Firstly, as usual, sorry for my bad English, and also bad quality of the photos as I took all of them by my cellphone.
The flight happened at January 19th, 2018 as my returning flight from Surabaya to Jakarta. There is no report for Jakarta-Surabaya leg because I went to Surabaya by intercity train. For the Surabaya-Jakarta leg, I decided to try Garuda's wide-body plane, the Airbus A330. Based on my observation, Garuda operates 3 flights with A330 on this route daily.
Before the main report, let me describe a little bit about SURABAYA. Capital of East Java Province and Indonesia's 2nd largest city after Jakarta, personally for me Surabaya is one of best places to live. Clean roads and pedestrians (thanks to Mayor Tri Rismaharini) and lots of delicious foods always make me miss this city. Many tourists designate this city as starting point to popular sights like the Mount Bromo, Mount Ijen, Malang & Batu City, Madura Island, Banyuwangi, and others, but Surabaya itself offers interesting places, especially Kenjeran Beach and sights related to Battle of 10 November against Dutch Army & its allies.
Surabaya's only air transport gateway is Juanda International Airport, which offers mainly domestic flights and some international flights. International destinations from the airport are: - Singapore (Garuda Indonesia, Singapore Airlines, Silkair, China Airlines, Scoot, Jetstar) - Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia Airlines, Lion Air, AirAsia) - Penang (AirAsia) - Johor Bahru (AirAsia) - Brunei (Royal Brunei) - Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific) - Taipei (China Airlines through Singapore) - seasonal umra/hajj flights to Jeddah (Garuda Indonesia, Saudia)
Enough for the introduction, now we're entering the main story.
JANUARY 19th, 2018
From the central area of Surabaya, I took "Damri" bus to a school close to CITO Mall, then I ordered "Gojek" motorbike taxi from the school to Juanda Airport. Actually the Damri bus continues to Bungurasih Bus Terminal where you can take the airport bus, but you will reach the airport later than by motorbike.
Way to the airport.
Reaching the airport at 2.20 p.m. About 40 minutes before scheduled boarding time.
Cultural assets of East Java: "Reog" dance from Ponorogo and "Karapan Sapi" (cow racing) from Madura Island.
As I had done the online check-in, the only thing to do here was to print the boarding pass.
Then I proceeded to the departure gates.
"Tous les Jours" a Korean-based bakery chain owned by C&J, a well-known "chaebol" (conglomerate) company.
Burger King also existed here, so did Starbucks.
The waiting hall.
As usual, Garuda is always proud as Skyteam member.
Don't need to worry about your gadgets' batteries.
Free-to-use PCs. As a Linux user, I'm really happy to see public computers with Ubuntu OS here.
Suddenly the heavy rain dropped and the Garuda fleet which was designated for my flight couldn't land at Surabaya and need to divert to Denpasar, Bali. The airport speaker announced the flight delay, then in line with Indonesian regulation, the airline provided me and all passengers a snack set containing a cheese cake, a beef burger, and a small bottle of water.
Until 7.00 p.m., about 3.5 hours after the scheduled departure time, the flight was still uncertain. Then another snack set was provided: a burger, a bread, and mineral water.
Some passengers started complaining to the staffs because we didn't expect that the delay would be very long like this. Many of them had missed their connecting flight.
Finally at 7.15 p.m. we were called for boarding.
Before entering the airplane, an A330 of Cathay Pacific was preparing for departure back to Hong Kong.
Free newspaper to take provided by Garuda.
Entering the business class area.
Economy class, my area.
The IFE could be explored before take-off. But some minutes after that, an error happened to the IFE and cabin crews started the safety instructions manually without video.
Take-off at 8.20 p.m.
The IFE was back to normal again just after take-off, and I chose to watch "Petualangan Sherina", an Indonesian children movie released in 2001.
Time to check all stuff inside the seat pocket.
"Stars" IFE guide.
The cabin crews started serving snacks and drinks. No meal set because this wasn't long flight, less than 2 hours.
Then I continued exploring the IFE.
Headphones were provided.
An unique quiz called "Planet Pulse", where we had to answer the questions about world cities.
Not forget to check the lavatory.
The weather was good, we didn't face any shock or turbulence.
Then the night panorama of Jakarta began to be seen.
Touching Soekarno-Hatta Airport's runway at 9.55 p.m.
The plane reached Terminal 3, initially dedicated for Garuda but now jointly used by other international carriers and even LCCs.
Last shots of the plane's interior.
Outside the window.
Garuda PK-GPN which brought me back to Jakarta.
Way to the baggage carousel.
After claiming my bag, I left the airport to catch airport bus to reach my lovely house. I still didn't have any reason to stay longer at this airport.
Surabaya - SUB
Jakarta - CGK
Of course I'm disappointed with the 5.5-hours delay, but I couldn't blame anyone because it was caused by heavy rain. But the way Garuda's staffs facing the complaining passengers needs to be improved. They should explain clearly in details about the reasons why the flight was delayed. It was actually because Garuda didn't have stored A330s in Surabaya to operate the flight, so that they had to wait until the plane arrived after diverted to Bali.
Juanda Airport, Surabaya: The Terminal 2 is clean and well-maintained with enough facilities to accompany you while waiting before departure. Honestly, I think the airport is cleaner than Soekarno-Hatta Airport. But there are still many things to be improved, especially the public transport options. Express buses operate from the airport to Bungurasih Bus Terminal and Gresik, and I think they are still not enough because no bus routes to Surabaya city center.
Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Jakarta: There have been many criticisms about Terminal 3 of Soekarno-Hatta Airport. Bad masterplan and design, especially in the arrival area, I didn't feel the "aura" of an international gateway of a national capital. But the facilities are good enough for passengers. The service also seems good.
Thanks for reading my report! Hope you enjoy it!
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