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Indo Packing Thoughts and Advice


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#1 focker

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 05:30 PM

My wife and I are headed to Lembeh and Raja next month with this being our first time traveling in that direction. We have never had a problem with carry on stuff going to the Caribbean or Europe but I do understand that we will encounter some possible challenges with the Indonesian airlines. I am not sure if flying business class matters but we were able to blow a bunch of airline miles and will be flying business class from SFO via Singapore Airlines which connects us to Manado via Lion Air staying in Lembeh for 4 nights. From Manado we are on a couch flight to Sorong to jump on the boat for 11 nights and then we are on Lion Air to Bali for a few days before returning home.
We are going to pack as light as we can for the trip but she will have the Nauticam setup that she usually hauls in a carry on and I will have an Amphibico housing. What advice can you give on how we should best handle packing the camera equipment? Should be pack some in our check in bags? Use a Scott Vest? Any and all advice is appreciated.

Edited by focker, 16 February 2012 - 05:31 PM.

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#2 f2tai

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 06:19 PM

Hi -

Not having direct experience with your flight path, but experience in travelling in Indonesia (both via Singapore > Manado and interior travel) here are some considerations:

- I have not seen that much enforcement of carry on bags within internal flights in Indonesia - as long as it looks roughly the size of a carry on bag, you'll likely be unbothered to carry it on... I have first hand experience of almost dropping a package that a tiny Indonesian lady brought with her, because it was pretty freaking heavy but yet it made it on board
- I made it on board everywhere carrying a small duffel bag with ~20kg of camera/housing equipment
- Make sure you have rupiah on hand whilst in Manado airport/Makassar in order to pay overage fees

Not sure if you have any specific challenges you have in mind - as long as your carry on can fit under the chair in front, or in the overhead compartment you are good to go. Note that the seats on Lion Air tend to be tinier than most airlines, so you'll just need to grin and bear it during the short flights.

You'll still want to hear from those with DSLR setups as to what's best/how to pack...

#3 focker

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 06:57 PM

Thank you for the response, this makes both of us feel much better. She was hoping she would be able to keep an eye on her gear!

Edited by focker, 17 February 2012 - 06:57 PM.

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#4 jcclink

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 07:39 PM

If you can fly Silk Air (domestic Singapore Air) from Singapore to Manado you should be able to check baggage through to Manado from US with international weight allowance. Should help with overweight, at least until you actually reach Indonesia.

Edited by jcclink, 17 February 2012 - 07:41 PM.

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#5 focker

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 12:03 AM

If you can fly Silk Air (domestic Singapore Air) from Singapore to Manado you should be able to check baggage through to Manado from US with international weight allowance. Should help with overweight, at least until you actually reach Indonesia.


I have looked a bit closer at my reservations and you are correct about Silk Air being the partner for Singapore Air that we are taking to Manado. From Manado to Sorong is on Lion Air. From Sorong to Bali the first segment is Express Air and the second segment is Lion.
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#6 tunc

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 08:34 PM

I have looked a bit closer at my reservations and you are correct about Silk Air being the partner for Singapore Air that we are taking to Manado. From Manado to Sorong is on Lion Air. From Sorong to Bali the first segment is Express Air and the second segment is Lion.


Hi ,

I am frequently flying all the routes you have mentioned and i would suggest you should drag your attention on one of them which is Manado to Sorong with Lion Air. Lion Air uses the ATR 72-500 to fly this particular route which has very small overhead compartments . So a guy waiting at the main door of the plane will collect all hand carried items bigger then a Large wallet :lol: and store it for you in the back of the plane . You will get them back while getting off of the Plane .

They are extremely strict on Checked in luggage especially lion air , but believe me it doesn't cost that much and is not worth the hassle with a non English speaking check-in employee.
One more note , Lion Air from Manado to Sorong , has a checked in Luggage allowance of 15 KG only ,not 20 kg !

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#7 focker

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 09:39 AM

Tunc thank you for the input, knowing that we can roll the camera equipment on and have it stored sounds like a great option for us.
For our checked luggage it looks like the two of us will be bringing a total of 3 bags to actually check with two that will weigh about 20KG and one will weigh about 15KG so I guess we will just plan on paying some fees for being over the allowance but since it doesn't cost that much it isn't anything to sweat.
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#8 okuma

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 11:18 PM

We fly LA /Manado frequently and if you have booked Sing Air through to Manado via Silk Air, you get the international weight allowance from Sing to Manado and do not have to recheck in Sing.
We hand carry cameras and all else goes into checked luggage.
More and more places are not accepting travelers checks as they are easily counterfited. Money or credit cards.
If you're in Sing for 6 or so hours, book a day room at Ambasadore Hotel in airport.... by the hour.

Edited by okuma, 26 February 2012 - 11:20 PM.

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#9 focker

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:03 PM

Our travel agent set us up at the Ambassador because we will be in Singapore for about 8 hours and it's good to hear you think it is a smart move to stay there too too.
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#10 DocTock

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 06:38 PM

I've just dealt with the overage charges from Jakarta to Sorong and return in the past month.
Don't sweat it! (You'll be sweating enough in Sorong airport anyway.)

The overage charge for me (Jakarta-Sorong) was 450,000 Rupiah.
At an exchange rate of 9,000 IDR to $1 USD that was all of $50.

To top it off, the amount seems highly negotiable. I only had 387,000 IDR on me - it was accepted as payment in full.

The airport taxes, "visa" fees, and departure tax are NOT negotiable. Pay those, or store that money, first.
Then, with a nice smile and friendly demeanor, see what you can negotiate on the overage.
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#11 jcclink

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 07:55 PM

A note about staying at Singapore transit hotel - its located upstairs in one of the terminals & is therefore still in the security area. Since you will be in transit & not officially entering Singapore, you will not have access to your checked baggage (checked thru to Manado). Plan accordingly in case you may need a few things during the 6-8 hr layover. You can find most anything you'll need in the terminal areas (read lots of shopping opportunities). If you use ATM's for local currency, hit them in Manado before you go to Sorong for misc expenses, tips, etc. Sometimes smaller airports may only take rupiah for overweight charges.

Edited by jcclink, 28 February 2012 - 07:56 PM.

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#12 JKrumsick

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:05 AM

Singapore has a great airport. Probably one of the best I have ever been to.

If the Indonesian's give you any static about carry-ons, just get argumentative. The Indonesians don't like conflict and are smaller than us westerner's... (nothing against Indonesian's, I love them!). I packed my Nauticam in a Kata carry on bag (on the edge of the size limits). It fit all of my strobes, arms, ports, housing, lenses, laptop etc. I got crap for this bag twice (even though it fits after a little overhead compartment massage...). Twice out of 15 different flights in 3 months.

I carried my slr body and 2 lenses in a smaller sling bag. These were my two carry on bags. I checked my clothing.

You should be fine.

#13 LembehHelen

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 07:33 PM

Hello,

As most people have been saying Overweight baggage is not really a problem in Indonesia as long as you pay! Charges are not that much ( a few dollars per kg) and can be negotiated.

Hand luggage rarely gets weighed but make sure you get on the plane early to get space in the overhead compartments as locals tend to carry 2/3 pieces and I once spent a whole flight from jakarta to manado with my bag at my feet as we got on the plance late! Learnt my lesson!

#14 focker

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 08:33 AM

Thanks Helen, we are going to Sorong after our stay at your place so I will take that advice. We will be seeing you in about 3 weeks :swimmingfish:
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