Review of Garuda Indonesia flight Surabaya Denpasar in Economy

Airline Garuda Indonesia
Flight GA344
Class Economy
Seat 31K
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 01:15
Take-off 08 Jun 18, 16:25
Arrival at 08 Jun 18, 18:40
GA   #15 out of 71 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 203 reviews
Eric V P
By 642
Published on 18th July 2018
Report #40: GA344 - Miles to the rescue

This will be my report on flying on Garuda Indonesia economy class from Surabaya SUB to Denpasar DPS, a short-haul intercity flight within Indonesia, on board their Boeing 737-800.

Here are the 12 parts of the trip:


After a string of intercity flights with the GA group (for the first part of the Indonesia aviation tour), what is the best way to end those flights? Another flight with the group, of course. Despite the short flight time, SUB to DPS can take excruciatingly long to travel by car, even outside peak period. Therefore, GA's fares for the flight shot all the way to Rp907.000 (US$65), with only the flexible tickets available.

I then remembered that I had collected miles from flying on business class (on KL SIN-DPS and DPS-SIN as well as GA SUB-SIN OW) and after scouring for a while found a sweet spot for redeeming my miles with GA: there was only 1 seat available for redemption for the entire day at 4000 miles + Rp95.000 (US$7). This would bring my miles' valuation to Rp201 (US$0.0144)/mile, which while not as high as other points and miles expert aren't too bad since:
- It's better than either letting them expire,
- I've been usually stuck with the abysmal redemption valuation of my miles with QR at Rp66.7 (US$0.00479)/mile, and
- I had rather low hope of earning much more miles with GA.
photo ga344 08062018 receipt

Another benefit of using miles for flights in economy class is the possibility to select seats ahead of online check-in. I made use of that, so naturally I went for the emergency exit row window seat (too bad I forgot to take a screenshot of it). However, one way to prove it is through the self check-in boarding pass where GA won't otherwise allow emergency exit row selection.
photo ga344 08062018 bp

Trip to SUB and check-in

I arrived by car to the airport and was dropped at the kerbside.
photo 20180608_165141

FIDS of the late afternoon.
photo 20180608_165204

The kerbside was slightly crowded from those waiting.
photo 20180608_165243

It was first a preliminary security check to the public area shops, which was fast.
photo 20180608_165312

The inside part of the public area was quiet.
photo 20180608_165412photo 20180608_165415

GA's domestic check-in counters are located to the left.
photo 20180608_165535

SQ group (which was MI for the late afternoon) and AK group's check-in counters are located to the right. The rest of the counters are used for the other international flights such as GA/CI's daily flights to SIN.
photo 20180608_165538photo 20180608_165544

GA's check-in counters were not that crowded so I was through in 2 minutes. I also checked the load on both classes (while it was relatively low in economy class, the load factor on business class was considerably higher)
photo 20180608_165804

The boarding pass of the late afternoon, which was printed in GA's standard stock paper. Note that as the ticket was booked in subclass X it wasn't upgradeable.
photo 20180608_173244

GA's premium check-in area, which was underused.
photo 20180608_165813

It was a short escalator ride up to the departure floor.
photo 20180608_165817

The area mostly consist of a handful of eateries
photo 20180608_170304

Before entering the transit area I needed to scan my boarding pass on the turnstile.
photo 20180608_170348

It was followed by security, which was fast.
photo 20180608_170415photo 20180608_170647

SUB transit area and departure

The transit area mostly consisted of a handful of stores and eateries.
photo 20180608_170637photo 20180608_170709

Despite the compact domestic transit area, the seating wasn't particularly full.
photo 20180608_170739

A view of the boarding gate before boarding commenced.
photo 20180608_170746

I opted to be among the last to board so naturally boarding was a breeze.
photo 20180608_174256

One proof that SUB T2 domestic departure area isn't the best place for spotting.
photo 20180608_174310

I walked through the non-air conditioned corridor.
photo 20180608_174317photo 20180608_174346

Then it was a walk down the air conditioned aerobridge.
photo 20180608_174403

The plane of the day was PK-GMN, an 8 years old 738.
photo 20180608_174412

There was a bit of queue at the aerobridge.
photo 20180608_174443

After 1 minute of waiting I reached the plane.
photo 20180608_174541photo 20180608_174631

On board

Flight: GA344
Plane: PK-GMN
STD/ATD: 16.25/16.58
STA/ATA: 18.40/18.43
Load factor: 83%J (10/12), 67%Y (100/150)
Seat type: Standard economy class (emergency exit row window seat)

Newspapers were provided on board.
photo 20180608_174634

After I was welcomed by the purser I proceeded back to the economy class cabin. I didn't take any photo of the business class cabin due to heavy load, but an overview of the business class seat can be read here.
photo 20180608_174701

Legroom was especially generous on the emergency exit row seat.
photo 20180608_174824

Typical on GA an IFE screen was provided, however due to being an emergency exit row seat the table was disabled.
photo 20180608_174838

Instead, a table was available from the armrest.
photo 20180608_174907

The seatbelt was nothing to write about.
photo 20180608_183231

In the seat pocket two safety cards were present, one for the general one and another for emergency exit row seats.
photo 20180608_174925photo 20180608_174935

Their in-flight magazine as well as entertainment catalogue was also available.
photo 20180608_174948photo 20180608_174956

An airsickness bag was also present.
photo 20180608_175059

Unlike the CGK-TKG flight, this flight also provide a flimsy headphone for use.
photo 20180608_175117photo 20180608_175152

A short briefing was also conducted for the exit row passengers.
photo 20180608_175033

Me on the seat. Note the usual well-adjustable headrest.
photo 20180608_175227

We were parked to another GA's 738.
photo 20180608_175324

It was ten a short taxi to the runway.
photo 20180608_175716photo 20180608_175932

Safety video was played during taxi.
photo 20180608_175935

As usual on GA, the video ended with the flight attendants clasping their hands and bowed slightly on the aisle just like at the screen.
photo 20180608_180229

QG's 320 preparing for departure.
photo 20180608_180058photo 20180608_180126

While waiting for the departure I went through the classical music selection on the IFE, which was limited.

A view during the hold short.
photo 20180608_180640

In keeping with the tradition of posting a video of the take-off, here is one:

We soon climbed to the east through the gloomy weather.
photo 20180608_181023

The view was significantly improved after we passed through the clouds.
photo 20180608_181244

After the fasten seatbelt sign was switched off a video showing the IFE's offerings was shown.
photo 20180608_181332

GA didn't care whether it was a < 1 hour flight or a longer one, so the battery of ads was shown again.

Snack service commenced during the ad.
photo 20180608_181419

Typical on GA's shorter flights a snack box was provided.
photo 20180608_181538

The box when opened.
photo 20180608_181547

The unboxed snack contents.
photo 20180608_181800

Note the notoriously few filling on the bread.
photo 20180608_181949

The snack service for the late afternoon consisted of:
- Nuts: Mixed nuts
- Bread: Bread with cheese filling
- Candy: Assorted candies
- Drink: Aqua brand mineral water

Looking at the snack content, it was apparent that the snack service was a mix between ex-CGK (referring to the candies) and ex-SRG (referring to the savoury bread filling) snack services. The bread apart from the filling was acceptable and even better than the red bean paste filling snack from CGK. The mixed nuts and assorted candies were also nothing to complain at, so constitute this an acceptable snack service.

On dusk the pilot announced that it was time for fasting Muslim passengers to break their fast.
photo 20180608_182518

I switched my IFE to the moving map, which was also basic.
photo 20180608_182644photo 20180608_183652

A view of the economy class cabin from behind.
photo 20180608_182729

I visited the lavatory, which was slightly dirty.
photo 20180608_182928photo 20180608_182932

As usual I went for a brief galley visit, though I was unfortunately unable to recall what was discussed.

The rest of the flight was uneventful and ~20 minutes later the cabin was dimmed for final approach.
photo 20180608_184713

The view mostly consisted of an array of lights.
photo 20180608_184828photo 20180608_184920

Landing was uneventful and we made our way past the international terminal.
photo 20180608_185058photo 20180608_185120

Afterwards we passed by the domestic terminal.
photo 20180608_185230photo 20180608_185236

The plane was parked in a remote stand in front of the domestic terminal.
photo 20180608_185710

After I bid farewell to the crew I went down the stairs.
photo 20180608_190538

The bus was ready to pick up.
photo 20180608_190619

One last view of -GMN from the bus.
photo 20180608_190701

The bus ride was uneventful and being on the last bus it wasn't packed to the brim.
photo 20180608_190752photo 20180608_190826

Arrival at DPS and post-arrival trip

Unlike at most other airports the walk to the arrival area wasn't completely sheltered.
photo 20180608_190831

A short walk was needed to get to the sheltered area, that is the domestic arrival.
photo 20180608_190845

A view of the domestic arrival.
photo 20180608_190902

Some walk through the barely filled corridor was needed to get to the luggage claim.
photo 20180608_190924photo 20180608_191002

The luggage claim area for GA was quite crowded as it was used for all GA flights.
photo 20180608_191042

After I claimed my bag and booked my hotel I proceeded down the corridor to the public area, passing by some shops.
photo 20180608_194837

The only at DPS thing in Indonesia: alcohol store outside transit area.
photo 20180608_194841

The arrival kerbside was quite quiet.
photo 20180608_194948photo 20180608_194953

Typical of DPS domestic arrival, a walk was required to get to the pick-up area (or in my case, the carpark).
photo 20180608_195055

Hoping to get my stay paid by KL due to their mess (more on that for the next installment), I stayed at Ibis Bali Kuta, which was already a significant upgrade over my accommodations throughout the trip.
photo 20180608_202500

For dinner I opted for the ones a very short walk across the hotel - the first one is at a Javanese-style salad with rice and the second one at a Cantonese porridge restaurant.
photo 20180608_210124photo 20180608_212500
See more


Garuda Indonesia

Cabin crew7.5

Surabaya - SUB


Denpasar - DPS



While GA offered a good way to cross between the islands, compared with the paid fare it seemed to be a particularly lousy deal with only acceptable snack and dated cabin. The crew was also rather rushed to conduct the snack service so this flight wasn't particularly representative of what GA had to offer. In terms of the airport, SUB terminal 2 was a breeze to get through while DPS despite being more recently renovated than SUB was particularly a pain to get through with long walks and luggage claim time.

On overall, I would find it especially difficult to justify the extortionate paid fare by GA on the route had I paid by cash.

Some thing done well for the trip (airports):
+ Fast check-in at SUB
+ Acceptable security at SUB
+ Modern terminal at SUB

Some thing done well for the trip (on board):
+ Acceptable legroom
+ Snack service provision
+ Acceptable flight attendant

Things that can be improved (airports):
- Spotter-unfriendly interstitial corridor at SUB
- Gate usage at DPS
- Slow luggage claim at DPS

Things that can be improved (on board):
- Expensive paid fare (Rp907.000 (US$65))
- Dated cabin
- Bread filling quantity
- Unmaintained lavatory

Information on the route Surabaya (SUB) Denpasar (DPS)


Login to post a comment.