Review of Garuda Indonesia flight Denpasar Lombok in Economy

Airline Garuda Indonesia
Flight GA450
Class Economy
Seat 31K
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 01:00
Take-off 30 Sep 18, 11:20
Arrival at 30 Sep 18, 12:20
GA   #12 out of 124 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 184 reviews
Eric V P
By GOLD 295
Published on 12th December 2018
Report #53: GA450 - The cheapest way to buy GA's segments?

This will be my report on flying on Garuda Indonesia economy class from Denpasar DPS to Lombok LOP, an ultra short-haul flight within Indonesia, on board its Boeing 737-800. Also, apologies beforehand for the rather limited review due to the segment length.

Here are the 3 parts of the trip:


Background


A recipe for being charged so much was by booking at very last minute, and since the previous flight was booked and flown the day before there was pretty much no option for a low-cost, direct flight option at a convenient time from DPS to CGK/HLP on any carrier, even more so for GA (plus, they're a terrible way to earn segments since they only earn 1 or 2 segments). To get around that, I decided to do a quick search on LOP-CGK flights, which happened to show ID offering rock-bottom cheap fares on the mid-afternoon flight. Fortunately, the schedule also made it possible to be combined with GA's DPS-LOP flight to get a couple of segments for cheap so I picked this DPS-LOP flight, also known as GA's shortest flight, and then self-connect at LOP while still arriving in CGK on late afternoon.

I bought the flexible economy class ticket which costed me Rp506.500 (US$34). In terms of the miles earning, I received in total 43 KrisFlyer miles from my credit card + 68 GarudaMiles award miles and 3 segments from the flight (time for fast-track to elite status?)

Trip to DPS and check-in


After I had my breakfast near my hotel and bought some snacks for my colleagues, I proceeded to the airport by motorcycle taxi.
photo 20180930_092527

Since the motorcycle taxi couldn't really get into the airport, it took me 7 minutes of walk just to get to the domestic terminal building, even though my walking pace was already decent.


The longer side of the terminal was quiet since it wasn't used for drop-off.
photo 20180930_093652

Naturally, the security here was also fast.
photo 20180930_094055

Compare that with the security near to the drop-off area, which was pretty messy.
photo 20180930_093742photo 20180930_093856

Since it was Sunday after all, JT's check-in counters were packed.
photo 20180930_094103

GA's check-in counters are located on the other side. There was a bit of queue in the general economy class check-in counters (as a silver member I wasn't eligible for priority check-in outside CGK and SUB), however since I had no bag to check I proceeded straight to the counter for hand baggage only passengers, which was queue-free.
photo 20180930_094200photo 20180930_094422

The upgrade offer for ex-DPS flights posted on the counter, however even the check-in agent agreed that the upgrade wasn't worth it for such a short flight.
photo 20180930_094356

My boarding pass for the day, which was printed in the usual paper stock.
photo 20180930_103208

After check-in I proceeded to the ticket check.
photo 20180930_094425

Security screening followed, which was also fast.
photo 20180930_094443

DPS transit area


Unlike the other security checkpoint, the one near GA's desks were still at the ground floor so I proceeded to the departure floor upstairs.
photo 20180930_094742

The ever-present photo stand.
photo 20180930_094817

Like its international terminal counterpart, the domestic terminal also feature a maze of shops I needed to pass through before reaching the gate.
photo 20180930_094826

FIDS of the afternoon.
photo 20180930_094905

Situation at the waiting room.
photo 20180930_095047

Mini lounge test #1: Concordia Lounge Bali


One of the main reasons I didn't bite the airport upgrade surcharge and take their business class was because I also had access to a contract lounge thanks to my credit card, so it's more of a lounge upgrade rather than not going to the lounge at all without the upgrade.

The entrance to the lounge. I showed my boarding pass and my credit card.
photo 20180930_095129

I was then presented with the lounge access receipt as well as the Wi-Fi password.
photo 20180930_103157photo 20180930_103107

I entered the lounge, which was rather quiet. The lounge mainly consisted of seats, and they didn't afford any privacy at all
photo 20180930_095242photo 20180930_095431

The foods on offer were rather paltry.


Some JT flight attendants could even be seen taking a rest at the lounge, which wasn't a pretty sight.
photo 20180930_102714

While I didn't get to take more photos as I was tied up with other tasks, there were a few things I took note of:
- Like most domestic contract lounges, this one doesn't have a shower, just lavatories,
- The staffs took a while to clear the plates, even when some of them were notably just standing around the corner, and
- It was only after I complained that the "chicken" soup was more like chicken broth soup then the staff offered me some more chicken - talk about drastic cost-cutting here.

Lounge test verdict and departure


The lounge on overall was just barely adequate for a domestic contract lounge, and while it was comfortable for a short wait the dismal food offering and lack of privacy (not to mention lack of shower as well) the lounge wasn't something I would go early to the airport for.

It was time to see some planes: QG's 320, one of JT's earlier 7M8 (note the pattern on the tail, which was synonymous with OD), and IW's AT7. You can also see here that on the western side of the terminal the stands are all remote despite being close enough to the building.
photo 20180930_105428

IN's 735 being pushed back.
photo 20180930_105433

Some stores inside the terminal.
photo 20180930_105459

Was that going to be the plane for the afternoon?
photo 20180930_105615

Boarding had already started for a while so there wasn't much queue to board.
photo 20180930_105640

I first proceeded through the corridor.
photo 20180930_105715

Since the gate doesn't even have an aerobridge, I proceeded down the stairs.
photo 20180930_105735

JT's 7M8 was seen parked beside our plane.
photo 20180930_105810

The plane for the afternoon was PK-GFN, one of GA's older 738 painted in one of GA's vintage liveries. I had flown on the same plane from JOG to CGK a few weeks before (not yet reported), so it was rather surprising to fly on this plane again.
photo 20180930_105833

Boarding was done using stairs.
photo 20180930_105855

On board


Flight: GA450
Plane: PK-GFN
STD/ATD: 11.20/11.38
STA/ATA: 12.20/12.05
Load factor: 0% J (0/12), 89% Y (134/150)
Seat type: Seat type: Standard economy class (emergency exit row window seat)
Details: https://flightaware.com/live/flight/PKGFN/history/20180930/0320Z/WADD/WADL

As I entered and was greeted by the flight attendants, I decided to take the sole kind of newspaper offered for the flight.
photo 20180930_105910

I first passed the empty business class cabin (in all fairness, this was expected since they charged a lot for this).
photo 20180930_105935

It was time to proceed further back.
photo 20180930_105943

My seat for the short hop.
photo 20180930_110015

Boarding was still well underway, with many of the passengers for this flight being foreigners.
photo 20180930_110052

Legroom was decent as usual, and surprisingly enough this seat was much easier to snag compared with the bulkhead row seats.
photo 20180930_110101

The seat featured an IFE screen, a disabled table and a literature pocket.
photo 20180930_110121photo 20180930_110128

Instead, the table was taken from the armrest.
photo 20180930_110134

The table was on the smaller side, but it was typical of GA's 738.
photo 20180930_110151

Contents inside the literature pocket.


The new headphone was offered, which was rather uncomfortable.
photo 20180930_110653photo 20180930_110743

The view from the window.
photo 20180930_110844

Selfie test: the headrest was working this time.
photo 20180930_111411

The flight attendant was addressing all of us seated in the emergency exit row.
photo 20180930_111120

A proof of just how short the flight was.
photo 20180930_111558

The entertainment selections for the month


We soon started pushing back.
photo 20180930_112121photo 20180930_112159

There was nobody else seated at my seat triplet, so Ms. Christy, one of the flight attendants for the flight, would sit at the aisle seat for both take-off and landing.
photo 20180930_112238

Safety video was screened.
photo 20180930_112349

As usual, the flight attendants bowed and clasped their hands at the end of the video.
photo 20180930_112753

QZ's 320 starting to leave DPS together with us.
photo 20180930_112545

Some views during the taxi.
photo 20180930_112821photo 20180930_112847

SQ's 781 arriving at DPS.
photo 20180930_113536

It was afterwards our turn and we had a rather quick take-off.
photo 20180930_113804

In the meanwhile I also had a look at the moving map. Compare the distance with between Surabaya (SUB) and Bali (DPS), which I had flown before and still less than 250 miles in distance.
photo 20180930_113842

We further climbed to a measly cruise altitude of 7000 feet.
photo 20180930_114028

The fasten seatbelt sign turned off as we reached the altitude.
photo 20180930_114032

On the screen IFE preview and a couple of ads were screened.
photo 20180930_114105photo 20180930_114228

The flight attendants rushed to serve the snacks, which was still provided anyway despite the 76 miles distance.
photo 20180930_114108

A standard economy class snackbox was handed, without any drink round.
photo 20180930_114241

Contents inside the snack box.
photo 20180930_114356

The filling for the bread happened not to be meat, which means that it was more generous.
photo 20180930_114419

The snack for the afternoon consisted of:
- Nuts: Mixed nuts
- Bread: Puff bread
- Drink: Aqua brand mineral water

While the snack was ordinary (and even pretty limited compared with what GA offered on its longer ultra short-haul/shorter short-haul routes like to SUB), the fact that there was even a snack service was something to be appreciated.

Since I had barely any time to do a proper review I rushed to check the lavatory after I finished the bread, which was clean as it was otherwise unused.
photo 20180930_114757photo 20180930_114802

A view of the cabin from behind.
photo 20180930_114930

The galley was pretty much littered with the boxes of snack not served.
photo 20180930_115024

As we started the descent the Lombok island could be seen.
photo 20180930_115309

The scenery changed from lush, hilly area to paddy fields.
photo 20180930_115436photo 20180930_115526

Landing was uneventful, although since we managed to slow down just after passing the taxiway to the terminal building we needed to turn around before getting into the apron.
photo 20180930_115737

A couple of minutes later we passed by the small terminal. Note the terminal being expanded.
photo 20180930_120206

As usual, people had already queued to deplane after the plane was stopped.
photo 20180930_120614

It was soon my turn and I proceeded to the front door.
photo 20180930_120654

We proceeded to deplane using the aerobridge.
photo 20180930_120711

A view of JT's 738 parked beside our plane.
photo 20180930_120744

Arrival in LOP and post-arrival trip


A view of the gate, where I would depart from in a couple of hours.
photo 20180930_120808

Typical on many of the larger Indonesian airports, I first proceeded through the interstitial corridor.
photo 20180930_120821photo 20180930_120855

The luggage claim area was rather dingy and crowded.
photo 20180930_120926

Normally I would go out to the public area and have my bag screened again.
photo 20180930_120943

Instead, I remained inside the terminal and connected straight into the check-in area for my flight to CGK.
photo 20180930_120949
See more

Verdict

Garuda Indonesia

7.0/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment6.0
Meal/catering7.5

Concordia Lounge

3.8/10
Comfort4.5
Meal/catering3.0
Entertainment4.5
Services3.0

Denpasar - DPS

6.0/10
Efficiency6.5
Access4.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness6.5

Lombok - LOP

5.6/10
Efficiency6.5
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness6.0

Conclusion

Though a ride on GA's older 738 wasn't something I exactly wanted, save for perhaps vintage-themed flights GA currently runs (as of Dec 2018), it was still quite acceptable and especially worth considering when trying to upgrade or maintain status on GA's frequent flyer. In terms of the airports, both DPS and LOP were nothing to write home about apart from the contract lounge, which was shabby.

On overall, I would still fly with GA on this extremely short hop (in fact, I did the reverse the month after), although that would be mostly to rack up segments on a shoestring.

Informations on the route Denpasar (DPS) Lombok (LOP)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 6 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Denpasar (DPS) → Lombok (LOP).


Useful

The airline with the best average grade is Garuda Indonesia with 8.1/10.

The average flight time is 0 hours and 45 minutes.

  More informations

0 Comments

Login to post a comment.