Latte Solo Paragon: DAMRI Adi Soemarmo International Airport

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

“Pak Donny, lama kita tidak bertemu. Sebelum Bapak menuju hotel, mampir sebentar ya ke Solo Paragon. Kita berbincang dan minum kopi bersama!”, pesan singkat pak Arman ketika aku masih berada di waiting room Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, Jakarta.

Pak Arman….Dia adalah suami dari klien saya, seorang Bangladesh yang menjadi WNI beberapa tahun silam.

Bapak bersama siapa di Solo Paragon?”, aku membalas singkat pesannya.

“Saya berdua dengan anak saya kedua, pak. Saya tunggu kedatangan Bapak ya!”, pintanya sedikit memaksa.

“Baik pak Arman”.

Pukul 17:30, akhirnya Citilink QG 126 mendarat sempurna di Adi Soemarmo International Airport, Solo. Pada akhirnya, aku memang mengurungkan niat untuk langsung menuju Grand Amira Hotel by Azana di daerah Pasar Kliwon. Kuputuskan memenuhi undangan minum kopi Pak Arman.

Konter penjualan tiket taksi dan bus DAMRI.
Koridor menuju area parkir dan shelter bus DAMRI.
Bus DAMRI menungguku.

Oh ya….

Beberapa tahun lalu, sebelum aktif menulis di blog ini, aku pernah mendarat di bandara yang sama. Hanya saja, kala itu aku dijemput seorang teman dekat menuju pusat kota. Tapi kali ini, aku akan mencoba moda transportasi umum menuju pusat kota.

Lamat kuperhatikan di sebelah timur bangunan terminal bandara, terdapat sebuah proyek pengerjaan stasiun kereta bandara yang masih setengah jadi. “Akhirnya Solo akan memiliki kereta bandara juga”, gumamku. Salut dengan perkembangan Kota Batik itu.

Gelap cepat mengakuisisi waktu, aku membatalkan eksplorasi bandara. Aku lebih memilih untuk segera mencari konter yang menjual tiket bus DAMRI. Konter itu kutemukan di selasar arrival hall sebelah timur, bersebelahan dengan konter penjualan tiket taksi.

Bersiap menuju pusat kota.
Tiket.
Sampai nanti Adi Soemarmo International Airport.

Sore itu konter terasa sepi, bahkan aku hanya berselang satu antrian dengan seorang ibu. Dibelakangku sudah tak ada penumpang yang mengantri lagi. Berdasar informasi dari staff penjaga loket, bus DAMRI akan berhenti di tujuan akhir Terminal Tirtonadi. Menuju Solo Paragon di daerah Mangkubumen, aku dianjurkan untuk berhenti di Solo Square, pusat perbelanjaan di daerah Laweyan. Membayar Rp. 25.000 aku mendapatkan selembar tiket menuju pusat kota. “Bus sudah menunggu di shelter ya, pak”, selorohnya memberitahuku.

Dengan cepat aku menyusuri koridor menuju ke area parkir bandara. Terlihat di ujung koridor telah menunggu bus warna biru berukuran sedang. Kulihat ibu yang mengantri di depanku tadi sudah masuk melalui pintu tengahnya. Sementara sang sopir tampak melambaikan tangan kepadaku untuk segera bergegas karena bus akan segera berangkat. Walaupun kursi belum penuh, bus itu lebih mengutamakan ketepatan waktu untuk segera beranjak menuju ke kota yang berjarak sekitar 15 Km.

Sopir itu memeriksa tiketku sebelum aku masuk. Aku terduduk di bangku tengah dan tak lama kemudian bus perlahan meninggalkan bandara. Menyusuri jalan Adi Sumarmo, berlanjut di Jalan Adi Sucipto dan masuk ke Jalan Slamet Riyadi. Melewati beberapa bangunan ternama seperti De Tjolomadoe, Javenir dan Stasiun Purwosari.

Dalam waktu 20 menit, bus mulai merapat di Pusat perbelanjaan Solo Square dan aku pun turun di tepian Jalan Slamet Riyadi yang menjadi jalan protokol kota. Kufikir akan lebih baik melakukan santap malam sebelum minum kopi bersama Pak Arman. Akhirnya aku berhenti di kuliner jalanan, Aku duduk meleseh di sebuah “angkringan” dan menyantap beberapa nasi kucing dan sejumlah sate telur, sate kulit dan kerupuk. Menikmati wedang jahe di “angkringan” adalah sesuatu yang lama sekali tak kulakukan lagi. Kebiasaan ini bukan masalah murahnya harga, tetapi lebih kepada cita rasa dan cara menghabiskan malam Kota Batik.

Angkringan dan nasi kucing.
Tiba di Solo Paragon Hotel & Residences.

Pak Donny, sudah mendarat?”, Pak Arman kembali mengirimkan pesan singkat.

Sudah pak, saya hanya berjarak 4 Km dari tempat Bapak. Sebentar lagi saya kesitu pak. Tunggu ya!”, balasku singkat.

Aku segera membayar menuku dan memesan ojek online menuju Solo Paragon Hotel & Residences. Dalam waktu 10 menit, aku tiba dan langsung menuju ke lobby.

Memasuki lobby, tampak Pak Arman dan Rishan menunggu di depan pintu. Kujabat tangannya dan berpeluk ringan kemudian kami menghabiskan waktu hingga tengah malam untuk sekedar berbincang, berbagi kabar dan menikmati latte.

Thank you Mr Arman.

Thank you Solo.

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Citilink QG 126 dari Jakarta (HLP) ke Solo (SOC)

Rute penerbangan QG 126 (sumber: https://flightaware.com/).

Menjadi seorang Ketua Kepanitiaan semasa kuliah….Sudah biasa.

Lalu berlanjut menjadi Ketua Kepanitiaan untuk acara kantor….Juga sudah biasa.

Dua-duanya sama-sama pusing dan melelahkan.

Nah, ini beda….

Kalau kamu disuruh jadi Ketua Kepanitiaan di kantor, tapi isi acaranya adalah jalan-jalan dan makan-makan. Apakah kamu pernah?…..Hahaha.

Yiiyyyy, inilah kisahku…..Aku mengalaminya….Sungguh nyata dan meyenangkan. Ini kisahku kala bersepak terjang menjadi Ketua Kepanitiaan Marketing Conference di kantor. So….Mari jalan-jalan, mari senang-senang!.

Sebagai Ketua Panitia, maka aku berkewajiban melakukan survey lapangan sebelum acara sesungguhnya digelar. Aku melakukannya tiga bulan sebelum acara itu dimulai. Kini, aku akan melakukan survey bersama Wakil Ketua Panitia menuju kota  tujuan acara….Solo.

Minggu sore, hanya dengan menenteng ransel kecil, sekitar pukul 13:30,  aku menggunakan jasa taksi online menuju Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport untuk mengejar “maskapai hijau”. Pesawatku akan terbang pukul 16:00, jadi aku sudah memiliki jeda waktu yang cukup, berkisar dua jam sebelum boarding.

Sore itu adalah awal dari hari kejepit nasional, Minggu sore adalah keberangkatanku, senin masihlah hari kerja tetapi aku diizinkan untuk tak masuk kantor dan lusa adalah hari libur nasional. Tiga hari ke depan tak akan kusia-siakan waktu untuk melakukan survey demi keperluan acara, sekaligus melakukan eksplorasi kota.

Tiba di Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport.
Boarding pass menuju Solo telah siap.
Duduk manis sambil membaca inflight magazine “Linkers”.

Tugasku mudah sekali kali ini. Tak akan jauh-jauh dari:  survey ruangan dan food test di Swiss-Belinn Saripetojo Solo, survey kereta wisata Jaladara, bertemu Artcoustic Band, surey beberapa tempat bersejarah, menentukan tempat berburu oleh-oleh terbaik dan tentu saja mencari dan mencicipi kuliner terbaik “Kota Batik” untuk ditetapkan sebagai tujuan wisata kuliner….Widih, keren.

Tak terbayangkan sudah sungguh nikmatnya trip ini, karena aku tak perlu keluar uang sepeserpun, semua biaya akan ditanggung oleh kantorku bekerja. Hanya saja kali ini sang Wakil Ketua yang orang Bandung, bernama Rahadian, adalah seorang aerophobia, sehingga dia bersikeras memilih menggunakan kereta api dari Bandung menuju Solo. Jadi, skenerionya adalah, aku akan tiba di Solo di sore ini, sedangkan Rahadian akan menyusulku esok hari ke hotel.

Aku sendiri tiba di Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport pukul  dua siang lebih lima belas menit, menyempatkan diri berkeliling untuk mengenal bandara itu. Aku baru melakukan check-in setengah jam kemudian.

Berjalan di apron Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport selalu menjadi hal yang mengesankan bagiku. Aku bisa menikmati dengan begitu dekatnya pesawat yang akan kunaiki tepat dari sepasang kaki besi raksasanya. Tak jarang, pesawat berbadan besar lain melintas tepat di sebelah ekor pesawat dengan begitu elegan tapi tetap saja meninggalkan aroma bising yang dihasilkan oleh kedua mesin jetnya.

Tepat pukul 16:00, aku terduduk di window seat bernomor 18F. Momen duduk di window seat, bagiku adalah aktivitas terencana yang kupersiapkan sebelum terbang. Sehingga bangku itu pasti akan kukuasai. Pemandangan indah di angkasa adalah alasannya.

Penerbangan sore itu  berlangsung dengan baik, tak ada turbulensi berarti. Saking jernihnya langit, dua muka gunung berapi di tanah jawa terlihat dengan sangat jelas. Sementara Alto Cumulus banyak ditemui sepanjang rute penerbangan ini.

Indahnya gunung itu.
Bak kapas di angkasa.
Apakah itu gunung Merapi?
Touchdown Solo.
Merapat di apron milik Adi Sumarmo International Airport.

Airbus A320 twin jet itu melaju dengan kecepatan 305 mph menempuh jarak 371 mil hanya dalam waktu 55 menit. Penerbangan cepat yang cukup indah.

Pukul 17:12 roda “Si Hijau”menyentuh run-off Adi Sumarmo International Airport dengan sangat mulus.

Terimakasih Citilink. Saatnya mengeksplorasi Solo.

Alternatif untuk tiket pesawat dari Jakarta ke Solo bisa dicari di 12Go atau link berikut: https://12go.asia/?z=3283832

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Kuwait Airways KU 614 from Bahrain to Kuwait

<—-Previous Story

KU 614 flight route (source: https://www.radarbox.com/)

Exactly on five in the morning I started to wash my body in the bathroom of Bahrain Plaza Hotel. That day, I would leave Bahrain and heading to Kuwait. After making sure all equipments wasn’t left behind, I went down to the first floor to hand over the key and headed to the nearest bus shelter. Not far, just three hundred meters at south of the hotel, right in front of Manama Cemetery.

Ten minutes later, the bus from MAN manufacturer numbered A1 arrived. Entering from its front door and tapping Go Card to pay the fare worth BHD 0.300, I drove to Bahrain International Airport for the next a hour.

Arriving at the airport on 07:45 hours, I went straight to 1st floor. Its check-in area wan’t better than the same counter owned by Halim Perdanakusuma Airport (second airport in Jakarta). The flight number which didn’t appeared yet on the Departure Hall LCD gave me time to exchange the remaining Bahraini Dinar (BHD). Apparently the money changer on the 1st floor didn’t want to accept small amount of Dinar, fortunately the Bahrain Financing Company (BFC) on the 0th floor was still willing to accept it.

On 9:30 hours, the check-in counter for Kuwait Airways flight KU 614 began to open. I briefly explained that I was going to Qatar with two non-connecting flights and would transit in Kuwait. The young male staff only once asked me about the Qatar Visa. “Qatar visa is free for Indonesian, Sir“, I answered to ending the conversation and he gave two tickets with the blue bird logo at once. The ticket itself I ordered on nine months before departure.

Kuwait Airways was the 27th airline which I boarded.

Smoothly passing through the immigration counter, I immediately headed to Gate 15 which was located in the corner of departure waiting hall with a narrow hallway which connects to the aerobridge. Waiting for boarding time, I continued to observe the flow of Gulf Air, a well-known airline belonging to the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Departure waiting room.

A little late, I started boarding on 11:51 hours. Couldn’t wait to experience the first time flying with Kuwait Airways, the airline belonging to the Kingdom of Kuwait.

Late for a hour.
Business Class.
Economy Class.

Immediately took a seat as stated on the boarding pass and preparing for a short flight of 420 km which would be covered in 1 hour 10 minutes.

Seat number 17A was where I sat.
Thank you 12Go for being an Affiliate Partner for travelingpersecond.com.
Alburaq inflight magazine.

It appeared that some of the airline’s aircrew were from the Philippines and some from African region. During the flight, I noticed that alcohol bottles weren’t visible on food trolley, it looked like the Kuwait Airways flight was an alcohol-free flight…..It was cool.

Watching “The Martian“.
The Low Fat Meal (LFML) menu which I ordered together with the ticket order.

That afternoon the air on the southwest bank of Persian Gulf was clear. This made my flight felt very smooth, with no turbulence at all. Nice flight.

Sunny weather in early January.
How did the feel, flying with Middle East people?.

DIn the last quarter of flight, the plane began to lower and revealed the land of Kuwait which looked arid and hot. I myself couldn’t wait to get to know Kuwait International Airport which was the main hub of Kuwait Airways.

Middle East mainland which typical sandy brown.
Busyness at Terminal 2 Expansion Project.
Kuwait city view.

The time was 13:35 hours. After the plane came to a perfect stop, I immediately left the fuselage for Transit Hall of Kuwait International Airport. I would patiently wait until four o’clock on the next morning to heading to Qatar.

A320-251N Neo Generation of Airbus

Citilink QG 145 dari Semarang (SMG) ke Jakarta (HLP)

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Rute penerbangan Citilink QG 145. Sumber: https://flightaware.com/

Titan mentraktirku makan siang sebelum tiba di hotel. Seporsi nasi pecel di dekat SMAN 1 Semarang. Kemudian dia juga membekaliku Bandeng Presto khas Semarang untuk dibawa pulang ke Jakarta. Wah, baik sekali teman saya yang satu ini.

Sebelum benar-benar check-out, Titan yang penasaran tentang bagaimana caraku memilih penginapan murah, ikut bersamaku ke ruangan dormitory. Diperhatikannya lekat-lekat ruangan dormitory beserta kapsul-kapsul tidurnya. “Hebat kamu Don, bisa tidur di kapsul seperti ini”, ungkapnya sambil tersenyum. “Di luar negeri aku juga melakukan hal yang sama, Titan. Itu mengapa aku bisa traveling dengan biaya yang murah”, jawabku sambil berbisik.

Toyota Calya berwarna orange metallic, menjemputku di Sleep & Sleep Capsule. Serentak aku berpamitan dengan Titan untuk meninggalkan Semarang. Terimakasih Titan.

Pukul 15:25 aku sudah tiba di bandara. Tanpa basa-basi dan eksplorasi, aku bergegas menuju ke konter check-in. Aku hanya berjarak empat puluh lima menit dari boarding time. Konter yang tak terlalu ramai membuatku bisa menyelesaikan proses check-in hanya dalam lima belas menit dan akhirnya boarding pass sudah digenggaman….Aman.

Aku terus fokus menuju ke waiting room dengan cepat. Kini aku hanya berjarak tiga puluh menit menuju penerbangan pulang. Dan tepat lima belas menit sebelum boarding, aku sudah mencapai waiting room dan duduk terengah. Tak lama menikmati keelokan ruangan tunggu itu, panggilan dari ground staff untuk bersiap terbang pun menggema. Aku kini bersiap di Gate 3A untuk memasuki kabin pesawat.

Tiket menuju Jakarta.
Interior kabin Citilink QG 145. Terduduk di bangku bernomor 10A.

Kini aku sudah duduk di bangku yang sesuai dengan nomornya di boarding pass. Aku bersiap menuju Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport yang berjarak 394 Km dari Ahmad Yani International Airport. Aku akan mengudara bersama selongsong terbang Airbus A320 dengan ketinggian maksimal 26.000 kaki, dengan kecepatan 520 mph dan waktu tempuh 53 menit.

Selama proses boarding, aku terus menikmati keindahan terminal penumpang baru milik Ahmad Yani International Airport dari jendela pesawat. Tampak pesawat hilir mudik datang dan pergi di sisi kiri pesawat yang kunaiki. Langit tampak mendung, pertanda aku harus siap mengalami sedikit guncangan sesaat setelah take-off nanti.

Waktu yang dinanti tiba, pesawat sudah bersiap di landas pacu dan menunggu izin untuk menggeber mesin jetnya menuju udara. Aku hanya sibuk membaca inflight magazine Linkers milik maskapai Citilink. Perlahan pesawat mulai melaju dan menampilan keseluruhan bentuk bandara dari ujung ke ujung. Cantik nian Ahmad Yani International Airport.

Pesawat ATR milik Wings Air.
Air Asia tujuan manakah itu?.
Bangunan terminal beserta ATC Ahmad Yani International Airport saat take-off.

Sebelum menembus gumpalan awan tebal diatas, penerbangan ini sempat secara cepat menampilkan keindahan pantai utara Semarang. Perpaduan awan gelap dengan sinar matahari berwarna oranye yang menembus sela-sela awan dipadu dengan birunya laut dengan rayapan-rayapan kapal di sekitar pelabuhan…Hmmhh, Semarang yang sangat otentik.

Getaran mulai terasa ketika pesawat ingin menstabilkan ketinggian terbangnya. Tetapi setelahnya langit kembali bersih dan menampakkan keindahan dari ketinggian. Sore itu aku tak mau memejamkan mata dan melewatkan pertunjukan langit yang menakjubkan itu.

Pesisir utara Semarang….Wouww aduhai.
Matahari versi langit dan Matahari versi laut….Indah bukan?.
Pilot sangat mahir menghindari kumpulan awan….Penerbangan yang mulus.

Penerbangan yang benar-benar terasa sangat singkat. Citilink mulai merendahkan diri diatas langit ibukota. Mempertontokan daratan Bekasi yang sangat padat. Beberapa ikon kota tampak jelas terlihat dari atas. Stadion Patriot Candrabhaga yang pernah kusambangi saat pertandingan Piala Presiden antara Bali United dan Semen Padang FC hanya demi melihat sosok Irfan Bachdim lebih dekat.

Sedangkan pemandangan lain adalah jalur LRT yang sedang dibangun di sepanjang ruas tol Cikampek, terlihat sangat elok. Itulah jalur yang kulewati hampir setiap hari sepanjang profesiku menjadi tenaga penjual di Ibukota.

Stadion Patriot Chandrabhaga tampak dari ketinggian.
Konstruksi jalur LRT yang sedang dalam proses pengerjaan.

Citilink QG 145 mendarat di Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport dengan sangat mulus. Seperti biasa penumpang akan turun dan berjalan kali di area apron menuju ke bangunan utama terminal. Aku bergegas menuju conveyor belt untuk mengambil bagasi dan kemudian pulang menggunakan ojek onlie menuju rumah.

Menuruni pesawat di area apron.
Beberapa pemunpang menunggu kehadiran Apron Free Shuttle Bus. Aku lebih memilih berjalan kaki saja.

Pernerbangan indah kesekian kali bersama Citilink. Terimakasih Citilink.

Alternatif untuk tiket pesawat dari Semarang ke Jakarta bisa dicari di 12Go atau link berikut: https://12go.asia/?z=3283832

TAMAT

Mengenal Ahmad Yani International Airport

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Free business trip kali ini kumulai dengan sangat mendadak dan berbekal ala kadarnya. Yang terpenting barang kesayangan tak tertinggal….Tak lain adalah Canon EOS M10 warna hitam. Selain perbekalan, itinerary juga tak pernah tersusun sebelum berangkat. Empat hari ke depan aku akan menjadi “Si Bolang” yang bermain sesuka hati.

Ketika Citilink mulai take-off meninggalkan Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, aku pun tak pernah memikirkan apapun perihal Ahmad Yani International Airport. Memoriku masih sama tentangnya. Sederhana, tak besar, ruang tunggu yang langsung bertatap muka dengan moncong pesawat ketika parkir. Begitulah lembaran ingatan yang tersusun rapi dalam cabinet otakku. Bagaimanapun, beberapa tahun lalu, Ahmad Yani International Airport berperan besar dalam melepas landaskan penerbangan pertama kalinya dalam sejarah hidupku.

Oh ternyata…..

Ini berbeda, sungguh menakjubkan”, gumamku ketika mengintipnya melalui jendela saat QG 144 sedang taxiing menuju apron.

Benar adanya, Ahmad Yani International Airport yang berkode IATA “SRG” ini sudah mentransformasi dirinya menjadi super elegan. Aku diturunkan bersebelahan parkir dengan “Maskapai Singa Merah”. Melangkah dibawah sayap raksasa, tampak bangunan utama terminal menampilkan hamparan jendela kaca yang memamerkan pilar-pilar besar di dalamnya. Cahaya surya tampak menembus sempurna seisi ruangan dalam bangunan berkaca itu.

Mari memasuki bangunan terminal.

Aspal pada jalur kendaraan bandara pun masih terlihat sangat hitam dan halus, pertanda lintasan ini belum lama digunakan. Rambu-rambu yang menempel di aspal masih putih sempurna. Tembok terminal masih berwarna krem menyala.

A. Arrival

Aku memasuki koridor arrival hall menuju ke area baggage claim. Lantai yang masih mengkilat memantulkan cahaya lampu dalam pola yang teratur, ruangan kaca disebelah kiri masih berstatus underconstruction sedangkan sisi kanan koridor sudah beroperasi beberapa toilet, lift, dan musholla. Beberapa rak berisi pot-pot bunga sepatu memperindah sudut-sudut ruangan.

Koridor menuju baggage claim area.
Baggage claim area.

Beberapa konter baggage service milik beberapa maskapai masih tampak tutup, mungkin maskapai yang bersangkutan belum beroperasi di terminal ini.

Setelah melalui baggage claim area, deretan konter penyedia informasi telah dipersiapkan seperti Tourist Information Center, BP3TKI, money changer dan perusahaan persewaan mobil TRAC. Sementara antara bangunan utama dan ruas jalan untuk keluar-masuk bandara dipisahkan oleh hamparan air. Ya, aku kini sedang berada di terminal terapung seluas 7 hektar yang didirikan diatas rawa.

Area pintu keluar diletakkan di bawah sebuah koridor berkanopi dan berangka balok baja  bercat putih. Koridor ini menghubungkan arrival hall dan commercial zone bandara. Keberadaan kolam, umbrella shade dengan kursi-kursi dibawahnya dan taman tertanam pohon bertinggi sedang dengan sebaran berpola menjadikan penampakan area pintu keluar menjadi sangat apik. Di sinilah para penjemput menunggu kedatangan tamu atau sanak saudara mereka yang baru saja mendarat.

Pintu keluar.
Area taman.

Begitu melewati pintu keluar terdapatlah photospot area dengan background presiden Joko Widodo yang sedang mengontel sepeda kebo. Dilanjutkan dengan keberadaan toilet, nursery room, money changer, musholla dan ATM area.

Musholla setelah pintu keluar.
Koridor dengan sederet ATM beberapa bank.

Layar airpot digital clock sudah menunjukkan pukul 17:09, ketika aku memasuki commercial zone. Tampak dua meja customer service dominan hijau diletakkan sejajar dengan exit gate. Sedangkan bangku bangku tunggu berselang-seling warna hitam merah melingkari setiap pilar-pilar utama bangunan terminal serta berjajar di beberapa sisi dinding yang kosong. Beberapa spot foto berada di pojok bangunan, sedangkan departure and arrival flight information LCD menguasai zona tengah sehingga mudah diakses oleh semua penumpang dan pengunjung bandara.

Konter customer service.

Area commercial zone sudah ditempati beberapa brand ternama seperti X-Side Eat, A&W, Kukomart, Bank BNI, Eaten Kopi Tiam dan brand lainnya.

Keluar dari commerzial zone building, aku disambut oleh koridor ganda yang dipisahkan oleh jalur kendaraan roda empat. Ini zona taksi dan drop and pickup zone. Koridor ini tampak rapi dengan tiang tiang bulat dan beratapkan spandek.Sementara di bawah naungan, disusunlah kursi tunggu di sepanjang koridor. Aku sendiri memilih moda transportasi taksi menuju pusat kota, mengingat ini adalah business trip yang semua biayanya ditanggung oleh kantor tempatku bekerja.

B. Departure

Tiga hari berselang, aku menyambangi kembali bandara ini untuk pulang ke ibukota. Taksi online menurunkanku di tempat yang sama ketika aku meninggalkan bandara saat tiba di hari pertama. Aku menginjakkan kaki di drop and pickup zone lalu bergegas mencari check-in area di dalam bangunan terminal.

Tiba di drop and pickup zone.

Memasuki commercial zone, aku terus melaluinya saja, banyak calon penumpang yang nampak bersantai di area ini, baik di area umum atau menyantap makanan di  beberapa coffee shop. Begitu keluar dari commercial zone aku memasuki area beratap transparan bertiang baja dengan dua layar check-in information LCD, sementara di sisi kanan tersaji geladak kayu dengan sejumlah pot palem diatasnya sedangkan bagian lainnya berupa kolam air yang merendam tiang-tiang pancang pondasi terminal sehingga memberikan kesan bahwa ini adalah terimal penumpang terapung….Keren sekali.

Taman dan kolam disisi kanan departure hall.

Di ujung taman dan kolam, aku memasuki sebuah gedung yang berfungsi sebagai check-in area. Seperti pada taman di luarnya, check-in area ini tampak tinggi dan luas. Jajaran konter check-in memanjang hingga bilangan tiga puluh di salah satu sisi hall. Sementara konter ‘Total Baggage Solution” berwarna oranye siap membantu setiap penumpang me-wrapping bagasinya untuk mengamankannya selama proses loading & unloading bagasi ke lambung pesawat.

Check-in area.

Aku bergegas menuju ke waiting room setelah mendapatkan boarding pass, melewati sebuah koridor sempit dengan sisi kiri jendela kaca menghadap taman dan sisi kanan tertutup oleh triplek proyek pengerjaan ruang fungsional. Di ujung koridor, tepat berhadapan dengan iPORT shop, aku dibelokkan ke kiri menuju commercial zone. Beberapa toko pakaian seperti POLO atau coffee shop macam Starbucks ada di area ini.

Commercal zone di departure hall.

Aku mulai memasuki waiting room, berkursi tunggu hijau, berkarpet pola abu-abu, dilengkapi dengan musholla, executive lounge, smoking area, toilet, charging area, LCD TV dan free internet counter. Di beberapa spot disediakan photospot.

Waiting room.
Salah satu spot foto di waiting room.

Dan akhirnya, sore itu aku meninggalkan Ahmad Yani International Airport melalui  gate 2A.  Itulah cerita singkat eksplorasiku mengenai bandara kebanggaan warga Semarang.

Silahkan berkunjung ke Kota Atlas dan nikmati keindahannya.

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Citilink QG 144 dari Jakarta (HLP) ke Semarang (SRG)

Rute penerbangan QG 144 (sumber: https://flightaware.com/).

Yeaaaa….Aku mendapatkan business trip akhir pekan. Seperti biasa, aku selalu mensiasati tugas kantor untuk tetap bisa menyalurkan hobby andalan….Yes, eksplorasi. Tugas pelatihan Jum’at dan Sabtu, akan kusambung dengan extend hingga Ahad dalam perjalanan gratisan ini.

SEMARANG….

Itulah kota tujuanku kali ini. Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport menjadi titik tolak dan Ahmad Yani International Airport menjadi titik mendaratku.

Bos : “Don, saya belum dapat orang untuk menghandle training di Semarang. Kamu bisa ga ya, kalau akhir pekan ini pergi ke Semarang?. Mendadak sih Don, sorry sebelumnya”.

Aku: “Hhmmhh (pura-pura mikir), boleh lah pak (sok jual mahal, padahal mau bingiiitttzzzz)

Bos: “Kamu berangkat Kamis sore, pulang Sabtu sore, nanti biar tiket diurus orang Marketing Support”.

Aku: “Siap, Pak”.

Setelah pembicaraan selesai, secepat kilat kutelpon staff Marketing Support yang dimaksud.  Aku minta kepulanganku di extend hingga Ahad sore. “Biar akomodasi hari Ahad aku yang tanggung, tapi tiket pulang tetap kantor yang bayar”, seruku padanya yang disusul dengan konfirmasi “OK, Pak Donny”.

Wah senangnya hatiku….Jalan-jalan lageeeeee.

Pagi itu, aku masih bekerja seperti biasa hingga tengah hari. Setelah menaruh beat pop hitam kesayangan di rumah, aku berangkat menuju Halim. Tak jauh, hanya 25 menit dari landmark tempat tinggalku, Terminal Bus Kampung Rambutan.

Aku tiba di bandara sangat mepet dengan boarding time, membuatku berfokus pada memotong panjangnya antrian di konter check-in. Entah mengapa, para calon penumpang yang mengantri di depanku selalu memanggil teman-temannya ketika sudah berada di depan konter, membuat jengkel karena banyak penumpang yang mengantri dibelakangku bisa otomatis menyodok antrian….Parah.

Aku mendapatkan tiket tepat sepuluh menit sebelum boarding time. Itulah….Aku tak lagi berfikir mendokumentasikan setiap sesi di Halim Perdanakusuma

Alhamdulillah, selamat dari keterlambatan.

Aku memasuki gate 6 dengan nafas cepat karena khawatir tertinggal penerbangan. Tak sempat mendinginkan keringat, panggilan penerbangan itu tiba. Tanpa sempat duduk, aku segera bersiap diri menuju Semarang sore itu.

Waiting room Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport.
Mengantri boarding di gate 6.

Citilink menjadi daftar maskapai ke-12 dari 28 maskapai yang pernah kunaiki. Bangga bisa menikmati penerbangan maskapai berwarna korporat hijau itu. Warna yang melambangkan tiga makna yaitu young-fun-dynamic. Inilah anak dari maskapai kenamaan Garuda Indonesia. Dan yang lebih membanggakan adalah terpilihnya Citilink dalam daftar The 20 Best Budget Airline for 2019 versi Skytrax.

Pemandangan keren, ya. Hanya perlu berjalan kaki dari gate 6 menuju ke pesawat.
Wooow….tepat di kaki pesawat.
Lihat ACnya, hingga berkabut begitu….Dingiiiiin.

Seharusnya aku duduk di bangku 23A, persis di window seat.

Seorang Ibu: “Mas, bangkunya tuker ya. Saya pusing kalau tidak dekat jendela”.

Aku: “ Oh silahkan Ibu, tidak apa-apa”, hmmmh perlahan kumasukkan Canon EOS M10 ku, tak ada gunanya kupegang, aku tak bakalan bisa meng-capture indahnya bumi dari bangku bernomor 23C.

Duduk di aisle seat.
Linkers….Inflight magazine milik Citilink.

Perjalanan menempuh jarak 400 km ini ditempuh dalam waktu 50 menit. Jadi ini adalah penerbangan singkat yang sangat tanggung untuk dibuat tidur. Lebih baik, aku menyusun itinerary dadakan dari beberapa referensi yang kudapat serta menyusun anggaran perjalanan.

Sore itu perjalanan sungguh berat karena sepanjang pantai utara Jawa penuh dengan awan yang membuat penerbangan penuh turbulensi. Kufikir semua penumpang terdiam karena memikirkan hal yang sama….Hahaha. Sementara seorang pramugara terus berpegangan pada bagasi kabin untuk menahannya terlempar karena turbulensi. Senang tapi menegangkan. Aku sendiri selalu berserah diri kepada Yang Maha Kuasa ketika melakukan penerbangan.

Begitu leganya, ketika suara lembut pramugari mengarahkan segenap penumpang untuk bersiap mendarat. Memasuki kota Semarang, cuaca berubah cerah dan pesawat mulai langsir dengan lembut dan akhirnya….Touchdown Semarang.

Oh itu, bentuk bangunan baru Ahmad Yani International Airport.
Terimakasih Citilink.

Pelatihan yang ditugaskan oleh kantor masih berlangsung esok hari dan rehearsel pelatihan sudah diwakilkan oleh rekanku yang datang dari kantor cabang Surabaya sejak pagi tadi. Dia memilih menggunakan kereta dari Surabaya menuju Semarang. Jadi, aku tak perlu terburu waktu menuju ke hotel setelah mendarat.

Seperti biasa, aku akan mengeksplore gerbang wisata Kota Semarang ini…..Yes, Ahmad Yani International Airport.

Kuy lah….

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Citilink QG 125 from Solo (SOC) to Jakarta (HLP): Back into Capital City’s Routines

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Citilink QG 125 flight path (Source: https://flightaware.com/).

It was already past one o’clock when I finished in paying for lunch menu, however, I was blown away by the taste of Nasi Gudeg Komplit and Durian Juice at Javenir restaurant where I stopped by. Lunch session finally ended my adventure in Solo

Two and a half hours before the flight….

Leaving the restaurant, I waited for an online taxi in front yard when Javenir was full of visitors, several cars were queuing up to entering parking area. Five minutes in waiting, I saw a black Toyota Avanza on a road side while turn its hazard lamps on, noticed the vehicle’s license plate, I waved at the driver who looked confused. Knowing my whereabouts, he turned high beam on as a sign he understood.

Airport, Sir!“, I sat next to him while confirming destination.

Ok, Sir….Oh, sorry, I was hesitant for taking Sir Donny. Usually, people who leave Javenir are carrying souvenirs. Sir Donny doesn’t seem to be carrying anything ”, he started to open a conversation.

Oh, I just went there to do a survey for my office’s event, Sir. There isn’t intention for buying souvenirs“.

No wonder. Where is Sir Donny going back? ”, he understood that I intended to leave Solo.

Jakarta, Sir“.

The conversation intently continued for next twenty minutes until taxi arrived at airport’s drop-off zone.

There wasn’t much time left….

After cashly paying taxi, I immediately rushed. Showing my e-ticket and ID card to aviation security, completing an initial screening process, I managed to enter departure hall. My gaze swept over the rows of check-in counters in search of an LCD with a Citilink QG 125 displaying in it. I found it in a corner of row and without hesitation I started queuing.

A few minutes later, I easily got my boarding pass. This time, I won’t enjoy the beauty of flight because I have to sit in column B seat…. Yups, that was the middle column. Leaving check-in counter, initially I smoothly went through second screening process. However, an aviation security officer asked me to take out all electronic devices in my backpack, put it on a tray which they had prepared. I myself am not worry, because I didn’t feel that I have done anything wrong and of course this was still in my own country. I just feel amazed by safety standard of domestic flights at Adi Soemarmo International Airport.

As expected, screening process went straightforward without any problems. I walked towards boarding gate to wait for the plane to arrived.

Half an hour from boarding time….

I took time to do Dzuhur and Asr Prayers in a time at prayer room and spent remaining time fot consolidating with Marketing Conference’s Head of Event Division in Jakarta. I conveyed some important notes regarding my survey results and added Javenir possibility for being a strong candidate for destination.

By sending report via email prior to check-out from Amaris Hotel Sriwedari this afternoon, it means that my survey trip and report were simultaneously completed….Wow, It was good, this free trip has done, the report was also finished….Yuhuuu.

To my surprise, coordination by telephone took so long untul boarding call had interrupted it. I ended the conversation and immediately headed for boarding gate. After checking my boarding pass and ID card, I rushed through aerobridge following other passengers who had previously entered the cabin.

That was Citilink QG 125 using Airbus A320.
To aerobridge.

Boarding was over a while after I sat on seat 21B. Aircraft began to move and cabin crew began to busy in demonstrating flight safety procedures. After being in a perfect position at the end of runaway, plane really took off and left the beauty of Solo City.

Not wanting to be busy reading Linkers, Citilink’s inflight magazine because I had read it during Jakarta-Solo flight a day before yesterday, I chose to sleep and wait until the plane arrived in Jakarta for about 50 minutes later.

The twin-jet Airbus flied 500 km with a cruising altitude of 26,000 feet and a speed of more than 800 km/h. Without turbulence, I fell asleep and felt comfortable in riding Citilink QG 125. For some reason, my heart feels safety when using Citilink’s services. Is it because a suggestion that Citilink is a subsidiary of Garuda Indonesia Airways, the best airline in this country?….Ah, I don’t know….

“Flight attendants, please prepare for landing!”….

The announcement from flight captain made me wake up and prepared for landing at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport.

Landing at the capital’s second airport is the most enjoyable thing, because we would go down using manual stairs and felt a sensation when under the giant feet of iron bird. It was rare to be able to get a special moment like that.

Smoothly landing @ Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport.

Welcome to Jakarta….

Time to get back into capital’s busy work routine with no end.

Alternative for flight tickets from Solo to Jakarta can be searched on 12Go or the following link: https://12go.asia/?z=3283832

Solo Paragon’s Latte: Adi Soemarmo International Airport’s DAMRI Bus

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Mr. Donny, it’s been a long time since we met. Before you go to hotel, please, stop by for a moment at Solo Paragon. We can talk and drink coffee together!”, Mr. Arman short message while I was still in waiting room at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, Jakarta.

Mr. Arman….He is the husband of my client, a Bangladeshi who became an Indonesian citizen several years ago.

Who are you with in Solo, Sir?“, I replied to his short message.

I am with my second son, sir. I am waiting for your arrival, ok? ”He asked with a little forcefully.

Okay, Sir Arman”.

On 17:30 hours, finally, Citilink QG 126 perfectly landed at Adi Soemarmo International Airport, Solo. In the end, I really canceled on going straight to Grand Amira Hotel by Azana in Pasar Kliwon area. I decided to fulfill Mr. Arman’s coffee drinking invitation.

DAMRI taxi and bus ticket sales counter.
A corridor leads to parking area and DAMRI bus shelter.
DAMRI bus was waiting for me.

Oh yes….

Several years ago, before actively writing on this blog, I had landed at the same airport. It’s just that, at that time I was picked up by a friend with his car to city center. But this time, I would try a public transportation mode to downtown.

I slowly noticed that in the east of airport terminal building, there was a construction project for airport train station which was still half finished. “Finally Solo will have an airport train too“, I muttered. Salute with the development of Batik City*1.

Dark quickly acquired time, I canceled airport exploration. I prefered to immediately look for a counter which sell DAMRI bus tickets. I found that counter in hallway of eastern arrival hall, next to taxi ticket counter.

Get ready for downtown.
Ticket.
See you later Adi Soemarmo International Airport.

That afternoon the counter was quiet, even I only had one queue with a old woman. Behind me, there weren’t passengers waiting in line anymore. Based on information from counter staff, DAMRI bus would stop at its final destination in Tirtonadi Terminal. Towards Solo Paragon in Mangkubumen area, I was advised to stop at Solo Square, a shopping center in Laweyan area. Paid Rp. 25,000, I got a ticket to downtown. “The bus is waiting at its shelter, Sir” she told me.

I quickly walked down a corridor to airport parking area. Seen at the end of corridor, waiting for me a medium sized blue bus. I saw that old woman who was queuing in front of me had entered through the middle door. While the driver seemed to be waving at me to hurry up because bus was about to leave. Even though its seats weren’t full, the bus prioritized punctuality to immediately head to city which is about 15 km away.

The driver checked my ticket before I entered. I sat in the middle seat and soon bus slowly left airport. Riding along Adi Sumarmo Street, continued on Adi Sucipto Street and entered Slamet Riyadi Street. Passing several famous buildings such as De Tjolomadoe, Javenir and Purwosari Station.

Within 20 minutes, the bus started to stop at Solo Square shopping mall and I got off at the edge of Slamet Riyadi Street which is the city’s protocol road. I thought it would be better to have dinner before drinking coffee with Mr. Arman. Finally I stopped at street food stall, I sat down in an “angkringan*2” and ate some “cat rice*3” and some egg satay, shells satay and crackers. Enjoying ginger drink in angkringan was something I haven’t done for a long time. This habit wasn’t a matter of cheap price, but rather about taste and how to spend the night in Batik City.

Angkringan and cat rice.
Arrived at di Solo Paragon Hotel & Residences.

Mr. Donny, have you landed?“, Mr. Arman sent another short message.

Yes sir, I am only 4 km from your place. I’ll be there soon, sir. Wait yes!”, I briefly replied.

I immediately paid for my menu and ordered an online motorcycle taxi to Solo Paragon Hotel & Residences. Within 10 minutes, I arrived and headed straight to lobby.

Entering the lobby, I could see Mr. Arman and Rishan (her 9 years old son) waiting at the door. I shook his hand and lightly hugged then we spent until midnight just talking, sharing and enjoying a cup of latte.

Thank you Mr Arman.

Thank you Solo.

Note:

*1. Batik City is the other name for Solo City or Surakarta City.

*2. Angkringan is a street food stall typical of solo city.

*3. Cat rice in Indonesia is known as Nasi Kucing. Namely, rice packets which is its size is a fist.

Next Story—->

Citilink QG 126 from Jakarta (HLP) to Solo (SOC)

Flight route Citilink QG 126 (source: https://flightaware.com/).

Becoming a committee chairman during college….It’s normal.

Then went on to become Committee Chairman for office events….Also it’s common.

Both of them were dizzy and tiring.

Well, this is different….

If you are told to be Committee Chairman at office,but its content program are traveling and culinary. Have you?…..Hahaha.

Yiiyyyy, this was my story….I experienced it….It was real and fun. This was my story when I agreed to become Chairman of the Marketing Conference Committee at my office. So….Let’s be happy, let’s having fun !.

As Head of Committee, I was obliged to conduct a field survey before actual event was held. I did it three months before the event was started. Now, I was going to do a survey with Deputy Chairman of Committee to destination city of the event….Solo.

On Sunday afternoon, with only a small backpack, around 1:30 p.m., I used an online taxi service to Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport to catch a “green airline“. My plane would fly on 16:00 hours, so I have enough time lag, about two hours before boarding.

That afternoon was the start of national long holiday, Sunday afternoon was my departure, Monday was still a working day but I was allowed to didn’t work at office and the day after tomorrow was a national holiday. In next three days, I would not waste time in doing survey for event purposes, as well as conducting city exploration.

Arriving at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport.
The boarding pass to Solo was ready.
Sweet Sit while reading “Linkers” inflight magazine.

My job was very easy this time. Not far from: room survey and food test at Swiss-Belinn Saripetojo Solo, survey of Jaladara tourist train, meeting with Artcoustic Band, survey some historical places, determining where to hunting the best souvenirs and of course, finding and tasting the best culinary in “Batik City“. to be designated as culinary tourism destinations….Wow, cool.

I couldn’t imagine how enjoyable this trip was, because I didn’t need to spend a penny, all costs would be paid by my office. But this time, my Deputy Chairman who was from Bandung, his name was Rahadian, was an aerophobic, so he insisted on choosing to use train from Bandung to Solo. So, the scenario was, I would arrive in Solo this afternoon, while Rahadian would follow me on next day to hotel.

I myself arrived at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport at two pass fifteen minutes in afternoon, taking time to get around to get to know the airport. I just checked-in half an hour later.

Walking on Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport’s apron had always been a memorable thing for me. I could proximity enjoy the plane which I was about to board right from its giant iron legs. Not infrequently, other large aircraft passed right next to plane tail so elegantly but still leave behind the noise which was generated by its two jet engines.

At exactly on 16:00 hours, I sat in window seat which numbered 18F. Moment of sitting in window seat, for me was a planned activity which I prepared before flying. So that seat I would definitely get. Beautiful scenery in the sky is the reason.

The afternoon flight went well, there wasn’t significant turbulence. Because the sky was so clear, two volcanic faces in Java land could be seen very clearly. While Alto Cumulus could be found along this flight route.

Beautiful mountain.
Cotton tub in the sky.
Is that Mount. Merapi?
Solo Touchdown.
Parking at apron which was owned by Adi Sumarmo International Airport.

The Airbus A320 twin jet was traveling at 305 mph over a distance of 371 miles in just 55 minutes. Quick flight which was beautiful.

On 17:12 hours, “The Green” wheel touched Adi Sumarmo International Airport run-off very smoothly.

Thank you Citilink. Time to explore Solo.

Alternatives to plane tickets from Jakarta to Solo can be found at 12Go or the following link: https://12go.asia/?z=3283832

Next Story—->

Citilink QG 145 from Semarang (SMG) to Jakarta (HLP)

Citilink QG 145 flight route. Source: https://flightaware.com/

Titan treated me to lunch before arriving at hotel. A portion of Pecel 1* rice near Public Senior High School 1 Semarang. Then he also supplied me with typical Semarang Presto 2* Milkfish to take back to Jakarta. Wow, he was my kind friend.

Before actually checking out, Titan, who was curious about how I chose cheap lodging, he came with me to dormitory room. He paid close attention to dormitory room and its sleeping capsules. “Great Donny, can you sleep in a capsule like this?“, he said with a smile. “When abroad, I did the same thing, Titan. That’s why I can travel at a low cost”, I replied in a whisper.

Toyota Calya in orange metallic color, picked me up at Sleep & Sleep Capsule. Simultaneously, I said goodbye to Titan to leave Semarang. Thank you Titan.

On 15:25 hours, I arrived at the airport. Without further ado and exploration, I hurried over to check-in counter. I was only forty-five minutes from boarding time. Less crowded counters allowed me to finish check-in process in fifteen minutes and finally my boarding pass was in my hand….Nice.

I continued to focus on heading to waiting room quickly. I was only thirty minutes away from flight. And exactly fifteen minutes before boarding, I reached waiting room and sat down with gasping. Not long, after enjoying the beauty of waiting room, A call from ground staff to got ready to fly echoed. Now, I was preparing at Gate 3A to enter aircraft cabin.

Ticket to Jakarta.
Citilink QG 145’s cabin interior. Sat on seat number 10A.

Now I was sitting on seat which matched with its number on boarding pass. I was getting ready to go to Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, which was 394 Km from Ahmad Yani International Airport. I would fly with Airbus A320’s flying casings with a maximum altitude of 26,000 feet, with a speed of 520 mph and a travel time of 53 minutes.

During boarding process, I continued to enjoy the beauty of Ahmad Yani International Airport’s new passenger terminal from plane window. Seen some planes were back and forth coming and going on left side of plane which I was riding. The sky was cloudy, a sign that I should be prepared for a little turbulence right after take-off.

The time when had been waiting arrived, the plane was already getting ready on runway and waiting for permission to spur its jet engine into air. I was just busy in reading Citilink’s inflight magazine, i.e Linkers. Plane slowly began to advance and showing overall shape of airport from end to end. Beautiful of Ahmad Yani International Airport.

Wings Air’s ATR aircraft.
Which destination was that Air Asia to ?.
Terminal building along with ATC of Ahmad Yani International Airport during take-off.

Before breaking through thick clouds above, this flight quickly showed the beauty of Semarang’s north coast. Combination of dark clouds with orange sunlight which penetrated between clouds, combined with blue sea with the creeping of ships around port….Hmmhh, a very authentic Semarang.

The vibrations began to be felt when plane wanted to stabilize its flying altitude. But after that, sky returned clean and revealed its beauty from a height. That afternoon, I didn’t want to close my eyes and mised that amazing sky show.

Semarang north coast….Wouww, awesome.
The sun version of sky and the sun version of sea …. Beautiful isn’t it ?.
Pilots were very adept in dodging clouds….Smooth flight.

Flight incredibly felt short. Citilink began to get down above capital sky. Land of Bekasi was very dense. Several city icons were clearly visible from above. Patriot Candrabhaga Stadium, which I visited during President Cup match between Bali United and Semen Padang FC, just for seeing Irfan Bachdim’s figure closer.

While another view was LRT line which was being built along Cikampek toll road, it looked very beautiful. That was the path which almost I have taken every day throughout my profession as a salesman in capital city.

Patriot Chandrabhaga Stadium was visible from a height.
LRT line which was currently under construction.

Citilink QG 145 landed at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport very smoothly. As usual, passengers would get off and walked at apron area to main terminal building. I rushed to conveyor belt to pick up luggage and then went home using an online motorcycle taxi.

Get off the plane in apron area.
Several visitors were waiting for Apron Free Shuttle Bus. I prefered to walk..

Many beautiful flights with Citilink. Thank you Citilink.

Alternatives for flight tickets from Semarang to Jakarta can be searched on 12Go or the following link: https://12go.asia/?z=3283832