Review of Garuda Indonesia flight Denpasar Singapore in Economy

Airline Garuda Indonesia
Flight GA 840
Class Economy
Seat 43A
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 02:50
Take-off 27 Mar 16, 19:20
Arrival at 27 Mar 16, 22:10
GA   #17 out of 142 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 201 reviews
TerryYong
By GOLD 2111
Published on 1st April 2016
On the last day, brunch was at a rather nice café "The Coffee Library" and again with excellent service. Not sure if it was pure luck, but I did find that service standards in Bali restaurants/cafes have generally improved tremendously over the years.

photo 26108675766_d0f3018c30_b

photo 26134594115_22308546e1_b

photo 26068259741_c9600e09e8_b

photo 25861749180_4a5aae48fa_b


More relaxation in the villa prior to late check-out and headed for a relaxing massage before the flight home.

Back to Denpasar Airport's International Terminal.

photo 26068258871_b27a43dc30_b


Only holders of air-tickets were allowed to enter the check-in area after a security screening.

photo 25531964643_f6780d7c64_b


Checking in for the Garuda flight back to Singapore. There are no dedicated check-in counters for pax who had done web check-in, but queues at the normal counters were not long and fast-moving.

photo 26068258181_0b2554a0fb_b


Forced to walk through multiple shops after immigration and security.

photo 26068256901_a7f5545c11_b


To the main terminal area with dining choices. Lounges were on the upper level.

photo 25861745090_e3461ab573_b


Using my Priority Pass, I proceeded to the Premier Lounge, which was also used by many airlines' premium pax, including SQ.

photo 25529831644_3cdea6ca20_b


Lounge was of decent size, with only the necessary facilities. There were both indoor and outdoor seating.

photo 26042102392_81463b24bf_b

photo 26134586165_52eaa66bc0_b


Food selection was ok for a contracted lounge. Some simple hot dishes, 2 soups, salads, cakes and sandwiches and beverages. There was also a made-to-order Carbonara counter.

photo 26134588735_fcf126a78d_b

photo 25529833644_2e04802641_b


Boarding pass and my food selection.

photo 26042102892_2bb21392a0_b

photo 25531960773_85a67f3284_b


FIDS in the lounge.

photo 26042100172_2f924fca92_b


It was a rather long walk to Gate 11 where our flight would be departing from. It would be a bus gate today as the plane had arrived from a domestic sector and was parked at the domestic terminal tarmac.

photo 25531958873_f3da0627e1_b


At the bus gate.

photo 25531958343_5724d4680b_b


Boarding soon started and passengers streamed up the buses which will ferry us to the plane.

photo 25529830164_77d57af49f_b


During the bus ride to our aircraft.

photo 26134582665_6e9be93fa3_b

photo 26042097292_c83708a9d7_b


Spotted a Garuda jet in retro livery, and yes! The Retro-jet was going to be operating our flight today!

photo 25531956953_9b1327d1da_b

photo 26042097012_4f16c4bfd8_b


27 March 2016
Garuda Indonesia
GA 840
Denpasar Bali (DPS) - Singapore (SIN)
B737-800
PK-GFN "Retrojet"
Economy Class
Flight Time: 2H18M



Boarding via the rear door.

photo 26068248631_9a256de221_b


Welcomed by a male crew and proceeded to my seat at 43A. More crew wer along the cabin assisting with boarding as well. The cabin was not the of the Sky Interior though on this older aircraft.

photo 26134581165_47dbf0847b_b


Crew assisting with boarding. There were 6 crew serving on this flight, 2 in Business and 4 in Economy. I must say that the GA girls were all very well-groomed! Not a stand of hair out of place and they looked stunning in their Kebayas. Garuda certainly has a winner with its new uniform design! The flight ended up totally full with not a single empty seat sighted.

photo 25531955523_8d23f6ce45_b


Pillows were placed on every seat while blankets were offered upon request. Legroom was surprisingly pretty generous for a B737 aircraft, and definitely better than on the SQ A330.

photo 26068246791_aaed6e96c5_b


IFE was touch-screen. Selections on this short-haul flight was lacking though as most of the new-releases movies were not available and only available on flights more than 3hrs. Though I read that on the BSI planes, the full selection was available. However, I still found something to watch.

photo 25861736620_c3ac0beecf_b


Headsets were available in the seat pocket.

photo 25861735790_c777af5f8c_b


As well as 2 thick booklets of inflight mag and entertainment guide, plus the usual. Interestingly, the Colours inflight magazine has 2 different covers, as mine was of a different cover design from my seatmate. GA is also widely advertising its 5-Stars Airline, Best Cabin Crew and Best Economy Class awards.

photo 26134578795_f6735f6681_b


After all passengers had settled into their seats, welcome beverage was served. Think this is a rarity not found on any other airline.

photo 26134578055_7f55801b25_b


Welcome drink of orange juice. Though I found it too sweet for my liking.

photo 26068245081_2de38d3fe0_b


The drink cups were then cleared and safety video was shown. Similarly to SQ, the crew would not be seen using any trash bags to dispose of trash, but only using service trays to collect all the unwanted trash. GA certainly learned a thing or two from its neighbouring powerhouse airline.

photo 26068244271_b20c00aeb6_b



Safety demo video




Flight map.

photo 25529823904_6a4733c1c5_b


IFE was already available during boarding. Decided to watch a Korean comedy, which was rather entertaining.

photo 26134576785_54a7547161_b


As the airport was rather busy at the time, it was a bit of a late pushback, followed by a lengthy taxi before we took off. We finally took off 30min behind schedule. Not sure why GA scheduled this flight with a tight flight time of 2h25min when all other airlines had a padded flight time of 2h30min or more. Bound to have lots of late arrivals with the minimal padding.

Took off from Rwy27.




Meal service started after takeoff, first with special meals followed by the normal meals. There were 3 carts used for meal delivery, manned by 3 stewardesses. Observing the service, I can totally understand why GA was named airline with Best Cabin Crew by Skytrax. Service delivery by the crew was very refined and polished, along with lots of warmth and smiles. Call-lights were attended to very rapidly and every request was delivered with a smile. Even though their English language abilities may not be the best, but the attitude and subtle details to service, such as hand gestures and eye contacts, says it all. Think SQ service 25 yrs ago and you get the idea. Garuda certainly invested huge in training of its new generation of cabin crew!

photo 26042089342_b0110140fc_b


Meal was served on the old serviceware. The choices offered were, coincidentally, Chicken with potatoes or Spicy fish with rice, exactly the same choices as on the SQ flight down to Bali! Again, I had an apple juice, though the meal carts also had wines, orange and guava juices, soft drinks and even UHT milk! Cutlery was metal.

photo 26042091042_856e05636b_b

photo 26068242861_b61b2e74fd_b


Spicy mixed vegetable salad for starter, and a mango mousse cake as dessert. Salad was flavourful but cake was very sweet. Think the Indonesians like it sweet! A packet of chilli sauce was on the meal tray.

photo 26068241881_4abc998967_b


Chicken with potatoes. It was rather tasty, though the meat portion seemed small.

photo 25529822314_a7d76d0c3e_b


Spicy fish with rice, vegetables and sweet potatoes. This dish was so much better than what was served on SQ. The sauce was tasty and the vegetables cooked perfectly. Only comment is the portion of proteins can be bigger.

photo 26134574035_dcef32c7e4_b


Visit to the lavatory after meal service. The lavatory was very clean. Amenities available include hand lotion and eu de toilette.

photo 26068234001_1cf9302c49_b

photo 26068238961_4a4e9be57e_b


Tray collection in progress while more drinks were being offered.

photo 25529812804_40faaa20ff_b


Spent the rest of the flight finishing up my movie. Flight info can be called up on the IFE screen during the movie.

photo 25531939723_cebcc72708_b


Approaching Singapore. Cabin was prepared for landing 10min before arrival and crew only took their seats and dim the lights for the landing barely 5min before touchdown.

photo 26068229861_4cfa5c5fb0_b


Landing on Changi Rwy02L, 25min late. Now, if GA had padded the flight at 2h45m similar to SQ, we would be just on time.




Taxied to and parked at Terminal 3. The aircraft and crew would be overnighting in Singapore.

photo 25531937343_bb873f2a36_b



If were to compare SQ vs GA, I would say that there is no clear winner and I would gladly fly on either anytime!

Thank you for reading my report. All comments are welcomed.
See more

Verdict

Garuda Indonesia

8.3/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering8.0

Independent Premier Lounge

7.4/10
Comfort7.5
Meal/catering7.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Services8.0

Denpasar - DPS

7.8/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Singapore - SIN

9.1/10
Efficiency9.5
Access8.5
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.5

Conclusion

It was a very pleasant 1st experience on Garuda Indonesia. Excellent service and offerings of a premium carrier, GA certainly has all the necessary to be a world class leading airline, but it needs to build the notion that the new Garuda is definitely not the Garuda of old. After this flight, I am definitely more looking forward to my next GA flight in a month's time, a longhaul B77W from SIN-AMS.

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

1 Comments

  • Comment 160963 by
    SKYTEAMCHC GOLD 8194 Comments

    HI Terry ! we were in Bali at the same time. 5 i alreday published 3 FR with them one more to come).
    I flew Garuda as you may know and just like you I really enjoyed their service. This airline is a gem and yet it's not what most people would think. Enjoy the 777 with them it's a beautiful plane.

Login to post a comment.