Hello! This is a super-late post as this flight actually occured over 5 years ago, but the secondary school version of myself happens to document it well and I just recovered the photos, so better late than never, right? Documenting a flight has been my habit in any sort of flight but for a few years the photos were just left in various PCs while I never thought of a space to post them in an organized manner like in this website. This was a part of a short 3-day trip to Bangkok with my grandparents and my cousin. Bangkok is number 2 on the list of my most frequently visited city overseas, after Singapore. This is my 2nd time to Bangkok before doing another trip short from a year later using Airasia.
All time information are given in Western Indonesian Time (UTC+7.00) Standard Time of Departure: 0940 hrs Standard Time of Arrival: 1310 hrs
Aircraft Registration Number: PK-GFI (MSN 36805) Aircraft Type: Boeing 737-86N Aircraft Age: 7 years old (as of 2017)
This trip report dates back to even the groundbreaking of the rather aesthetically pleasing but in fact trashy Terminal 3 Ultimate, so therefore going on a flight with GA means you'll go through Terminal 2 instead, where the international carriers operate out and into CGK. Nowadays, the whole GA service both international and domestic flights have been relocated to the newly opened T3, with some international carriers like Korean Air and China Southern also have commenced operation in T3 Ultimate.
I'm very sorry to say that I haven't got any documentation for my journey throughout the terminal building, I will start reviewing upon when I am seated in the aircraft instead. However, I will still make the rating for the airport as I'm a pretty frequent user of the Terminal 2 building. Nothing fancy about the terminal, back in 2012 it was still in the original state where no major renovation/refurbishments has been made yet. No carpet on the hallways or the immigration checkpoints nor revitalized restrooms like they have nowadays. The current state of the airport enhanced some few aspects quite significantly, such as hygiene level and ambience of the restrooms are much better today. A fresher-looking touch on the interior is also made by the addition of carpets and other decorational ornaments. Old and outdated signages are also replaced with even more clearly-legible ones. The number of stalls, lounges, and cafes has also increased significantly. To be honest, a 2012 CGK was a very boring airport as you have limited choices of where to go and what to do especially if you're waiting for a flight that is still within a few hours. Waiting in T2 could be an experience of boredom, especially if you're travelling alone. The most reasonable option is to pay for a seat in one of the few lounges available and enjoy the food, beverages, and services offered.
Typical Indonesian weather in January, where heavy downpour falls on an average 24-25 days out of 30 days within a month
Today I'll be sitting in 11K!
Standard legroom for an economy class seat by GA, back in 2012 I wasn't as tall as I am now by the way…
Safety instruction card before it was revised and updated
As the PK-GFI is already IFE-equipped, safety demonstration is presented in a video
Cabin situation as soon as we are about to push back from the gates
Taxiing to the runway…
Lining up… requesting clearance
And…rotate! We're up and going in the air!
During the preliminary announcement, the captain addressed the passengers and welcomed us onboard this flight to inform that the flight to Bangkok will take around 3 hours and 20 minutes. He also informs to expect some turbulence during the first few minutes of the flight due to the sprawl of thunderstorm clouds across our ascent path. However, upon reaching a cruising altitude of 38,000 feet. The weather in Bangkok is in contrary to the weather in Jakarta, is reported to be sunny and dry with an air temperature of 31 degrees celsius. Since cities like Bangkok and Jakarta are in proximity to the equator, both of them only have 2 seasons which is the dry and wet season. However, the time of occurance in each city is completely different. In this flight, I took off from a gloomy, rainy, overcast Jakarta to a very sunny and dry Bangkok. Despite both of them located in Southeast Asia. This is because while Jakarta has the wet season from October to April while at the same time the dry season is on full swing in the Indochina Region.
Eventually, we made it to 38,000 feet and got clear of the thunderstorm cloud cover over western part of Indonesia.
A very close-up look to the 738's very iconic winglet
The weather obviously gets better and better as we go up north! It's sunny and blue skies up here over Malaysia.
Flying high 38,000 feet above east of Cameron Highlands area of Pahang, Malaysia
Due to the low load factor of this flight, I took the opportunity of going to the lavatory and documented some of the interior. I'm the kind of person who is just lazy to get through a lot of people if I have to go to the lavatory, especially if the flight is packed with people. However, today's flight seems to be out of the ordinary. Cleanliness is well-maintained.
The sanitary kit provided in the lavatory is adequate
Pretty much halfway into the trip, just leaving the Malayan Peninsula
Meal is served on this flight some 1.5 hours after takeoff and I opted for a chicken curry meal. I apologize as I forgot to document the meal but I still remember that like any other meal that GA economy class provides, the vegetables, in this case some celery are not on the fresher level and it feels very disturbing while the carrots are completely fine. The rice is also a bit hard and dry in texture which is contradictive towards the tongue of Indonesian people that prefers tender and moister rice.
Orange juice and other drinks are also being offered after meal service is concluded
More good weather as we make it towards the end of the flight…
Rocking those iconic CFM56's!
After a while flying above water, seeing a glimpse of land is pretty much an amusement. Welcome to the Land of the White Elephant!
Other random snaps I took upon reaching Thailand air territory
And after a while staying on the same heading the captain finally announced the commence of descending into Bangkok and immediately there was a change of heading
A shot of the coastal area that forms the densely-populated industrial corridor
Another motive behind the relocation and construction of a new airport outside of Bangkok is to ease the flow of cargo loads and other logistics. That is the main reason why the location chosen for the new Suvarnabhumi Airport. It is located 40 kilometres east of downtown Bangkok and is accessible via the Bang Na Expressway, a 54-kilometre viaduct which is also a highway that connects Bangkok with the Eastern Economic Corridor, a heavily populated and industrialised area of Thailand that is comprised of the provinces Samut Prakan, Chachoengsao, Rayong, and Chonburi. It is where numerous consumer goods made in Thailand are manufactured and a main source of foreign industrial investment in Thailand. It is also famous for housing the manufacturing centre for an array of large, multinational automobile companies like Toyota, Mazda, and Ford for the ASEAN region. By moving the airport further out of the city and making it closer to the industrial estate and the seaport to export and import goods, it is hoped to enhance mobility of the logistics in Thailand.
Into our final approach now…
Lots and lots of industrial estates down there…
Touchdown! Landed safely in Bangkok!
Taxiing to the terminal building…
Here two Transaero airplanes are parked with an Eva Air B777-300ER in between. Double jumbo-jet trouble. Definitely A lot of Russian charter flights, as January and winter months in the Northern Hemisphere is a popular time for the influx of Russian tourists flying into destinations like Bangkok, Phuket, and Bali as they escape the harsh winter there and immerse the tropical weather here… :)
Another counterpart of the jumbo-jet coming from the the Netherlands… KLM's PH-BFF
An Etihad 77W is seen out here, way before the current mozaic livery was even applied on its fleet. Honestly, I really like the current EY mozaic livery as well as the ambience and design of their interior. Here is A6-ETE with the old livery and as usual, an endorser to the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix
Sleeping whale from its homeland counterpart
This is way before Emirates "raged" with its 80+ A380 fleet and now has established its secondary hub in BKK. Now EK operates out of BKK to several cities like Melbourne and Sydney. Alongside maintaining daily connections from DXB as well. I have no clue about the motive of this move but I guess this emphasizes even more the power and capability of a company with a level like Emirates. It's quite irritating to see the design of an airport that is modern and very nice to see compared to the "proud of the nation, gateway to Indonesia", CGK. Indonesian airports are obviously getting really left behind from Southeast Asian hubs.
An Air France judging from the length that it is a 777-200/777-200ER perhaps..?? This is F-GSPB
I'm certainly missing my childhood days before the darkest moments of Indonesian aviation where sanctions and bans are given to Indonesian carriers by the EU and the FAA. They've ceased connections to CGK now, leaving only KLM and Turkish Airlines as the European carriers operating in and out of CGK. Back then, Air France, Lufthansa still operate regularly out of CGK so I'm definitely missing their fleet so badly:( So nostalgic to remember back when there were Lufthansa 747-400's and Air France's 777's taking off and landing into CGK.
Finally settled to our disembarking gate and parked right next to HS-ABT, a Thai AirAsia A320
Delightful view of the design
We're disembarked, on to the airbridges and straight into the arrival hall. I like the way Suvarnabhumi Airport is designed because of its modern touch and simplicity but still has a nice atmosphere.
Lining up at the immigration counters…
Passing through the pickup area where my transfer van was waiting to drive me to the hotel in Bangkok
Suvarnabhumi's control tower is in fact the highest free-standing control tower in the world with a height of 132 metres
And that concludes this review and stay tuned for more of my reviews. If you have any enquiries or just asking about anything feel free to leave them in the comments column below. Thank you for your attention, I hope you find this review informative and have a nice day!
Jakarta - CGK
Bangkok - BKK
Honestly, I am almost out of words for Garuda Indonesia since they maintain a good quality of service and its fleet. It's not strange for a 3-times back-to-back winner of World's Best Cabin Crew awards by Skytrax and obviously as a 5-star airline it has to live up to its expectations of service and fleet quality. I do still have some doubts about the freshness level of economy class hot meals, since vegetable-included meals are often not very fresh enough on a lot of GA flights I've flown with. But apart from that, I really love GA and I'm very proud just because of its achievements in the world of aviation. Makes me very proud as an Indonesian! Suvarnabhumi Airport is also definitely on the top-5 list of the best airports I've been to, keep up the good work!
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