Review of Garuda Indonesia flight Jakarta Bandar Lampung in Economy

Airline Garuda Indonesia
Flight GA70
Class Economy
Seat 31A
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 00:55
Take-off 02 Nov 18, 05:45
Arrival at 02 Nov 18, 06:40
GA 205 reviews
Eric V P
By 514
Published on 18th February 2019
Report #61: GA70 - Time to pray for less E-series 738 on GA?

This will be my report on flying on Garuda Indonesia economy class from Jakarta CGK to Bandar Lampung TKG, an ultra short-haul route within Indonesia, on board its Boeing 737-800. This review will be shorter than usual since I had reviewed the lounge a couple of times and the flight time was rather short.

Here are the 2 parts of the trip:


  • CGK - TKG on Garuda Indonesia 737-800 economy class You are here
  • TKG - CGK on Garuda Indonesia 737-800 economy class Coming soon


After a couple of other CGK-TKG flights which unfortunately I didn't plan to review for now (there are just too many flights on my backlog, but all of them were still properly documented) and the 3 island segment run series I had reported before, I was only 6 segments shy from reaching GA's platinum status (equivalent to SkyTeam Elite Plus; their gold status is only equivalent to SkyTeam Elite) the proper way. In addition, I also had a couple of expiring OTA vouchers from my visit on GA's travel fair the month before, so I figured out that I may as well take the last ultra short-haul hops on GA for 2018.

I booked a quick return flight (you're looking at only 4 1/4 hours from arriving at CGK by bus and leaving CGK again by bus) on their flexible economy class 2 days before the trip, which for this flight costed me Rp694.900 (US$46) before OTA cashback. In return, I earned 70 KrisFlyer miles from my credit card, 160 GarudaMiles award miles from the flight, and 3 GarudaMiles segments for this flight alone.
photo ga70 02112018 receipt

A couple of days after the return flight my status was upgraded - too bad GA wouldn't send physical cards even for their top-tier members, but this was already one of, if not the fastest ways to SkyTeam Elite Plus-equivalent status from scratch with only 22 short-haul flights on GA and KL flown and counted, many of them in economy class, so there's not much complaint in this regard.
photo screenshot_20190129-001605_garuda indonesia

Trip to CGK and check-in

I did my check-in at one of GA's sales offices and had my three boarding passes for this day and the day after in the boarding pass folder (the last one will be covered in the next series).
photo 20181102_052045

The boarding pass, like almost all boarding pass printed by GA, was printed on its own stock paper.
photo 20181102_052056

I took the airport bus from my place to CGK.
photo 20181102_033442

Typical of airport buses, I was dropped near doors 3 and 4.
photo 20181102_041459

Since I had no bag to check, I went into the terminal through door 5, especially since the preliminary security check was faster than the one at door 4.
photo 20181102_041644

The check-in hall was quite full, though I could skip that thanks to the office-printed boarding passl
photo 20181102_041735

It was time to go through the security check, which was fast.
photo 20181102_041819

CGK transit area

photo 20181102_042235

An unused lounge access is an unreviewed one, which would be a waste, so I picked the left escalator to the mezzanine floor.
photo 20181102_042311

Lounge test #1: Garuda Indonesia Domestic Lounge

As a GarudaMiles Gold member I received complimentary access to GarudaMiles Lounge (which is also a part of GA's domestic lounge) in CGK when flying on domestic flights. This review will only cover a bit about the lounge - for a more detailed review of the lounge, read here.

I first reached the business class lounge entrance, but I was of course not welcome: I needed to get into the lounge from the other entrance due to my lowly status.
photo 20181102_042344

To get to the other entrance I needed to pass through the bland corridor beside the business class lounge.
photo 20181102_042407

I reached the rear reception, and from there I was allowed into the lounge, both on the GarudaMiles Gold section and business class section.
photo 20181102_042451

GA had done some massive promotions related with their frequent flyer program, including among them either 3 months Platinum status trial gifting for existing Platinum members' family members or 3 months Platinum status trial for existing Gold members, all of which were extendable to end-2019 with only 20 GarudaMIles segments instead of 50, which meant that:
- GarudaMIles Gold members could also access the business class lounge instead of their own lounge until December 2018, and
- The business class section of the lounge got very crowded from the sudden increase in elite members.
photo 20181102_042516

I also had some difficulties in finding table for me to dine since they were either occupied or not cleared.
photo 20181102_044702

It's breakfast time in the lounge, and with the first flights for the day departing soon many people also partook in it.
photo 20181102_042551

The main hot buffet selection for early morning flights was very limited and uninspiring - egg fried rice with sausage bits, sausage, potatoes, and sauteed mized vegetables.
photo 20181102_042828

I also had their chicken porridge, apparently a favourite among those in the lounge, which was ordinary.
photo 20181102_044938

To end the meal, I had some fruit cuts as well, which were equally limited.
photo 20181102_051541

Since it was still 30 more minutes to departure according to the FIDS in the lounge and the gate was quite close to the lounge's escalator to the departure floor, I stayed in the lounge for a while before proceeding to the gate.
photo 20181102_051314

Lounge test verdict and departure

While GA's mass status upgrade is appreciated for infrequent flyers, when it comes to lounge access it also came as a downgrade for those attaining status the proper way with the lounge becoming way too crowded. The food offerings for early morning departures were also rather bad, and this lounge became a less than acceptable flagship domestic lounge (for the uninitiated, though GA also operate a lot of flights to/from DPS, CGK is still pretty much considered as GA's global hub).

Since it was only 20 minutes to the STD, I quickly walked to the gate.
photo 20181102_052420

Boarding was queue-free and I soon found myself proceeding to the plane.
photo 20181102_052555

Since I was among the last to board there was barely any queue in the aerobridge.
photo 20181102_052638

It was time for me to get on board. Unlike GA's other 738 (i.e. PK-GF*/GM*/GN* planes), this one doesn't have a display rack at the L1 entrance and therefore needed to use a trolley to put the usual offerings of newspapers and candies.
photo 20181102_052655

On board

Flight: GA70
Plane: PK-GEP
STD/ATD: 05.45/05.59
STA/ATA: 06.40/06.36
Load factor: 8% J (1/12), 35% Y (53/150)
Seat type: Standard economy class (emergency exit row window seat)

It was only after I was welcomed by the cabin crews that I actually understood why many GA frequent flyers hope not to get the dreaded E-series plane (i.e. PK-GE*): it's extremely outdated by Indonesian standard.

The business class seats, while looking similar to the business class seats on the newer 738 at first, were vastly different experience-wise since it lacked a couple of important features like individual IFE, legrest, and even power plug.
photo 20181102_052720

It was time to proceed to the economy class cabin, which I preferred anyway for the lower price-per-segment.
photo 20181102_052738

I arrived at my seat, which looked basic it's comparable with low-cost carriers.
photo 20181102_052819

Legroom has never been an issue on this row, but seat width is, thanks to the foldable table inside the armrest.
photo 20181102_053005

The seatback for the emergency exit rows didn't have any table installed: just a literature pocket and hard plastic cover.
photo 20181102_053047

Reminiscent of an old cabin, the foldable table was also irregularly shaped.
photo 20181102_053108

Contents inside the literature pocket. Since there was no individual IFE, no headphone was provided throughout the flight.
photo 20181102_053228

The view from my window consisted of GA's 332.
photo 20181102_053932

Safety video was shown through the overhead screen.
photo 20181102_054153

At the same time we started our taxi out from terminal 3.
photo 20181102_054505

Following the safety video the screen was retracted and the cabin light dimmed.
photo 20181102_054907photo 20181102_055442

Take-off also offered a view of CGK's terminals 2 and 1.
photo 20181102_055940

Since mornings in greater Jakarta tend to be cloudy, there was no view to speak of as we climbed.
photo 20181102_060348

After the fasten seatbelt sign was switched off a snack service commenced while some silent comedies were shown.
photo 20181102_060401

Typical on ex-CGK flights with GA without hot meal service, I received a pack of coconut water drink on top of the usual snack box.
photo 20181102_060631

Contents inside the snack box.
photo 20181102_060714

Like many others here, I also struggled to find the meat in the bread.
photo 20181102_060758

The snack service for the morning consisted of:
- Biscuit: Assorted cookies
- Bread: Bread with flavoured chicken mince filling
- Drink (default): Aqua brand mineral water
- Drink (promotional): Coconut water drink

While the bread was a tad better than the hideous ex-LOP bread, it was still stingy quantity-wise. Fortunately, though, the cookies weren't that bad and the addition of coconut water drink also helped, which made this snack service rather acceptable for the short hop.

We started our descent in no time.
photo 20181102_061221

Only 25 minutes after we took off from CGK we eventually landed at TKG.
photo 20181102_062459

Situation in the cabin as we taxied in.
photo 20181102_062716

It was time to deplane, which was quite fast thanks to the light load.
photo 20181102_063038

Typical of GA's mainline flights to/from TKG, they used an aerobridge for this flight.
photo 20181102_063136

FIDS for the morning. Try finding my next flight there.
photo 20181102_063157

Arrival at TKG and post-arrival trip

After passing through the interstitial corridor I went down to the arrival floor.
photo 20181102_063238

The luggage claim area was rather quiet, partly because this flight was more of a commuter flight if anything.
photo 20181102_063305

Since TKG had no dedicated walkway for connecting passengers (it's quite a small airport anyway) it was time to walk along the kerbside for the next installment of the series.
photo 20181102_063322
See more


Garuda Indonesia

Cabin crew6.0

Garuda Domestic Lounge


Jakarta - CGK


Bandar Lampung - TKG



While there aren't many 738 in GA's fleet bearing the PK-GE* registration, getting one wasn't exactly the most pleasant surprise with basic seats and outdated interior, though at least it wasn't in disrepair. In hindsight, however, at least I considered myself lucky I needed to endure the rather dismal plane for only 1 hour since the plane is sometimes deployed for flights up to 2 hours. In addition, the experience in the business class lounge was also downgraded with many more people suddenly eligible to access that lounge, which isn't exactly good news. Apart from those issues, though, the flight itself was pretty much fine as far as "shuttle" flight goes and I still had my GarudaMiles segments credited quickly.

On overall, I would fly on this route only if I needed to top-up my segments with GA for the following year.

Information on the route Jakarta (CGK) Bandar Lampung (TKG)


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !

Login to post a comment.