From Sankara Resort in Ubud, we had pre-arranged a ride to the airport. This arrangement allowed us to drop by the market and a local warung (food stall) to grab some packed Nasi Campur with Babi Guling which is a Balinese specialty for lunch allowing us to arrive at the airport around 2pm well fed and ready to check-in.
The check-in area for Garuda’s flights were quite empty and we were served immediately. Apparently Garuda has moved its domestic operations to occupy the old International Terminal, as the latter has a new building beside it. The new terminal area was fully air-conditioned and features more comfortable lighting along with space for customer service offices.
With the boarding passes on hand, we went through the quiet security lane and up towards the second floor for all departure gates. There are plenty of shops retailing Bali specialty goods and foodstuff, and this area featured even a kids play area and several cafes and snack places that makes waiting for a flight semi-enjoyable. This was a nice airport when compared to the others in Indonesia. Since I have some stuff to purchase before leaving Bali, I did not use the lounge.
GA253 Denpasar Ngurah Rai DPS – Yogyakarta Adisutjipto JOG
Boeing 737-800 PK-GNF
Gate 1B Seat 34H
Boarding was orderly via the jet bridge and announced earlier than scheduled at around 1445. This early boarding would ensure our on-time departure and was certainly a plus for Garuda Indonesia. Since the flight is between 2 major tourist destinations in Indonesia, the passenger mix consists of foreigners and locals. Garuda Indonesia has 3 daily flights between these 2 cities and the afternoon flight was full. When majority of the passengers have boarded, the crew came around with a tray full of sweets and they even came around again afterwards to ensure everyone had their share of candy.
One incident left me puzzled however as two passengers were walking to the seat during pullback while the plane was moving. Though the flight stewardess did nothing and neither did they approach the passengers to ask them to sit down. On the other hand, a stern crew asked the phone to be turned off totally when it is already in airplane mode. What’s with the double standards here? I figured the walking passengers were more dangerous rather than a mobile phone in airplane mode.
Take-off was a smooth affair with no long queues as was the usual case in Jakata, and that meant we were up in the air quickly after pullback. For this short flight, the crew got to work after the seat belts were turned off. In the meantime, I had started watching the Korean movie ‘Time Renegade’ with the supplied headphones.
An inflight snack box was distributed to all passengers and an offer of soft drinks and juices was added to the snack box. For a flight slightly longer than the usual Jakarta to Bandar Lampung hop, the additional drinks service was a nice touch.
As quickly as the crew got to distribute the snack box, they went around to collect the remnants as the captain announced our descent. Some turbulence and bumpiness was encountered during descent and the inflight entertainment was switched off about 15 mins before landing, and it meant I would not complete the movie as I expected. This was a slight difference from the flight to Bali where the inflight entertainment was operated all the way to the gate. Garuda Indonesia actually operates the inflight entertainment right by the gate and allows passengers to use them all the way to the destination right until the plane is parked.
For my first time arriving at Yogyakarta’s airport, it was somewhat underwhelming. Disembarkation is done via the stairs, since the airport utilizes a military air base with no gates at all for domestic arrivals. As I understand, a new international airport is being planned a distance away from the city. Which is about time as the current airport did not even provide buses and expects all passengers to make the trek to the terminal about 200 meters away. Inside, there are a couple of baggage claim belts before passengers head out to an arrival greeting area with several eateries, money changers and convenience stores.
The walk to the arrival hall certainly gave me the chance to take photos of the various jets being parked on the tarmac. Other than the annoying stewardess who obviously did not know the rules, the flight was uneventful and standard for Garuda Indonesia. I was just glad Garuda Indonesia operates this short flight, making it convenient for travellers to get around the major attractions in Indonesia.