We tend to associate our layovers with misery. Uncomfortable sleep, stale food and long hours—it’s no wonder that the mood in airports can be rather glum. While we can’t change the duration of your layover, your experience can feel far smoother if you know what airport facilities to look out for.

Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport has three terminals. You will likely land at Terminal 3, which serves all international flights. Terminals 1 and 2 handle domestic flights—while Terminal 1 houses sub-terminals A, B and C, Terminal 2 has sub-terminals D, E, and F. Buses and a Skytrain connect the three terminals free of charge.

Here’s what you can do at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to pass the time productively.

Sneak in a little snooze 🛌

There’s no other way to put it: sleep is critical to one’s well-being. And for uninterrupted sleep, this airport has a few hotels you can check in to.

In Terminal 3, the Digital Airport Hotel offers 120 futuristic capsules. Prices begin from US$23 for 6 hours. The capsules include cable TV, headphones, and a shared shower room to freshen up.

Don’t wish to shell out a sum for your sleep? Look out for rest areas instead. Here’s where to find them: in T1 (A and B), in T2 (D, E, and F), and in T3 (Near Gate 6 or 14 at the Boarding Lounge). Look out for a section named ‘Rest Area’ to find comfortable reclining chairs.

The airport is also implementing sleeping pods in Terminal 3. In May this year, the sleeping pods were on display throughout the airport, and the staff conducted surveys to gauge interest in them. It is not known when the pods will be ready for public use, though—we can only hope they are launched by your next visit.

Catch up on work 👩🏻‍💻

Vexed about your bursting inbox or lengthy to-do list? Layovers can be a treasure trove of free time for you to get work done, given a conducive environment.

For free Wi-Fi, connect to the ‘freewifi.cgk’ network. Designated co-working zones are also free for use in Terminal 2 and 3. Look out for long tables with neatly arranged chairs, which are available 24 hours and have charging points.

Do note that there are limited seats, so if the area is packed, check out the other co-working zones: Terminal 3 has two zones near boarding lounges Gate 8 and Gate 13, while Terminal 2’s co-working space is found at Central Corridor Departure 2D.

If you have the budget, executive lounges are still the most ideal places to get proper work done, and they can be found at every terminal.

First and business class flyers have free access to various lounges in the airport. For economy travellers, lounges are available on a pay-per-use basis. Sapphire Blue Sky Lounge (T3) provides sofa seating, recharging stations, shower facilities, and beverages. It is open 24/7, and rates are from USD$36 for three hours of access to the lounge.

Satiate your hunger 🍔

Before you make a beeline to the convenience store to pick up a sandwich, give Food Cetera a shot. Food Cetera is a 24-hour food court offering Indonesian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Western cuisine at affordable prices. It is located between Terminal 1B and 1C.

For fast food outlets, you can choose from A&W (T1, 2, and 3), KFC (T1, 2, and 3), Burger King (T2), Pizza Hut (T2), or Yoshinoya (T3). Most of these shops close before midnight. If you wish to try local cuisines, take your pick from the airport’s many Indonesian restaurants. Bakmi GM (T1, 2, and 3) serves up no-frills noodles, while Baso Indo (T2) specialises in meatball soup.

Craving something sweet? Grab a donut or cream puff to boost your mood at Beard Papa (T2) or Dunkin Donuts (T1). For caffeine lovers, you can get your cuppa at Starbucks (T2 and 3) or Costa Coffee (T3). If you are willing to try something new, Old Town White Coffee (T2) is famed for its authentic Ipoh white coffee.

Pamper yourself with a massage 💆🏼‍♀️

Go for a soothing massage to make your layover slightly more endurable. As an added bonus, you might also manage to catch some Zs while you’re at it!

Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa (T2) has a good range of spa services. This ranges from massages, facials, aromatherapy hand or foot spa to traditional Javanese beauty treatments.

The airport also houses other spas in Terminal 1 such as TAO Reflexology, KRISAN, and Teratai Reflexy. At Terminal 2, you can go for Batik Spa.

Satisfy your urge to shop 🛍

Shopping in Soekarno-Hatta International airport may leave you disappointed, as its retail options are quite limited. For duty-free stores, the airport has Lotte Duty Free, DFS, and Plaza Bali.

You can also pick up Indonesian handicrafts such as batik clothing and wood carvings. They are perfect for a last-minute souvenir. Various batik stores are located in Terminal 1C.

For a good read, bookworms can visit Massilia Bookstore (T2) or Periplus (T1/2/3). If electronics are next on your last-minute shopping list, get them at Indotech Shop (T3).

Stay refreshed with a shower 🚿

One of the best facilities of this airport has to be its complimentary showers. After a long travel journey, you may not be feeling the freshest. Shower facilities are located in Terminal 3, near gate 11. Be sure to have your own toiletries and towels, as they are not provided here.

Keep yourself entertained 🎮

Entertainment facilities, however, are not this airport’s strongest suit. It makes up for this by having an 18-hole golf course nearby. Located next to the airport, the Cengkareng Golf Club is a 15-minute drive away. Take note that this is a walking-only golf course. Green fees for non-members start from USD$47 on weekdays and US$104 on weekends.

Back at the airport, you can spend your layover watching movies at the Airport Digital Cinema (T3). The cinema is equipped with a large screen and 13 executive chairs. For more privacy, viewers can opt for the private theatre, to enjoy TV and video on demand. Gaming enthusiasts can head to the game station, also found at the cinema.


An airport climbing the ranks

Soekarno-Hatta International Airport has continued to improve over the years. In 2016, it was ranked 63rd out of 550 airports around the world. Today, the airport holds the 40th rank.

With the airport awarded as the Top 10 Best Airport Staff in Asia 2019, you can fret less about your layover at Jakarta. Being the world’s 18th busiest airport, it handled passenger traffic reaching 66.9 million passengers in 2018. To handle increasing traffic, a fourth terminal is expected to be in operation by 2022.

As an airport that seems to be growing from strength to strength, you can certainly look forward to a quality experience the next time you land in Jakarta.

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