Flight Review – Scoot TR251: Palembang to Singapore by Airbus A320-200

After a short stay in Palembang solely for a train ride, it was time to head back. Scoot’s TR251 departs from Palembang at 3.50pm, arriving into Singapore at 6.15pm – a similar timing as the previous MI167 operated by SilkAir. Felt like just yesterday that I arrived in Palembang.

Oh wait.

After getting off from the Trans Musi Corridor 5 bus, I headed to the Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport terminal building to figure out how to while away my 3-hour waiting time for my flight. (I made a mistake of checking out of my hotel too early.)

Oh, a Waving Gallery. Let’s go wave at things.

Oh what’s this?

Free showers are available at Palembang’s Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport for passengers. This shower room is located in the public area (landside) of the terminal one floor up of the central concourse for guys, so feel free to bring along an extra set of clothes and a towel in case you want to use it. These are basic cold water showers, but after sweating out in the sun a little at Ampera before heading to the airport, this came as a surprise and definitely freshened me up for my flight.

For ladies, the free showers will be located on the ground floor behind the curved staircase.

After my shower, I headed on to the Waving Gallery to wave at some airplanes.

An entry fee of Rp.3,300 (S$0.31) is charged to enter the Waving Gallery, inclusive of the 10% PPN (GST/VAT). You’ll get an official-looking ticket upon payment of the entry fee at the counter.

The Waving Gallery is a little bit small, but offers the full view of the apron. Lots of seats are available too, so this might be a good place to rest if you have a long wait for your flight.

There is another longer portion of viewing panels, but this seems to be for a future expansion of the transit area (airside).

The Waving Gallery is naturally-ventilated towards the front portion, which allows you to hear the planes clearly as they take-off or land. This also means that it does get hot by the windows when the sun is up.

Unfortunately though, the windows are tinted pretty blue, so it wasn’t the most pleasant experience for planespotting in general.

Some shots of the planes at Palembang:

Lion Air’s 50th Boeing 737-900ER

Batik Air’s Airbus A320

Lion Air’s Boeing 737-900ER in Boeing Livery

Wings Air’s ATR 72-600

Nam Air’s Boeing B737-500

Garuda Indonesia Explore Jet’s Bombardier CRJ-1000

Once done with waving, I headed on to check-in for my flight back to Singapore. (Scoot only offers their web check-in service only for flights departing out of Singapore – nowhere else.)

The Drop Zone (sounds fun) for those arriving by car, however, this is currently converted to a walkway as most of the actual walkway is closed to facilitate the construction of the linkway to the Skybridge linking to the Bandara SMB II LRT Station on the Palembang LRT.

The future Skybridge linking to the Bandara SMB II LRT Station on the Palembang LRT.

The guide for the Drop Zone in relation to which airline is serving the area, which is kind of pointless since there’s only one entrance and the board basically shows all the airlines operating out of Palembang.

Note that the board still shows SilkAir even though the flight has been replaced by Scoot.

The entrance to the check-in area. Similar to other Indonesian airports, access to the check-in area onwards are only for actual passengers. An itinerary check is done by a security officer before the entrance.

A security scan of all bags are done before entering the check-in area.

The check-in area is made up of one very long row of desks against the wall. Just walk along the whole row till you see your airline or flight number.

Hmm, looks like everything’s getting delayed here.

Scoot operates from Counters 31 – 33, the very last 3 counters of the check-in row.

The queue took about 20 minutes, and mine was done in less than a minute as I wasn’t travelling with any check-in bags.

Once done, head upstairs to the transit area.

My receipt-like boarding pass for the flight back to Singapore.

Once up, this was the entire transit area of Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport. Glad I didn’t check-in too early.

I headed straight for the International Waiting Room.

Departure immigration and a last security screening was done at the entrance of the International Waiting Room.

Once passed immigration and security, it is what it is – a waiting room. So in case you need some last minute snacks or retail therapy, do not clear immigration and security first.

Thankfully, my flight isn’t delayed, and boarding commenced about 40 minutes prior to departure time.

The gate number at the exit of the waiting room does not correspond to the actual gate number of where the plane actually is. While boarding passes were checked at Gate 5 of the International Waiting Room, passengers have to walk over to Boarding Bridge E or Gate 2.

9V-TAQ “Shiok Lah!” in the new Scoot colour scheme, ready to take me back to Singapore. This is the same plane which I flew with to Hat Yai last month.

Walking down the aerobridge.

My assigned 28F seat by the window.

Seems empty for now. Unfortunately, I would be having a neighbour later on on the aisle seat, so it isn’t going to be an empty flight like yesterday.

The rainy weather outside the plane.

The almost-full flight back to Singapore.

No long taxis or u-turns this time, just straight to the runway and we’re off.

Bye Palembang.

Hope the taxiway gets completed soon.

Making a right turn towards Singapore.

Exiting Sumatra near the mouth of the Musi River, with the view of Pulau Bangka.

Rather uneventful once at cruising altitude, since I wasn’t in the mood to spend $17 on a pre-booked meal on this short 1-hour flight.

Flying over Batam on approach to Singapore.

Landing on Runway 02L.

A KLM Boeing 777-300ER operating as KL835 departing Singapore on the adjacent Runway 02C towards Denpasar (Bali).

(Take me back with you so I can do the return journey from Bali to Jakarta please.)

Landed at Changi Airport view a view of Terminal 3. That also means it’s going to be a long taxi back to Terminal 2.

Crossing over on the South Cross taxiways above Airport Boulevard to get to Terminal 2.

The polar opposites of the luxury of Cathay Pacific’s Economy Class on the Airbus A350 versus the world’s densest Airbus A330 with Cebu Pacific‘s whopping 436 budget airline seats onboard.

A Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 operating as CX716 preparing for departure at Terminal 4 to Hong Kong.

(I wanna go back to Hong Kong too.)

Arriving in Scoot’s territory at Terminal 2.

A look at the exit row legroom of Scoot’s Airbus A320. Is it worth the extra S$27 to get this seat for an hour? I’m not sure.

Bye Scoot.

Quite a far walk to the Arrival Hall from Gate F57.

There was quite a bit of crowd at arrival immigration, probably since it’s a Sunday evening, but I was out after about 5 minutes of queuing at the automated lane.

Overall, Scoot was sufficient for a short no-frills 1-hour flight from Palembang to Singapore with good flight timings allowing for a simple 2-day weekend trip. The on-time departure from Palembang was great too, considering the long delay streak for all other flights departing that day. I wouldn’t say I’d definitely recommend it for this flight route since it’s an oligopoly with Jetstar (4 times weekly on Scoot versus 3 times weekly on Jetstar), meaning you have to fly one of them whether you like it or not if you’re travelling on this route, but there’s only so much frills you may need for an hour on board an enclosed tube in the skies, and cheap fares with no frills was what I needed.

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