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Monday 24 March 2014

Flying on Garuda's Airbus A330-200

Welcome to my trip report on Garuda Indonesia!


My original plan was to fly on Garuda's Boeing 777-300ER on GA412 which was scheduled a month before the date of departure. That was my first choice, in fact, however, when I checked again just 2 weeks before my date of departure, the Boeing 777-300ER was no longer scheduled to fly on this route and the only widebodies were either A330-200 or A330-300. Then I switched my attention to Citilink's A320 since it was a new airline for me, I was more keen in fact. However, when I checked the airfare, I wasn't impressed because there were too many add-ons and the total price was unattractive. It was then I discovered Garuda was having a sale during that period and checking the price, it was only S$5 more expensive. No need to think any further, I booked with Garuda and chose the GA406 which was an earlier flight - to be operated by Airbus A330-200. For a 2 hours flight for S$70 on a wide-body, I am not complaining.

For discounted airfare, choosing seats is not allowed until check-in time (24 hours before the flight). I had booked with the Grandmas hotel just newly opened. It is at Jalan Sriwijaya and it is pretty decent would certainly recommend that hotel to anyone who is there. 

Paid only S$40 for a night.

Time to select my seat!

Completed my check-in, fingers crossed that my seat would remain vacant for the flight. 

Checking what aircraft I was flying on, PK-GPJ one of the oldest Airbus A330-200 in the fleet was to take me there. This aircraft, I did a check, later on, was supposed to be for Hainan Airlines, however, this airline didn't take delivery of this aircraft. 

Arriving at the airport early, I made my way to the check-in counter. 

I did my check-in here and it was fast. Within minutes, I was on the airside. 

Checking the gate that I should be heading to.

Do you like this interior? 

My boarding pass!

Once the boarding time came, I made my way to the gate. 

There is free wifi in every part of the airport! 

Not a photography-friendly airport, that's for sure.

PK-GPJ, the airline's Airbus A330-200

The beautiful Airbus A330 was waiting for her next assignment!

Beautiful, right? Credit to the respective photographers. 

Flight: GA406
Route: CGK-DPS
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200 (Leased from ILFC)
Registration: PK-GPJ
Configuration: C36 Y186 
Engines: 2 X Roll Royce Trent 772 engines
Delivered on 24th April 2009 
MSN: 988
Flight duration: 1 hr 35 mins 
Seat: 41K
Terminal: 2F 
Gate: F1 
Push back:1058

Boarding the aircraft was in order and it was a fast boarding process. Didn't take long for everyone to settle down and the door to be closed in no time for departure.

I had a dilemma when choosing the seats. Initially, I wanted the front row seat but because I expected this to be probably 80% full flight, I decided to move near to the rear. Hoping that there would be some empty seats at the last cabin but I was wrong later on. The flight turned out to be 100% full at least in Y class. I did a walk around on the plane later on during the flight and every seat was occupied. A businessman around my age sat beside me and fortunately he was pretty cool about me with all the photos and video (take-off and landing) that I did. That's important to me. 

Anyway, the plane pushed back on time, and we taxied to runway 25R for a quick take-off to Bali! 

Once the seat belt sign was off, it was time to take some photos of the cabin! 

                                                  J class cabin

Y class 

It was disappointing not to see the USB port.

The legroom space was normal for A330.

The cabin shot of Y class cabin.

It's great to have a cabin crew smiling for my photo!

This cabin interior is the standard for the 737, 777 and this aircraft.

That's the PTV Box which can be an inconvenient especially when you want to stretch your legs.  

Had 2 windows for me. 

It was my 2nd time riding on this seat, my previous time was on the airline's Boeing 737-800 and my opinion on these seats remain the same; I don't find the seat comfortable especially the cushion for your back. I prefer leather seats, the ones you see on most Low-Cost Carriers. The seat pitch is reasonable but the colour of the seats, to be honest, is not to my liking. 

The toilet in Y class 

The modern toilet looks clean

Cabin service

The crew onboard my flight were friendly and there were certainly smiles on their faces, the Indonesia hospitality kicked off from the step of the door to the time when we said farewell! I was very much impressed with the crew whom I got served by and they were pretty cool about me taking photos. This airline may not have the best hardware, but the in-flight service was top notch! No complaints at all, in fact, this is how flying should be like. Whatever class, status or race one is, one should be treated with respect at all times! 

Before departure, the cabin crew offered some sweets for us, I thought that was a very nice touch! 

Not too long during the flight, the cabin crew came and served us our meal for this 2 hours short flight. This is what I had. 

I had a choice between Chicken noodles or Beef Rice (Indonesian style), I decided to go for the latter. It turned out to be a good choice. Quite delicious for an in-flight meal! I finished my meal very quickly as I was famished at that moment.  

Once that was over, it was time to explore the PTV system and one observation I made was no in-flight map and how can you not have one? 

The rest of the features were in the system. 

Here are some of the photos

This IFE system is actually built for Hainan Airlines and I can understand that Garuda has its own IFE system which I was told is better than this one. I guess that's why this aircraft and a few other Hainan's "rejected" A330s do mainly domestic flights.

Every passenger was offered this head seat. The sound quality is average.

What's inside the seat pocket?

Here are the window-shot photos I took (From Take-off to Landing) 

Look at how long the Boeing 777-300ER is. 

Can you spot the retro livery?

The take-off was slightly bumpy. 

Once we were cleared of the bad weather, the ride was smooth.

The 2 hours flight went past quickly and soon we were on final approach to Denpasar, Bali.

We landed smoothly and taxied to a remote parking lot.

Once the aircraft reached its parking position, we were to get off by the old way, the staircases to the tarmac which lead us to the domestic arrival hall. While doing that, I managed to take some of these photos. 

The popular Roll Royce Trent 700 engine

Thank you, PK-GPJ for the wonderful ride! 

My rating: 

On-ground service: 7/10
Website: 6/10
In-flight meal: 8/10 
In-flight service: 9/10
Y class product: 6/10 
Cabin cleanliness: 10/10
Punctuality: 10/10
Cabin interior: 6/10 
Aircraft experience: 10/10 
Overall rating: 72/90


I have not flown on the old Garuda, but I was told that this is a much-improved carrier that seems interested to compete with the biggest carriers. I was sceptical with the carrier initially but was won over by the airline from my flight experience and also viewing trip reports from others.

I had my first flight with this airline in 2011, unfortunately, I didn't do the trip report as I had accidentally deleted the photos by mistake. It was on the airline's 737-800 from SIN-CGK, I may do a trip report in the near future.

Overall, I enjoy the Indonesian hospitality from Garuda and if there are chances to fly with this airline in the near future, I will not hesitate to fly again with the airline.

Thank you for reading this trip report. Stay tuned for more! 

Do check out my other trip reports (Indonesia February 2014 trip) 

Best Regards,


  1. Hi Charles this is a weird question, but seeing as you are so experienced in airline reviewing, can you please kindly tell me if there was a crack in the seat in front of you (in economy class) which you can slide your hand inside to reach the other side?

  2. Hi James, thanks for your reply. There is no crack at all, that is in fact the adjustable head rest.