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Jul 26

Airport Review: Bali International Airport

Bali airport

 

Ngurah Rai is the local name for Bali’s International Airport located in the part of the island known as Denpasar. Don’t let all the names confuse you, this is the main operation for commercial flights onto and off of the island. Given Bali’s well deserved fame it is right to assume this is a busy port of entry, yet current and ongoing upgrades make it a pleasant place to enter into the spirit of the paradise island.

 

Logistics:

 

Upgrades just in the last year have seen the opening of a new International terminal in addition to the original terminal building. There are some parts like the outside fascade and check in area that are sparkling new. Other areas of the interior are undergoing current transformation in order to have a more modern space, still other parts are completely new additions to develop the entire complex. Overall it is not too confusing, just inconvenient, places are fairly well marked and where they are not many staff and personnel circulate and answer directional questions.

 

Arrivals:

 

Due to the limited nature of the runways and ongoing construction many flights will have loading and unloading on the tarmac with buses or walking into the terminal. In our experience the luggage came out pretty quickly. Many of the luxury hotels have good shuttle services, either affordable or complimentary depending on the practice. There are many, many services for bike, motorbike and taxi, so one will not have problems getting around on the island.

 

Departures:

 

The departure area works efficiently due to a paid toll cars must submit to access the area. This means it won’t be a jam of other traffic or cabs waiting for passengers. The drop off area displays a gorgeous terminal that is built with traditional Balinese architecture, part in the open air, part covered by massive traditional roofing. sculptures, plants and walls mark off a relaxing space that is unparalleled in any airport drop off area we’ve seen. Our driver saw us through the basic first line of security up until the check in. Reminder that there is a departure tax whether flying internationally or nationally, so be sure and have local cash available.

 

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2 comments

  1. Marvin

    Don’t go there.

    This “new” airport is a disaster.

    Hours of queuing everywhere (immigration, customs, gates, toilets, etc.).
    Incompetent and rude staff. 35 USD (up from 25) for visa on arrival, 200,000 IDR for departure tax (up from 150,000). Tax which is now called a “service charge”. What a joke.

    The whole airport management team should be fired on the spot.

    Avoid Bali until this is fixed. This is a waste of time and money.
    There are better places in Asia.

    1. Thanks for your message.
      Yeah even when the airport looks quite nice in the outside and most areas work well, there are still parts that need serious work such as the interior departure area for domestic flights that is quite disorganized ], it is possible to note the renovations but it is really still a work in progress.
      Our experience actually awaiting was quite different we flew through check in with no lines, maybe because we had a St. Regis representative with us 🙂
      Yeah we are aware there is a tax, it is different for domestic than for international, and even when we as well do not like that it is not something completely unique to Bali you will find that in many other airports around the world from San Jose Costa Rica, Bogota Colombia, Caracas Venezuela and virtually all airports around the world but it is already included in the ticket in most cases, that is why it is so important to be informed about it ahead of time.
      I do not know if I will avoid Bali just because of that, But I certainly agree that it is nicer to have a better airport experience. Indeed there are great places in Asia but beautiful not necessarily go hand in hand with good airport experiences.

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