Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Jakarta - Bali on Garuda Airlines

Note: This is a continuation of our Bali trip.  you can find the full trip itinerary here.

Garuda Indonesia is Indonesia's main airline, and probably the nicest. I haven't flown them in a couple of years, so I was interested to see how they had changed.

One of the interesting things at Jakarta's airport is that you can get lounge access by purely having certain credit cards. There are lounges dedicated for frequent flyers or elite status passengers, but there are a ton of other lounges for these credit card customers. In front of these lounges, you'll see a list of 20-30 eligible credit cards that will give you access to that particular lounge.

My parents got us access to one such lounge, while they used their other credit cards to go to another lounge. 

Airline lounge in Jakarta

The lounge was quite busy, which was not surprising because basically anyone who had a local credit card could probably qualify to enter. :)

Garuda Indonesia

When it was time to board, we took the shuttle from the gate to the parked airplane and boarded. The plane seemed rather new, and I was surprised that they had individual touch screens with a decent TV/movie selection. They also gave free headsets which were more robust than the ones that US airlines charge for in economy.

Our flight

Since we were in economy, we didn't have very much legroom, but it was fine for such a short flight. I would say the legroom was similar to most US airlines.

The flight from Jakarta to Bali was only about 1.5 hours, but they still served a meal. I ordered the chicken with rice.

Chicken & Rice
Dan ordered the fish & potatoes, and I actually preferred his food more. But I was a bit too full after Rotiboy and food at the lounge. :p

Fish & Potatoes


Overall I was quite pleased with Garuda Airlines. Service was friendly and better than I expected, and the plane was almost brand new. It was also nice that they served a meal (even though the food was very mediocre). My parents mentioned that Garuda won the world's best regional airline by Skytrax in 2012. It's definitely a step above all US domestic airlines, and maybe almost comparable to Singapore/Cathay.

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