Bali Denpasar Ngurah Rai International Airport has undergone a major restoration project since my last visit to Bali nearly fives years prior, and this time upon landing I was shocked to find an airport that felt like a major international airport on both my arrival into Bali and departure. The new terminal is large enough to handle the crowds and offers the latest amenities while traveling, ensuring that every customer has the best possible experience!
After a fantastic ten day stay with friends in Indonesia an Island hopping between Bali, Flores, and Rinca, I had to return to reality. My trip to the airport was guided by my friend who lives locally and when traveling I also tend to do as a local would do, so I transited back to the airport like a local – on the back of a scooter! As a motorcycle rider back at home, riding on a back of a scooter was nothing for me. However, riding on the back of a 150cc scooter while holding a suitcase was a bit different! I am just glad it was a carryon size bag and not a full size suitecase!
Once we arrived at the airport we parked the bike for 15,000 IDR (~$1.10) and walked about 5 minutes to the airport following the paved path.
The new open air arrival and departure hall is grand, offers plenty of room to meet visitors and families and hosts a number of restaurants and coffee shops to pass time during flight delays or to wait and enjoy last minute conversations with company before entering the secured parts of the terminal.
(Not pictured, but the arrival custom hall now offers about 20 immigration officer booths and multiple baggage claim belt which significantly speeds up arrival queue time).
The departure area at the new Bali International airport is beautiful! There are 62 multipurpose check in counters and 10 international gates in the new international terminal. The area is very large and open and did not feel crowded despite my evening departure when many flights to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East were departing.
Security screening was a breeze, along with passport control. At my time of departure the priority screening line was closed, but I still didn’t have to wait more than 5 minutes for the entire process. Guards were very friendly with lots of smiles!
Upon entering the terminal, after passport control and security, all passengers are greeted by the memorizing bright white light of duty free and must snake through the duty free section of the airport which entices you to buy perfumes, makeup, candy, and other overpriced crap at somewhat discounted but other times inflated prices which confusingly claim to offer big savings of 20-40%. There is something about the overpowering lights and the way everything glistens that arouse your senses and makes you want to pull out your wallet and shop shop shop! But if you push forward, you’ll continue to snake your way through the terminal pass a number of other world class shops including Tumi, Long Champ, Michael Kores, Gucci, and more. The terminal offers shopping that matches major airports such as Hong Kong or Seoul and then opens up to a long terminal with 10 international gates which are all capable of handling widebody jets.
The new airport is absolutely beautiful and offers great Balinese’s style art at the multiuse gates, entry to jetbridges, and throughout the passenger terminal. The clean and crisp terminals makes you forget that you are in Indonesia and makes one start to wonder where they really air. Once pass the shopping plazas, be sure to look up when at the gates, as there are tons of paintings and Balinese art everywhere!
(above) long hallway of the terminal that connects to the 10 international gates. (Below) Balinese art is above the entry to each jetbridge
The grand infrastructure is a win for Bali and Indonesia and is a welcome addition to the Island Paradise. The new airport terminal can handle nearly 20 million passengers and is a welcome addition to the bustling isalnd!