Review of Garuda Indonesia flight Surabaya Jakarta in Business

Airline Garuda Indonesia
Flight GA329
Class Business
Seat 7K
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 01:35
Take-off 26 Aug 16, 20:30
Arrival at 26 Aug 16, 22:05
GA   #17 out of 136 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 192 reviews
Razza_Pr
By 1392
Published on 11th October 2016
Intro

Hello, and welcome on board this FR covering my return trip from Surabaya to Jakarta CGK. I had spent a good few days in Surabaya catching up with an old friend from Australia, but 2 days later she had to return to Australia, so I decided to take the same flight as hers back to Jakarta, but she connected onwards to the Sydney-bound Garuda flight that night. Well at least we got to be seatmates for a short flight.

Oh, and here is my report covering the outbound trip.

Pre-Departure

My friend's Surabaya-based colleague was kind enough to drive us to the airport in the outskirts of Surabaya. At Juanda airport, there are 2 passenger terminals. Terminal 1 is for all domestic operations, except for Garuda Indonesia and Indonesia AirAsia, and Terminal 2 handles all Garuda operations, Indonesia AirAsia, and foreign carriers.

I apologise in advance for the blurry photos.

Approaching the terminal.
photo screen shot 2016-10-10 at 11.54.27 pm

Outside of the building, before the entrance.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 12.09.56 am

Departure Airport - Surabaya SUB

Now, once you have passed the security screening at the entrance, you're supposed to turn right if you wish to greet arriving passengers, or left if you are a departing passenger. However, rather counterintuitively, there's a SkyPriority entry point just across the security screening point.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 12.14.17 am
Wonder where that will lead you to?

Like in CGK, there is a premium check-in zone for SkyPriority passengers.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 2.49.17 pm
And a cardboard cutout of a Maitre D'Cabin to greet you! The facility is for First or Business Class, and GarudaMiles Platinum passengers.

The seating area, where you can sit down and do other things whilst they check you in.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 2.53.14 pm
You can read their magazine, Colours, for example.

Or you can walk around and take photos of the check-in counters for other passengers.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 3.11.18 pm
Counter #2 is for GarudaMiles Gold & Platinum cardholders and SkyTeam Elite, #3 is for GarudaMiles Silver members and "co-brand Garuda Indonesia Citibank" (which I later discovered to be a Garuda Indonesia credit card linked to a GarudaMiles account issued by Citibank), #5 is for Corporate check-in, #4 #6 #7 #8 and #9 are for the regular Economy Class passengers.

After check in was done, we received our boarding passes. Then we proceeded upstairs taking the escalator (there's also an elevator for passengers who require mobility assistance), making our way to the lounge.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 4.29.33 pm
Upstairs at the departure gates level, you can find shops that offer confectionaries and light bites before the second layer of security screening.

Post-security, gates area. More shops but this time, chains.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 4.34.45 pm

Walking past Gate 2, where passengers for the previous flight to Jakarta, GA327, are boarding their flight.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 4.36.11 pm

Walked past this room. Looks official with the insignia and all.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 4.37.12 pm
I asked my sister-in-law to translate this for me, and I was informed that it's a transit room for the Indonesian Navy. Maybe this is where the mysterious SkyPriority lane before check-in will lead you to?

And finally, the entrance to the lounge.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 4.45.22 pm
For Business Class passengers, GarudaMiles Platinum, and SkyTeam Elite Plus members. Perhaps for Indonesian Navy personnels in transit, as well.

In the fridge, carbonated sugary drinks are on offer, as well as sliced blueberry cakes.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 4.48.35 pmphoto screen shot 2016-10-11 at 4.48.50 pm
The cake tasted pretty good, too!

Cereals are on offer. Because who doesn't like breakfast for dinner? I know I sure do! I had the dark-brown coloured chocolatey cereal and enjoyed it.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 4.49.03 pm
Juices next to the cereal. From left to right; orange, guava, apple. The one next to the orange is, unfortunately for me, not vodka. (If it were, I would've helped myself to a nice glass of Screwdriver for sure!)

Light bites on offer.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 4.59.33 pm

Hot food on offer.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.04.01 pm
Surprise! They were near-empty or fully empty when I opened them one by one. Perhaps because the last departing flight was imminent. Oh well, the other passengers didn't seem to mind.

Coffee station.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.05.36 pm

The brand of china they use.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.08.28 pm

My boarding pass.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.10.01 pm
Scheduled boarding at 20:25, for a 20:30 scheduled departure? Yeah, right.

FIDS.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.11.06 pm
Our flight is second from the top. Unfortunately, it's another delayed flight for me for the exact same reason (late arrival from previous flight). And an even narrower window for my friend whose initial connecting time was 1h35m was reduced to 1h15m.

After confirming the delay with the receptionists, I found a lovely surprise;
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.16.32 pm
Scented face towels in a towel steamer! I took two for both my friend, and myself.

Reflexology area.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.18.33 pm

Business Centre with iMac desktop computers and a 3-in-1 printer.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.19.12 pm
By the time I took a photo of the business centre area, it was already 3 minutes to scheduled boarding time. So I went back to our seats to retrieve my belongings and my friend, and we headed straight to boarding gate 2.

Sure enough, boarding process had commenced.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.21.54 pm
Priority was respected by the crew, not so much by the (understandably) tired and impatient passengers. Passengers with economy class boarding passes were put to a halt, as the crew called out Business Class passengers to board first.

Flight details.
Flight number: GA329
Equipment: 2-class Boeing 737-800
Scheduled departure time: 20:30 UTC+7
Actual departure time: 21:05 UTC+7 (pushback), 21:15 UTC+7 (takeoff)
Scheduled arrival time: 22:05 UTC+7
Actual arrival time: 22:07 UTC+7 (touchdown), 22:27 UTC+7 (at gate)
Scheduled travel time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Actual travel time: 1 hour 22 minutes (gate to gate)
Duration of delay: 20 minutes
Seat number: 7K


I didn't take any photos of Garuda's regional business class product on board their 737s because I had to sit down ASAP and not clog the boarding process, but you can see that on my previous report

View from my seat.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.32.28 pm
Business Class was full on this flight.

The Captain came on the intercom and announced Garuda's apology for the delay. Wonder how many times he's had to to it today?

Scented hot towels were distributed. And welcome drinks offered. As usual, I went for an OJ, whereas my friend opted for water instead.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.34.15 pm

Blankets were also given to passengers. Made in Indonesia.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.34.43 pmphoto screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.34.51 pm

Two gates away, a Garuda Indonesia 737-800 parking.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.35.15 pm

Minutes later, an Indonesia AirAsia X A320-200 registered as PK-AXH parked next to our gate.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.39.21 pm

Mood lighting kicked in as we began our taxi to the runway.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.41.07 pm

And at 21:15, we finally took off and made our way to Jakarta.

Upon reaching cruising altitude of FL370, I took a photo of the noise-cancelling headphones which you can get from the seat pocket in front of you.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.49.47 pmphoto screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.49.56 pm

The new IFE interface. Score!
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.53.12 pm

IFE remote control just below the headphones jack.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.53.23 pm

Seat pocket contents.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.55.03 pmphoto screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.55.14 pm
Stars is their IFE guide, Colours is the inflight magazine, Arcade is the inflight duty free. Along with the safety instructions card for a 737-800 and 2 airsickness bags.

Only about 10 minutes in, the crew sprung into action offering food to the passengers. The choice was either fried rice with beef or rice noodles with fish (identical to the one offered on my previous flight). I decided to go for the fried rice option, and so did my friend.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 5.59.16 pm
Thoughts: the presentation looks identical to the one served on my outbound flight, very simple, but I like it. The taste however, was the polar opposite. The fried rice and the beef were very flavourful! Was pleasantly surprised as I had my expectations dropped a few notches from the last flight. Tropical fruits served with it felt and tasted fresh, and the cake was a tad too sweet for me but a good way to finish it nevertheless. Didn't touch the breads on offer. 7.5/10 for a short hop.

After finishing the meal, I only listened to a few more Simple Plan songs from their latest album. Also didn't do a lavatory visit because I chose to remain seated as opposed to queuing for the restroom.

Approaching CGK.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 6.08.26 pm

Touched down at Rwy 25L at 22:07, took a good 20 minutes to cross to the other side of the airport and get to Terminal 3.

Garuda Indonesia A330-300 parked on an apron.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 6.14.53 pm

Parked next to our aircraft is PK-GFF, another Garuda Indonesia 737-800.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 6.17.42 pm

Arrival Airport - Jakarta CGK

Upon disembarking, crossing the bridge from the jetway to the terminal.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 6.20.55 pm

Long trek to arrivals/international transfers level.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 6.21.45 pm

Escalator, stairs, and elevator.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 6.22.56 pmphoto screen shot 2016-10-11 at 6.23.18 pm
Go up if you have a domestic connection, down if you have an international connection departing from Terminal 2, or if this is your last stop.

Once you're at the bottom level, follow the relevant signs to get to Terminal 2 by bus from remote gate 13.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 6.26.08 pmphoto screen shot 2016-10-11 at 6.26.20 pmphoto screen shot 2016-10-11 at 6.26.32 pm

After I bade my dear friend farewell, she made her way to Gate 13, and I made my way to the arrivals hall.

Another Indonesian artwork.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 6.28.06 pm

Not an artwork.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 6.28.47 pm
I later discovered there are 2 exit points in this terminal. Turn left for the exit of passengers without baggage (the exit I took), to the right is the exit for passengers with baggage. Though for those who are supposed to pick you up, they wouldn't necessarily know where you might come out from. Needs to be addressed somehow.

Follow signs at the hallway if you're a passenger without baggage.
photo screen shot 2016-10-11 at 11.57.04 pm

And looking left to where the exhibition area will be.
photo screen shot 2016-10-12 at 12.00.25 am

You'll be able to see these if you exit the building and go into the Terminal 3 car park from the bottom level.
photo screen shot 2016-10-12 at 12.01.25 am

BONUS:

I was informed that the night I arrived was the last day of operations for the old Terminal 3. So we drove there and I decided to take some photos of it.

As promised in my previous report; final glimpse into the old Terminal 3. Served me well on my AirAsia runs in the past before my loyalty to SkyTeam, and by extension Garuda Indonesia.

Arrivals level and meeting point, with a restaurant and local café chain wrapping up shop. Hope to see them in the new Terminal 3 in the future as I enjoy both of them.


Departures level with shops already closed for good.
photo screen shot 2016-10-12 at 12.05.32 amphoto screen shot 2016-10-12 at 12.05.47 am
See more

Verdict

Garuda Indonesia

7.5/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew7.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering7.5

Surabaya - SUB

7.9/10
Efficiency9.0
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.5

Jakarta - CGK

5.8/10
Efficiency6.0
Access6.5
Services5.0
Cleanliness5.5

Conclusion

Another flight with my favourite SkyTeam member reported.

Odd how I can't rate the Garuda Indonesia lounge at Surabaya because there's no option available for that - hopefully a team member will look into that soon. But to be descriptive, the lounge wasn't too good or too bad. To me, it did feel too simple, considering the amount of passengers flying for business between Jakarta and Surabaya, it just felt like a meeting room with different areas. Though a definite plus for the breakfast options available at that time of night.

Cabin crew understandably sounded a bit tired. But even so, they were still very friendly and very efficient.

Although the IFE had the new interface, I'm still not pleased by the fact that it's still too close to my eyes for comfort. Hopefully when the 737MAX comes, they'll have it redesigned where it will be more comfortable for the passengers.

Food was pleasantly surprising, being the polar opposite it was compared to the one I had on my outbound flight. Still not the best quality for fried rice (my brother's wife's mother makes a much better one) in my opinion, but it did the trick.

As for the old Terminal 3.. If any of my readers would like to share with the community the memories they've had, I'd really like it. Just uploading the images again brings back some good memories..

Information on the route Surabaya (SUB) Jakarta (CGK)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 7 reviews of 3 airlines on the route Surabaya (SUB) → Jakarta (CGK).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Garuda Indonesia with 8.0/10.

The average flight time is 1 hours and 36 minutes.

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9 Comments

  • Comment 370117 by
    MRTY 45 Comments

    Hi Razza_PR, great to see another report from you. I'm still expecting to see the report on your long haul flight to London soon.

    I believe that Skyteam gate you saw before check-in area in Juanda is actually Gate 1, it is used for Garuda's flights utilizing ATR and Bombardier aircraft to several short routes like Jember, Banyuwangi, Makasar, etc. So after you check-in in usual area, you go out from there and head to this Gate 1 where they have their own Garuda lounge inside. It has nothing to do with that Navy Lounge upstairs.

    Post some more reports. Cheers.

    • Comment 370198 by
      Razza_Pr AUTHOR 205 Comments

      Hello, MRTY, thanks for stopping by.

      Unfortunately, I will not report any of my flights from Indonesia to London. It's all down to my personal preference, really - a distinction if you like. I'd report only the outbound flights, and if I'm honest, the only reason I decided to report this flight in particular is to showcase the last photos of the old Terminal 3 at CGK, and the arrivals section of the new Terminal 3. I appreciate that you're keeping an eye out for more of my reports in the future.

      Thanks again, and happy flying!

  • Comment 370209 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5049 Comments

    Wonderful report! That's a fancy premium check in area for a non-hub airport. Though I assume GA have a large operation at SUB. Garuda has really turned into a premium carrier. PTVs on a narrowbody domestic flight is really nice, especially with noise-cancelling headphones! The catering looks very good for a domestic flight. Once again very impressed with Garuda's premium cabin experience. Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 370268 by
      Razza_Pr AUTHOR 205 Comments

      Hello, KévinDC, thanks for stopping by!

      You assume correct. From Jakarta alone, they have up to 15 daily flights, 13 by 737-800, 1 A330-200, and 1 A330-300. Then there are other destinations that they fly to as well.

      Yeah, the IFE was nice, but in regards to its position in the seat, I hope to seen an improvement in the future so that it's not too close to the passengers' eyes for comfort or that one will have to look down to it. I was only listening to music but I can't imagine I'd favour it as much if I were to fly say Jakarta-Perth for 5 hours and had to watch an entire film with my head positioned that way.

      The catering was of good portion for a short hop such as this one, but with the same menu for 3-6 months before it's changed again, one would expect more consistency.

      Thanks again, and happy flying!

  • Comment 370265 by
    asiantraveler 457 Comments

    thank you for this great report !

    "The facility is for First or Business Class, GarudaMiles Platinum, and SkyTeam Elite Plus passengers."
    "Farthest to the left is a check-in counter for SkyPriority passengers. I wonder why they have that, even though there's the premium check-in area?"

    -> because sadly the premium check in area is not available for Skyteam Elite Plus (only for Platinium GARUDA)

    Skyteam Elite Plus also dont have access to Garuda Executive domestic lounges unless they have an international connection before or after the domestic flight...

  • Comment 370266 by
    asiantraveler 457 Comments

    thx for this great report !

    "The facility is for First or Business Class, GarudaMiles Platinum, and SkyTeam Elite Plus passengers."
    "Farthest to the left is a check-in counter for SkyPriority passengers. I wonder why they have that, even though there's the premium check-in area?"

    -> because ST Elite + dont have access to this premium check-in lounge (sadly) : only Platinum GARUDA

    • Comment 370269 by
      Razza_Pr AUTHOR 205 Comments

      Hello, Asiantraveler, and thanks for stopping by!

      Thanks for pointing them out! I have revised this report and corrected the mistake. I hadn't known about the STE+ passengers and international connection thing before.

      Thanks again, and happy flying!

  • Comment 370307 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR!

    Interesting check-in area for GA elites, surprised they limit it only to GA elites and don't include ST ElitePlus. The lounge is also quite extensive for being a smaller airport. Catering is really a nice aspect of GA, having two hot options available on a 70-minute flight is very impressive. Is the content of the IFE on the narrow-body fleet the same as on the long-haul fleet?

    Hopefully the return of GA keeps going smoothly as they rebuild their SE Asia presence. Thanks again!

    • Comment 370715 by
      Razza_Pr AUTHOR 205 Comments

      Hello, NGO85, and thanks for stopping by!

      I agree that the check-in area for GA's premium passengers really are quite something. Though I imagine it might not be as effective if they have to handle 24+ passengers at once (for A330 operations). Was quick and smooth though.

      The lounge looked more roomy than it felt in my opinion. It didn't feel too small but I imagine that I wouldn't want to be in it during peak periods. Food options were appreciated though!

      Full meals are only available for Business Class passengers for flights between 60 and 90 minutes. Economy class passengers meanwhile only get to enjoy a snack box. Longer than that, then economy class passengers too will be offered hot meals. Though I look forward to next year when I plan to fly from Bali/Lombok to Tambolaka in Sumba on their Aérospatiale ATR 72-600. Should be exciting to experience and report how they do island hoppers.

      The interface on this aircraft's IFE in particular is the same as the one I got on their 777-300ER. In terms of content, it may differ from aircraft to aircraft, however I do expect that it will be the same fleet-wide, at least in the future.

      Thanks again, and happy flying!

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