Introduction: Christmas Markets With A Touch Of Garuda
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Review: No1 Lounge London Heathrow Terminal 3
Review: Garuda Indonesia First Class 777-300ER London To Jakarta
Review: Garuda Indonesia First Class Arrivals & Chauffeur Service Jakarta
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Review: Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge Jakarta
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Review: Garuda Indonesia First Class 777-300ER Singapore To London
Review: Lufthansa Lounge London Heathrow
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Garuda Indonesia 86
Singapore (SIN) – London (LHR)
Saturday, December 10
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 2A (First Class)
Once onboard we were again greeted by Bernadette and Aninda, and I settled back into seat 2A.
This time around there were a lot more goodies waiting for me, including an amenity kit.
The amenity kit was different than on the outbound, both in terms of the packaging and the contents.
It featured Hermes toiletries, including moisturizer and body lotion.
Aninda explained that she had already hung my pajamas in my wardrobe, which I thought was such incredible attention to detail.
Once I was seated, Bernadette asked if I wanted a glass of sparkling water like on the previous flight, which sounded good to me. That was once again served with macadamia nuts and a warm towel.
Since we were the last to board, we began our pushback just a few minutes after getting to our seats. Moments later the safety video was screened.
As we taxied to the runway, the crew provided the typical “slipper service,” where they placed my shoes in individual shoe bags and put slippers on my feet.
Our taxi out to runway 2L took about 15 minutes.
At around 11:50AM we were cleared for takeoff on runway 2L.
After a long takeoff roll we were finally airborne, with great views on departure.
Five minutes after takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off, at which point the crew distributed complimentary wifi cards.
About 10 minutes after takeoff the captain made his welcome aboard announcement, and informed us of our flight time of 13hr40min to London, which he anticipated would have us arriving on schedule.
Shortly thereafter Zalman, the onboard chef, came by my seat to introduce himself and discuss the menu for the flight. While there was a lunch service and pre-landing service, he explained that we could dine whenever we wanted.
Ford and I were both quite tired due to not having slept much the night before, so asked if we could sleep after takeoff and instead have our main meal later in the flight. Zalman said that was perfectly fine, and the crew made our beds immediately
Before going to sleep I decided to have a glass of rose champagne and a cheese plate.
I was also offered some mixed nuts.
I decided to watch a TV show with the stars of “The Big Bang Theory.” I’m a huge Big Bang Theory fan, and this behind the scenes show was very cool, as I’ve never seen the cast together and out of character.
With just over 12 hours to go until our arrival in London, it was time to get some sleep.
My bed had been made in seat 2D, while Ford decided to sleep in seat 1A.
Since there was only one other passenger (and she was sleeping), the crew asked if we wanted the cabin completely dark, which was much appreciated. A dark cabin with the beautiful stars on the ceiling sure makes it easier to sleep.
I ended up getting a solid five hours of sleep, and woke up over the Middle East, about seven hours before our arrival in London.
Ford was still sleeping, so I ordered a cappuccino, which was served with biscuits.
I decided to work for a bit, and then about an hour later Ford woke up, and we had lunch. We had a glass of champagne to start.
The menu for the entire flight read as follows (I’m posting the whole thing here, because I only had one meal):
As usual, service began with caviar, which came with an incredible dry ice presentation. This was served with prawn crackers, blinis, and creme fraiche.
We were offered caviar refills, which we took them up on. They then offered refills again, though at that point we needed to save room for the other food.
After the caviar service, the table was set.
The bread basket on this flight had some delicious pretzel bread.
I also decided to switch from the champagne to the sancerre, which I enjoyed on the outbound flight.
To start I had the scallops, which were excellent.
Ford had the grilled vegetable quesadilla. It’s perhaps an odd thing to order, but he really enjoyed it.
Next the soup course was served, and once again the liquid was poured by the chef at the seat. I had the roasted butternut squash soup, while Ford had the Indonesian soup.
For the main course I had the pan fried salmon, while Ford had the chicken tikka.
The salmon was the least tasty aspect of the meal for me. While it was fine, it wasn’t as exceptional as everything else.
Lastly we were served dessert, which was a delicious baked apple and raisin tart with ice cream.
To finish off the meal I had a French press coffee.
The service throughout the meal was phenomenal. Much like on the outbound, the crew was charming, polished, and attentive. The level of procession with which everything was done really blew me away.
For example, they’d always serve Ford and me at the same exact time, which is to say they’d emerge from the galleys on both aisles at the same time, and place the plates on our trays at the same millisecond. That’s just one very minor example.
After the meal I asked if I could get a picture of the crew, and they agreed. Below you can see the chef, Zalman, the flight attendants, Aninda and Bernadette, and the cabin manager.
After lunch I decided to work on my laptop for a bit, and soon enough we were over the Black Sea.
Thanks to us being on a late afternoon westbound flight, we had an incredible sunset view for several hours, so I kept my window open for the rest of the flight.
About an hour before landing I ordered another cappuccino. The crew almost seemed worried that we hadn’t ordered a second meal, but we just weren’t hungry.
Aninda did come by with a snack tray, though I didn’t take anything (other than a picture).
The first class crew seemed to have a fairly easy flight, given that the only other first class passenger was so low maintenance that I wasn’t even sure she was alive. I only ever saw her sleeping in the upright position, and I never saw her eating anything.
At 5PM in London the captain announced that we were about 30 minutes from landing and would shortly be commencing our descent.
A few minutes later the flight attendants started preparing the cabin for landing, including providing the same shoe service they had on departure.
About 10 minutes before landing we started to hit some moderate turbulence as there was some weather in London.
Our final approach was especially shaky, and the back left wheel touched down significantly earlier than the back right wheel. I could feel that we were off center on the runway when we touched down due to some strong crosswinds, though the pilots quickly adjusted for that.
Our taxi to the arrival gate took about 10 minutes, so we parked there at 5:40PM.
We bid farewell to the crew, and upon deplaning were greeted by Shaf, who said he’d be assisting us with immigration formalities. We actually changed our plans fairly last minute and were connecting to Munich that night on Lufthansa, so we only needed to transfer to Terminal 2. Nonetheless Shaf insisted on at least escorting us to the terminal transfer area.
Garuda Indonesia First Class bottom line
What an incredible journey we had on Garuda Indonesia from start to finish. I had high expectations coming in, but even so, they were greatly surpassed. Between their incredible onboard service, their seamless ground experience, and the genuine friendliness of all the employees we interacted with, I can’t wait to fly Garuda Indonesia again. What a treat this trip was!