Garuda Indonesia uses the international configuration for a number of flights between the busiest airports in Indonesia Jakarta and Denpasar.
Terminal 3 at Jakarta airport was just inaugurated a few weeks ago and everything is still shiny. It looks more than Singapore Changi Airport than what you are used to from Jakarta airport. Garuda is using the new Terminal for domestic and international flights (and so do the other Skyteam members). I visited the Garuda Business Class lounge with high hopes but while the space has fantastic design it proved a disappointment. There is an enormous amount of noise and random movement i the lounge. There is just no quiet area (it is open towards the rather busiest terminal with its constant loud announcements). The food is not edible and there isn’t any goodies like an espresso maker. No alcohol is being served in the lounge. There is WiFi but it is way too slow for work. The priority pass associated lounge at the remote outstation of Balikpapan was leagues ahead with artisan coffee, full food buffet and lots of delicious desserts.
I escaped after a few minutes to a very well book shop at the airport that also made artisan espressos. I was happy when the departure time came around finally.
Flight Time for the short haul flight is just 80 minutes but the flight felt quite a bit longer.
Just about 50 passengers joined for the flight – about a dozen in Business Class and the rest in Economy. Not a terrible turn out for a 737 that normally runs the route but for the A330 the passengers were barely showing in the massive size.
The Garuda Indonesia uses the same style mini suites that I recently flew on China Airlines (Review). The seat is properly enclosed but is rather tight in the version Garuda chose. It also does not go fully flat – my seat at least has a two inch gap in between the seat cushions.
It’s a fantastic way to spend a few hours nevertheless. It would not be my first choice on flights over 8 hours but Garuda Indonesia has precious few of those these days on an A330. It is certainly superior to the seating comfort on a Cathay Pacific Regional Business Class (REVIEW).
The domestic catering does not include any alcohol – so no alcoholic pre-departure drinks. Also the food options would just be fish or curry. I found both of them incredible – a poor showing for a regular domestic business class flight but rather depressing given the international equipment.
The sun set and we got into moderate turbulence for the rest of the flight with everyone strapped in and some major bumps that saw items take off in the air. The flight attendants basically could only go around and offer water (which they did a bit too often).
While I praised the IFE in Garuda Economy Class (REVIEW) and the many flights I had before the IFE had the exact same movies and TV shows and since that was flight number 5 in a week – there was nothing new from the few English movies and US TV shows.
There is free WiFi but it is limited to 15 minutes or 10 MB. Read two emails and your bandwidth is exceeded.
This could have been a great flight but I wasn’t happy with it. The lounge is a failure, the catering worse than any US domestic catering and the policy to not serve alcohol does not help either.