Garuda Indonesia » User reviews
All-class rating 6.7
- Boarding 5.4
- Seat for sitting 7.4
- Seat for sleeping 3.1
- Service 7.7
- Entertainment 6.0
- Food & drink 6.7
- Punctuality 7.3
- Baggage 7.1
- Of course, your ratings vary widely for different classes. Choose one below for full details.
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Previously I have been a frequent user of either Thai or SQ for this journey. However Thai is limited by the fact that they have only one flight per day and the return journey from Jakarta in particular is not conducive to a productive day as it is a lunchtime departure. Although SQ is an attractive option the overall journey time is just impractical and their last flight from Jakarta involves a 2pm departure. GA now have 3 flights per day on this route with this being the last flight at 17.25 pm.
The check-in at Jakarta is at the dedicated business class area and it was very smooth and efficient with very helpful staff on hand. There was no queue and within 5 minutes I was following the GA staff to the lounge. This is a big plus point as this avoids the sometimes rather lengthy immigration queues. You simply sit down in the lounge and your passport is returned within a few minutes with the stamp in place.
Unfortunately the main lounge facilities at Soekarna Hatta are undergoing a major renovation to coincide with the launch of the new first class services in October of this year. Consequently they are using a temporary facility which is rather cramped and with rather limited food and drink options. There was no alcohol available although this may have been due to the fact that this was during Ramadan.
Specific boarding announcements for each flight were made, and I headed for gate E1 which was only a short walk from the lounge at 1700.
Boarding proceeded around 5 minutes later but it was a typical Indonesian stampede without any priority benefit. The 737-800 was on a remote stand and the business class passengers used a separate van with 6 seats which was a bit more relaxing than the bus.
There are 3 rows of business class seats of which 6 out of the 12 were occupied allowing everyone to have an empty seat next to them. A hot towel and a selection of drinks were offered and I opted for the pink Billecart Rose. Push back was very rapid at 1730 and we had a short 5 minute taxi with only one Lion Air 737 in front of us.
This is probably the longest flight using this product and the short haul seats are just adequate. They have adequate space but limited recline. The IFA system is touch screen and worked well with around 15 of the latest films and a further 30-40 western titles and a relative limited number of TV programs but more than adequate for this length of flight.
Shortly after take off the crew started the meal service. Smoked chicken salad, a choice of 3 main courses which were shown to us, in case you thought the description in the menu did not do it justice! I went for the almond chicken and pak choi and steamed rice. There was a green tea panacota for dessert. There were two white wines and two reds offered. The very pleasant cabin staff (2 for the business class section) kept the drinks topped up on a regular basis throughout. The food was a notch down from SQ but perfectly adequate.
We arrived at Bangkok around 15 minutes early and after a swift taxi to the gate (no bus) we were quickly heading for the immigration. Express access passes were issued but the queues were minimal. The business class tagged bags were first to appear on the carousel within 5 minutes.
Garuda are making strides to raise their game and I will use them again. Interestingly the ticket prices are now around 15% higher than Thai, albeit that with 3 flights a day they are offering a decent schedule.
CGK - DPS B737-800 boarding was efficient, push back before schedule, seat pitch was great, IFE was as expected, 2 choices of lunch (beef or chicken) I choose beef which was tasty), inflight service was superb,FA were attentive and did their very best throughout the flight, around 10 minutes baggage waiting which is ok for me.
A brand new Garuda Indonesia of service, livery and uniforms are very different from the last and rejuvenation which also adds to its fleet of passenger comfort
My flight was from CGK to BPN. When I first entered that aircraft, the cabin crew welcomed us with hospitality. But, the worst point is there are no PTV. The IFE system is just only that on-top cabin screen for displaying safety video and the JFL gags. No IFE audio... You know... short haul flight..
But, the meal is pretty awesome for economy. The stewardess asked "Mau nasi ayam atau pasta daging sapi?" or in English : "Do you want Chicken Rice or Beef Pasta?" I chose Chicken Rice.. It's pretty awesome. The taste was good. Not too plain. Pretty awesome for economy.
Just saying, I wasn't get any turbulences in this flight. And when I arrived, the crews said "Thank You" with a very good hospitality.
Boarding was a shambles at Jakarta - first I had an issue with the person collecting the fiscal tax receipts - I did not have one - as I was in transit from Singapore, the 150 000 Rupiah tax is a departure tax when departing Indonesia not a tax for transit passengers.
Then it was down stairs onto a bus - there was no separate bus for business class passengers - which there often is - and at the domestic terminal where the aircraft was - there was major confusion regarding which aero bridge - when i got the aircraft at which I later discovered I entered at L2 - I was in 5A and was directed to the right - the next row was 6 - then i twigged - change of aircraft from A330 200 to A330 300.
Flight was good, as per usual - great service - the omelette was inedible - I should have had the nasi goreng.
This is an awesome airline with a few minor teething problems.
MichelleVarga flew Garuda Indonesia Executive (business) (28/01/2013 10:01)
Flew with Garuda on 1 Jan from Denpasar (Bali) to Tokyo Haneda on their A330-300. Flight left 1 hour late but otherwise I have nothing to complain about! Service was attentive and warm, seats were very comfortable and food was good. On the way back it was an overnight flight and I slept well on the flat beds (at a slight angle). We had skis and snowboards and 2 large luggage bags which were all covered in the luggage allowance. Fantastic value for money - will definitely use them again! It's not Emirates but for USD$1500 return from Bali to Tokyo I was very pleasantly surprised!
Garuda service is good for International route.
Airline: Garuda Indonesia
Flight number: GA 116
Route: Jakarta CGK to Palembang PLM (domestic short haul)
Aircraft: Boeing B737-800
Aircraft Registration: PK-GEO (first flight 12 Jan 2001 with Ryanair, acquired by GA in 2009)
Cabin: 12 Business + 144 Economy
Crew: 2 cockpit + 5 cabin
OVERVIEW Garuda Indonesia is the flag carrier of Indonesia. In its domestic market, it positions itself in the premium market and hence becomes the only domestic carrier to offer full-service on board its flight. It is expected to join SkyTeam in 2012. Jakarta-Palembang is a 260-mile journey and is reached 1 hour. Garuda Indonesia has 8 daily flights for this route alone.
BOOKING Booking can be done easily online through www.garuda-indonesia.com. However, the online booking still has restrictions: Only select nationalities can use their credit card to book tickets online. This is an apparent barrier especially after becoming full member of SkyTeam. Tickets can also be booked from travel agents, but the web-only fares can only be booked through their website and can sometimes be much cheaper.
CHECK-IN For domestic flights, GA operates from Terminal 2F at Soekarno Hatta International (SHIA), Jakarta. One must pass through security before going into the check-in hall. Also, anyone flying GA need to secure their checked luggage with a security band (provided free). Wrapping counter is also available, but with a fee. GA has common check-in counters for all flights. The lines were quite short, but it still needed some time before you're checked in. No check-in kiosk available - another setback for a future SkyTeam in its home airport. Online check-in is only available for select booking class who can get pre-assigned seat of which I found as a joke for a full service airline in this era.
WAITING AREA The departure zone of Terminal 2F is separated from other Terminal 2 areas as it only caters for domestic flights (others are for international services). But it has a good selection of shops and F&B outlets. There is another security check before passengers can enter the gate area.
BOARDING My flight was scheduled to leave from gate F6, I presented my boarding pass and on the stub there is a colour-coded sticker indicated the boarding zone.
It is quite a crowded airport and on the same gate as my flight, there were two other flights; one was a delayed flight to Mataram (AMI) and the other one was a flight to Yogyakarta (JOG) scheduled to leave around the same time as my flight to PLM. Soon, the gate area was filled to the brim with passengers to AMI complaining about the delay. There was seating available, but in a state and in need of urgent repair. Anyone who dares to sit must get a tetanus shot first...
My boarding time was printed on the boarding pass at 1050. But it was not to begin until another two flights were boarded first. The gate was remote as the planes were parked on the apron. It was raining heavily and I couldn't help but feel more sorry for those poor souls... I would definitely be outraged if I were to be boarded by bus, knowing the gates next to ours were empty... Overall, a rather disappointing sight from an award-winning carrier...
Boarding for my flight was finally announced close to scheduled departure time of 11.10. Business class passengers are allowed to board first (but not premium FFP members) followed by passengers seated in Middle Row (including myself). Boarding was chaotic as apparently every passenger rushed to the gate by the time boarding was announced, so those who were invited to board couldn't get through the gate... A little shoving and pushing was needed before I managed to get to the jetway.
Inside the plane, a steward greeted us; the purser - a lady in her 40s just enjoyed her time in the galley without bothering to greet the passers-by. Further down the business class cabin, two other younger stewardesses stood in the aisle and greeted passengers (albeit in an infrasonic volume), so people really can't tell whether they're greeting passenger or just whispering.
THE CABIN PK-GEO is the older B737-800 that GA acquired earlier. Seats were revamped to the current colour scheme (red with blue headrest for Business class while Economy seats are light brown with light blue-green headrest cover). Some upholstery is apparently fading despite being recently revamped in new colours. Overhead monitors were absent.
THE SEAT Business class seat is of older recline type and comes with private monitor (ancient pull over from seat arm type) and leg rest. Economy seat only comes with tray table and nothing more; no PTV, jack for earphone, and music channel selector. The newer GA B737-800 fleet has PTV in each seat.
Seat pitch for economy class is pretty generous at 31 inch so I can seat comfortably without knocking my knees to the tray table in front of me. Emergency exit seats in row 14 and 15 enjoy larger seat pitch, but bulkhead seats has the same 31-in seat pitch.
AMENITIES GARUDA in-flight magazine, a safety card (some are already in torn condition due to low quality paper), airsickness bag, and torn GARUDA shop catalogue in the seat pocket. Business class seats have plush red pillows.
SERVICE Snack box was distributed in this 1-hour flight consisting of a (small) bread, a mixed nut bag, a Kit-Kat, and a small mineral water all inside the box. Juice and more mineral water was offered and handed directly by the crew. Comparing with LCC and other carriers in Europe and US, this sounds much better, but I have been receiving a better meal service from other Asian carrier for flights around 1-hour.
THE CREW Despite earning a 4-star status from Skytrax Survey, only few of the cabin crews do understand the concept of customer oriented service. First is the purser behaviour; no greeting and only busy in the front galley (on other carrier, at least both FA working in the front cabin of a 737/320 will greet the passengers). FAs are willing to help with passenger luggage, a rare sight on other Indonesian carrier. On my flight; the 3 FAs working on the economy cabin - 2 young girls and a man were courteous enough, but only the man had a friendly manner; of the other 2 girls; one just pure shy and the younger one was indifferent. Another missing aspect is that they're not attentive at all. As I was settled in to my seat, I wish to catch a sleep on the flight, so I asked for a blanket from the cabin crew. One of them told me that she will brought one after boarding is completed. As the plane was moving, until it reached the runway, she didn't bother to come back. I didn't know if she knew exactly what "Boarding" means or she's simple ignorant. I had to ask again (to other FA) and a blanket was brought in no time (but still weird; normally on other carrier blanket is given as a set with pillow, but not on GA - another non-attentive behaviour). Still long way to go I would say if they want to aim for Best Staff award. The cockpit crews were just enjoying themselves and not made any attempt to greet passengers despite the purser pronounced the captain name in full.
ARRIVAL The crew can made up the delay and I reached PLM just before 1210. On arrival, it's the time for the purser together with another steward working in the front cabin to stand and say goodbye (they can do this on arrival, but not during boarding?!?). Palembang Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin 2 International is a small airport with only 4 jetways, but looks lovely. Baggage was delivered in no time and I was out to the parking lot in 10mins time since I step outside the plane.
VERDICT In order to catch up with the technology, GA still has many things to do; web check-in is meant for everyone (but not for GA), seat selection is a common practice to be done at the time of booking (but not at GA), no check-in kiosk at home airport (this is understandable as anyone still require to pay separate airport tax at check-in counter, but that does not mean you can't provide dedicated counter just for airport tax payment if you have check-in kiosks).
In terms of comfort; the home airport looks very sad and in appalling condition (seats in the gate area are the testament of this), very cluttered gate where 3 flights can be handled in 1 gate (it's not efficient, but simply depressing), and the plane does not have same amenities across the fleet (GA aims to operate only 3 type of aircrafts, but I highly doubt the older 738s will get PTV like the newer 738s).
In terms of service; it was nice to see improvement of meal service. As for the crew, despite looking nice in the new outfit, the attitude was still indifferent and definitely need more hospitality training and learn how to be attentive to passenger's requests.
As a member of GFF, I always fly by GA and I love to sit next to window. When i book this flight, I also choose the seat and take seat 9A. But when I board the plane, this seat is extremely bad, because it has no window. Overall, GA has great improvement especially their IFE and my plane is a brand new aircraft delivered to GA (registration number is PK-GFA) but this filght delayed for over one hour. This is the worst point for GA.
I travelled around the world, and I think for the business class short haul flight (1-2 hours), Garuda is the best. The seat width and the seat pitch are so generous with the configuration of 2-2 and also come with the IFE. I didn't find such this comfortable short haul business class in European airlines as they usually just provide business class seat with the configuration of 3-3 with less seat pitch