Review: Garuda Indonesia First Class 777-300ER Jakarta To Singapore

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Garuda Indonesia 86
Jakarta (CGK) – Singapore (SIN)
Saturday, December 10
Depart: 7:20AM
Arrive: 10:00AM
Duration: 1hr40min
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 2A (First Class)

We boarded through door L1 shortly after 7AM, where we were greeted by our smiling first class crew. As was the case on the last flight, the curtain between first and business class was closed, so only first class passengers boarded through door L1.

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Garuda Indonesia first class cabin

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Garuda Indonesia first class cabin

Rather than sitting together in the center section, like last time, Ford and I decided to take window seats this time around.

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Garuda Indonesia first class seats

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Garuda Indonesia first class seats

I settled into 2A, while Ford took seat 1A.

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Garuda Indonesia first class, seat 2A

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Garuda Indonesia first class, seat 2A

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Garuda Indonesia first class, seat 2A

Moments after settling in, two of the lovely flight attendants, Bernadette and Aninda, came by to introduce themselves. They said they’d be taking care of us all the way to London (which surprised me, since I figured there might be a crew change), and told us to let them know if we need anything.

To start I ordered a glass of sparkling water as a pre-departure beverage, which was served with macadamia nuts and a warm towel.

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Garuda first class pre-departure service — macadamia nuts, water, and hot towels

As was the case on my last Garuda Indonesia flight, the menu and wine list were already waiting at my seat, in addition to a newspaper.

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Garuda first class menu & wine list

At 7:25AM the door closed, with only one other person in first class. She was traveling alone and joining us all the way to London. Oddly she was seated in seat 1G, which is an aisle seat in the center section. While I can see how a computer auto-assigned her that seat, I’m surprised she didn’t change seats.

Moments after the door closed the safety video was screened.

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Garuda Indonesia 777 safety video

After that the captain came on the PA to add his welcome aboard and inform us of our flight time of 65 minutes. He also apologized that due to congestion we’d be delayed a bit on departure.

At around 7:30AM Bernadette came around to take my drink and breakfast order for after takeoff, given the short flight time.

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Garuda Indonesia 737 Jakarta Airport

Finally at 7:35AM we began our pushback, and then five minutes later we began our taxi.

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Pushing back Jakarta Airport

There was some interesting traffic on our taxi out, including views of several local low cost carriers.

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Lion 737 Jakarta Airport

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737 taking off Jakarta Airport

While the taxi to the runway itself was pretty quick, there was quite a queue for takeoff, consisting mostly of Garuda Indonesia 737s.

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Garuda Indonesia 737 taking off Jakarta Airport

Finally at 8AM we were cleared for takeoff on runway 25R, right ahead of an Emirates 777.

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Takeoff queue at Jakarta Airport

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Emirates 777 Jakarta Airport

Our takeoff roll was quick but bumpy, and we had a steep climb out after takeoff.

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Taking off Jakarta Airport

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View after takeoff from Jakarta Airport

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View after takeoff from Jakarta Airport

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View after takeoff from Jakarta Airport

As we climbed out I turned on the airshow and looked at the path for our quick flight to Singapore.

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Airshow enroute to Singapore

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Airshow enroute to Singapore

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Airshow enroute to Singapore

As we passed through 10,000 feet the seatbelt sign was turned off.

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View enroute to Singapore

Moments after that the curtains between the cabins and galleys were closed, and the service began.

The breakfast menu read as follows:

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Ford and I asked if we could dine together, given the “buddy seat.” While dining next to one another is nice, it’s even cooler to dine face-to-face on a plane.

Bernadette beautifully set our table.

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Garuda first class breakfast — table setting

I love the little touches of Garuda’s first class service, like separate mini-plates for each jam.

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Garuda first class breakfast — jam selection

We were each given a breadbasket, which included a pastry, croissant, and roll.

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Garuda first class breakfast — breadbasket

To start I had a fruit plate and some fruit yogurt.

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Garuda first class breakfast

The fruit plate was tasty, as was the fruit yogurt I had to accompany it.

For the main course I had the Indonesian dish, which consisted of tumeric rice, spiced tuna, omelette trips, potato croquette, and chili sambal. The dish was exceptional.

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Garuda first class breakfast — Indonesian breakfast

Ford had the same, though was still a bit hungry (as he skipped the starter), so asked if he could have the ricotta cheese crepes as well. I had a bite of them as well, and they were also very good.

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Garuda first class breakfast — ricotta cheese crepes

I had a cappuccino along with breakfast, though something wasn’t right about it. I’m not sure if there was a problem with the machine or what, but it lacked foam, and wasn’t nearly as good as the one on the outbound flight.

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Garuda first class breakfast — cappuccino

Service throughout breakfast was excellent, though I’ll have a lot more on that in the installment covering our much longer flight from Singapore to London. The flight was pretty bumpy, so kudos to the crew for the great job they did performing the service under tough conditions.

Our tray was cleared just as the captain asked the crew to prepare for landing, at which point I gazed out the window for the rest of the flight.

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View approaching Singapore

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View approaching Singapore

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Airshow approaching Singapore

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Airshow approaching Singapore

I love the view approaching Singapore, especially of all the container ships on the coastline.

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View approaching Singapore

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View approaching Singapore

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View approaching Singapore

We had a smooth touchdown on runway 2C at 10:15AM.

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Final approach into Singapore

From there we had about a 10 minute taxi to our arrival gate at Terminal 3, where we parked next to a Singapore A330.

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Taxiing Singapore Changi Airport

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Taxiing Singapore Changi Airport

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Parking next to a Singapore A330

We arrived at our stand about 25 minutes behind schedule due to the late departure, though had plenty of time to make up for the delay. We bid farewell to the crew, knowing we’d see them again in about an hour.

Garuda 777 First Class bottom line

65 minute flights don’t get much better than this, if you ask me! We had a fantastic breakfast, the service was great, and we had some lovely views enroute. I was very much looking forward to settling in for the much longer flight from Singapore to London!

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Comments

  1. Great report Lucky… I love your blog…

    I will be doing the same flight in May with my wife and my baby daughter thanks to you in your opinion where should i credit the miles ? i live in London.

    Also i am planning to go to Bali do you think i should book the tickets using Garuda Indonesia just in case there are any delays etc??

  2. What a short flight! I’d imagine the short CGK-SIN flight on AF was like this when it operated that route. Kudos again to Garuda. Ten years ago they were miles away from being a top class airline (I believe they were banned in Europe back in 2007) yet now it is one of hte best! Hopefully other airlines can look to Garuda that it is possible to improve and change.

  3. @ Dima — They only gave us the kit on the Singapore to London flight, presumably because they knew we were going all the way and would only get comfortable on the second flight. I’m not sure if they’d offer one to passengers traveling exclusively between Jakarta and Singapore. Perhaps just on demand.

  4. @ Jose Mattos — I’m sure you’ll have a great trip! Personally I credited the miles to Korean Air SkyPass since it’s the SkyTeam currency I value most. It can’t hurt to book the domestic flights on Garuda for a bit of extra protection.

  5. @ ron – Better a screaming baby than a screaming, rampaging 3, 5, or whatever year old. Babies fall asleep eventually and don’t normally wander into other people’s seats.

  6. How do you buy a first class ticket between Jakarta and Singapore? Garuda’s website doesn’t give the option, just economy and business.

  7. Hahaha I was waiting for the responses. Anyway let me be clear. I have nothing against children but I have a lot against children or baby’s that spoil the experience of people who actually paid for a premium experience and hope to travel in peace. This is probably the only thing MH got right: no baby’s and children allowed in FC.

  8. @ Ron – doesn’t make sense. If a parent wants to travel in first class with their baby, the airline has no right to stop them. It doesn’t make sense to categorise the 2% of screaming babies/children in first class and therefore disallow the other well-behaved 98% to stay out. It isn’t your responsibility to block out the noise, that’s why airlines offer earplugs in amenity kits.

    It’s like when people are kicked off a plane for speaking Middle Eastern languages (as in, people that speak Arabic because they have to, and not because they’re professional idiots doing a prank) – ignorance and stereotyping.

  9. @Alvin. You know what? Ron is entitled to his opinion without being labelled ignorant.

    You are completely right that neither the airline nor he has the option to prevent babies/kids travelling in first. I for one agree that this is the correct state of affairs, I wouldn’t ban them even if I could. However I also understand that people spending a huge amount of money might be aggrieved if they encounter a screaming child. I also question your 2%-98% figures and I fail to see how this issue has any real connection with discriminating against Arabic speakers.

  10. @ Evan – This relates to discrimination against Arabic speakers in the sense that not all children affect business passengers (vs. definitely not all Arabic speakers affect the safety of a flight), but children who are well behaved are banned from the cabin anyway (vs. we’ve seen Arabic speakers that have no intentions being kicked off flights despite much proof that they’re just travelers like everyone else). But I do apologise to Ron for going on an explosive rant with unproven figures as I do care a lot about the treatment of children on airlines.

  11. @ Nolan
    I have paid for her seat however discounted 90% of the fare. She is used to flying we will be going to GIG in April on BA Club Word.

  12. No worry, I had not expected for a second that everyone would agree with me. I am perfectly OK with people expressing different views.

  13. I am actually comparing this review to the LH-FRA-LHR-review some days ago. The flight time is the same, all the rest not 🙂

  14. Garuda flight is a good service but the foods wasn’t nice also the price Quite expensive too. Compared to other Airlines.

  15. Lucky, forgive me if I’ve missed this but why do they have the intermediate stop in Singapore on the westbound? Is it something with the aircraft range? Just seems odd considering all the ultra long haul westbound routes (like Auckland to Dubai and Doha). Thank you and keep up the great work! Love these trip reports

  16. @Greg that’s exactly what I plan to share here.

    Garuda’s 77W stops in Singapore only when it flies from Jakarta to London, but not when it flies from London to Jakarta, why? My Indonesian partner told me the other day with a shameful face that the reason for this is the runway in Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta Airport is not long enough! If the 77W is filled with fuel enough from Jakarta to London, the aircraft can’t even rotate from Jakarta, it has to fill fewer fuel and make a stop in Singapore to fill more fuel, haha! What an interesting fact!

  17. @kobe, it is not because of the length of the runway not enough. But it is because the maximum plane weight that the runway can cover. If I am not wrong, the runway is in the progress of being upgraded to handle more weight.

  18. @Etan

    Correct. The runway has enough length but the underground is too weak to carry the weight, and there are quite a few hollow parts under the runway. So this is a weight issue that is being fixed.

  19. Great review as usual Lucky, though was just wondering if you can book this flight by itself in First Class without continueing to London as Garuda’s website wasn’t letting me do it.

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