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.
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.
Only holders of air-tickets were allowed to enter the check-in area after a security screening.
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.
Forced to walk through multiple shops after immigration and security.
To the main terminal area with dining choices. Lounges were on the upper level.
Using my Priority Pass, I proceeded to the Premier Lounge, which was also used by many airlines' premium pax, including SQ.
Lounge was of decent size, with only the necessary facilities. There were both indoor and outdoor seating.
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.
Boarding pass and my food selection.
FIDS in the lounge.
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.
At the bus gate.
Boarding soon started and passengers streamed up the buses which will ferry us to the plane.
During the bus ride to our aircraft.
Spotted a Garuda jet in retro livery, and yes! The Retro-jet was going to be operating our flight today!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Headsets were available in the seat pocket.
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.
After all passengers had settled into their seats, welcome beverage was served. Think this is a rarity not found on any other airline.
Welcome drink of orange juice. Though I found it too sweet for my liking.
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.
Safety demo video
IFE was already available during boarding. Decided to watch a Korean comedy, which was rather entertaining.
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!
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.
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.
Chicken with potatoes. It was rather tasty, though the meat portion seemed small.
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.
Visit to the lavatory after meal service. The lavatory was very clean. Amenities available include hand lotion and eu de toilette.
Tray collection in progress while more drinks were being offered.
Spent the rest of the flight finishing up my movie. Flight info can be called up on the IFE screen during the movie.
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.
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.
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.
Independent Premier Lounge
Denpasar - DPS
Singapore - SIN
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.
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