Flight Review – Indonesia AirAsia QZ141: Padang (Minangkabau International Airport) to Singapore (Changi Airport Terminal 4) by Airbus A320-200

Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ141 has been terminated.
There are no more non-stop flights between Singapore and Padang.

Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ141 is a new flight from Padang to Singapore, launched on 9 February 2018, departing once daily. Despite being a morning flight, I opted to fly back to Singapore on this route as it is the only non-stop flight, and with my ticket for the initial QZ140 flight from Singapore to Padang, it was cheaper to do so than to fly via KL or Batam.

Unfortunately, just like QZ140, this was also to be my last flight on board QZ141 as the flight has been terminated effective 17 May 2018. QZ141 flew for the last time on 16 May 2018.

As the departure time of QZ141 did not meet well with the Minangkabau Express schedule, I got to Minangkabau International Airport by Grab.

The terminal building of Minangkabau International Airport.

The departure area of Minangkabau International Airport was pretty simple, just a doorway to the check-in area already. As with almost all Indonesian airports, the check-in area is only for passengers.

I printed out my boarding pass at home prior to the trip, so I showed this to the guard to get in.

Not much frills around here, just a straight, 10 steps walk from the driveway to the departure check-in door, unlike the Palembang’s Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport which is of a similar size and layout but has a little bit more amenities such as a Mosque, restaurants and a Viewing Gallery.

Note: There were a couple of restaurants and snack stalls in Minangkabau International Airport too, but they were not fully open in the morning.

Once past the door, there was a round of security checks before the check-in row.

The AirAsia counters in Minangkabau International Airport were all for baggage drop only, with the kiosk on the left being out of service. Luckily, I had already printed out my boarding pass so I need not join in the queue to reprint my boarding pass at the baggage drop counter.

With no check-in baggage, I headed straight to get to the departure hall.

The departure hall is one level up from here.

Hmm, another security check? That’s 2 in less than 3 minutes. But there wasn’t much of a crowd, so it wasn’t a big deal.

Lounges are one level up after the security check.

However, since I’m not flying Business Class on premium airlines, my target was just the International Waiting Lounge. This current area is the Domestic Waiting Lounge.

To enter the International Waiting Lounge, I needed to pass through another round of security checks. Seriously Padang? 3 separate checks in a span of 5 minutes?

The third and final security check here was the most strict, with empty water bottles also ordered to be thrown away. When I stated that I would like to refill it past security, the staff mentioned that there were no water points available after security. Wow.

Following this third and final security check, it was off to the immigration counter to get stamped out of Indonesia and thereafter to the AirAsia counter to get my boarding pass checked.

The rather crowded International Waiting Lounge. Hmm.

Ah, seems like there is a flight to KL departing first. That explains the crowd.

(Also, BIM, you might want to install your Firefox update.)

Passengers boarding the AirAsia AK402 flight to KL.

And here comes my Indonesia AirAsia plane to take me back to Singapore, which just touched down as QZ140.

Making a u-turn after slowing down on the runway.

PK-AXS in the Indonesia AirAsia Wow Livery taxiing to the gate.

The plane parked at Gate 3 as Gate 2 was still in use by AK402.

The almost-emptied-out International Waiting Lounge.

Since it was a relatively empty flight, I decided to board last to get myself an empty row to myself for the flight.

Boarding last for my Indonesia AirAsia QZ141 flight.

PK-AXS, parked at Gate 3 for my first and last Indonesia AirAsia QZ141 flight to Singapore.

Gate 3 is back in the domestic departures area, so it’s a walk through the glass door separating the two areas.

Back in the domestic departures area.

Boarding the plane through the aerobridge.

Goodbye Padang.

As I was walking to my seat, I saw that it was already taken by another passenger who decided to sprawl herself out (presumably from her B middle seat). No big deal, I just walked myself to a nearby empty row to get 3 seats to myself.

The legroom I’m supposed to have for this flight.

The legroom I encroached into on this flight.

The crowd on board Indonesia AirAsia QZ141. Feels a lot more crowded than my initial QZ140 flight yesterday though. Heard from the ground agent that there were 60 people checked in for the flight.

The Indonesia AirAsia QZ141 cabin crew greeting everyone before commencing with the safety demonstration.

The new Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 which just landed at Padang.

A really far pushback for my plane.

The front view of the Boeing 737 MAX 8, featuring the new split-tip winglets.

The new split-tip winglets are the most definitive feature of the Boeing 737 MAX family.

The pushback went so far that the safety demonstration was done by the time the plane came to a stop.

Taxiing to the runway.

The runway is pretty far out from the terminal building.

Making a u-turn at the turnaround area at the end of the runway.

Ready for takeoff. Goodbye Padang, my first and last time flying non-stop to Singapore from here.

Taking off from Padang in the northerly direction.

The plane took the right turn towards Singapore by a ~270-degree left turn.

Minangkabau International Airport as seen from above.

The breathtaking views of Padang from above.

Looking down at Lubuk Alung, with the railway junction and line to Pariaman and Kayu Tanam quite visible.

Cruising over the mountains.

Shortly after, the crew started the meal service. However, this time, passengers with pre-booked meals were not served first, but rather, the meal service was by rows from the front whether the passenger has pre-booked the meal or not, just like a full-service carrier. Not to my liking with my almost 20-minute wait, but I didn’t starve, so I guess it’s not too big a deal.

My pre-booked Nasi Kuning Manado for lunch.

The yellow rice cooked with coconut milk and turmeric is served with smoked cakalang (skip-jack tuna), balado egg, fried sweet potato, potato soya with beef and chili sambal. Tasted pretty good for S$4.

I added on a Kolak Pisang or Banana Kolak for dessert (Rp. 20,000), purchased from the in-flight sales trolley. It doesn’t look that appetizing from this picture, but it has all the ingredients inside as advertised on the picture in the menu such as real bananas and sweet potatoes. Pretty worth it for a hot in-flight dessert at less than S$2.

I also purchased an AirAsia Seatbelt Keychain and an AirAsia Airport Vehicles Keychain Set from the in-flight sales Rp. 50,000 promotion.

Approaching Singapore above Batam.

Not the clearest of skies today, and the scratches on the window isn’t helping my photos.

Flying over Batu Ampar.

Turning left over Nongsapura.

Approaching Singapore Changi Airport from Malaysia.

Crossing the border of Malaysia and Singapore.

Flying past Pulau Tekong.

Touched down in Singapore 30 minutes early.

Crossing over to Terminal 4 in wet weather.

The newcomer to Singapore, Cambodia JC International Airlines.

Turning in to Gate G12.

However, the plane stopped short of the gate for a good 12 minutes. Not sure what happened there, but the engines throttled up again a few minutes after, and stopped, and then it was shut down before I felt what was like a pushback tug pulling the plane into the gate.

Another newcomer to Singapore, Lanmei Airlines, being blocked by my plane for a good 12 minutes as well.

Disembarking from my first and last QZ141 flight.

PK-AXS at Changi Airport Terminal 4.

From Gate 12, it’s just a short walk to the Arrival Hall.

Heading down to immigration.

With no bags to collect, I headed straight out.

From Terminal 4, I got on a bus to the Downtown Line instead of heading back to Terminal 2 to get on the MRT.

Overall, Indonesia AirAsia QZ141 was a simple and fuss-free flight, with an early arrival to boot (but the 12-minute hold up at the gate wasn’t really very pleasant). It was a rather comfortable flight too – great for me, the passenger, but probably not good at all for Indonesia AirAsia’s revenue. Hopefully, if Padang becomes more developed, Indonesia AirAsia will reconsider reinstating the non-stop Singapore – Padang flight.

Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ141 has been terminated.
There are no more non-stop flights between Singapore and Padang.

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