Rp. 1,126,000, while the Lion Air affiliate was selling for Rp. 1,443,000 to Rp. 1,553,000 over the same route, depending on departure time.

The new Garuda Indonesia affiliate Sriwijaya Air was selling its Jakarta-Bali sector at Rp. 1,732,500.

Compared to prices in late 2018 and despite recent reductions in ticket prices, the cost of flying to Bali from Jakarta is substantially higher.

During this same period, Indonesian domestic airlines have almost universally imposed draconian new regulations for passenger baggage. Many airlines have essentially abolished any checked baggage allowance and limited the free allowance to just 7 kilograms of carry-on luggage.

Substantial charges, depending on route, are applied for those bringing a checked suitcase on their travels. Many tourism industry observers complain retail and handicraft shopping is suffering due to changes on baggage allowances to the extent that passengers’ interest in travel has been diminished and forms of land travel are now being chosen over air travel to permit the public to bring luggage on their journeys.

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