Review of Garuda Indonesia flight Singapore Denpasar in Economy

Airline Garuda Indonesia
Flight GA843
Class Economy
Seat 44J
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 02:45
Take-off 30 May 15, 11:50
Arrival at 30 May 15, 14:35
GA   #16 out of 72 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 203 reviews
flyguysg
By 7754
Published on 4th June 2015
Greetings!

My last flight on Garuda was way back in 1983, when Garuda still had its red and orange livery. I remember boarding their 'brand new' B747-200 from Singapore to Frankfurt via Abu Dhabi as Garuda used to transit most of their Europe bound flights in Singapore.

Fast forward to 2015, Garuda today has a new livery, beautiful new cabin crew uniforms, but a limited European network. I was excited to fly the new 5 star award Garuda to Bali, and experience for myself if they are really worthy of this Skytrax accolade.

Garuda operates out of Changi Airport T3, and is handled by DNATA (formerly CIAS). I arrived in T3 two hours before my flight as I had some lounge vouchers that had to be used before they expired.

photo 20150530_093715photo 20150530_094221

As I had already checked in online the day before, the check-in was completed in less than 5 minutes from the time I joined the queue.




Time to check out the lounge. I decided to check out the SATS Premier lounge in Terminal 1 with my lounge voucher this time round as it had just been renovated. I was sorely disappointed…like most lounges in Changi, the only view this lounge has was a corridor leading to the transit area. Food and beverages was mediocre at best.



It was time to head back to Terminal 3 for my flight to Bali! Gate A3, post-security checks. It was going to be a full flight today!

photo 20150530_113330

Garuda's new 737-800 with the new Boeing Sky Interior.




I must confess that I was very impressed by Garuda's choice of cabin colours. It exuded a very warm and cozy ambience.



A pre-departure welcome drink in Economy… I don't know of any airline that offers this nowadays. There was no hot/cold towels offered though…

photo 20150530_115418

Push back, safety video and take off!




Touch screen IFE, with a decent selection of on-demand movies, TV shows and audio. This aircraft was equipped with the latest entertainment system and programme. The older 737-800s (also with Sky Interior)on my DPS-SIN flight had a slightly different interface and fewer movie and TV selection even though the IFE hardware looked identical.



Lunch was served on Garuda's old serviceware. New servicewares are used on their long and medium haul flights since early 2015. Two choices were offered: Seafood or Chicken. No bread rolls were offered, and there was no coffee/tea run after the meal. The meals look better than they tastes. Service was efficient, but the cabin attendants offered little smiles and spoke English with thick Indonesian accents that made it a little difficult to understand at times. Nonetheless, I must say that they were rather well groomed, and looked gorgeous in their uniforms.



We started our decent into Bali soon after the meals were cleared.



Checked into the Hard Rock Hotel Bali and was upgraded to the Deluxe Premium room. Service in HRH was great, although the buffet breakfast offering was limited and not of top quality.



Thank you for reading my report.





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Verdict

Garuda Indonesia

7.5/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew7.0
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering6.0

SATS Premier Lounge

5.9/10
Comfort6.0
Meal/catering6.0
Entertainment/wifi5.5
Services6.0

Singapore - SIN

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Denpasar - DPS

7.4/10
Efficiency8.5
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

Garuda has improved on its hardware in recent years. However, in terms of the finesse of its service in economy class, it still has a long way to go before it can achieve the standards set by the region's major player - Singapore Airlines.

Information on the route Singapore (SIN) Denpasar (DPS)

10 Comments

  • Comment 138441 by
    jetsetpanda 2294 Comments

    Welcome and thank you for sharing this beautiful FR with lots of nice pics.

    Nice to see that GA is improving and heading in the right direction. I hope they can restart service to the U.S. in the future.

  • Comment 138443 by
    pititom GOLD 11119 Comments

    Thank you for this first report and welcome here :)

    Very interesting to read, with beautiful pictures. But didn't you mean 737 iso 787 ;) ?

    It's very decent for an Economy service. Enjoy Bali :)

  • Comment 138461 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Welcome to the site and thank you for sharing this report with us!

    GA cabin colors do look nice with the soft browns and blues. The personal IFE is great to have on such a short flight on a narrow-body.

    PDB in Y is very rare, I've never seen it before. A very gesture from GA, even on a holiday route like SIN-DPS.

    Catering on GA looks good, thank you for photographing both meal options :) I find the lack of a roll/bread and no tea/coffee service to be poor though (things their competitors in this region do). However, the use of metal cutlery is very good.

    Nice photos taking off in SIN.

  • Comment 138468 by
    AFGK1 41 Comments

    Hi!

    Welcome to this site and thank you for sharing this report with us.

    The lounge looks pretty disappointing for Singapore standards.

    A pre-departure welcome drink in Economy... I don't know of any airline that offers this nowadays. There was no hot/cold towels offered though... That was a pretty nice touch by GA, I think hot towels will be offered on longer flights.

    The IFE looks outstanding for a short flight.

    The meal was pretty impressive, I bet it will be better on longer flights.

    Bali looks nice, I hope I could go there soon

    See you soon! :-)

    • Comment 317925 by
      flyguysg AUTHOR 16 Comments

      Hi AFGK1

      Bali is a great destination to visit. Avoid Kuta where I stayed if you do not fancy crowds. Kuta is very commercialised. I chose Kuta only because it is convenient and has many dining and shopping options.

  • Comment 138470 by
    flyguysg AUTHOR 16 Comments

    Hi Jetsetpanda, Pititom, NGO85. Thanks for taking the time to read my review.

    I fly SQ most of the time, and always find myself comparing other airlines with SQ. GA is indeed a very pleasant experience to be on, especially on their newer aircrafts. I certainly wouldn't hesitate to fly with them on longer flights. I do hope they will open more routes to Europe and the US in the future.

    Oops, I have edited the typos in my review...yes 737-800!

    I was wondering why no bread rolls were offered for lunch service. They offered that on my return sector which departed in the afternoon. You have to request for tea or coffee at the time they serve you your meal. Perhaps it's too short a flight for them to do a coffee run? SQ manages to do it on their larger widebody aircrafts serving Bali though....

  • Comment 138591 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5529 Comments

    A very nice first report! The pictures are great and there's lot of good detail.

    Food and beverages was mediocre at best. Mediocre by Asian standards, but WAAAAAAY above average by U.S. standards where we ar used to getting fake cheese and carrot sticks in lounges.

    The catering looks visually appealing. I don't mind not getting a bread roll as it doesn't go well with Asian cuisine to my tastes. And most bread I've gotten on flights in Asia has been rather bad and chewy.

    GA has definitely upped their game over the last few years, but you are right that they are still a long way from achieving the same level as SQ.

    Thanks very much for sharing this report with us and Welcome to Flight-Report!

    KevinDC - Community Manager

  • Comment 138605 by
    flyguysg AUTHOR 16 Comments

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for your warm welcome.

    As you rightly pointed out, I was making reference to Asian standards most of the time.
    However, having been in the Star Alliance lounge in LAX, the food offerings weren't too bad...

    Now that you mentioned it, economy class bread rolls in Asia are of very poor quality, even on Singapore Airlines ex-SIN.

    Garuda has indeed upped their game in recent years, but compared to many other Asian carriers, I feel they can hardly be considered a 5* airline (I don't have high regard for Skytrax surveys anyways).

  • Comment 138634 by
    Chibcha 441 Comments

    Service may not be up to par with what other airlines in the region offer, but surely is way above what one could get in Europe or America

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Comment 414539 by
    manuel.ariola 38 Comments

    Nice report. Thanks for this....

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