Well, after an incredibly relaxing week in Indonesia, it was time to head back to Australia. As with the outbound flight, the return was to be onboard Garuda Indonesia’s Business Class.
Carrier: Garuda Indonesia (GA)
Route: Denpasar (DPS) – Sydney (SYD)
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
Cabin Class: Business
Seat Number: 10A
Flight Number: GA 714
Being the end to the holiday season, the airport was busy, and several flights to Australia – operated by GA, VA and JQ – were all due to depart at similar times. Upon arrival at Ngurah Rai’s departure terminal, I noticed it was incredibly akin to Hong Kong’s amazing Chep Lap Kok International Airport. The bridges from kerbside to terminal, the high arched ceilings and the view down to arrivals all resembled Hong Kong exactly, albeit on a much smaller and less amazing level.
After passing through an initial security check for checked baggage, we proceeded to the check-in desk. It was surprising to fin the desks fairly empty, and there was no one in the Sky Priority lane. As we approached, a ground staff asked where we were flying to, and we responded with “Sydney. Business Class.” Another ground staff muttered “Ohh, full”. I had no idea what he was talking about, though. We checked in fairly quickly and for the baggage was labelled with priority as usual, however GA was using their old “Executive Class” luggage tags this time. As we proceeded immigration, I realised what the ground staff was talking about. Garuda actually has a premium check-in lounge. It’s temporary, and so looks a bit out of place, but the whole lounge was incredibly packed. Very full in the premium cabins on that evening’s flights!
We headed to the Garuda Indonesia lounge, which unfortunately was temporary. There was very limited seating and a very small selection of food/ drink. This is because Garuda’s new premium lounge was still under construction, so I can understand how why the lounge was as it was. I am sure their new lounge will be incredible! I noticed they had a few seats with “RESERVED” signs on them. Only later I realised that this was part of Garuda’s First Class service. GA has gone all out with their First Class, only available on the 777-300ER, flying to Tokyo Narita, Amsterdam and London primarily. Unfortunately for the passengers travelling to Narita, their flight leaves at a similar time to all the Australian flights. As a result, GA reserved a few seats for their First Class passengers. They offer a meet and greet service whereby an attendant, dressed in a black uniform with golden trim, will escort the passenger from check-in to boarding. It was interesting to see these attendants bring in the Japanese passengers and help them relax in the lounge.
After the cabin calmed down, the crew came to take orders for the refreshment and for breakfast. The stewardess addressed me by name, as all airlines do with Business/ First Class service. This is always a wonderful touch, as it really reminds you that you are travelling in a premium cabin on a great airline. Anyway, I ordered the Nacho Chilli Cheese for the refreshment, which was quickly delivered. It was a very simple dish, and had amazing salsa! Unfortunately, the crew didn’t give any refreshment towels/ napkins which are expected for ANY meal.
I do adore the cutlery and crockery GA uses. The plates and bowls are incredibly modern and stylish. At the commencement of the service, the crew lays the table with a table-cloth and places down a lovely stained-glass plate for the pastries and preserves.
Garuda also has an onboard Chef for premium cabin. The chef will cook eggs fresh onboard, and prepare all other meals for Business and First Class. It’s an incredibly nice feature to have onboard!
FOR INFORMATION ON THE AMENITY KIT, AND MORE COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS OVERALL, PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT THE REVIEW FOR THE OUTBOUND FLIGHT (CLICK HERE).
Here are the final ratings:
Cabin State: 4/5
Ground Procedures: 3/5
Stay tuned for my next report on Etihad Airways from SYD-AUH for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!
And Enjoy Your Journey.