In February 2014 I had the chance to fly with the Indonesian flag carrier: Garuda Indonesia. I have taken the journey from Bali up to Jakarta on board of a Boeing 737-800 plane.
Lots of flights connecting Bali Denpasar to the Indonesian capital Jakarta
At that moment there no less than 14 flights connecting Bali Denpasar to Jakarta, some flights operated with Boeing 747 or Airbus A330 planes. Probably also some planes coming from Australia or from the other islands are making some stops at Denpasar because there are really many flights.
And these flights were operated only by Garuda Indonesia, not to mention the other many flights operated by airlines such as Air Asia, Lion Air, Batik Air or Sriwijaya Air.
Really good price for the plane tickets compared with the services
Although the price was double than the same flight on Air Asia, in the end, it was proven that it was a really good choice that I have flown with Garuda Indonesia on this route.
Before I had flown in and out of Indonesia four times with Air Asia (Jakarta – Yogyakarta – Singapore – Yogyakarta – Denpasar Bali). Still, even if I was enjoying the very low prices of Air Asia I wanted to test another airline in this part of the World.
We extended our stay on a very low fee – upgraded to economy flexible
The biggest advantage was when we decided to extend our stay in Bali with one more day. We headed in the Garuda Indonesia office in Sanur and for something like 10 US dollars we changed our flight to the next day. Absolutely incredible, in Europe, airlines would have taken the skin off of us if we wanted to change the day of our travel with two days before on an economy ticket! 🙂
Here they just changed our ticket to „economy flexible” with an incredibly low fare and that was it!
So, there we were, with one day in Bali! What a joy!
Arriving at the airport – Bali Denpasar Ngurah Rai
We arrived at the airport with around 2-3 hours before the flight. The traffic was really good from Sanur to the airport and the road to the airport quite scenic above the sea.
So, there we were, headed quickly to the baggage drop area where we’ve met some really nice personnel who attached a
priority tag on our luggage. It was at a handy, because after our flight to Jakarta we had another two flights back to Europe, via Doha, with Qatar Airways (another great flight).
Our flight was scheduled around 14:00. We’ve gone through security really fast so we were at the airport with almost nothing to do than wait.
Arriving at the plane and take off
We were transferred to the plane with the bus, which was kind of a surprise for me, I had expected a gate with a jetbridge. On our flight the previous day we were supposed to be traveling with an Airbus A330 aircraft, so when we arrived at the aircraft and saw the kind of a small plane I was surprised.
On our flight the previous day we were supposed to be traveling with an Airbus A330 aircraft, so when we arrived at the aircraft and saw the rather smaller plane (than expected) I was surprised.
Also surprised that even if at the gate we were the first bus to leave, in the plane there already where people and flight attendants looked like they were on the rush. I found out that the plane made a stopover in Bali from one of the many islands in Indonesia.
Another surprise was that even if we had a seat marked with row 22 we were just one row behind business class. I thought that seats numbering on these planes would start from 1, but not on this Boeing 737-800 of Garuda Indonesia.
Back then voted Best Economy Class in the World
Anyway, it was a really nice plane on the interior, it was also mentioned proudly with a badge that they have been awarded by Skytrax as the best economy class in the world. I hate spoilers, but they really deserved it.
Our take-off was delayed since we expected a lot of incoming traffic like this Airbus A330 inbound from God knows where but most probably headed also to Jakarta.
In flight entertainment and amazing top class economy meal
Even if it was a short/medium haul plane it had in every seat in-flight entertainment system. I usually look at the moving map, so I was not interested in other entertainments. And since the duration of the flight from Bali to Jakarta was rather short, you don’t have time to properly view a movie or anything else.
Restaurant class meal
Even after many other flights, I still rate the meal taken on this flight the best one ever offered. I wasn’t much more hungry than usual, but the meal was really restaurant class and not some fast food!
Also it was the most consistent meal for such a short flight.
So, here it is: nasi goreng with chicken and some salad. The spicy things are packed separately.
Arrival in time – despite the late take-off
Even if we leave Bali kinda late, we arrived in time at Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta Airport (CGK). Did you know that Jakarta Airport it’s one of the biggest in the world as passengers traffic?
From Jakarta we took our flight onwards Doha with Qatar Airways, a Boeing 777-300ER and from there back to Europe with an Airbus A320.
I would love to fly again Garuda Indonesia
If I would have the choice to fly again Garuda Indonesia I would definetely made it. I would love to have the ocassion the check out their long haul product. I saw that they are flying out of London and Amsterdam to Jakarta. Despite it is a really ultra long-haul flight, I would still check it out. Of course it would be preferable a bussiness class ticket on a so long flight, but hey, I could – maybe – cope also with economy.