This flight report will cover a short weekend getaway to Bali. This destination is one of the more mainstream holiday options among Indonesians and tourists originating from all over the world. What's a better way to fly across the archipelago than with Garuda? Garuda Indonesia is a very interesting airline. After financial difficulties in the 90s , it had an inferior product and stopped flying to Europe and the US. It was then blacklisted from flying into the European Union, after encountering a string of crashes, and the flying public was even discouraged by several countries from flying with tbem. Almost 10 years later,it earned quite a number of awards, including a well-renowned crew who won the best cabin crew award for the 3rd time consecutively, comfortable Economy class, and well-celebrated soft product. It even has a list of awards on the company's website. My last flight was with them on the CGK-AMS route last year in October, and being a frequent GA flyer, I was impressed on how much they put effort in their hard and soft products. Now, let's take a look at how much their domestic product compares.
Here is the routing GA 422 CGK-DPS 1310-1610 28-07-16 GA 407 DPS-CGK 1200-1255 31-07-16 The flights cost around 3 million rupiah roundtrip, approximately 230 USD, 170 GBP or 205 EUR. This is 50% higher than normal, although this may be due to our late booking and the totally full flight.
I have decided to come up with the 'Seatbelt Test'. Every flight starts with a final safety check conducted by FAs, and during this check I would unbuckle my seatbelt on purpose. I found that this would often reflect the FAs' attitude and level of service later in flight. Some would simply pass, being required to do so, and I found that most of the time the crew may be disinterested, and some would attentively check on each and every passenger, which I found that most of the time, they would be a great crew to fly with.
We arrived at the airport 45 minutes prior to departure, after a roughly 25 minute trip from my home. Knowing that our timing would be tight, we checked in at a GA Centre in town beforehand. Garuda operates out of Terminal 2E and 2F, for international and domestic routes, respectively, whereas other airlines on domestic routes use Terminal 1. Lion Air's 737s Terminal 2F is exclusively Garuda's flights, as shown from this picture. They seem particularly determined to advertise their dominance here!
With less than an hour to go, we made a beeline for the baggage drop, passing through a first security check. I apologize if the pictures are inferior or if not many are available. Using a priority lane, it took only 10 minutes to drop our bags.
The 'Aerotropolis', a major expansion plan for CGK, now nearing completion. Speaking of Check-in, GA has a dedicated checkin counter for premium and SkyTeam Elite passengers.
The International and domestic departures are connected together, so an international passenger could use a lounge in the domestic wing, but not the other way round, as the international lounges are post-immigration. GA's domestic lounge
Terminal 2F interior
GA domestic flights for the day
GA Boeing 773ER
Here is our gate, and we'll be sharing it with a flight to Batam.
There is another security check prior to enterring the gate.
Here's our bird today! She's PK-GPP, a 3 year old Airbus A330-200.
And a fellow A330 beside us.
Boarding commenced at 12 59, after a boarding announcement at 12 53 Newspapers were provided at the end of the jetbridge.
GA 422 ROUTE:CGK-DPS EQUIPMENT: Airbus A330-200 FLIGHT PADDING: 2 HOURS TAKEOFF: 13 38 TOUCHDOWN: 16 05 (+1 HOUR) EFT: 90 MIN AFT: 87 MIN We easily found our seat with ease, after receiving clear instructions from the purser in Indonesian, complete with a welcoming smile. FAs were positioned throughout the aircraft, asssisting passengers with finding their seats and Excellent legroom for my 175cm frame, and I believe that our taller friends will have no problem fitting into this seat.
Power ports were available.
Let's explore the seatback content. The safety information card, an airsickness bag, Arcade( In flight duty free), Colours (In flight magazine), Stars (IFE guide)
Overhead signs. The No-Smoking sign is replaced by a No-Mobile phone sign, a sign that wifi is available on board.
The first officer came on the PA shortly afterward. In the past, most Indonesian pilots mumble through their English announcement , perhaps because of their ability to speak. This is becoming less of problem, and not the case on this flight. The standard GA sweets on offer.
The safety video fired up, although there were Dutch subtitles on it, perhaps due to the large number of Dutch holidaymakers on board.
Pushback commenced at 13 18. Neighbouring GA A332 and GA B744
GA and Malindo B737s
Hangar and CGK's airplane graveyard. In the background is a Batavia 737. Batavia was an Indonesian airline, with some of its planes scattered around CGK.
After a 15 minute taxi we arrived at the runway threshold. Not too bad for CGK standards. At this point I was juggling my camera while also playing with the IFE. The selection was not too extensive as SQ, but there were interesting Indonesian movies, and I found something to watch.
We climbed up to an altitude of 41000 feet. For a flight of this length, a hot meal would be served.The food was heated on the ground and the carts were rolled out during climbb, due to the short time frame.
Recline is not bad for an A330
Neither is the seat pitch. On the other hand, it's even better than on the old SQ B777s
A single FA mans the trolley, with both food and beverages served on a single trolley
Options were mentioned orally, being a beef lasagna or chicken with rice. I chose the lasagna while my companion had chicken. The tray as presented
And opened. The lasagna came with vegetables.
The chicken option
The FAs pour the drinks and present them on a tray. It sure does add class to the overall service! The lasagna was good, my only gripe is that the filling is quite sweet The chicken is tender, and the vegetables were fresh, and the rice was fragrant. Easily one of the better meals I've had on a plane. Cost cutting is evident. On my last flight, there was a bread roll and a proper dessert. The FAs were remarkable, smiles were everpresent throughout service.
Jakarta - CGK
Denpasar - DPS
The cabin is comfortable for a short hop like this. The amenities were in immaculate condition, and were kept that way throughout the flight. The flight attendants were first class, and exceeded my expectations for even GA crew. The entree was good, however, cost cutting was evident as there used to be a proper dessert and a bread roll. Entertainment was abundant, although content lags behind SQ's KrisWorld and EK's ICE CGK was efficient and provided a hassle-free experience. The overall cleanliness was alright but could be improved DPS saw a huge improvement, and I was largely impressed over the improvement the new domestic terminal showed
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