Review of Garuda Indonesia flight Surabaya Singapore in Business

Airline Garuda Indonesia
Flight GA854
Class Business
Seat 8A
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 02:10
Take-off 22 Jul 19, 07:40
Arrival at 22 Jul 19, 10:50
GA   #17 out of 138 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 197 reviews
MRTY
By 737
Published on 5th February 2020

skyteam mileage run with garuda indonesia & vietnam airlines


Routing

  • Garuda Indonesia Business Class SUB-SIN You are here
  • Vietnam Airlines Business Class SIN-SGN Coming soon
  • Vietnam Airlines Business Class SGN-CGK Coming soon

Background


I mostly fly with Skyteam members since I'm based in Surabaya, Indonesia and an active member of Garuda Miles. This trip was actually just a joy flight for me, It's been a while since my last flight and I wanted to reckon that joy of being up in the air while enjoying proper meals. But I didn't want it to be that long since family and work are waiting on earth, so I decided to take this "Butterfly Route": fly to Singapore in the morning, spend few hours in Changi, fly again to Saigon at night, overnight in Vietnam Airlines Lounge at SGN, and fly back to Jakarta in the next morning. It would be completed with a train ride from Jakarta back to Surabaya which would not be covered here.

This would be the whole route:

 


photo map

At Surabaya Juanda Airport


I quickly headed to Garuda's dedicated check-in area for First, Business, Garuda Miles Platinum, and Skyteam Elite Plus members right at the corner of the check-in hall. Garuda also has counters in regular area, but for convenience purpose, I preferred this Premium Check-in area instead. 

This area is secluded from the rest and completed with couches to wait. I walked to the agent, she took my passport and told me to sit on the couch while she and her colleagues handled all the procedures. Some moments later, she handed my passport back with boarding pass and a lounge invitation. This was all done in merely 3-5 minutes.

 


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On this flight, I ordered seafood meal which I never tried before on Garuda's flight. The request was confirmed.


SUB airport also has a Sky Priority security check lane, dedicated for passengers who travel with GA's premium cabins or of GA's Platinum tier.

I walked to the international departure area. Note that GA does not have its own lounge at International Departure, they only have Garuda's Lounge at Domestic Departure area. This might due to the fact that GA only has one international flight a day from SUB, so having your own lounge doesn't sound too good for economical reason. And so, I went to find the Concordia Premier Lounge, the sole lounge at SUB which caters to all international airlines serving it and also happens to be a Priority Pass lounge too.

The lounge entrance:
 


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List of airlines and banks served by the lounge:
 


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This is an OK lounge with all basic amenities available. Lots of seats along its narrow aisle, an unmanned bar, noodle soup corner, a toilet with a shower room which I didn't use, and a made-to-order egg station which was just opened just when I left the lounge. It had hot meal options for breakfast which were of the staple Indonesian breakfast like: chicken porridge, Soto, Nasi Goreng and stuff.

The main buffet area:
  


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Seating area:
 


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There weren't lots of people in the lounge that morning despite there were also China Airlines, Royal Brunei and Air Asia flights departing at almost the same time as mine.  

After some quick nibble, I decided to just go to the boarding area since there was nothing much to do in the lounge either.


The B737-800 aircraft, a workhorse for Garuda, has been waiting gracefully at the apron.  
 


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Not too long after it, boarding started to commence. Economy class and business class passengers were boarded on two separate lanes.
 


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On-Board the Aircraft


The friendly purser greets me with the typical Garuda clasp in front of the door and I quickly find my seat on the last row. This B737-800 has 12 seats in 2-2 arrangement, while the seat is of recliner type which is adequate for short haul regional flights.

While boarding process was still ongoing, one of the crew approached me and offered choices of welcome drinks. They had water, orange juice, and apple juice. I opted for orange juice while also asking if they loaded any ambarella/kedondong juice which becomes a new signature drink introduced by Garuda after their well-known Martabe Juice (passion fruit & tamarillo juice). She happily said that they also had that juice on-board today and would come back to me soon.

She then appeared with orange juice and a hot scented towel.
 


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And again with the ambarella juice after she cleared my previous glass.
 


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This ambarella juice seems too sour for me, but still it gives some kick to my morning flight eyes.


The usual red pillow and blanket were already placed on each seat. One thing I found new from Garuda is their new headset, used to be black in color, and now it comes in silver with Garuda's logo printed on it.
 


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A menu card is attached inside the seatback pocket. As seen on picture, they loaded 3 choices of main course for this short flight while having champagne, red wine, white wine, juices, spirits, tea, coffee, and hot chocolate for the beverage. As I've ordered a seafood meal, I didn't take any order from the menu. The crew just asked me what I'd like to drink in which I opted for the champagne with hot tea. The champagne was GH Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut. She then asked if I wanted the champagne to be served before, during, or after the meal. I said I would prefer it after the meal. She happily obliged and went back to the galley to prepare for take-off.

 


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I noticed from Garuda that they changed their champagne brand a lot lately. I remember I've had 4 different brands of champagne during my flights with them in business class for the past two years, like: Laurent Perrier, Billecart Salmon Brut Rose, Castelnau Cuvee Brut Millesime, and now GH Mumm.


After reaching cruising altitude, the crew swung up in action. First, she set my table with white linen and then put down one tray that has been prepared with bread basket, butter, yogurt, fresh cut fruits and stilled water. Then, she went back to the galley to hand over my seafood meal. It consists of stir-fried glass noodle with large chunks of shrimps and fish. It was excellent and I really enjoyed it so much. The sauce went really well with the noodle.


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She cleared up my table and brought out the champagne. As usual In Garuda, it's served generously in a proper champagne flute.
 


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Cheers for an enjoyable flight…
 


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The rest of the flight went smoothly, I didn't partake in exploring the IFE as I would prefer watching the flight map and gazing out through the window. 

I asked for my hot tea and it's delivered with a pack of mixed nuts and water. So attentive of the crew.
 


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Some half an hour before landing, I asked for another cup of hot chocolate from the crew and she promptly brought it within minutes.
 


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Another great flight with Garuda Indonesia has ended impeccably even though it's just a mere short haul flight. We landed just in time at SIN and I still had almost a half day exploring Changi. 

See more

Verdict

Garuda Indonesia

8.9/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering9.5

Surabaya - SUB

8.2/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Singapore - SIN

8.5/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

Garuda Indonesia has always been a jewel among many other carriers and they have successfully and proudly shown it even in short haul flight.

Information on the route Surabaya (SUB) Singapore (SIN)

10 Comments

  • Comment 540850 by
    Eric V P SILVER 123 Comments

    Thank you for sharing!

    One thing I found new from Garuda is their new headset, used to be black in color, and now it comes in silver with Garuda's logo printed on it.
    - That's actually the standard domestic business class headset - I believe the ones supposedly loaded for international flights are the 3-pin ones. Speaking of those silver earphones, they've been around for quite a while as well.

    It consists of stir-fried glass noodle with large chunks of shrimps and fish.
    - And I thought that's like what I had in economy class? I once ordered their seafood meal on the same route before and got exactly that, except that it was in economy class setting.

    Thank you!

  • Comment 541106 by
    ThomasDutch GOLD 413 Comments

    Would have expected another flight from CGK to SUB, but I guess you'll be using a much needed sleep in the train by that time. Still wanted to try Garuda for a longtime, but they continue to make a mess of their European longhaul flights that I'm not really sure whether it's worth it at the moment. I think the Amsterdam-Jakarta flight has been switched too often to Medan-Denpasar and I believe it will be back to Jakarta instead after just a few months. Thanks for sharing.

    • Comment 541132 by
      MRTY AUTHOR 57 Comments

      Yes, absolutely right, I needed more sleep in the train :)

      It really is a bad thing for Garuda that they always mess up with their European route nowadays, but we'll see what would happen next under this new CEO. I heard that CGK-AMS-CGK route will be back around March.

  • Comment 541173 by
    emyrrs SILVER 98 Comments

    Thanks for sharing it with us! What a butterfly routes, I thought you'll go on the plane also on CGK-SUB....

    • Comment 541191 by
      MRTY AUTHOR 57 Comments

      Thanks for the comment.

      I didn't take the flight from CGK-SUB simply because I'd like to try the new Argo Bromo Anggrek Luxury. Too bad I might not be able to share it on this platform.

  • Comment 541267 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5100 Comments

    "Butterfly Route" - I like that! And it's pretty haha

    So from the routing this was more of a segment-run than mileage-run? Or a bit of both? Not terribly familiar with GA's programme.

    Wow, I'm very impressed with the kinds of champagne on offer, the proper champagne flutes, the high level of catering with printed menus, and noise-cancelling headphones on a less than 2-hour flight! Very 5-star indeed!

    The seat colour is less attractive, haha...GA seem to have so many random cabin colours across the fleet.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 541532 by
      MRTY AUTHOR 57 Comments

      "Butterfly Route" - I like that! And it's pretty haha

      Yes, I was struck when I first saw the map too.
      .
      So from the routing this was more of a segment-run than mileage-run? Or a bit of both? Not terribly familiar with GA's programme.

      Well, it's actually for both. GarudaMiles still allows miles acquired from segment/frequency.
      .
      Wow, I'm very impressed with the kinds of champagne on offer, the proper champagne flutes, the high level of catering with printed menus, and noise-cancelling headphones on a less than 2-hour flight! Very 5-star indeed!

      Let's just hope they would always be able to maintain this level of service.
      .
      > The seat colour is less attractive, haha...GA seem to have so many random cabin colours across the fleet.
      Agree with you. In their old B737-800 and A330-200/300, the seat color in business cabin is red; on B777-300ER and A330-300 with Super Diamond seat, the color is dark brown; while on their new A330-900Neo, the color is a mix between blue and red. I still don't get this variety.
      .
      Thank you for the comment.

  • Comment 542145 by
    hometoyyz SILVER 538 Comments

    Hi MRTY! Thanks for this look at an interesting mileage run with some SkyTeam products we don’t see quite as often.

    This trip was actually just a joy flight for me, It's been a while since my last flight and I wanted to reckon that joy of being up in the air while enjoying proper meals

    Oh, do I know this feeling. After about a month on the ground, the itch gets strong. I’d suggest we have some sort of a support group, but I fear it would be like an AA meeting at a bar.

    I decided to take this "Butterfly Route

    That’s a very cool routing. Don’t suppose you managed a widebody on either of the VN routes?

    Premium Check-in looks very nice — a very “First Class” feel.

    The lounge looks nice, even if it’s not that exciting. And given that it seems like the only international lounge in town, nice that it wasn’t packed.

    This ambarella juice seems too sour for me, but still it gives some kick to my morning flight eyes.

    I’ve never heard or ambarella juice before, but this sounds good to me.

    Laurent Perrier, Billecart Salmon Brut Rose, Castelnau Cuvee Brut Millesime, and now GH Mumm.

    Not a bad lineup at all for regional J!

    Catering looks good, including the seafood meal. Most of the menu choices sound appetizing too. Interesting from Eriv VP’s comments that it seems the same thing, differently presented, is available in Y.

    I have very little experience with GA, but was quite impressed with them when I did. This short flight certainly lives up to my feelings on them.

    Thanks again. Cheers!

    • Comment 542196 by
      MRTY AUTHOR 57 Comments

      Oh, do I know this feeling. After about a month on the ground, the itch gets strong. I’d suggest we have some sort of a support group, but I fear it would be like an AA meeting at a bar.

      A very nice idea! Can we materialize that anytime soon?

      That’s a very cool routing. Don’t suppose you managed a widebody on either of the VN routes?

      Unfortunately as you can see from my VN report, that did not happen. All of my flights with them were in A321.

      Premium Check-in looks very nice — a very “First Class” feel.

      Absolutely agree with you.

      Thank you for the comments :D

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