Review: Garuda Indonesia Business Class B737-800 Bali to Surabaya

After spending a few days in Bali, finally (or sadly?) I had to go back to Jakarta. While there are many direct flights from Bali to Jakarta, I decided to take a little bit odd (or perhaps, interesting!) routing.

I decided to fly from Bali to Jakarta via Surabaya. The reason is pretty much simple: I want to experience Garuda Indonesia’s Domestic Lounge in Bali and I want to experience their A330 flight from Surabaya to Jakarta.

I purchase Bali to Surabaya segment ticket using redemption from Garudamiles. The redemption cost me only 7,000 miles + IDR 80,000 in business class.

I guess this is one of the good redemption that I ever did with Garuda Indonesia in domestic segment. The retail price of the flight itself at the time that I book this award ticket is IDR 1,650,000. So with the redemption, my miles worth about IDR 236 each.

Garuda Indonesia 347
Bali (DPS) to Surabaya (SUB)
Date: 28th October 2017
Depart: 14.07 (scheduled 13.55)
Arrive: 14.05
Duration: 1 hour 10 minutes
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800 NG
Seat: 7K

A moment after dropped off by the airport transfer arranged by L Hotel Seminyak Bali, I swiftly go to theinside of terminal. Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport is consist of 2 terminals: domestic and international. The current domestic terminal is located at the building which previously used as International Terminal. So I guess the current domestic terminal is way better than the previous one.

As usual, Garuda Indonesia has their own premium check-in facility for passenger who travel in Garuda Indonesia Business Class to completing airport formalities. The check-in facility is very nice. If there is no signage, perhaps I will mistaken the premium check-in facility as if that it is a lounge.

The premium check-in agent didn’t let me to hand them my bag, to be treated as checked baggage. It is because I bring a laptop inside the bag and the agent said that Garuda Indonesia will not responsible if something happen to my laptop if they treat it as a checked luggage (what?!). I did my check-in via Garuda Indonesia website a day before, so I asked them to print my boarding pass.

I go straight the departure area in the 2nd floor. There you can find a lot of shops, accessories,  drug store, cafe, and eateries along the way.

For you who prefer to lounging before boarding your aircraft, there you can choose between Garuda Indonesia Domestic Executive Lounge and Concordia Lounge. The Garuda Indonesia Domestic Executive Lounge can be accessed for free if you are traveling in Garuda Indonesia Business Class, a member of Garudamiles Platinum, or a member of Skyteam Elite Plus.

If you are not entitled to access Garuda Indonesia Domestic Executive Lounge, you can access Concordia lounge by paying about IDR 150.000 / person. The good thing is you can access the Concordia Lounge for free if you have certain credit card which partnered with lounge, Garuda-BNI Visa Platinum for example.

I traveled in Garuda Indonesia Business Class and I also owned Garuda-BNI Visa Platinum, so I entitled to access both lounges. I got like 3 hours before my boarding time, so I can managed my self to visit those two.

For smokers, you can enjoy an open air smoking lounge nearby departure gate 6. I think it is the most spectacular smoking lounge in Indonesia with the view overlooking runway, apron, and the sea. You can also find a coffee shop in the smoking lounge.

Around 13.30, I ready at the gate 1B to board my aircraft. There are separated boarding line for SkyPriority passengers (Business Class, SkyTeam Elite, and SkyTeam Elite Plus) and regular passengers. The boarding process was orderly managed by the agents. The SkyPriority passenger are invited to board the aircraft first.

The aircraft which took me to Surabaya was parked on a remote stand, so normally passenger have to take a bus. Garuda Indonesia transferring business class passengers from the gate to the aircraft with a separated shuttle, which is nice touch.

I boarded via door 1L where I greeted by a friendly purser who helped me to find my seat. I was seated at 7K, which is a standard window business class seat on Garuda Indonesia Boeing 737-800. The business class class cabin is arranged in 2-2 configuration. Waiting in my seat was a small pillow, which is more than enough for my journey which will took about 1 hour.

The cabin looks nice and clean. To my liking, the individual air vent is installed above of each seat. The seat also feels spacious and comfortable. You can be manually control the seat via panel at the right side of the seat. When it comes to legroom, it is very generous!

After the boarding process finished in all cabin, a purser came to my seat and offer me for a welcome drink. I choose orange juice, which later came with a hot towel.

Shortly after the aircraft was pushed back and we began taxiing. The safety video was played in the main screen. I guess it was not very busy at the time of my departure, so the taxiing only took roughly 15 minutes.

The aircraft reached the cruising altitude about 15 minutes after take off. I manage to check the personal in-flight entertainment which stowed at the center armrest. The movie selections was good, but I didn’t watch any on this short hop.

The purser quickly distributed snack box for every passenger. I found that business class box was very so so, consist of breads, chocolate, and a bottle of mineral water. But at least I could ask for a juices or any other drinks to the purser. While I love alcohol so much, too bad Garuda Indonesia doesn’t serve alcoholic beverage on domestic routes.

It is really a very short hop, in no time the aircraft begin descent to approach Surabaya.

The aircraft landed around 14.00. After the aircraft parked at the gate and the door was opened, the purser invite business class passenger to disembarking from the aircraft first. I disembark from the aircraft via a jet bridge.

There is a designated luggage pick up point for Garuda Indonesia Business Class Passenger. Since I didn’t check my belonging, I swiftly made my way to the ground transportation area where I will catch a bus to go to the city center.

Bottom line

The ground facilities for passengers who traveling in Garuda Indonesia Business Class at Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport was very solid. The hard product on the aircraft also very good for a short hop. The only cons is about the in-flight snack which in my opinion could be better than what I had in this flight. But overall I really enjoyed this flight.

Author doesn’t affiliate and not earn anything from the brands mentioned on this post.

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