Review: Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta

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Our flight from Jakarta to London (via Singapore) was departing at 7:20AM, so we requested that the Garuda Indonesia limousine service pick us up at our hotel at 4AM. We got to the lobby at around 3:50AM, and the driver was already waiting for us in a Toyota Alphard.

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Garuda Indonesia limousine service to Jakarta Airport

Our ride to the airport took about 40 minutes. Funny enough, the traffic was worse going to the airport at 4AM than it was from the airport to the hotel at around 9PM.

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Garuda Indonesia Toyota Alphard seating

We pulled up to the far end of the terminal when we arrived at the airport, where we were immediately greeted by the two Garuda Indonesia representatives, Dea and Freddie, who would be taking care of us. They greeted us by name, and escorted us straight to the lounge. It really is incredible how seamless Garuda Indonesia makes the ground experience.

We entered the terminal, where we immediately saw the premium check-in desk to the right.

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Jakarta Airport departures terminal

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Garuda Indonesia premium check-in Jakarta Airport

However, we could by pass that, and were escorted into into the back entrance of the Garuda Indonesia lounge. This is the most practical entrance if you’re coming straight from check-in, while connecting passengers would access the lounge from the other side. At Jakarta Airport security is at the individual gates, so it’s great that you can be in the lounge a minute after arriving at the airport.

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Garuda Indonesia lounge Jakarta Airport entrance

While the main part of the lounge was on the same level as the concourse, the first class lounge was down a level. There was a rope acting as a partition, and then we took the escalator down a level to the first class lounge.

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport entrance

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport entrance

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport escalator

There wasn’t a single other guest in the first class lounge, so the privacy in the lounge was unparalleled. Given that Jakarta Airport is pretty outdated, I thought the lounge was quite nice.

Off the escalator and to the right were several seats, including semi-private daybeds along the windows.

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport seating

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport seating

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport seating

Next to that seating area was a piano.

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport piano

Past that piano were chairs with ottomans along the window.

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport seating

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport seating

Then there were several comfortable “cubicles” with TVs and lounging chairs, which were a nice place to relax.

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport seating

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport seating

There was also a dining area with almost a dozen tables.

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport dining area

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport dining area

As you walked further into the lounge there was a smoking room.

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport seating

Then there was a hallway leading to the bathrooms.

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport hallway to bathrooms

There were several individual bathrooms, and also a couple of shower rooms. While I didn’t need a shower, the room itself looked quite nice, and even had L’Occitane amenities.

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport shower room

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport shower room

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport L’Occitane toiletries

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport toiletries

We couldn’t see the views for the first couple of hours of our stay since it was dark, though once the sun rose we could see the lounge had distant views of the terminal.

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport view

As soon as we settled in, the friendly first class lounge attendant came by our seats to ask if we wanted anything to drink. I had a cappuccino, while Ford had an iced coffee. The attendant was fantastic, and managed to be attentive without seeming overbearing (given that we had the lounge to ourselves).

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport coffee

He also offered us food, though we weren’t especially hungry. For what it’s worth, the menu read as follows:

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The wine list read as follows:

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We decided to have a fruit plate, which was beautifully presented.

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Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta Airport fruit plate

I spent a bit of time getting caught up on work. The wifi in the lounge wasn’t very fast, but was still usable. I should also mention that the lounge was really cold. I usually appreciate air conditioning in Southeast Asia, but I was freezing.

On Garuda Indonesia’s website I had read that there was a spa in the first class lounge:

The First Class Assistant then will escort you to the Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge*, where you will enjoy a spread of food and beverages, Wi-Fi and SPA services. Here, the First Class Assistant will also help you to make a reservation of refreshing SPA services if you’d like.

I asked Dea about the spa, and she seemed a bit confused. Eventually she returned and said that there was “foot reflexology” in the business class lounge.

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Garuda Indonesia lounge “reflexology” Jakarta Airport

She escorted me up to the business class lounge, and it seemed by foot reflexology they meant that you could sit in a chair while a machine vibrates against your feet.

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Garuda Indonesia lounge massage chair Jakarta Airport

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Garuda Indonesia lounge “reflexology” Jakarta Airport

I used the machine for a few minutes, and then headed back to the first class lounge. Of course this isn’t at all a big deal, but Garuda might want to update their website regarding the spa. I’m not sure if they used to offer it or what, but clearly it’s not a feature anymore.

While on the upper level I briefly checked out the business class lounge, including the bar and food spread.

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Garuda Indonesia Business Class Lounge Jakarta Airport

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Garuda Indonesia Business Class Lounge Jakarta Airport

Below you can find pictures of the business class food selection.

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Garuda Indonesia Business Class Lounge Jakarta Airport

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Garuda Indonesia Business Class Lounge Jakarta Airport

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Garuda Indonesia Business Class Lounge Jakarta Airport

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Garuda Indonesia Business Class Lounge Jakarta Airport

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Garuda Indonesia Business Class Lounge Jakarta Airport

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Garuda Indonesia Business Class Lounge Jakarta Airport

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Garuda Indonesia Business Class Lounge Jakarta Airport

At around 6AM one other passenger showed up in the first class lounge, who was the other passenger traveling with us to London.

Dea asked us whether we wanted to be the first or last to board. We said we preferred to be first to board, and she said they would fetch us when it was time.

Finally at around 7AM Dea and Freddie picked us up and walked us to our departure gate. This time we exited through the terminal-side, which is where the main lounge entrance is anyway.

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Garuda Indonesia Lounge Jakarta Airport exterior

Our walk to gate E7 took about five minutes.

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Jakarta Airport terminal

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Jakarta Airport terminal

As we approached the gate there was a security check. Freddie took our bags and had them screened for us, while we could go straight onto the plane. Furthermore, they took the “first to board” thing very seriously, because they quite literally started general boarding just moments after we boarded, so it’s clear that they were waiting for us. We got some glares when we entered the gate area.

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Garuda Indonesia 777 taking us to London

Once onboard we were welcomed by name by the lovely crew, and bid farewell to Dea. A few minutes later Freddie boarded with our bags, and placed them in the overhead bins for us. Amazing!

Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta bottom line

Once again, the Garuda Indonesia ground experience was seamless from start to finish. We were well taken care of from the moment we left our hotel until the moment we boarded our flight, thanks to the excellent help of Dea and Freddie.

Garuda Indonesia’s first class lounge in Jakarta was excellent as well. It’s a nicely furnished, private space with a good menu and drink selection. While I think the ground experience on the whole ranks up there, the lounge itself is solid, though doesn’t rank on my list of the world’s top airline lounges.

What a fantastic all around experience, though!

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About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Evil glares?

    I think you feel guilty about your good life. Do you give a lot to charity on account of that guilt?

    Most people are just curious about the ones flying first class. They wouldn’t give two thoughts about you after that. So stop worrying about evil glares.

  2. I agree with Credit. I think most people are just curious about who can afford to fly first class. I know this from personal experience 🙂 when I am not flying first class – especially when I am flying economy class. If anything, they are most likely looks of envy more than anything.
    I remember the first time I flew First Class on SQ from SFO to HKG. There was a long line for business class at the gate. I did not stand at the First Class section but back away from it because I didn’t want to just stand there by myself. When it came time to board, the SQ gate agent saw that I had a First Class boarding pass in my pocket and in front of everyone called out and waived for me to come forward. She even walked up to me to escort me to the gate in full view of everyone in the Business Class line who were all just starring at me . lol… Now I know what it feels like to board a real First Class airline. 🙂

  3. for the first time I’m totally with credit.in this country people are extremely sensitive about being “offensive”, politically incorrect, being called a racist, misogynistic, worrying about what other think even when you did nothing wrong. The system wanted everyone to be equal so that it becomes the only elite.

  4. @Credit: You haven’t spent much time in Jakarta. Lucky and Ford are bules, and those were evil glares.

  5. @Lucky – isn’t there a new terminal from which Garuda flights were supposed to depart after August? This looks like the old terminal….

  6. As a New Year resolution you should get down to Earth and understand that you are spoiled since you don’t pay and cannot afford to fly first class. You play a game that van end at any time. Thus, you should be more humble.

  7. On many US flights where the coach passengers board through 1st Class, after 1st Class has boarded, a large number holding backpacks try to slam them into those sitting in the isles. Experienced passengers know when to move their head at the right moment — all coach can hit are cushion.

    But in Indonesia (the land where the defanged snake Obama received his first teachings of hate), they were definitely envious “glares”, unless going to Bali where they’re ignored. But who cares, not even worth mentioning.

  8. @ Melissa

    On this one I have to agree. I have never understood why in the US it seems impossible to have an organized, let alone efficient boarding process, esp on narrowbodies. Anywhere in the world boarding usually goes a lot faster and more civilized.

  9. @John yes that is the old terminal (terminal 2 used for international flights)
    Terminal 3 ultimate (AKA the new super fancy terminal which is aimed to rival singapore’s changi) is only being used for Garuda domestic flights. Garuda aims to move international flights to that terminal as of mid 2017

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