I had the chance to travel using the Priority class with the train from Gambir to Bandung on my most recent business trip. It was extremely comfortable and I am overall impressed at the organization of the train station in Indonesia (compared to other countries we have travelled to). The KAI staff, porters and other passengers were just so very helpful and attentive.
Traveling to Bandung is now easily done in two hours (without traffic) with the newly opened highway. However train travels has that charm that cars,I think, will never truly get and for a business trip at least you know when you leave and when you arrive !
Booking a Priority class ticket
On the app once installed, you can go to the top right corner into the account and change the language to English ! So on the app it’s very easy to handle all your bookings. Payment can be made by credit card, local bank transfer, ATM or Indomaret.
Here is how to change the app from Bahasa Indonesia to English:
Gambir station is the one close to Monas downtown Jakarta, a quick go-jek from home and I found myself at the pedestrian entrance. Inside it’s quite small but clean with a big waiting room. If you have purchased on the website, you can do your check in at the machines - if you have the ticket on your phone, just do the e-checking on the phone and the boarding pass with the QR code will be there. The train arrived at the deck about 30min before the departure time, so head to the platforms via the gate by showing your phone and your ID.
Manage your tickets and get your e-boarding pass on the KAI access app:
There are 4 platforms, and in the waiting room two screen displays showing the departures: one screen for platform 1 and 2 and one screen for platform 3 and 4. Once you have spotted your train one of of those screen you’ll know the platform number.
The Priority class experience:
The priority wagon is either at the first or at the end of the train. It’s a vintage looking wagon paneled in wood inside and with an attendant waiting at the entrance to check your tickets.
At the entrance there are some wide space to store your bigger luggage and overhead storage on top of your seat for the smaller ones. The chairs are wide and almost completely reclinable with ample leg room. The overall wagon has that vintage feel with carpenter floor and wooden panels.
Inside the priority wagon, there is also a small bar area where you have free access to hot water and a selection of instant beverages - and one very big and super clean toilet.
By booking a priority seat, you are provided with 1 free bottle of water, and a small box of snacks as well as a blanket to keep warm. Although the A/C was set at a very reasonable level, just comfortable and a little chilly but not requiring hoodies (like in some overnight sleepers in Thailand for example !).
There is a individual screen with a small selection of international best seller to watch and a bigger one as well showing of the movie but without the sound. Overall the noise level was very low which allows for a quiet ride. The tablet in your armrest is small but could allow for some work to be done. There is supposed to be free WiFi but I didn’t try it.
The total train journey was 3h20 minutes and we left on time and arrived right on time too, both on the way from and to Jakarta.
I did walk through the executive class as well on the train - and it was very clean, with ample leg room too and the chairs look comfortable enough. I looked like a great way to travel!
An executive ticket was costing 150,000 IDR for Bandung when the Priority class is 295,000 IDR.
While in Bandung - if your team has planned for a driver, that’s great otherwise, go-jek works there too so getting around is not really an issue.
I was very much happy with the overall experience and thought it was a very pleasant way to travel and work. Better than a bumpy, long car ride - where car sickness can take a toll when you are looking at your computer for some times. I am also not great at working in cars, that was the perfect way for such a short distance domestic travel.