How to get the best seat in the train.
When booking Indonesian train tickets online, passengers can now select seats.
HOW IT WORKS
Previously, there was a flat rate per ticket for each train. But now, there are multiple fare levels within business and executive classes, similar to flight tickets.
For example, in the executive class train Argo Wilis with 240 seats, there are 4 fare levels: the most expensive A class (100 seats), H class (39 seats), I class (51 seats), the cheapest J class (50 seats). The most expensive seats are in the middle of each carriage; the cheapest seats are near the doors, at the front/rear of each carriage.
In the image above, the passenger is selecting J class seats; the red seats are for the more expensive A, H and I classes.
Just to make it more confusing, the train operator’s website lists all the different fares simultaneously, not just the cheapest one:
For trains with both executive and business class carriages, this is too much information, especially when the differences in fare for each ticket class are small, usually Rp15 000 (€1,20) to Rp25 000 (€ 2,00).
MAU KE MANA’S SEAT SELECTION POLICY
Based on previous experience and client feedback, Mau Ke Mana has created a seat selection policy for all future train ticket bookings:
1. If there are only a few seats left in that class, maybe passengers can’t select seats together. If there are less than 10 seats available, it may be better to buy tickets at a more expensive class. Alternately, passengers can try to arrange a swap with someone on the train later.
2. For groups, it can be difficult to get enough cheap seats together. If this is not possible, groups can either aim for getting all the passengers in the same carriage or buy a few seats in a more expensive class.
3. In executive class, seats on some trains can be turned to face front or back. The only downside of having seats face the back is that passengers cannot use the adjacent seat’s footrest, which swings up from under the next seat’s backrest.
There are many pictures of different Indonesian trains’ interiors and seats here.
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