So I have been through some fairly sketchy places in my life- Abuja, Lagos, and Managua seem to stand out. For some reason, I was expecting pretty much the same thing when I went through the domestic terminal in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia (DPS) recently. I was happily quite mistaken– it is an excellent modern terminal with everything I could want while preparing for a flight.
I went through this terminal twice, although once was very brief on an arriving flight. Just then, I was quite anxious to get to the beach as quickly as possible. Even on the arrival, however, several things stood out- the exchange rate at the money changers was fair, the terminal was clean, and signs were quite clearly marked in English. I had no problem figuring out where to go or what to do after arriving on a domestic flight from Jakarta. However, it was on my return flight to Jakarta that this airport truly shined. On arrival, you must present proof of having a flight then have your baggage and person screened. You then check in. I was flying Garuda Indonesia in business class and went to the business class check-in counter before I noticed this private check-in counter for premium cabin customers:
There was another security area after that, and then you had to walk through shops before reaching the gates. Most of the shops were high-end souvenir places, although at various places in the terminal they also had routine travel stores, a refloxology massage place, and other services.
The particular highlight for me, however, was the Garuda Indonesia business class lounge. Unlike U.S. airlines, purchasing a premium class domestic ticket entitles you to lounge entry. The lounge is two stories, spacious, and has plenty of seating. There was a small buffet on each of the floors featuring both hot and cold Indonesian dishes. Soft drinks were free, and I did not ask whether alcohol was available. They also had two massage chairs upstairs.
This was a great terminal for a domestic flight. The only real bad news is that it meant I was leaving Bali!