Having written about this route before about 6 years back, I will post some impressions of my recent experience since Garuda moved their domestic operations to the new Terminal 3.
Boarding was slightly late but at least there was the jetbridge for us today. For passengers who want to experience the flight onboard Garuda’s widebody jet, there are scheduled flights between Jakarta and Denpasar on the Airbus A330 which takes place in the afternoon.
GA408 Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta CGK – Denpasar Ngurah Rai DPS
Boeing 737-800 PK-GNT
Gate 13 Seat 36J
Due to my late check-in and not reserving a seat before hand, only middle seats were left on this full flight. We could have switched to a later flight but figured it was not worth spending 2 hours waiting when we could be in Bali relaxing by then. So it was back to a middle seat, and fortunately enough, my seat mates were nice to not occupy the armrest all the time.
As was the norm in Jakarta, there was a long wait for take-off clearance. The boom in aviation meant this was unavoidable with Indonesia’s lack of aviation infrastructure. With that we were late by more than half an hour by the time we took off. The photo below is one of the take-off from Jakarta for my past flights.
Once in the air, there was some bad turbulence even though the weather was relatively clear. What I appreciated was that the inflight entertainment was switched on right from the gate. This meant passengers could start on watching their movies and even finish watching one for many of the short flights between the major cities of Indonesia. However expect lots of interruption and there was a long advertisement for SkyTeam that disrupted the entertainment for a while.
With the full flight and the short duration, the crew went to work immediately after the turbulence was over and the seat-belt sign was taken down. Even then the meal cart took around 15-20 minutes before I could get my order. Apparently a full meal service still exists for this route as I was offered either fish with potatoes or rice with beef.
I picked the beef and enjoyed the lunch with the movie. Surprisingly, the food was not bad at all and I finished the whole snack box. Compared to the international routes though, the meal tray was missing the appetizer, while the crew still offered beverages to passengers.
After the meal service, the captain announced our position over Surabaya while mentioning that we might arrive slightly behind schedule at around 1440. At this time the plane started its gradual descent as the crew went around to collect any remaining garbage from passengers.
Eventually it was a smooth landing into DPS and we were still within schedule though there was a bit of a taxi to our parking spot. In the end, I managed to complete watching the Chinese movie titled ‘The Bodyguard starring Sammo Hung by the time we landed. With the new terminal in DPS, there was a direct disembarkation by the jetbridge which certainly makes it convenient to alight.
An operationally smooth flight with on-time arrival on the new domestic terminal in Denpasar made the flight good. The nice lunch catered for passengers made this great. Even with the full flight and the middle seat, Garuda Indonesia makes the short flight between Jakarta and Bali enjoyable. Because of the lack of photos I took on the arrival, I added some photos of the cabin from my past Garuda flights since Garuda has a standard 737-800 cabin across its fleet save for a few planes.