Review of Garuda Indonesia flight Denpasar Seoul in Business

Airline Garuda Indonesia
Flight GA870
Class Business
Seat 7A
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 07:10
Take-off 31 Dec 17, 00:15
Arrival at 31 Dec 17, 08:25
GA   #17 out of 139 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 197 reviews
Rewardflying
By GOLD 2412
Published on 23rd February 2018
photo ga870 cover


Hello Flight-Report #avgeeks. Rewardflying returns traveling across the pacific and back. This trip will start with a favorite and end with Garuda Indonesia's A330 (newest seat) and the highly anticipated Delta A350.

I hope you enjoy the trip!

Flight Segments


ORD American Airlines Flagship Lounge - click to view
Japan Airlines ORD-NRT First Class 777-300 - click to view
NRT Japan Airlines First Class Lounge - Main Terminal - click to view
Japan Airlines NRT-SIN Business ClassSkySuite III 777-200 - click to view
KLM SIN-DPS Business Class 777-300 - click to view

Garuda Indonesia DPS-ICN Business Class A330 - This report


Delta ICN-DTW Business Class A350
Delta DTW-ORD - No report

Traveling on a carrier who doesn't fly to the USA is always an anticipated experience for me, especially on one with a great reputation for premium service. This trip to Bali was conjured up by the desire to fly Delta's 747 before retirement. When originally booked I was on the last scheduled Delta 747 flight! But that's getting ahead of the story and Delta's report featuring their 747 replacement, the A350 is next. First was the flight to ICN on Garuda Indonesia.

Garuda Indonesia (GA) is a rather small airline with a fleet of 142 aircraft based on information from planespotter.net. Only 34 of the 142 are widebody aircraft, a mix of 24 A330's and 10 Boeing 777-300 jets. Within these 34 long haul aircraft they have 3 different types of seats in business class. Twenty A330's have the B/E Aerospace Diamond product in a 2x2x2 configuration. While nice there's no privacy on overnight flights. These aircraft are deployed on most routes to Asia as well as down to Australia. Next all but one of the Boeing 777's have the Airbus owned Stelia Solstys seat in a 1x2x1 all aisle access configuration. Some of these 777's have a first class cabin as well. Most of the triple sevens are on routes to Europe as well as China.

In the last couple of years GA has found a new favorite business class seat which happens to be my favorite as well, B/E Aerospace's Super Diamond seat. As of this writing 4 A330's and 1 B777 have this seat. For an overnight flight this seat is much preferred, especially over the 2x2x2 configuration on the A330s.

Garuda Indonesia A330 pictured below with registration number PK-GHD happened to have the Super Diamond seats installed. Booking this flight didn't happen by accident.

photo ga870 plane 1

Garuda Indonesia has a rather long minimum connection time of 120 minutes at Incheon. When I originally booked this trip, the connection time between the direct Garuda ICN flight to catch Delta's flight was 1 hour and 40 minutes. GA arrived at 9:45AM with Delta departing at 11:25AM. (Seems odd GA/DL wouldn't have worked out a codeshare as SkyTeam partners.) So that flight combination didn't even show up as available on Delta's website because of an invalid minimum connection, even though I saw the direct flight had reward inventory. Instead this flight combination via Jakarta was available.

photo ga870 delta booking receipt

Initially this seemed even better as the first flight was one of their 777's so I'd get to sample the lot. Then I checked the seat map and the A330 was the old style. For an overnight flight that wasn't going to work.

So I called Delta and pleaded with a very nice Delta agent to override the computer and let me take the direct flight from DPS to ICN. (As a side note, after a years worth of schedule changes the actual connection time was 2 hours. arrival at 9:15 and departure at 11:15.)

It was a rainy night when I took the 5 mile trip trip from the Autograph Legian hotel to Ngurah Rai International Airport. A trip that took 62 minutes due to insufferable traffic partially caused by having to wait to pass numerous fender benders. But I still arrived very early.

As a Chicago native I've been to Soldier's Field many times. A few years ago they rebuild the stadium. Instead of bulldozing it and starting over, they left the outer shell, wanting to preserve the famous columns. So they build a new stadium inside.

photo ga870 solderies field

While Soldier's Field looks even more ridiculous in person (my opinion), when I approached the airport entrance I kind of got the same impression.

photo ga870 airport ent 1photo ga870 airport ent 2

And that is because the inside has no resemblance to the outside. But they didn't build a new airport, they slapped some kind of facade on to the front of the old airport.

photo ga870 checkin 1

I checked in at counter A1. No one told me about the special premium class check-in, ever though I asked.

photo ga870 checkin 2

It is in the back after the standard check in lines.

photo ga870 checkin 3

With a 1AM departure and having milked the hotel for the latest checkout possible along with the fact it was raining, there wasn't much to do except hang out at DPS. Security was brutally long. Not in numbers but in time per person. And not so much of scrutiny to personal belongs, more unorganized chaos of Indonesian TSA. It almost made me appreciate USA TSA. Almost.

After security you walk through the DPS duty free area. Shame on me for not taking a photo but then it's pretty shameless on them for forcing you to walk through the liquor stores and cosmetic counters. Hey, it's an airport. Then you're released into the food court and lounge area.

photo ga870 lounge 1

Not in the mood for lounge hoping I just wanted to hang out in GA's lounge.

photo ga870 lounge 2

The lounge is upstairs so if you have a bag you can use a small elevator that holds 2-3 people to take you up a one level.

photo ga870 lounge 3

The enterance looks promising.

photo ga870 lounge 4photo ga870 lounge 5

First class is left and business class is right. There is a room with faux leather style recliners next to the food.

photo ga870 lounge 6

Then around a column is another area with passout style fabric chairs. The lounge is open to the food court below.

photo ga870 lounge 7

The lounge isn't very big and is shared with Skyteam partner Korean Air who happened to have two flights to Seoul this evening. Needless to say the lounge had people everywhere, even sitting on the floor.

While these photos aren't all inclusive, overall I wouldn't call the food and beverage items plentiful.

photo ga870 lounge bev 1photo ga870 lounge bev 2photo ga870 lounge bev 3

Initially when I arrived there wasn't any food to speak of. But after the lounge began to fill items were replenished.



Enough. Time to head to the gate which happened to be as far away as the eye can see.

Garuda Indonesia DPS-ICN Business Class A300-300



photo ga870 boarding 1

The boarding area was huge. GA has the facilities for some A380s.

photo ga870 boarding 2

Boarding time came and passed. No announcement.

photo ga870 boarding 3

A few minutes before scheduled departure we were allowed to board.

photo ga870 cabin 1photo ga870 cabin 2

Three lovely ladies were to attend the business class cabin. They were all fantastic.

photo ga870 cabin 3

Row 7 center seats showing with divider stowed. These seats are very private.

photo ga870 cabin 4

Proudly displaying their 5-star Skytrax rating.

photo ga870 cabin 5

At door 2 enterance is a self serve bar. I didn't go back to this area during the flight to know if it was setup.

photo ga870 cabin 6

The lavatories on the A330 were kept clean and stocked with moisturizers and dental products.

photo ga870 cabin lav 1photo ga870 cabin lav 2photo ga870 cabin lav 3

Seat "A". Honestly, I think the colors look better in photos than in person. The brown just seems a little drab. I felt the cabin to be a little dull.

photo ga870 seat 1

However the accents do provide a nice pop.

photo ga870 seat 2

One nice feature of the Super Diamond set is how much room you have to get into the pod.

photo ga870 seat 3

A good view of the footwell in a center seat.

photo ga870 seat 4 center

6A may be the winner here, too bad they block it from pre-assignment.

photo ga870 seat 5

A major difference on these seats is how the footwell is designed. More and more designs, like the newer Cirrus seat on JL, the Thai seat on their A350 and even the highly vaunted Delta Suite don't allow for this, storage under the ottoman.

photo ga870 seat 6a center

With this design you can extend the bed without the needs to move your smaller personal items or have them in the footwell along with your feet.

photo ga870 seat 7 ottoman

Garuda Indonesia went with the basic design. They certainly aren't like Qatar's version, or even Virgin Australia in terms of bells and whistles. But they didn't comprimise on comfort.

photo ga870 seat acc 1 controlsphoto ga870 seat acc 2 light

A plastic coat hook, then again coats aren't a priority next to the equator.

photo ga870 seat acc 4 coat hook

Some carriers have a water bottle holder inside this armrest compartment.

photo ga870 seat acc 6 arm rest

The tray is sizeable only it doesn't have the midrange level stop that some other versions I've seen have. You can fold it over without stowing it if you need to get out of your seat.

photo ga870 seat acc 4 tray

The side table consists of two compartments that open. One is for IFE controller if needed. The monitor is touchscreen.

photo ga870 seat acc 5 ife

As well as power, USB and audio jack.

photo ga870 seat acc 6 powerphoto ga870 seat acc 7 powerphoto ga870 ife headphones

An attractive amenity kit was waiting upon entrance.

photo ga870 amenity kit 1

Stocked with Clarins products and the usual combs, toothbrush, etc.

photo ga870 amenity kit 2

Time to go. While departure videos can be boring, this one is worthy due to the eery light show created by the rainy nighttime.



Once above the storm it was around 2AM. A perfect time for some sleep stimulants.

photo ga870 bev champ 1
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photo ga870 bev champ 2

Menus were distributed.

photo ga870 menu bev white wine
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photo ga870 menu bev red wine
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photo ga870 menu bev spirits
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photo ga870 menu bev tea-cof

A light snack menu called "IN BETWEEN FUEL" offered a quick bit before sleep.

photo ga870 menu food start

I chose the Satay with bean cake along with umm, a cabernet.

photo ga870 bev wine 1
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photo ga870 bev wine 2
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photo ga870 food start satay 1

The satay were wonderful. Tender and the sauces were flavorful. Although I won't say I'm a fan of the balinese sambal.

photo ga870 food start satay 2

The savory tart was interesting as well, for one who's accustomed to the sweet variety.

photo ga870 food start tart 1

It was time for some sleep. While no mattress pad, the generous blanket served dual duty. I slept comfortably for a few hours.

photo ga870 amenity blanket

Somewhere over Manila I awoke to see what would become in 24 hours the first of Super Blue Blood Moon 2018.

photo ga870 scenic blue moon

The Inflight Entertainment system was easy to use. 

photo ga870 ife 1photo ga870 ife 2

Tripadvisor was built-in. I suspect more inflight systems will be adding this. 

photo ga870 ife 3 trip adv

Precisely 22 hours to go. 

photo ga870 ife 4 22hrs to go

Maybe they forgot to turn it on?

photo ga870 ife 6 wifiphoto ga870 ife 5 wifi

Soon the moon was replaced by the sun. Breakfast had been pre-ordered from the menu. I had ordered eggs and was told it came with all the side dishes. No complaints here.

photo ga870 menu food intl 1
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photo ga870 menu food intl 2
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photo ga870 menu food intl 3
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photo ga870 menu food kor 1

I have no explanation. 

photo ga870 food tray

I've been on some international flights where this is your full breakfast. 

photo ga870 brk c pres

A nice variety, a danish, croissant as well as plain roll. 

photo ga870 brk ci bread

What a difference just a little creativity does to a serving of fruit. 

photo ga870 brk ci fruit

I was asked how I wanted my eggs. 

photo ga870 brk main 1

They were done perfectly. 

photo ga870 brk main 2

I was blown away by this breakfast.

photo ga870 brk main 3

It was delicious. 

photo ga870 brk main 4

All to soon we approached Seoul. 

photo ga870 scenic seoul 1

And I'm glad I don't have to leave the airport.

photo ga870 scenic seoul 2
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photo ga870 scenic seoul 3

Delta A350 where are you?

photo ga870 scenic seoul 4
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photo ga870 scenic seoul 5

Flight Path

photo ga870 flight path

For more information on this flight and photos of Bali visit rewardflying.com


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Verdict

Garuda Indonesia

8.1/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Meal/catering9.0

Garuda Indonesia International Lounge

4.3/10
Comfort5.0
Meal/catering4.0
Entertainment/wifi4.0
Services4.0

Denpasar - DPS

4.3/10
Efficiency5.0
Access4.0
Services4.0
Cleanliness4.0

Seoul - ICN

7.9/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.5
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

What a great flight. Everything I'd read about Garuda Indonesia having a great premium class experience was proven to be true.Too bad it was from 1AM to 8AM when it's difficult to fully enjoy the experience. Guess that's incentive to fly ICN-DPS departing @11AM!

Information on the route Denpasar (DPS) Seoul (ICN)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 3 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Denpasar (DPS) → Seoul (ICN).


Useful

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

The average flight time is 7 hours and 10 minutes.

  More information

4 Comments

  • Comment 433186 by
    socalnow GOLD 980 Comments

    Thanks for the excellent report Mark. I'm so jealous, I've always lusted for GA but I've never had points in the correct currency to book.

    While the ground and lounge experiences at DPS seem mediocre that changes once you walk down the jet way. The Super Diamond seat is always a great choice. I don't get the drab impression but then again I look at GA through starry eyes...

    That satay platter looks like Bali on a plate, it's beautiful. I think it's funny that nachos are on the snack menu.

    The breakfast looks amazing. I don't think I've seen an airplane breakfast that visually appealing. The tablecloth though...LOL.

    Great look at GA but, as you say, an overnight flight might not be the best yardstick. An excuse to book again!

    Thanks again Mark and happy flying.

    • Comment 433203 by
      Rewardflying GOLD AUTHOR 487 Comments

      Hi Christian, reward flying greetings,

      I've always lusted for GA but I've never had points in the correct currency to book.

      -AMEX/Delta 40K ICN to DPS although seems GA availability is wanting right now.

      I don't get the drab impression but then again I look at GA through starry eyes...

      -That's what I thought too, until I was on the plane. Maybe it was because the weather was dreary.

      That satay platter looks like Bali on a plate, it's beautiful. I think it's funny that nachos are on the snack menu.

      -Haha, like JL putting lasagna as a meal NRT-New Delhi.

      The breakfast looks amazing.

      -And it was!

      Thanks Christian, looking forward to your next trip.

  • Comment 433215 by
    Eric V P SILVER 123 Comments

    Thank you for sharing! I noticed some differences with my recent experience on GA's business, so here it goes:

    The lounge isn't very big and is shared with Skyteam partner Korean Air who happened to have two flights to Seoul this evening. Needless to say the lounge had people everywhere, even sitting on the floor. 
    - Best I remember KE uses Premier Lounge as well (just like KL and many other foreign carriers, even on SkyTeam)? But then, I think GA's lounge is the better of the two, which explains the crowd.

    While these photos aren't all inclusive, overall I wouldn't call the food and beverage items plentiful. 
    - At least you got some alcoholic beverages there, mainly wine - I went to GA's SUB domestic lounge and found it to be dry (or is it the case for all domestic lounges?)

    Three lovely ladies were to attend the business class cabin. They were all fantastic.
    - How full was the cabin? Anyway, GA's crews tend to be pretty good except on very short routes (ex.: CGK-TKG, DPS-LOP/SUB) where they couldn't help but to rush.

    Once above the storm it was around 2AM. A perfect time for some sleep stimulants. 
    - Did they not offer you any welcome drink? Also, it seems a bit inconsistent that they offered towel before pushback on my flight and (in your case) after take-off.

    Soon the moon was replaced by the sun. Breakfast had been pre-ordered from the menu. I had ordered eggs and was told it came with all the side dishes. No complaints here.
    - You (or someone else reporting here) should try the coconut rice as well for the next flight, it was also very good if you're into Indonesian dishes. Anyway, love how they present the otherwise ordinary egg dish.

    On overall, though, GA's mid-haul business class seem to be pretty solid - thanks again for sharing!

  • Comment 433217 by
    Rewardflying GOLD AUTHOR 487 Comments

    Hi Eric VP,

    At least you got some alcoholic beverages there, mainly wine - I went to GA's SUB domestic lounge and found it to be dry (or is it the case for all domestic lounges?)

    -Yes the alcohol was certainly sparse, not like Aussie lounges where that's the main attraction!

    How full was the cabin? Anyway, GA's crews tend to be pretty good except on very short routes (ex.: CGK-TKG, DPS-LOP/SUB) where they couldn't help but to rush.

    -I'd say it was 75 % full. No one next to me in 7 and no one in row 6, but the rows behind me seemed to be full. The Cirrus seats really hid the person sitting.

    Did they not offer you any welcome drink? Also, it seems a bit inconsistent that they offered towel before pushback on my flight and (in your case) after take-off.

    -I'm sure they did Eric, I just didn't have a picture and don't remember. I typically decline the pre-departure drink anyway.

    You (or someone else reporting here) should try the coconut rice as well for the next flight, it was also very good if you're into Indonesian dishes. Anyway, love how they present the otherwise ordinary egg dish.

    -Thanks for the tip, but I'd be hard pressed to pass that egg breakfast given the choice.

    On overall, though, GA's mid-haul business class seem to be pretty solid - thanks again for sharing!

    -One of my better business class flights. Hope do fly them again sometime.

    Thanks for your comments Eric VP, happy reward flying.

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