KrisFlyer Singapore Airlines Star Alliance

KrisFlyer Elites won’t be happy with Singapore Airlines’ move to Jakarta T3 next week

Additional flights - tick. More new Business Class seats - tick. Brand new terminal - tick. Lounge access - not as you know it!

Jakarta T3 (GHD Woodhead)

The newest terminal at Jakarta’s main international airport, Terminal 3 at Soekarno–Hatta, has had its fair share of false starts. Commercial flights at the brand new terminal were originally supposed to commence in 2015. When they actually did in 2017, 2 years late, the terminal flooded within a week of opening due to issues with the drainage system.

Moves into T3 by a number of international carriers like Qantas and Japan Airlines were postponed, however gradually they are moving across and next week Singapore Airlines is one of them. Jakarta is by far the busiest route for the airline, and from 28th November 2018, all nine daily SIA flights at the airport will use the new terminal.

It’s not all good news though – KrisFlyer Elite Gold and Star Alliance Gold passengers flying in Economy aren’t likely to be very pleased about the new lounge arrangements.

Terminal 3

Aside from hosting the entire Garuda Indonesia and Citilink operation under one roof, Terminal 3 is already home to SIA’s own budget subsidiary Scoot, Singapore-based Jetstar Asia, KLM, Japan Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, AirAsia and Thai Airways flights among others.

T3 Checkin (Ministry of Tourism).jpg
(Photo: Ministry of Tourism)

Current Jakarta lounges

Despite flying nine departures daily at Jakarta with a combined capacity of 2,500 passengers, up to 476 of whom are flying First or Business Class, Singapore Airlines doesn’t have a SilverKris lounge at the airport.

Instead it relies on up to three third-party lounges in the current Terminal 2 to accommodate customers; the Esplanade Lounge for First & Business Class passengers and PPS Club members travelling in Economy, the Premier Lounge for KrisFlyer Elite Gold and Star Alliance Gold members, and finally when the Premier Lounge is full the Pura Indah Lounge accommodates ‘overflow’ Star Alliance Gold passengers.

Jakarta T2 Lounges (KN Aviation).jpg
Jakarta Terminal 2 lounges. (Photo: KN Aviation)

These are generally seen as ‘underwhelming’, and a poor substitute for a KrisFlyer lounge. The latter two are ‘pay per use’ lounges anyone can access for S$20-30, both are also on Priority Pass, and at the Pura Indah Lounge alcoholic beverages are limited to two per person!

New lounge arrangements

You might have thought the move to a brand new facility, Terminal 3, would have meant Singapore Airlines would invest in its own SilverKris lounge, particularly with this being its busiest outstation. Alas there are no such plans, and once the airline moves to Terminal 3 next week eligible passengers travelling in First and Business Class will instead be directed to the Plaza Premium Saphire Lounge.

Entrance (Banyuwangi).jpg
Entrance to the Saphire lounge. (Photo: Banyuwangi)

To be fair this does look like a big improvement over the current Terminal 2 lounge offerings.

Lounge 1 (Plaza Premium)
Plaza Premium Lounge Jakarta T3. (Photo: Plaza Premium)

The lounge features ‘productivity pods’, and window seats down one side with views over the runway.

Lounge 2 (Plaza Premium)
Plaza Premium Lounge Jakarta T3. (Photo: Plaza Premium)

There aren’t many reviews available online yet, but reports suggest the food options are decent, with a cook-to-order station and a tended bar.

Lounge 3 (Plaza Premium)
Plaza Premium Lounge Jakarta T3. (Photo: Plaza Premium)

The entrance to the lounge is near gate 5 on level 2, one floor down from the departures immigration hall.

Lounge Map (Plaza Premium)
(Image: Plaza Premium)

Full details of the lounge can be found on the Plaza Premium website here.

Elite Golds and Star Alliance Golds

While this lounge looks like a nice improvement for eligible Singapore Airlines customers at Jakarta, access will only be available to those flying in First or Business Class and PPS Club members travelling in Economy.

That probably leaves you wondering which lounge KrisFlyer Elite Gold and Star Alliance Gold passengers travelling in Economy will be entitled to use.

Well here’s the bad news – there isn’t one.

A Singapore Airlines spokesperson confirmed with Mainly Miles this morning that instead these passengers will be issued vouchers to use at the following restaurants in Terminal 3:

  • Delice Maison
  • D’Journal
  • Two Tigers
  • Costa Coffee
  • Burger King
  • Colette & Lola
  • The Kitchen by Pizza Hut

Interestingly, First / Business Class and PPS Club members can also choose to forgo lounge access and take the vouchers instead, suggesting the airline may be incurring a cost per visit at the Plaza Premium lounge, rather than a fixed price contract arrangement.

Edit: Singapore Airlines confirmed to Mainly Miles that the voucher value for KrisFlyer Elite Gold and Star Alliance Gold passengers flying in Economy Class is 150,000 IDR (around S$14), and that the arrangement is temporary owing to space constraints in the current lounge.

More flights and the latest cabins

Jakarta is already Singapore Airlines’ busiest route, with a 4% increase in capacity already this year from five additional Airbus A350 flights per week, plus the recent announcement that an A350 Regional will replace an A330 on one of the flights from next month.

This aircraft will introduce the 2018 Regional Business Class seat on the route, with 10 more seats in that cabin than the A330 accommodates, plus 8 extra seats in Economy.

Seat 11A
SIA’s latest Regional Business Class will be flying daily to Jakarta from mid-December 2018 on the A350 Regional. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

That means from 18th December three of the nine daily Singapore Airlines Jakarta flights will boast either the long-haul 2013 J seat or regional 2018 RJ seat in Business Class.

These are the Business Class cabin types offered on the Singapore – Jakarta route, from 18th December 2018.

Key to seat types
2009 J Window Pair J.jpg
2013 J SQ 77W J (MM)
2018 RJ Seat 11A

Singapore to Jakarta

Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ950 SIN0650 – CGK0735 773 Daily
SQ952 SIN0740 – CGK0825 773 Daily
SQ956 SIN0930 – CGK1015 359 Daily
SQ958 SIN1230 – CGK1315 773 Daily
SQ960 SIN1520 – CGK1605 773 Daily
SQ962 SIN1610 – CGK1655 359 Daily
SQ964 SIN1720 – CGK1805 359 Daily
SQ966 SIN1840 – CGK1925 773 Daily
SQ968 SIN2240 – CGK2325 772 Daily

Jakarta to Singapore

Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ951 CGK0525 – SIN0810 772 Daily
SQ953 CGK0825 – SIN1110 773 Daily
SQ955 CGK0920 – SIN1215 773 Daily
SQ957 CGK1115 – SIN1400 359 Daily
SQ959 CGK1410 – SIN1655 773 Daily
SQ961 CGK1700 – SIN1945 773 Daily
SQ963 CGK1800 – SIN2100 359 Daily
SQ965 CGK1900 – SIN2155 359 Daily
SQ967 CGK2020 – SIN2305 773 Daily

The 777-300 aircraft operating on this route are also fitted with 8 of the 2006 First Class seats.

In total, SIA will fly over 1.8 million seats between Singapore and Jakarta (both directions) during 2019.

Summary

Gradually all international flights are switching to Jakarta’s new Terminal 3, with Terminals 1 and 2 dedicated to domestic-only operations. The move for Singapore Airlines next week is a little later than planned, however that’s been the case for most airlines due to teething troubles.

On the lounge side, KrisFlyer Elite Gold and Star Alliance Gold members flying on Singapore Airlines from Jakarta in Economy are likely to be disappointed, to say the least, that they will be shunned lounge access at the airport from next week.

Many will have (and will use) a Priority Pass to gain access to the very same lounge First and Business Class passengers are enjoying, but that’s not really the point of elite status.

Edit: Thanks to Aaron at Miletitude for pointing out we got the wrong lounge here – there is another Saphire lounge at Jakarta T3 international (which is not the Saphire Plaza Premium lounge Singapore Airlines will use) on Priority Pass. The Plaza Premium lounge is only accessible for SQ F/J/PPS passengers, Amex Centurion/Platinum Charge card holders, or alternatively allows paid access. Sorry for any confusion.

It’s surprising to us that Singapore Airlines did not open a SilverKris lounge in Jakarta Terminal 3, especially since they have such facilities at smaller outstations including Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Manila.

Given that no airline other than Garuda has ever managed to set up a lounge of its own at the airport, we imagine this is a local restriction Singapore Airlines simply cannot overcome.

(Cover Image: GHD Woodhead)

10 comments

  1. Is this confirmed? I would thought that:
    First, Business & PPS will get Garuda Lounge, whereas EG will get Plaza Premium.

    This is the case for NH and JL who recently moved to T3.

    1. I guess NH and JL got this “preferential treatment” because they have code-share arrangements with GA for their Japan bound flight. That’s the reality with competition and cooperation.

  2. That’s slightly disappointing for KFEG and Star Alliance Gold members. But I guess that’s the reality with airport authority in Indonesia which does not allow foreign airlines to operate its own lounge. In T2, SQ had ‘circumvented’ this situation by engaging the ground agent CAS (previously JAS) to operate the Esplanade lounge exclusively for SQ business, first class and PPS passengers but I guess SQ and CAS hadn’t much luck replicating this model in the new terminal till now.

    On that note, I wonder if SQ has a dedicated gate in T3 like they do now with gate D1 in T2.

    1. Not likely. There are only 10 gates for international flights at T3 compared with 14 at T2 and the LCCs have already taken gates 1-4. They’re adding more gates but it still won’t be enough for a “dedicated” one for SQ.

      In any case, D1 at T2 is not exclusive to SQ. Other airlines have docked there before. I’ve also boarded SQ flights at D7 or D3, etc. Once, I cleared security screening at the D pier and couldn’t find my flight number on any of the gates and realised the flight was supposed to be at the E gates. So much for security checks.

  3. Hi! Just take note that Jakarta (T3) has the Saphire Lounge, Saphire APS Blue Sky Lounge (Domestic), and Saphire Lounge/Plaza Premium Lounge. The former two may be accessed with Priority Pass, but not the third one, which is accessible by First/Business/PPS passengers on SQ. Instead, non-eligible passengers can gain access to this lounge with the Amex Centurion/Platinum Charge card.

    1. Thanks Aaron! I was confusing the Saphire lounge in T3 International on my Priority Pass app with the Saphire Plaza Premium Lounge in the same terminal. Didn’t realise there were two (or three if you count domestic).

      So the only way to access the Saphire Plaza Premium (which SQ will use) is with Amex Centurion/Platinum Charge or paid access. Will update the article!

      1. I was consulting the LoungeBuddy apps and figured out that the Saphire Plaza Premium Lounge is accessible with DragonPass membership. I double check on DragonPass apps, which indeed show Plaza Premium Lounge in T3 near gate 5 as one of the accessible lounge using DragonPass.

  4. I also wonder if AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend’s SATS and Plaza Premium Lounge vouchers can be used for access to Plaza Premium Saphire lounge in CGK?

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