Since early 2018, Jakarta has an airport train. Get all the information on the train stations, how much the ticket cost, and how to buy it here.
Soekarno Hatta International Airport is the official name of the largest and busiest international airport in Indonesia.
Since Cengkareng airport is approximately 28 kilometers east of Jakarta, the most common way to travel from Jakarta to Soetta airport and vice versa is through a toll road. The non-toll-road connects the airport to Tangerang. The traffic on the airport toll road is usually heavy unless you travel in the ungodly hours.
Alternatively, use the Jakarta airport train (KAI Bandara in Bahasa Indonesia)! This airport train is a new way to travel between Soetta airport and the city of Jakarta. It stops at five train stations. It starts at Soekarno Hatta International Airport, with quick stops at Batu Ceper, Duri, and BNI City train stations before it ends at Manggarai train station. It takes only one hour from the airport to Manggarai. Plus, you may carry 20 kg luggage with a maximum size of 150x60cm.
The airport train station is in a detached building, separated from the three terminals in Bandara Soetta. Ride a sky train (KA Layang in Bahasa Indonesia) to move between the airport train station and the three terminals.
According to the 2021 timetable released by railink.co.id (the official website of KAI Bandara), the Jakarta airport train is scheduled to make 40 trips daily, 20 trips for each direction. If you intend to catch a plane, make sure you choose the train that will arrive at the airport two hours before your plane departure.
Since the airport train only makes short stops at the train station, you'd better be ready at the platform when it arrives. The boarding time is 15 minutes before the scheduled departure of the train.
Starting April 2021, KAI (the Indonesian Rail Company) launched a more economical wagon of Jakarta airport train called KAI Bandara Premium. The ticket is Rp.25,000 - Rp.30,000, which is cheaper than KAI Bandara Executive (Rp.70,000-Rp.100,000). However, not all airport train trips carry both types of wagons. The KAI Bandara Premium is only available ten times a day, five trips from Manggarai (06:07, 08:37, 11:07, 13:37, and 16:07), and five trips from Soekarno-Hatta Airport (07:19, 09:49, 12:19, 14:49, and 17:19).
You can buy the ticket of the airport trains through the official site of railink.co.id and marketplaces such as traveloka and tiket. Then, exchange it with a boarding pass at the vending machine.
However, the simplest way to buy a ticket for the airport train is to buy it at the vending machines at the airport train stations. You can pay it with credit cards (Visa, MasterCard), debit cards (Visa, MasterCard), or prepaid cards (Brizzi, TapCash).
Please remember, once you buy your ticket, you can not change your schedule, departure, and arrival stations. If you are not sure which train you will take, you'd better buy the flexi ticket. It allows you to choose any train within the same day.
Considering the cost of the ticket (especially the new KAI Bandara Premium) and the time you can save, yes, the Jakarta airport train is worth it. It is double worth it if you are a light traveler who doesn't have to worry about lots of luggage you bring.
However, riding an airport train means you still have to take another form of transportation when you arrive at the train station of your destination. It's easy because all airport train stations integrate with either the commuter train network or MRT. Or, get out of the train station and grab a taxi or order through the ride-hailing app (Gojek or Grab).