Komodo Airport Facilities
Labuan Bajo Airport is very near to the Komodo National Park – which drives nearly all of the tourism. The komodo airport name is dedicated to the beautiful island of Komodo – though it is listed as Labuan Bajo Airport (airport code – LBJ). The Komodo airport has very few facilities and those that are they are very, very “challenging”
Example: There is wifi. Except you have to go into town to buy the cards to access it. So when you arrive, you can’t use it. And unless you bought credit before departing town to get wifi – you can’t use it. The cards are not available at the airport.
The arrivals are is a single room with a shelf. for luggage. There are some advertising posters on the wall and two “bathrooms”. These are squat toilets, which are typical of the area…but may come as surprise to westerners unaccustomed to such.
Outside of the arrivals area is a locked gate. this is to keep out the taxi touts. It is a good idea to wait patiently until the crowds disperse after you get your luggage.
In the rare chance that two flights arrive at the same time, the luggage can be jumbled. Which is surprising, seeing that you can actually watch them unload your luggage from the plane. But hey, who are we to understand airport logic?
Just outside (or once the gate is open – inside) the arrivals hall, the taxis and bimo (small minibus) drivers all hustle people. The town is 2km away. The most anyone should pay is 50,000 and that is really be VERY generous. Go ahead and haggle, if you have very little luggage…just walk right out, it is literally 15 minutes (if you go slow).
Remember – this is a tiny, regional airport. the “taxi area” is a the left corner of the parking lot. The 20 cars in the overgrown lot at mostly “taxis” which are really private cars trying to earn some extra cash. There are no real “taxis” in town. Yet. The town is a few thousand people, so this is all very low-key.
Komodo Airport Facilities – outside
There is a Cafe. And by Cafe – we mean 5 plastic tables with plastic chairs. The beverages are served from either a thermos or the styrofoam ice chest. That is all.
Don’t expect Espresso, or a broad selection of menu items – there aren’t any. Sometimes they have some crisps. Usually they don’t.
But they are nice people and if you don’t want to sit inside…you can sit here. There are usually some kids running about that are rather entertaining. You can also watch the taxi driver scrum as the plane land.
There is also a table set up just outside the entrance to sell very overpriced trinkets to tourists. Very overpriced. If it helps any, the guys selling the dragons are actually villagers from Komodo and they do carve the stuff themselves (and then cover it with shoe polish).
That’s it. That’s all there
There is an airline office for wings. Though they don’t seem to actually sell any tickets. They do have a nice warning sign on the office window about not walking into the propeller of planes. There is a great deal of wisdom in that.
The Security procedures are quite fun. About 1/3 of the time neither the metal detector or the Xray machine works. 1/3 of the time the xray machine works and 1/3 of the time the xray AND the metal detector work. From personal experience there is is no differentiating between what is carry-on and checked. So those knives should go in “checked luggage”. That is all. That bottle of whiskey – “checked luggage”. There is one desk for for each of the four airlines that serve the airport. They seem to be staffed all the time, though only one flight a day per airline comes or goes.
You will usually be weighed before receiving your boarding pass. Yes – YOU will be weighed. The airplanes are small and need to be balanced. So your luggage, and then you will be weighed.
There is a departure taxi, usually 11,000 rupiah. Check if they are asking for anything different and look at the receipts.
The departure lounge is a simple room with a single air conditioner running. The plastic seats are ones we all recognize from bus stations around the world. There are windows to watch the planes land and the passengers disembark.
There are toilets, but again – these are uncomfortable and awkward for the westerner inexperienced in squat toilets. The mens room has no urinals (what happened to them?) though it appears some individuals have not noticed the absence of urinals and continue to use the area as such anyways. The odor is impressive.
Rather than ruin your final experience of Labuan Bajo with a crappy toilet (pun intended) just go before you go to the airport!
Try to grab a window seat if you can! The views are amazing!