JAL Good Sleep Service in Business Class Jakarta (CGK) to Narita (NRT)

Flying from Narita to Jakarta a week and a half earlier, I had the chance to experience Japan Airlines (JAL) long haul first class. It was quite the special treat, and I wanted to use miles to do the same for the return. Space never opened up, and at some point I quit looking- the return to Narita is an overnight flight on a Boeing 777, and as long as I have enough space to stretch out in I should be fine. Indeed, JAL calls this their “good sleep service,” and they did a nice job pulling it off. Continue reading “JAL Good Sleep Service in Business Class Jakarta (CGK) to Narita (NRT)”

Changing Money at Jakarta Airport (CGK)

I arrived yesterday in Jakarta airport, and I wanted to include a quick note about how to change money here. When you are at baggage claim and before you clear customs, there are a series of ATMs. That should have worked well, but it did not. For some reason my card was declined, which is odd as I know I gave the bank a travel alert. Happily, I had read what proved to be excellent travel advise- I brought several clean 100 dollars bills with me. You should definitely do that as a backup plan.

The first opportunity to exchange those bills came immediately when I left customs- three different money changers all posted identical rates of 12,100 rupiah to the dollar. The exchange rate today is 13,465, so I passed on that. Upstairs on the departure level, however, things were different. They would buy my dollars for 13,200 rupiah, and sell me dollars for 13,800. There was no exchange fee, although it did require me to have 100 dollar bills. So, look around next time you are traveling (particularly in Indonesia)- you will want some physical cash as a backup plan, and exchange rates can vary widely.