First of all, please do not take this post as me trying to show off or bragging or anything, I just wanted to share our honest opinions and experiences on our flight in business class with Garuda Indonesia. Although we have pretty much always flown with Garuda Indonesia whenever we went back to Indonesia or within Indonesia domestically, this is the very first time we flew on Business Class ticket. It started with a promotion and one thing led to another, hubby suggested that we tried this, maybe even for once in a life time hehehe
I think we paid about almost half the normal cost with the promotion, so that really was great saving. But at the same time also made it affordable to us, because without the promotion I really doubted we would have gone for these tickets! By the way, the luggage allowance for each business class ticket is 40 kg; it is usually 30 kg for economy class ticket.
We checked in online on Garuda Indonesia web and once we got into airport, just queued in the business class line, which was much quicker than the normal line. They then gave us two express passes and Skyteam lounge access. The express passes are great, basically you get through to immigration desks much faster than if you are queuing with economy flight tickets. After passing through the immigration, we moved to luggage scanning, etc. At the time we were there, there was a renovation going on in the area after luggage scanning, so we headed straight to the Skyteam lounge.
The size of the lounge is fairly decent, advertised to support up to 140 passengers, there is ample seating available, abundance of power sockets, a TV room, another room with two massage chairs. The sitting area is nice and cozy, it was not too crowded when we were there. Food on offer includes varieties of pastries, bread, hot food, soup, salad bad, dessert, and drinks. You can also pay for access to the lounge, it costs about $77 for two hours access and $132 for five hour access.
The lounge area is located on the lower level of the terminal, there is an escalator ride next to its reception area. Note that they don’t announce the flight times, but there are screens on the front foyer listing all the flight details with their departure gates.
The business lounge in Denpasar Airport is nothing as nice as one in Sydney Airport. Not sure whether because it is a temporary place, but looking at reviews on internet, looks like it has been in that location for a while now. It is basically a space fenced with some glass panels – no bathroom inside, quite poor options of food available, and it was really hot sitting in there! We’d rather wait in the usual departing gates than sitting in there, seriously! It was kind of disappointing because we expected it would be a nicer lounge here in Bali.
Here are the in flight meal we had on Sydney – Denpasar leg:
The welcome snack pastry and we chose genmaicha green tea (hubby) and gyokuro green tea (me). Gyokuro green tea is a type of green tea from Japan, which is said to be one of the finest green teas in the world. It differs from the standard sencha in being grown under the shade (not under full sun). Genmaicha is green tea with roasted grains and puffed brown rice added. Both tea were nice, very flavorful!
Hubby chose the Japanese set menu, which includes:
- Smoked eel with simmered eggplant, salmon sushi, daikon and sugar snap pea salad with sesame soy dressing, buckwheat soba noodles
- Grilled chicken thigh with miso and lime glaze, served with steamed Japanese rice, soy beans and black sesame seeds, shiro miso soup with spring onion and wakame
- Dessert: pineapple semolina pudding with wildberry ice cream
- In flight snack: combination of beef, chicken, and lilit satay – these are super yummy
We think this is the best set available (presentation and taste wise), I wished I had ordered this Japanese set as well. Ah well, at least I have more pictures to show with a different set, right? 🙂
I had the Indonesian set menu, which includes of:
- Pecel aka Indonesia mixed vegetable salad and tofu with peanut sauce, served with bread rolls and butter (the bread rolls are surprisingly very nice)
- Soto Betawi kuah bening aka traditional clear beef soup with braised beef – the broth is very delicious and the meat is so tender
- Ayam bakar Padang aka grilled marinated chicken in Padang style (slightly spicy) with steamed rice and coconut vegetables – very tasty chicken and vegetable side dish
- In flight snack: Japanese udon soup with prawn tempura
By the way, I also had the same dessert (pineapple semolina pudding with wildberry ice cream). By the time I finished my second meal of clear beef soup, I was almost full hence I asked the flight attendant to get just a half portion of the grilled chicken with rice.
The in flight meals on this leg were much nicer than on the flight back to Sydney. I slept really well almost through out the flight so I missed some of the meals offered. And in the morning, I totally forgot to take picture of our breakfast (we chose the Japanese breakfast and unfortunately, we both didn’t really like it). This was what happened when you are swallowing your food while your stomach is churning due to the bumpy flight.
This free amenity bag includes of: L’Occitane travel size eau de toilette, lip balm and body lotion, folded hair comb, pair of slipper, toothbrush with toothpaste, ear plugs and eye mask.
Overall it was very enjoyable flight in the business class cabin, very pampered and well feed with delicious food. As for the friendliness from the flight attendants, I feel they are very much the same whether you are on economy class or business class; only because there are less passengers in business class therefore they can spend a little extra time talking to each passenger to make sure everyone is comfortable. It is no surprise that Garuda Indonesia is rewarded by Skytrax as the “The World’s Best Cabin Crew” in 2015.