I was recently invited by Garuda Indonesia and Wonderful Indonesia to experience fabulous Indonesia. I say fabulous because this was my second time in the country whose people are so warm and welcoming that I would love to go back again. I flew Garuda Indonesia from Mumbai to Jakarta, Jakarta to Bali, Bali to Lombok, Lombok to Jakarta and finally Jakarta to Mumbai. The multiple award-winning airlines is Indonesia’s national carrier and has a 5-star rating. It is also a member of the SkyTeam Alliance. Here’s my experience aboard these 5 flights:
Mumbai to Jakarta
The flight for this sector was launched on 12th December 2016 so we were flying exactly a month prior to its 1st anniversary. The Mumbai-Jakarta and further to Bali sector are operated thrice a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Passengers on business class are provided a baggage allowance of 40kgs while economy class gets a 30 kgs baggage allowance.
So you can happily shop like I did and believe me you will shop because there is a lot of amazing stuff to buy in Indonesia. I also got to know that Garuda Indonesia allows sports equipment free of 23 kgs. That’s good news for sportspersons.
Web check-in can be done 3 hours prior to the flight. The aircraft is a Boeing 737-800 NG which accommodates 162 passengers in a 3X3 seating arrangement. 150 seats are economy while 12 seats are business class. We flew Boeing 737-800 NG on the sectors of Mumbai to Jakarta, Jakarta to Bali and Jakarta to Mumbai.
Inside the aircraft, I got comfortable by placing the blue colored cushion under my head and wrapping myself in the brown blanket with Garuda Indonesia’s logo. There is ample leg space so passengers can conveniently stretch their legs. After takeoff, we were served a welcome drink of orange juice in a tetra pack. I went through Stars which is the monthly inflight entertainment guide.
Passengers can choose from movies, television shows, music, and games. Movies are available on flights whose duration is more than 3 hours and the genres cover animation, action, drama, adventure, comedy in languages of Indonesian, Chinese, Hindi, and Japanese. I decided to watch a movie or two on the other flights and instead enjoyed reading Colours which is the in-flight magazine of Garuda Indonesia.
Apart from English, the magazine has Japanese and Mandarin sections. Winner of 101 awards since March 2013, Colours is the recipient of numerous platinum, gold, silver and bronze awards for its creativity, print, photography, and design. The flight attendant’s dressed in batik which is iconic to Indonesia served us meals and beverages. I had pre-ordered a vegetarian Hindu meal and it comprised of two pieces of samosa and chole with tamarind and mint chutney, a bread roll, butter and cut fruits. The star of the meal was the two delicious pieces of gulab jamun. The portion size was adequate. The beverage selection included red and white wine, beer, milk, coke, sprite, coffee, orange/ apple/ guava/tomato juice.
After eating, I dozed off and woke up for the transit halt at Bangkok Airport. As we flew from Bangkok, after the welcome drink of orange juice, it was time for breakfast of potato curry with paratha, a bread roll with strawberry jam and butter, yogurt and cut fruits. The nonvegetarian breakfast option was an omelet. The beverages were the same as above. The mesmerizing view of the clouds below as I savored my breakfast added to the culinary experience.
Jakarta to Bali
Our Boeing 737-800 NG flew above the clouds and I didn’t realize how time flew as I sat gazing at their peculiar shapes. The vegetarian snack on this flight was noodles with bell peppers and asparagus, dessert and beverages. The non-vegetarian option had noodles with shrimp. I liked the variety of food served onboard Garuda Indonesia.
The airline has true value boarding pass under which passengers can show their boarding pass within a week of travel to get exclusive discounts at pre-decided merchants.
Bali to Lombok
Panorama Destination Indonesia had arranged our itinerary in Indonesia and after an immersive and enriching time in Bali and its surrounding areas, I was excited to get to Lombok which was the next destination. Garuda Indonesia operates the 50 minutes flight on this sector via ATR 72-600 which is a 2X2 cozy seater. Before boarding, I awed at the spectacular sunset in the backdrop. The snack box comprised of a water bottle, vegetable bun, mixed nuts and wet tissue freshener.
Lombok to Jakarta
Lombok and Gili Trawangan are dream destinations for families and honeymooners alike and I was sad to leave them. But Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia beckoned. GA 433, a Boeing 737-800 with 3X3 seating flew us in one hour and 55 minutes to Jakarta.
Jakarta to Mumbai
After spending 6 days in Indonesia, I didn’t want to come back to Mumbai. But the difference between want to and have to made me board GA 862. As I bid farewell to Indonesia with its pristine islands surrounded by turquoise water below, I watched a movie and ate my vegetarian Hindu meal of a corn and carrot salad, steamed rice, spinach and aubergine vegetable, papad with an energy bar. The non-vegetarian option had rice with chicken. The beverage selection was the same as above.
After the transit halt at Bangkok, we headed to Mumbai. The vegetarian Hindu meal onboard included steamed rice, rajma, cauliflower and potato vegetable with salad, a bread roll with butter and cut fruits. Our landing at Mumbai was smooth and while deboarding the only thoughts running through my mind were terima kasih Indonesia which means thank you Indonesia and until we meet again.
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