Flying Out Of Bali for the First Time Since January 2020

Rob Hourmont

Travel has been Challenging, but now I'm ready to explore the world again and blog about it.
Map of BaliRobs Health Crunch

It's been a long while since my last flight out of Bali! When the lockdown started, I was supposed to fly back to New York City in February 2020! Then I thought I was lucky to stay in Bali, it turned out I wasn't! 

I could have escaped from my now mad ex-wife of 2 months had I flown at the time. In that case, I may have had an easier 18-months. Anyway, that's another story.

As I write, I'm sitting in the departure lounge of Bali's domestic terminal, on my way to Singapore, via Jakarta. I'm taking a risk as Indonesia has now imposed a 7-day quarantine when entering, and I hate to quarantine. 

The next step could be a border closure, meaning I can't get back home. That would suck, but I took the gamble and left anyway. Positive thinking, I always say to myself - everything will be fine. 

In October, the local authorities told us that Bali would open its International Terminal for direct flights from early November, and off they went to get ready for that - so they said. 

The only airline to initially fly into Bali was to be Singapore Airlines. Well, guess what? I'm flying to Singapore, and nope, no direct flights, folks. 

The bottom line is that Airlines are not getting enough bookings, so they are not operating direct flights to Bali. The international terminal may be open in theory, but that doesn't help the international travelers. Everyone still has to enter Indonesia via Jakarta, then quarantine there for 7 days before continuing to Bali.

This situation makes getting to Bali incredibly difficult for overseas travelers. Indonesia has no direct flights to Europe or the USA, so folks have to fly via Doha, Dubai, and the like. 

Meaning two long international flights to get to Jakarta, then 7 days of expensive quarantine (the cheapest option is around $200 a day with room and food), then another flight to Bali. 

This results in a lot of wasted time, money, and frustration, which makes flying to Bali rather unappealing for most. 

The bottom line: Bali will not get busy again until actual direct flights are available, the quarantine is lifted, and the current obligatory business visa is dropped, and we go back to Free Visa on Arrival.

I hope the local government reads this article and becomes aware of that simple fact. Life must go on - we cannot keep restricting travel into Bali as all this does is cripple the economy even further. 

My guess is the earliest for this to happen will be April 2022. It all depends on what happens with the new virus strain. We shall see. For now, I'm on my way out - I will be back soon, I hope. 

Let's pray for the borders to not close. 

See you soon in Bali. 



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