The airline with the best average rating is Singapore Airlines with 8.7/10.
The average flight time is 2 hours and 14 minutes.More information
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:
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.
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:
List of airlines and banks served by the lounge:
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:
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.
Not too long after it, boarding started to commence. Economy class and business class passengers were boarded on two separate lanes.
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.
And again with the ambarella juice after she cleared my previous glass.
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.
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.
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.
She cleared up my table and brought out the champagne. As usual In Garuda, it's served generously in a proper champagne flute.
Cheers for an enjoyable flight…
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.
Some half an hour before landing, I asked for another cup of hot chocolate from the crew and she promptly brought it within minutes.
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.
Garuda Indonesia has always been a jewel among many other carriers and they have successfully and proudly shown it even in short haul flight.