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A Wings Air flight in the early morning YOGYAKARTA - I had to get quite early this time, around four o'clock in the morning. That time is better known here as subuh, about the time at which the first prayer of the day for Muslims is held. However the alarm from my cell phone - no need for a buzzer or watch - was set at exactly four o'clock, I woke up just a few minutes earlier. In the background I could already hear some mosques uttering their first call for prayer at this early time. However that is no reason for me to get up this early, catching a plane is.

At exactly six in the morning Wings Air flight IW8560 with as destination Juanda, the airport of Surabaya, was scheduled to leave. However the flight itself doesn't take much longer than forty-five minutes, the entire ritual before departure always takes much more time. On top of this the fact that I don't like to be last in the queue or to board the plane as the last passenger. Leaving home a little early is the proper solution for this, but first an early breakfast and some a few minutes of internet to check on the latest news.

The early morning with low clouds and fog over the first hills of Gunung Kidul, southeast of Yogyakarta.  indahnesia.com
The early morning with low clouds and fog over the first hills of Gunung Kidul, southeast of Yogyakarta. indahnesia.com

Since the airport of Yogyakarta opens at six in the morning, it is always a crowd of planes at the apron that is prepared for departure around that time in the morning. There are flights with Garuda Indonesia, Batavia Air, Merpati, Mandala and Wings Air which are all departing pretty soon after the airport opens up in the morning for several different destinations in Indonesia. Those waiting planes spent the night here after their last flight to Yogyakarta the evening before and are ready on time for loading passengers. That is nice for a change, since most flights do not leave in time in this country according to the experience of most passengers.

Upon arrival at the airport, the sun had just barely managed to scare away the remaining minutes of the night and the earliest of daylight pierced through the sky. Even at this time it was busy at the airport. The logical explanation is that at least five planes were to leave within a short period of time. Most were at ease, waiting on the benches outside until check in time had come, smoking a clove-cigarette. Others were making a telephone call with their loved ones or boss for a short summary for the day.

One of the planes that has spend the night at the airport of Yogyakarta is this Mandala plane. It is being prepared for departure here.  indahnesia.com
One of the planes that has spend the night at the airport of Yogyakarta is this Mandala plane. It is being prepared for departure here. indahnesia.com

Because it was just after five o'clock, I checked in directly. At the entrance there were enough people wearing uniforms that looked important, but none of them even did any effort to ask for my ticket. In front of the check-in counter there was a queue of just three people and still someone managed to sneak in front of us. It was early, otherwise he would have heard something from me, the bastard he was. Within five minutes I had my boarding pass in my hand and I also took care of paying the 25.000 Rupiah airport tax, which is paid at a different booth at this airport.

The waiting room was pretty much filled up with waiting passengers as well. On the apron, five planes were waiting in line for their passengers, and of course time, because the airport is only open for civil aviation from six o'clock in the morning. That is actually a good thing because planes often make a large turn over the city of Yogyakarta before landing on the somewhat bumpy runway, which would pretty much wake up big parts of the city if they did that in the middle of the night since the airport is bordering directly to the city.

At exactly the time of departure stated in the ticket, the old Wings Air - a kind of trash bin for planes from Lion Air - plane took off in the direction of Surabaya. However it is just a short distance, some forty-five minutes, it is something to enjoy that it is possible to use an airplane for traveling that distance. Overland sounds nice, and will be nice for those who do it for the first time, however it will be costly related to the time you will be spending. Flying is not a bad option after all.

Prices
The ticket with Wings Air was 319.000 inclusive of almost all fees, only an additional 25.000 Rupiah in airport tax has to be paid at the airport from Yogyakarta.

External links
Garuda Indonesia
Batavia Air
Merpati
Mandala
Wings Air / Lion Air



Posted in Travel @ 14 December 2008 by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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