Today we received another Reader Question asking about the immigration lines at Bali Ngurah Rai Airport and if there is an option of using a Fast Track to speed through the arrival procedures.
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Bali Airport can be either heaven or hell, depending on what time of the day you arrive there, which mirrors any other international airport with high frequency.
Since Indonesia began to collect the biometrics of travelers and (post-Covid) re-introduced the Visa on Arrival, the lineup can be extremely long if you have the misfortune of arriving together with a few other planes whose passengers then fill the arrivals hall at Bali Airport to capacity.
We have reported about this situation at length, and it has caused many readers to contact us over the years, asking for the best way to structure their arrivals.
For many years I have always recommended a company called Bali Concierge but even though they apparently redesigned their website, it’s still impossible to complete a booking and payment process.
You can always request the VIP Fast Track Service through the hotel you’re staying or alternatively, I have now found a new service called Bali Fast Track (access their website here) that offers the service at a rather reasonable price:
This is the price the fast track has usually been available for (600,000 IDR or $38) even though last time the Grand Hyatt Bali was able to book it for me at 420,000 IDR ($27) and the charge was directly put on my room folio.
Additionally, a citizen of APEC countries one could apply for the APEC Travel Card that provides access to APEC fast-track counters at all countries participating in the scheme. The application process varies by country, both the U.S. and Canada make it very easy to get an APEC card.
If you encounter long lines or not purely depends on luck. I consider booking the arrivals fast track service as an insurance policy so I can reach the hotel quickly rather than spending the entire afternoon at the airport arrivals hall in the worst-case scenario.
If you arrive at midday or in the early afternoon, getting out of the airport quickly can make a difference in being able to spend a few hours by the beach or not. If there is nobody in line, then well, you just blew thirty bucks. If the arrivals hall is hell on earth, then it’s the best money ever spent.
You can also purchase an e-Visa prior to arrival for US$35 that would save some additional time:
Indonesia Introduces e-Visa-on-Arrival For Nationals Of 26 Countries
Keep in mind you can’t book this service upon arrival and there is no Business Class VIP lane. There was however the option for elderly people to use an express lane. If this still exists is something to explore.
The immigration process in Bali (and other Indonesian airports) has become a bit of a wild card because Indonesia has re-introduced the paid visa on arrival for most nationalities and of course there’s the biometrics collection at customs. For eligible travelers, I always recommend having a look at getting the APEC card as it helps at many destinations.
So far the fast track provider was usually able to really speed me through, saving at least an estimated two hours (when the Diplimatic Counter is choked too then it will still take a while though) . Other times, it was futile as there was literally nobody in the arrivals hall. Consider the investment as a backup and to not have to worry. Then it should be ok.
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