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Garuda Indonesia: Blending Tradition & Innovation  
User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 38
Posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 24451 times:

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Everyone has their own opinions and perceptions on various airlines, be it through experience or hearsay. I myself am guilty of this, but I like to think that I am open-minded and willing to change my opinion if proved otherwise. Up until 2007, Garuda Indonesia was constantly showing up in the news and it was mostly due to various runway overruns, damaged aircraft, safety violations, etc...

However around 2008, the airline launched a revitalization plan that saw improvements not only on the operational and safety side, but on the in-flight side as well. New products were implemented as new aircraft joined the fleet. A refreshed image and livery was introduced at the same time, inspired by the wings of tropical birds as well as the ripples of waves upon water. You can see more about this in the three part series posted by the airline on youtube.



Fast forward to 2012 and Garuda Indonesia has been back in the headlines once again. However this time the news is all positive. Garuda won “the worlds most improved airline” back in 2010 and since then the awards have just kept on flowing.

Roni (Ronerone) and I were discussing what new and exotic airline we should try next. Somewhere along the way we began to discuss Garuda Indonesia, and while Roni had already flown them in 2010 he was only too willing to fly them again (and again and again). Actually I do not think I even had a choice in the matter as I was told, “you have to fly Garuda!”

Plans were made and we both met up in some far away distant land, making our long trek towards Amsterdam. Long story short, we meet somewhere in Asia with a certain plan. While some crazy things happened en route, we still somehow end up in Amsterdam just in time for this Garuda experience.

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27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 38
Reply 1, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 24758 times:



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Garuda Indonesia 089
Amsterdam –Dubai
Airbus A330-200 (PK-GPO)
Seat: 5K
Scheduled Departure Time: 11:00
Actual Departure Time: 11:05
Scheduled Arrival Time: 19:50
Actual Arrival Time: 19:53

Check In:Both Roni and I arrived at the airport just shy of nine in the morning. Still rather bleary eyed from being up at the crack of dawn, we proceeded to the Garuda check in counters, which were relatively deserted this summer morning. We approached one of the counters and handed over our paperwork to the rather cheery Dutch agent sitting behind the counter.

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“Good morning gentlemen, where are you flying to today?”
“Just Dubai.”
Our boarding passes and lounge invitation were produced once all our paperwork had been verified.
“Gentlemen, your gate today shall be G3 and boarding shall start at 10 o’clock sharp. Please make sure to be at the boarding gate by then. Here are some invitations for the KLM Crown Lounge. Have a pleasant flight.”

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With that both Roni and I headed towards security, which sadly must have been a mile long. For an airport that prides itself on efficiency, this is where the Schiphol experience failed miserably. The single dedicated business class line was constantly interrupted with cabin crew and passengers needing special assistance. In the end Roni and I jumped to one of the three regular lines out of frustration. Even with that, we spent close to 50 minutes waiting for an available immigration desk.

By now we were running low on time but come hell or high water I was not going miss out spending some time in my beloved KLM lounge! (Yes, as most of you know I am a HUGE fan of KLM and Schiphol.)

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KLM Crown Lounge: We were greeted by a smiling KLM agent in the distinctive blue uniform who let us in without any fuss once we unclasped our tight grip on the lounge invitation. As we did not have too much time, we sat down and explored the lounge as best as we could. This is the first time Roni and I have been in the Crown Lounge since the remodel, and I have to say I really like it.

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As we still had not had breakfast, we headed straight for the refreshment area like a pair of wolves. The snack selection on offer this morning was nothing fancy, but had some decent variety.

- Various kinds of cereal
- Various kinds of bread
- Pau au Chocolate
-Slices of cold cuts (turkey and ham)
-Slices of cheese
-Various kinds of cookies
-Yogurt with fruits
- Pancakes
-Eggs

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I grabbed a small plate of goodies and a nice strong cup of tea while Roni headed in search of the smoking room for his routine lounge cigarette.

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A quick look out the window made me a bit glum though. For those of you who know me, you know that I spent a lot of time flying through Schiphol on KLM and Northwest when I was in college. Therefore when I pulled back the curtain and saw a sea of boring white A330’s my heart sank a little. Nonetheless, we all have to move forward, as did I, albeit with Star Alliance.

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All too soon “boarding” flashed across the screen only to be instantly switched to “gate closing.” Roni and I picked up our things and hustled on over to Pier G which still serves most of the non-Skyteam aligned carriers; Garuda was still not a member of Skyteam at this time.

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Boarding: We walked past the Schiphol shops and straight towards the gate where there was no line, or any other passenger for that matter.

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We proceeded towards security and I passed through without any incident. As Roni was putting his stuff through, a ground agent in a Garuda uniform (Sarina) approached Roni and started chatting with him.

"So are you going to write today?"
"Excuse me?"
"Are you going to write?"
(Roni was silent with a rather perplexed look)
"You know … write a trip report on the flight today? I am a huge fan and I follow all your reports"

Turns out Sarina recognized Roni from his trip reports and is quite the fan.

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After a brief chat and some picture taking, our boarding passes were ripped and both of us proceeded down the jetway where two cabin crew were anxiously awaiting us by the aircraft door.

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Both Augustina and Rahman greeted us with a warm smile and a “Selamat Datang, welcome.” We proceeded to the second business class cabin located behind door number 2. Upon entering we were surprised to see the business class seat that Garuda recently installed on their regional A330-300’s.

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Nonetheless, the cabin was very inviting with the red and black seat upholstery. The seat was relatively comfortable once I managed to sit down. The cushion was padded well and the width was more than enough. Almost immediately a smiling Elis was in aisle handing out hot towels and Rose champagne to both Roni and I. Red amenity kits wrapped in plastic were distributed a short while later, along with some headphones and menu’s for today’s flight.

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The cabin door was closed a few minutes ahead of schedule and we began our pushback with the safety video playing.

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Once both engines were started and all the pre-departure checks were completed, we began our rather lengthy taxi towards runway 24. I however enjoyed this immensely as I got to drool over the eye candy out of my window. There is just something soothing about seeing a KLM aircraft in their distinctive shades of blue.

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User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 38
Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 24697 times:

The Flight: After lining up on the runway, the two Rolls Royce engines roared to life and we began our take off roll.

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Once the seatbelt signs were switched off the crew began to prepare the cabin for lunch. In the mean time I started to explore the IFE system. The headphones were of a decent quality, and more importantly were noise canceling, which is much appreciated by me.

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Next I tried out the AVOD system, which I found to be very easy to navigate through. There was a decent selection of movies, sitcoms, games, and special Garuda features which was more than enough to keep me entertained for the six hour flight to Dubai. Looking through the movie selection it was evident that the library was not overly large, but then again I think ICE has spoiled me rotten when it comes to “other airlines” IFE systems.

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During all of this Elis ever so graciously asked Roni if he would like to join me for lunch today, as she would be more than happy to set up the seat next to me. He just could not say no to such a genuine and heartfelt offer and moved on down to the empty seat next to me.

Once Roni had settled in, Elis stopped and knelt down beside us.
"Mr. Hawi, Mr. SR103, Selamat Eid Mubarak"
"Terima Kasih"
"Sama sama .. you know bahasa?"
"Very very little bit!"
“Would you like to join us for lunch?”
“Yes please.”
“Have you decided on what you would like to drink?”
“Can I get a bloody mary please?”
“Yes sir. How about you Mr. SR 103?”
“Can I please get a rum and coke?”
“Yes sir.”
“And for the lunch service, you decided?”
We both went for the Rijsttafel.
Elis had a beaming smile when she noticed we both went for the Indonesian dishes.



Our drinks and bowl of mixed nuts were delivered a few minutes later by Elis with another beaming smile,
“Please taste and tell me if the drink is ok? I no drink alcohol so I do not know how to mix correctly.”
We both tasted our drinks and tried to reassure her that everything was fine. Elis really wanted to make sure everything was perfect for us, and I could not fault such genuine hospitality. Truth be told, the rum and coke was decently mixed and far better than some versions I have had on more reputable airlines. And according to Roni, the same goes for the Bloody Mary, and I am sure that so long as it was offered to him in a Garuda glass by Elis, he would have adored it regardless.

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Roni’s bloody mary.

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My rum and coke.

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The amazing bowl of mixed nuts.

The bowl of mixed nuts was absolutely amazing and very unique. It contained various kinds of nuts and peas that had been roasted with some curry leaves, lemon grass, and various spices that just tantalize the taste buds. I wish I could have taken a lifetime supply of these back with me!

As we were munching on our nuts and chatting, Rahman who was the chief purser came by to greet us with a sincere handshake.
“Hello, how is everything? I hope you are enjoying the flight so far?”
“Everything is fantastic so far, terima kasih” said Roni with a big smile.
This made Rahman’s smile even wider.
We started chatting with Rahman about Indonesia and Garuda in general and the topic of tea came up. Roni casually said he loved drinking Teh Tarik. This got Rahman’s attention once again,
“I make a very good Teh Tarik for me and the crew during the flight. I will bring for you?”
We both could not refuse a genuine offer like that and accepted.

Elis collected our empty glasses and bowls a little while later,
“Would you like more of the same drinks?”
“Both Roni and I pulled out the drink menu in order to try something different for a change. Roni went for a star fruit-guava-mint cocktail, while I went for the Garuda sling. Elis had another beaming smile after we ordered, though I suspect she was just relieved we did not order any more alcoholic drinks.

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A male flight attendant named Rizal handed out hot towels; after which he proceeded to lay down some table linens.

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Elis and Augustina rolled out the satay cart first, and set up our tables individually. At some point there were about 4 to 5 cabin crew attending to just the two of us, ensuring everything flowed perfectly and to our liking.
“Mr. SR 103, would you like some satay?”
“Yes please.”
“Mr. Hawi?”
“Yes please.”
Augustina placed a couple of cubes of sticky rice onto the plate first, followed by two sticks of satay each. Elis then proceeded to pour the sauce and sprinkle some shredded peanut flakes.

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A breadbasket was then placed in front of us and I went for my staple, garlic bread.

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Sadly, upon first bite I realized the garlic bread had been left in the oven a tad bit too long, as I could barely bite into it. As I did not want to chip a-tooth midair, I just left the bread to the side after half a bite.

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The satay was rather unique and quite different than most satay’s I am used to, as it had large chunks of fat on the meat. I much prefer my meat lean rather than with large lumps of fat. The sauce was also interesting, as it was some sort of sticky gelatinous garlic sauce, which was all right, but not to my liking; give me good old peanut sauce over this any day. The sticky rice cubes were, however, a nice palate cleanser and worked well with the garlic sauce. Naturally each airline has its 'edge', and in-flight satay service in my opinion strictly belongs to Malaysian Airlines.

Elis was back in the aisle to collect our plates and offered us more satay, but both of us declined in hopes that the rest of the meal would be better. A smiling Rahman was back by our side holding two glasses,
“I got you the teh tarik. Please enjoy and let me know how it is.”

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The teh tarik was actually very refreshing and sweet, much like Indian masala chai without all the spices. Elis was right behind him with cocktails we had ordered earlier.

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Star Fruit Cocktail


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Garuda Sling

Roni’s star fruit cocktail was pretty good and I have to say my Garuda sling was a nice little treat - sour, tangy, and sweet all at the same time. Though in all honesty, I much prefer my Singapore Sling on Singapore Airlines.

Elis and Augustina rolled out another cart, this time with gado-gado. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this little treat, it is basically a salad of boiled vegetables, tofu, and tempeh covered in peanut sauce and generally served with some krupuk (flavored crackers) on the side.

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Roni basically inhaled his gado-gado in mere seconds. I however took my time in order to savor each bite, and it was absolutely delicious. I only wish it had been slightly bigger in portion size. Once the empty bowls were collected, Elis and Rizal rolled the Rijsttafel down the aisle.

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“Mr. SR 103, we have some beef, chicken, fish, and vegetables. If you want I can give you a little of everything?”
“A little of everything would be great, please”
With a smile, Elis began to elegantly prepare my plate with a little bit from each dish on the trolley.
“Do you like some crunchy potato topping?”
“Yes please!”

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My plate with white rice

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Roni’s plate with yellow rice

Needless to say the plate was absolutely mouthwatering! I had not had Indonesian food for quite some time and this plate was a perfect trip down memory lane. The beef rendang was full of flavor and spice, and the grilled chicken and fish curry were fantastic. The stir-fried prawns with chili and lime sauce were out of this world. As far as the gado-gado, I think I made my opinion on this stuff pretty clear during the previous course. The rice was nice and fluffy, and the crunchy potato sticks added an amazing sweet/salty bite to what was already a well-rounded dish. If I had to make one criticism, it would have to be that the portion size was a bit on the small side. I easily could have gobbled up a double helping of this feast!

After virtually licking my plate clean, Elis was by my side with a smile,
“I hope you enjoyed Mr. SR 103?”
“I certainly did.”
“Would you like some sweets?”
“Yes please.”

Once both our plates were cleared, Elis and Augustina rolled out another cart into the aisle. Having the enormous sweet tooth that I do, I picked the dessert option along with some Port wine.

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Roni went for both the cheese plate as well as dessert.

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The little pastries were pretty good, but nothing all that memorable to be honest. The port wine was very nice though, and I took my time nursing it down.

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Cheers Suryo!

After the meal, I made a quick visit to the lavatory, which was clean and decently stocked with amenities. Among some of the loose items in the lavatory were toothbrushes, razors, mouthwash, and much more.

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However the L’Occitane green tea eau de toilette was really something distinctive; it is now on my shopping wish list.

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The window shades were lowered, and Roni had returned back to his own row for some shuteye. I on the other hand reclined my seat in favor of some IFE, comedies to be exact. However, I could not keep my eyes open for long and drifted off into dreamland.

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I awoke after a nice slumber to a sun begging to darken cabin as all the window shades had been lowered. Elis was by my side as soon as she saw I was awake.
“Would you like something to drink?”
“Can I get a cup of tea please.”
“With milk?”
“Yes please.”
“How about anything to eat? We have a selection of snacks at the table. I can bring you something if you like?”
“It’s ok, I shall go to the table and see what is there.”

With that I went over to the table, which was located in the front cabin next to the galley. A variety of salty and sweet prepackaged snacks were available along with some fruit. I of course went for some unhealthy prepackaged snacks. Elis brought my tea over with a smile.

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f42/SR747300M/Garuda_89/IMG_4657_zpscbf0dcc5.jpg

The prepackaged snacks were perfectly fine, but I think Garuda could definitely step up its game here and offer a snack menu of some sort. Then again maybe the “indulgence” menu on Qatar has heightened my expectations as of late.

I started watching some sitcoms on the IFE before I saw Elis and Ausgustina roll a cart down the aisle. I did not recall anything being on the menu, so I quickly pulled it out of the seat pocket to double check. As I initially thought, there was nothing listed in the menu. Elis approached me.
“Mr. SR 103 would you like to have a hot snack? It is eggs with vegetables.”
“Please.”
“How about to drink?”
“Can I just have some water please?”
“Would you also like some ice cream? We have strawberry or vanilla.”
“Strawberry would be great, thank you.”
Elis gently placed a tray down in front of me and proceeded to rummage through her trolley for something, and handed me a packet of something,
“I know you like Indonesian food so maybe this make it taste better for you. Please enjoy”
Elis handed me a packet of sambal, which for those of you who are unfamiliar is a spicy Indonesian condiment generally made out of chilies.

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http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f42/SR747300M/Garuda_89/IMG_4666_zpsde5aa27e.jpg

The hot dish turned out to be a vegetable quiche kind of thing, which was nice, but relatively bland. This is where the sambal came into play and added a much needed kick to the dish. The wooden skewer had some vegetables and a piece of grilled chicken.

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f42/SR747300M/Garuda_89/IMG_4664_zpsd3c5d1f8.jpg

The ice cream turned out to be a tub of Haagan-Dazs strawberries and cream, which needed a bit of thawing before I could dig my spoon into it. Nonetheless it was a nice little sweet treat, and a great way to end the in-flight culinary experience.

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f42/SR747300M/Garuda_89/IMG_4667_zpsbb33d8f0.jpg
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f42/SR747300M/Garuda_89/IMG_4668_zps3229279f.jpg

Everything was collected by a smiling Elis. As the sun continued to set outside the mood lighting was put into full swing, and the cabin was lit up in various shades of purple and orange.

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f42/SR747300M/Garuda_89/IMG_4681_zps6d6cda85.jpg

Roni took this opportunity to try and sneak into the galley to charm the crew into a picture. Of course Rahman and Elis were only too willing to smile and pose for the camera. In fact, they wanted the picture to be Garuda perfect, and so Rahman summoned a selection of his girls into the cabin to pose for the picture. "Oh wait, need orange one … Elis, call orange one for picture", he insisted and once the team was complete -with both blue and orange kebayas- Roni was able to take his picture.

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f42/SR747300M/Garuda_89/IMG_5429_zps94119105.jpg
An absolutely amazing set of crew, really one of a kind!

All too soon both Rolls Royce engines were throttled down and the nose began to dip as we started our descent into Dubai. The cabin was prepared and the cabin crew took their seats as the lights of Dubai got closer and closer outside.


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Arrival:All too soon we touched down and began out taxi towards Terminal 1.The airport did not have too much traffic at this early hour, with the exception of a bunch of Emirates aircraft around Terminal 3.

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We taxied into a corner gate, and the seatbelt sign was turned off. Instantly the crew jumped into action and pulled the economy class curtain in order to let Business Class passengers deplane first. As both Roni and I passed through the galley on our way out the door, Elis put her hands together,
“Terima kasih; selamattinggal.”
We both said thank you to her for an amazing flight, and proceeded towards the door where Rahman and Ausgutina were waiting to wish us farewell.

Out into the terminal, both Roni and I proceeded down towards the transfer desks for our onward flights. As usual, this is where the pleasant trip ended and the usual inefficiencies of DNATA struck with full force.


User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 38
Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 24463 times:



Verdict: To say I was pleasantly surprised with Garuda would be an understatement. Garuda really has changed for the better over the last few years into an airline I consider to be one of the best in the world.

It all started with the friendly agents at check in who could not have been more accommodating. The KLM lounge used by Garuda was of an equally high standard in my opinion; however, I shall reserve my comments on the lounge for an upcoming KLM trip report.

First off the IFE was exactly what you would expect these days, a decent AVOD system accompanied by some nice noise canceling headsets. The business class seats used on PK-GPO are not the seats installed on the majority of their older A330-200’s. These particular seats are installed on the airlines A330-300’s which tend to do Australian and regional flights. While the seats are reasonably comfortable, they are angled flat rather full flat like the rest of the fleet. See Roni’s previous trip report for a closer look at the full flat seats. Garuda Indonesia: The Quantum Leap To Amsterdam (by ronerone Jun 19 2011 in Trip Reports)

With regards to the in-flight catering, I found it to be authentically Indonesian. The Rijsttafel was particularly enjoyable for both Roni and I. If I had to find something to complain about, it would have to be the size of the portions. They could definitely be a bit more plentiful. However, in the end it is more about quality than quantity, which is why I think the meal service really hit the spot for me on this flight.

However, the ultimate highlight for me was the cabin crew, amazing does not even begin to describe this set of crew. It all started with the greeting at the door by Rahman and Augustina. They were friendly, efficient, and genuinely concerned about their passengers. These are exceptionally rare qualities to find in a set of cabin crew on any airline, but on Garuda it seems to be a norm as Roni experienced an almost identical experience on his previous Garuda flight. Elis was the shining star of the group with her exceptional service delivery; she knew exactly what I wanted before I asked for it. She was engaging and always spoke with a human touch, rather than a robotic efficiency like some of her counterparts at other airlines. Rahman also deserves special praise, as I believe his leadership style as chief purser allowed Elis, Augustina, and Rizal's individual personalities to shine through, rather than trying to adhere to some ridged policy manual. I just cannot praise this set of Garuda cabin crew enough.

While they may not be perfect, they have come a very, very, long way from the bloated Government run airline with a questionable safety record at the turn of the century. I can say no other airline deserves “the worlds most improved airline” more than Garuda Indonesia. Sadly as Garuda does not get to feature in my itinerary that often, I can only dream of what’s to come on my next “Garuda Indonesia Experience.”

Score:
Check In: 10 (Performed efficiently and with a warm and friendly smile)
Lounge: 7 (My old KLM hang out looks better than ever after the remodeling)
Boarding: 10 (Straight onto the aircraft with a warm and friendly greeting at the door)
Seat: 8 (A very comfortable angled flat seat but a bit on the hard side to be honest)
Service: 11 (Genuine and caring service brought to a higher level by the absolutely amazing set of crew)
Entertainment: 8 (A decent size PTV with an average AVOD selection)
Food: 8 (While the quality was good, the quantity could definitely use a bit of an adjustment)
Aircraft: 10 (One of the newest A330’s in the fleet and it showed)
Arrival: 10 (A very quick and painless experience which is becoming a rarity in Dubai these days)

82/90 = .911

Garuda Scored a 91%

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f42/SR747300M/Garuda_89/GAThankYou_zps2d9a162d.jpg


Some Previous Trip Reports

Etihad Pearl: The Virgin Australia Way (by SR 103 Oct 26 2012 in Trip Reports)
SriLankan Airlines: Searching For Serendipity (by SR 103 Aug 9 2012 in Trip Reports)
Royal Jordanian: The Lost Art Of Flying (by SR 103 Apr 19 2012 in Trip Reports)
Cathay Pacific: Re-Discovering The Heart Of Asia (by SR 103 Nov 8 2011 in Trip Reports)
The Evolution Of Change: Gulf Air Vs. Jet Airways (by SR 103 May 7 2011 in Trip Reports)
A Mile & More With Lufthansa (by SR 103 Jan 21 2011 in Trip Reports)
The Last Boutique Airline: OpenSkies To Paris (by SR 103 Sep 12 2010 in Trip Reports)
Kingfisher First On The A330: Redefining Luxury (by SR 103 Jan 13 2010 in Trip Reports)
Virgin America Delivering On Grand Promises (by SR 103 Jun 14 2009 in Trip Reports)
Qatar Airways: Your Five Star Airline? (pics) (by SR 103 Feb 9 2008 in Trip Reports)
Back To My Roots: KLM World Business Class (pics) (by SR 103 Dec 22 2007 in Trip Reports)
Etihad: A Diamond In The Rough (pics) (by SR 103 Sep 2 2007 in Trip Reports)
The Art Of Service: Kingfisher & Jet Airways(Pics) (by SR 103 Aug 8 2007 in Trip Reports)
Air France: The Best Place On Earth? (pics) (by SR 103 Jul 26 2007 in Trip Reports)
Korean Air Business: Excellence In Flight? (pics) (by SR 103 Jan 27 2007 in Trip Reports)
Skyteam Challenge: Air France Business Class(pics) (by SR 103 Dec 22 2006 in Trip Reports)
Did AA Persuade A Skyteam Elite To Switch? (Pics/Vid) (by SR 103 Jun 14 2006 in Trip Reports)
Battle For The Best: Song Vs. JetBlue (+Pics) (by SR 103 Jan 31 2006 in Trip Reports)
Malaysia: Asia’s Best Kept Secret? (W/pics) (by SR 103 Feb 18 2005 in Trip Reports)


User currently offlineAirAfreak From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 716 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 23907 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

WOW! I am thoroughly impressed! Not only did you have the best crew, but the food looks amazing!!! Great trip report with Garuda! Great to see you had a wonderful experience!

Now, if Garuda ever decides to return to Los Angeles, I would definitely use them - especially since they are going to be part of Skyteam!

Thank you again and bon voyage,

AirAfreak =]



Do you lead an Intercontinental life?
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2470 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 23767 times:

Temanku Anosh (and Roni),

Aduh! I had been looking forward for this particular report to come while wondering when the time would come…

In all sudden, it was there!   


Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
Up until 2007, Garuda Indonesia was constantly showing up in the news and it was mostly due to various runway overruns, damaged aircraft, safety violations, etc...

The last straw happened to be the accident of GA 200 on March 7, 2007 at Yogyakarta after which EU ban ensued in June 2007.   


Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
while Roni had already flown them in 2010 he was only too willing to fly them again (and again and again).

  


Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
Actually I do not think I even had a choice in the matter as I was told, “you have to fly Garuda!”

Way to go, Roni!   


Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
(An amazing one minute Garuda Indonesia TV Commercial about the airline’s revitalization)

Brilliant!   


Quoting SR 103 (Reply 1):
Still rather bleary eyed from being up at the crack of dawn

Or was it because of something else? To meet liquid restriction as you traveled with only hand luggage?   


Quoting SR 103 (Reply 1):
The single dedicated business class line was constantly interrupted with cabin crew and passengers needing special assistance.

Oh dear, they should open a second business class line. It’s not what a premium lane is supposed to be.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 1):
In the end Roni and I jumped to one of the three regular lines out of frustration. Even with that, we spent close to 50 minutes waiting for an available immigration desk.

50 minutes ?! You can’t be serious!   


Quoting SR 103 (Reply 1):
my beloved KLM lounge! (Yes, as most of you know I am a HUGE fan of KLM and Schiphol.)
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 1):
I have to say I really like it.

I can echo you. Herman and I had the opportunity to enjoy our rather short stay there.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 1):
once we unclasped our tight grip on the lounge invitation.

I just love this expression! 


Quoting SR 103 (Reply 1):
while Roni headed in search of the smoking room for his routine lounge cigarette.

I hope Roni held on kretek cigarette!  


Quoting SR 103 (Reply 1):
a nice strong cup of tea
Masala chai?


Quoting SR 103 (Reply 1):
A quick look out the window made me a bit glum though.

I can understand your feeling.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 1):
a ground agent in a Garuda uniform (Sarina) approached Roni and started chatting with him.
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 1):
Turns out Sarina recognized Roni from his trip reports and is quite the fan.

Roni, the celebrity! 


Quoting SR 103 (Reply 1):
Both Augustina and Rahman greeted us with a warm smile and a “Selamat Datang, welcome.”

Aah, the Wai greeting, but GA style!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 1):
Rose champagne

How rose champagne can look so elegant in that glass!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 1):
There is just something soothing about seeing a KLM aircraft in their distinctive shades of blue.

I can understand why.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
but then again I think ICE has spoiled me rotten when it comes to “other airlines” IFE systems.

Well, GA has Jordin Spark’s Battlefield on offer. One of my favorite songs!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
During all of this Elis ever so graciously asked Roni if he would like to join me for lunch today, as she would be more than happy to set up the seat next to me. He just could not say no to such a genuine and heartfelt offer and moved on down to the empty seat next to me.

How sheet!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
"Mr. Hawi, Mr. SR103, Selamat Eid Mubarak"
"Terima Kasih"
"Sama sama .. you know bahasa?"
"Very very little bit!"

That’s so adorable!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
“Have you decided on what you would like to drink?”
“Can I get a bloody mary please?”

That is how I know Roni!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
“Yes sir. How about you Mr. SR 103?”
“Can I please get a rum and coke?”

Cuba Libre? How about attending Zumba class together as well next time?

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
We both went for the Rijsttafel.
Elis had a beaming smile when she noticed we both went for the Indonesian dishes.

How could you possible refuse Rijsttafel on board of Garuda?

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
“Please taste and tell me if the drink is ok? I no drink alcohol so I do not know how to mix correctly.”
We both tasted our drinks and tried to reassure her that everything was fine. Elis really wanted to make sure everything was perfect for us, and I could not fault such genuine hospitality.

Elis is amazing!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
I am sure that so long as it was offered to him in a Garuda glass by Elis, he would have adored it regardless.

I believe you. I have the same weakness as well! 


Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
It contained various kinds of nuts and peas that had been roasted with some curry leaves, lemon grass, and various spices that just tantalize the taste buds.

Stop it! You make me craving!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
Roni casually said he loved drinking Teh Tarik. This got Rahman’s attention once again,
“I make a very good Teh Tarik for me and the crew during the flight. I will bring for you?”
We both could not refuse a genuine offer like that and accepted.

The Tarik? It was not even on the menu!  Wow!




Friends forever
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2470 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 23752 times:

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
“Both Roni and I pulled out the drink menu in order to try something different for a change. Roni went for a star fruit-guava-mint cocktail, while I went for the Garuda sling.
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
Star Fruit Cocktail
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
Garuda Sling
Aduh! Enaknya! Garuda could have made me stick to Mocktails the whole time with all the appetizing choices!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
At some point there were about 4 to 5 cabin crew attending to just the two of us, ensuring everything flowed perfectly and to our liking.

The climax of Garuda Indonesia Experience!   


Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
As I did not want to chip a-tooth midair, I just left the bread to the side after half a bite.

What a pity about the garlic bread.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
drinks.

I can hardly believe that Garuda offers an array of contemporary, homemade cocktails and mocktails!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
Augustina placed a couple of cubes of sticky rice onto the plate first, followed by two sticks of satay each. Elis then proceeded to pour the sauce and sprinkle some shredded peanut flakes.
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
The satay was rather unique and quite different than most satay’s I am used to, as it had large chunks of fat on the meat. I much prefer my meat lean rather than with large lumps of fat. The sauce was also interesting, as it was some sort of sticky gelatinous garlic sauce, which was all right, but not to my liking

That’s how I knew Sate Padang! Well done, Garuda!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
Roni basically inhaled his gado-gado in mere seconds. I however took my time in order to savor each bite, and it was absolutely delicious.

Anosh, you know how to better appreciate gado-gado!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
Though in all honesty, I much prefer my Singapore Sling on Singapore Airlines.

That is fair. I will have to taste Garuda Sling first before making any judgement.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
Once the empty bowls were collected, Elis and Rizal rolled the Rijsttafel down the aisle.

The main event!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
“Do you like some crunchy potato topping?”
“Yes please!”

That’s the way I like it!   


Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
If I had to make one criticism, it would have to be that the portion size was a bit on the small side. I easily could have gobbled up a double helping of this feast!

I would regard it as a compliment!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
After virtually licking my plate clean

That’s what I am doing now!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
Having the enormous sweet tooth that I do, I picked the dessert option along with some Port wine.

That’s how I know you!  


Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
it is now on my shopping wish list.

Have you not got one for Christmas?   


Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
I of course went for some unhealthy prepackaged snacks.

And sinfully sweet!  


Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
Elis handed me a packet of sambal, which for those of you who are unfamiliar is a spicy Indonesian condiment generally made out of chilies.

Sasa! I got one packet as well with my meal. How did you like it?

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
In fact, they wanted the picture to be Garuda perfect, and so Rahman summoned a selection of his girls into the cabin to pose for the picture.

Rahman reminds me of Vivi!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
"Oh wait, need orange one … Elis, call orange one for picture", he insisted and once the team was complete -with both blue and orange kebayas- Roni was able to take his picture.

I assume Elis went on calling Agustina.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
Instantly the crew jumped into action and pulled the economy class curtain in order to let Business Class passengers deplane first.

Good move! I noticed Qatar crew blocking the aisle but this would work as well.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 3):
I shall reserve my comments on the lounge for an upcoming KLM trip report.

Really? Where to? When?

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 3):
I found it to be authentically Indonesian.

It was! Especially after your tantalizing description of Sate Padang!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 3):
but on Garuda it seems to be a norm as Roni experienced an almost identical experience on his previous Garuda flight
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 3):
Service: 11 (Genuine and caring service brought to a higher level by the absolutely amazing set of crew)

This makes me so proud of the flag carrier of my home country!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 3):
Rahman also deserves special praise, as I believe his leadership style as chief purser allowed Elis, Augustina, and Rizal's individual personalities to shine through, rather than trying to adhere to some ridged policy manual.

I applaud you for highlighting this! You are so right! Policy manual is handy, but it is the human touch what peps up the whole experience.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 3):
Sadly as Garuda does not get to feature in my itinerary that often, I can only dream of what’s to come on my next “Garuda Indonesia Experience.”

I am dreaming of the very same.


Terima kasih! Thank you so much for sharing this brilliant, awe-inspiring, heartwarming and sweet experience. You make me run out superlatives here.  

The server somehow did not want to accept my reply in one go, so I have to split it in two.   



Salam hangat or warmest regards,
Suryo  



Friends forever
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 22932 times:

Hello

Nice to read your latest installment, Garuda looks great!
Each report I read about them I'm always impressed about the huge improvement they made to being one of the top in the industry. This report was no exception, very fine service and well documented report.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 22652 times:

What an excellent trip report! Garuda serves as a shiny example that an airilne CAN turn itself around!

Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
Turns out Sarina recognized Roni from his trip reports and is quite the fan.

That is awe. some. What a celebrity! So you think that Sarina said anything to the crew about you guys?


User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1662 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 22095 times:

Dear SR103,

Fantastic Trip Report on an amazing experience! There aren't many airlines where you are able to predict an amazing service on board prior to boarding. With Garuda, i think this is very routine  

Since my views are more or less all over this great TR, there isn't much more for me to say, apart from i hope we get to experience Garuda again just one more time! haha.

Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
but I like to think that I am open-minded and willing to change my opinion if proved otherwise.

Uh huh  
Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
Then again maybe the “indulgence” menu on Qatar has heightened my expectations as of late.

*Yawn*   


Thanks for sharing this with us!!

Cheers,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlinekretek From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2006, 95 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 21831 times:

The satay was rather unique and quite different than most satay’s I am used to

That is why it is called Sate Padang i.e sate from Padang city in Western Sumatra.
(In Malaysia and Singapore the spelling is Anglicised "satay" but pronounced the same way), Sate padang is usually made of offal such as intestines but obviously has been amended to become more palatable.
FYI, Padang also lays claim to the origins of rendang and gulai (which has made into Malaysian cuisine over time due to the same Malay culture and language).


give me good old peanut sauce over this any day

Indonesia does have sate with peanut sauce which the locals and foreigners are more accustomed to.
This is known as Sate Madura (Sate from Madura Island, off East Java) . However, the peanut sauce does taste slightly different to the ones found in Malaysia and Singapore. Dare I say the Indonsian peanut sauce is tastier  

Terima Kasih for sharing the TR


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2470 posts, RR: 53
Reply 11, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 21756 times:

Ya ampun! How could I possibly forget these to quote these details previously!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 1):
this summer morning.

The greatest summer morning ever at at least 23 Centigrade!   


Quoting SR 103 (Reply 1):
to be instantly switched to “gate closing.”


”Gate gaat dicht”! Way to go to show the FIDS in Dutch!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
but both of us declined in hopes that the rest of the meal would be better.

Naughty boys! How could you possibly decline more portion of Sate Padang? Look at what kretek has to say about Sate Padang!   


Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
in-flight satay service in my opinion strictly belongs to Malaysian Airlines.

I have yet to try the Malaysian one, but you compare apple and orange here! Sorry, I cannot help saying this!  


Quoting SR 103 (Reply 2):
Then again maybe the “indulgence” menu on Qatar has heightened my expectations as of late.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 9):
*Yawn*      

I am normally a Qatar fan, but this time, Roni, you have got the expression right! 


Quoting kretek (Reply 10):
The satay was rather unique and quite different than most satay’s I am used to

That is why it is called Sate Padang i.e sate from Padang city in Western Sumatra.
(In Malaysia and Singapore the spelling is Anglicised "satay" but pronounced the same way), Sate padang is usually made of offal such as intestines but obviously has been amended to become more palatable.
FYI, Padang also lays claim to the origins of rendang and gulai (which has made into Malaysian cuisine over time due to the same Malay culture and language).
Quoting kretek (Reply 10):
Indonesia does have sate with peanut sauce which the locals and foreigners are more accustomed to.
This is known as Sate Madura (Sate from Madura Island, off East Java) . However, the peanut sauce does taste slightly different to the ones found in Malaysia and Singapore. Dare I say the Indonsian peanut sauce is tastier  


Kamu hebat! You are great, kretek!   



Friends forever
User currently onlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2428 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 21613 times:

Nice to read, great TR!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 3):
The business class seats used on PK-GPO are not the seats installed on the majority of their older A330-200’s. These particular seats are installed on the airlines A330-300’s which tend to do Australian and regional flights.

Sad to see, I can't understand why GA is not using a dedicated aircraft with their new premium business class on their longest 17hrs + route.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 1):
Garuda Indonesia 089
Amsterdam –Dubai

I just saw, that GA will switch to AUH airport from summer schedule - any idea why?


User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1662 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 21576 times:

Quoting akhmad (Reply 11):
I have yet to try the Malaysian one, but you compare apple and orange here! Sorry, I cannot help saying this!

It is true pak Suryo! MAS has the inflight satay service at its fingertips. Even SQ tries but doesn't even come close haha  
Quoting debonair (Reply 12):
I just saw, that GA will switch to AUH airport from summer schedule - any idea why?

Etihad dangled a codeshare in front of them and snagged that service to route through AUH instead.  


Cheers,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlinethemit9 From Australia, joined Apr 2012, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 21215 times:

Thanks for this amazing report SR 103, got to try Garuda some time.

Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
Turns out Sarina recognized Roni from his trip reports and is quite the fan.

Aviation legends status.

Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
As we still had not had breakfast, we headed straight for the refreshment area like a pair of wolves. The snack selection on offer this morning was nothing fancy, but had some decent variety.

A lot better than back in the day when I was a regular visitor.

Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
The cabin door was closed a few minutes ahead of schedule and we began our pushback with the safety video playing.

Looks like quite a light J load.

Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
Elis had a beaming smile when she noticed we both went for the Indonesian dishes.

Very nice menu, although you would think that they could fix up spelling issues such as 'whises'

Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
Star Fruit Cocktail

Love that star fruit- that would have to be prepared on the ground?

Thanks again SR 103, this report was outstanding.


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6807 posts, RR: 77
Reply 15, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 21010 times:

Hi SR 103,

amazing report with awesome pictures! It seems you guys had a great time on that flight.

GA's J Class product looks excellent on these A330s. I became a fan of the airline after flying CGK-SIN on a relatively new 738 with PTVs. Great crew, great food, I was impressed. I wouldn't mind trying GA on a longer sector.

Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
Therefore when I pulled back the curtain and saw a sea of boring white A330’s my heart sank a little.

I also miss the silver birds with red tail...

Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
We proceeded towards security and I passed through without any incident. As Roni was putting his stuff through, a ground agent in a Garuda uniform (Sarina) approached Roni and started chatting with him.

"So are you going to write today?"
"Excuse me?"
"Are you going to write?"
(Roni was silent with a rather perplexed look)
"You know … write a trip report on the flight today? I am a huge fan and I follow all your reports"

Turns out Sarina recognized Roni from his trip reports and is quite the fan.

Wow, what a great surprise! Congrats, Roni!

Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
Almost immediately a smiling Elis was in aisle handing out hot towels and Rose champagne to both Roni and I.

Which brand did they serve?

Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
Roni went for both the cheese plate as well as dessert.

That looks fantastic!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8539 posts, RR: 54
Reply 16, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 20938 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi SR103,

Another great read, thanks indeed for sharing the Garuda experience with us, they look pretty darn good to be honest.

Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
Roni and I headed towards security, which sadly must have been a mile long. For an airport that prides itself on efficiency, this is where the Schiphol experience failed miserably. The single dedicated business class line was constantly interrupted with cabin crew and passengers needing special assistance. In the end Roni and I jumped to one of the three regular lines out of frustration. Even with that, we spent close to 50 minutes waiting for an available immigration desk.

- I don't like the way they do the immigration and screenting @ AMS, the gate screening procedure is daft leaving you penned into a small area whilst waiting for boarding to start, it's the same @ SIN, though they have larger gate areas so it's not quite as bad.

Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
Sarina recognized Roni from his trip reports and is quite the fan

- The man is famous  
Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
a smiling Elis was in aisle handing out hot towels and Rose champagne to both Roni and I

- Nice to see something different, Rose champagne is unusual on a plane from my experience.

Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
At some point there were about 4 to 5 cabin crew attending to just the two of us, ensuring everything flowed perfectly and to our liking.

- How was the load in J?

Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
Sadly, upon first bite I realized the garlic bread had been left in the oven a tad bit too long, as I could barely bite into it

- Yes, does look a tad overdone.

Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
If I had to make one criticism, it would have to be that the portion size was a bit on the small side

- Food looks great but I agree with you, a larger portion could have been offered.

Once again great stuff, looking forward to the next report.

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 38
Reply 17, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 20781 times:

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 4):
WOW! I am thoroughly impressed! Not only did you have the best crew, but the food looks amazing!!! Great trip report with Garuda! Great to see you had a wonderful experience!

It really was one of a kind.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 5):
Aduh! I had been looking forward for this particular report to come while wondering when the time would come…

I figured you would be very interested in this one.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 5):
Or was it because of something else? To meet liquid restriction as you traveled with only hand luggage?

We were only traveling with hand luggage!  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 5):
50 minutes ?! You can’t be serious!

I wish I was kidding, but it was horrible that morning.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 5):
Masala chai?

I wish, sadly KLM does not have the ingredients in their lounge to make that.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 5):
Cuba Libre? How about attending Zumba class together as well next time?

How about I just switch to Diet Coke and we skip the Zumba class all together huh?  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 5):
How could you possible refuse Rijsttafel on board of Garuda?

I never did on KLM when it was offered, so I definitely would not on Garuda!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
I would regard it as a compliment!

Yes, yes I know I need to hit the gym! :-P

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
Sasa! I got one packet as well with my meal. How did you like it?

I liked it quite a bit, definitely added some flavor to what would have been an otherwise bland dish.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
Really? Where to? When?

A round trip from North America to Asia with 4 flights.  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
Terima kasih! Thank you so much for sharing this brilliant, awe-inspiring, heartwarming and sweet experience. You make me run out superlatives here.

Thank you for taking the time to read it and the wonderful compliments to go with it.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 7):
Garuda looks great!
Each report I read about them I'm always impressed about the huge improvement they made to being one of the top in the industry. This report was no exception, very fine service

Yes, Garuda is definitely trying its hardest to improve for the better and it is not going un noticed by passengers. This is a very good thing in my opinion.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 7):
well documented report.

Thank you Marc, glad you enjoyed it.

Quoting Burj (Reply 8):
What an excellent trip report! Garuda serves as a shiny example that an airilne CAN turn itself around!

Very true!

Quoting Burj (Reply 8):
So you think that Sarina said anything to the crew about you guys?

You know, I never thought about it. However even if she did, I am not sure it would have made a difference. Everyone in the cabin was getting the same genuine and heartfelt service that we were getting. They were treating every passenger like a VIP.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 9):
i hope we get to experience Garuda again just one more time! haha.

Ok, I am ready whenever you are! Just let me know the day and I'll hop on over to AMS.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 9):

Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
but I like to think that I am open-minded and willing to change my opinion if proved otherwise.

Uh huh  

Ok, I'll change my opinion back to what it was on your second favorite airline. I never should have given them a chance.  
Quoting kretek (Reply 10):
However, the peanut sauce does taste slightly different to the ones found in Malaysia and Singapore. Dare I say the Indonsian peanut sauce is tastier

Having recently visit Jakarta after a very long time and getting some Sate there with peanut sauce, I could not agree wit you more!  
Quoting kretek (Reply 10):
Terima Kasih for sharing the TR

Thank you, very happy to hear you enjoyed it. Thank you also for all the useful information on Indonesia sate and food in general.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 11):
I have yet to try the Malaysian one, but you compare apple and orange here! Sorry, I cannot help saying this!

If you have never tried it, how can you say its comparing apples to oranges? Just because they come from different countries? In that case you should not be comparing Emirates to Qatar either...  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 11):
I am normally a Qatar fan, but this time, Roni, you have got the expression right! 

We all have our opinions, even if some of them are biased. Slap the contents of a QR indulgence menu onto an EK menu and Roni would not be yawning by any means.  
Quoting debonair (Reply 12):

Nice to read, great TR!

Thank you debonair for the comments.

Quoting debonair (Reply 12):
Sad to see, I can't understand why GA is not using a dedicated aircraft with their new premium business class on their longest 17hrs + route.

I was surprised as well. I do not know if it was a substitution but it seems odd Garuda decided to configure their 332's with two different seats in the first place.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 13):
It is true pak Suryo! MAS has the inflight satay service at its fingertips. Even SQ tries but doesn't even come close haha  

I have to agree with Roni here, Malaysian's satay service is far more to my liking than the other two.

Quoting themit9 (Reply 14):
Thanks for this amazing report SR 103, got to try Garuda some time.

You definitely have to, its a must in my opinion.

Quoting themit9 (Reply 14):
Looks like quite a light J load.

It was barely half full that day.

Quoting themit9 (Reply 14):
A lot better than back in the day when I was a regular visitor.

I was a regular visitor back in the day was well and could not agree with your comments more. My next trip report will be on KLM and will feature the lounge in more detail.

Quoting themit9 (Reply 14):
Very nice menu, although you would think that they could fix up spelling issues such as 'whises'

I agree, but I guess you could say it adds a "unique" charm to it all.

Quoting themit9 (Reply 14):
Thanks again SR 103, this report was outstanding.

Thank you, glad you enjoyed it.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 15):
amazing report with awesome pictures! It seems you guys had a great time on that flight.

We had an absolute blast on the flight!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 15):
I also miss the silver birds with red tail...

Glad to hear I am not the only one.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 15):
Which brand did they serve?

To be honest with you, I have no idea. Roni, do you know?

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 16):
Another great read, thanks indeed for sharing the Garuda experience with us, they look pretty darn good to be honest.

Thanks Mark, glad you liked it.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 16):
I don't like the way they do the immigration and screenting @ AMS, the gate screening procedure is daft leaving you penned into a small area whilst waiting for boarding to start, it's the same @ SIN, though they have larger gate areas so it's not quite as bad.

I agree, its definitely not a favorite of mine. Key is to just go to the gate as late as possible to avoid being held in the pen.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 16):
How was the load in J?

The load was about 14 people I would say, including both Roni and I.


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2470 posts, RR: 53
Reply 18, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 20669 times:

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 17):
I figured you would be very interested in this one.

  


Quoting SR 103 (Reply 17):
How about I just switch to Diet Coke and we skip the Zumba class all together huh?  

You may have your Diet Coke, but I won’t skip any Zumba class.  


Quoting SR 103 (Reply 17):
I never did on KLM when it was offered, so I definitely would not on Garuda!

  

I cannot help it, but I just have to ask you this. Which one is better?

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 17):
Yes, yes I know I need to hit the gym! :-P

Jolly! And Roni should come along as well.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 17):
Thank you for taking the time to read it and the wonderful compliments to go with it.

Sama-sama. My pleasure!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 13):
It is true pak Suryo! MAS has the inflight satay service at its fingertips. Even SQ tries but doesn't even come close haha  
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 17):
I have to agree with Roni here, Malaysian's satay service is far more to my liking than the other two.
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 17):
If you have never tried it, how can you say its comparing apples to oranges? Just because they come from different countries?

Alright, you win!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 17):
However even if she did, I am not sure it would have made a difference. Everyone in the cabin was getting the same genuine and heartfelt service that we were getting. They were treating every passenger like a VIP.

  


Quoting SR 103 (Reply 17):
In that case you should not be comparing Emirates to Qatar either...   

Well, which one of the two is flying to AMS at the moment?   


Quoting SR 103 (Reply 17):
Slap the contents of a QR indulgence menu onto an EK menu and Roni would not be yawning by any means.  

Oh dear, Anosh, now you have got the right expression. I don't know what else to say   



Friends forever
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1937 posts, RR: 24
Reply 19, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 20528 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Really nice report, SR 103! Garuda looks awesome, and an airline that definitely has had an amazing turnaround!

Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
By now we were running low on time but come hell or high water I was not going miss out spending some time in my beloved KLM lounge! (Yes, as most of you know I am a HUGE fan of KLM and Schiphol.)

What a stylish looking lounge! While on a layover in Houston back in Sep 2012, we saw the Crown Lounge all closed up. It looks really nice, and I love how the chairs look, etc.

Thanks for sharing.

Matthew


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1920 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 20507 times:

Wow Garuda looks amazing and maybe it is time to give it a try!

The service seems to resemble SQ in the early days and I hope Garuda can keep it up!
The meal services look very extravagant.

Thanks,
Carfield


User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 20404 times:

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 17):
You know, I never thought about it. However even if she did, I am not sure it would have made a difference. Everyone in the cabin was getting the same genuine and heartfelt service that we were getting. They were treating every passenger like a VIP.

I'm sure the service would have been the same....but from her uniform it looks like she works for Garuda and not the airport...if I were her you can bet I would have told people on board just as a heads up...That would just be in line with the improved service standards...

ACTUALLY if I had been her I would have berated Ronerone for flying without any of his four Malaysian wives as shown in his MH A380 trip report...and maybe found out if he was up for replacing one of his Malaysian wives for an Indonesian one... After all why have four wives if you can can't have an assortment?


 


User currently offlinedirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 586 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 20072 times:

Hi SR103

A fantastic trip report on Garuda Indonesia.

I had six flights on GA B738s and A330s this year and their on board service never disappoints. As one of their frequent customer I felt proud that you enjoyed their service and gave them a rather excellent score of 91%. Seems they really deserved the "Best Regional Airline" award from Skytrax this year.

Hopefully they could maintain their service at this standard for years to come.

Thank you for the report.

Regards,
Dirktraveller.


User currently offlinejulio777 From Indonesia, joined Jan 2012, 22 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 19612 times:

Hi Mr. SR 103 and Ronie

Thank you for the excellence report, and awesome pictures, truly enjoyable....I am fan of your trip report as well

I did jkt-ams-jkt twice this year, one in economy and the later one in business class, both were fantastic flights experience as well, and i ended up full with food in both classes. Talking about food portion, actually the crew on my flights offered me to have 2nd portion of Indonesian rijsttafel, seems that this time they forgot to offer you...

I did not write trip report on my flight with GA to ams ( too lazy to write i guess), but i made a short trip report and uploaded in youtube ( so i can share the garuda indonesia signature boarding music as well), i attach the link below, however my appology due to quality of the puctures is very low, as i did not bring my camera on this trip.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHyUGmUhf0M



With kind regards


User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 38
Reply 24, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 18686 times:

Quoting akhmad (Reply 18):
I cannot help it, but I just have to ask you this. Which one is better?

Garuda of course, not that KLM was bad by any means.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 19):

Really nice report, SR 103! Garuda looks awesome, and an airline that definitely has had an amazing turnaround!

Thanks. Yes Garuda really has done quite an amazing job turning itself around.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 19):
What a stylish looking lounge! While on a layover in Houston back in Sep 2012, we saw the Crown Lounge all closed up. It looks really nice, and I love how the chairs look, etc.

The Houston KLM Lounge is one of favorite KLM outstation lounges. There is just something unique about it and it beats the heck out of the Air France lounge located around the corner from it!

Quoting Carfield (Reply 20):
Wow Garuda looks amazing and maybe it is time to give it a try!

Yes Carfield, you absolutely have to try Garuda out. I am sure you will like them a lot.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 20):
The service seems to resemble SQ in the early days and I hope Garuda can keep it up!

Now that I think of it, you are absolutely right! The SQ of the late 80's and early 90's was very much like this. Genuine heartfelt service that was not robotic like today.

Quoting Burj (Reply 21):
but from her uniform it looks like she works for Garuda and not the airport

I mentioned she worked for Garuda, hence the Garuda uniform. I am not quite sure why you thought she worked for Schiphol?

Quoting dirktraveller (Reply 22):
I had six flights on GA B738s and A330s this year and their on board service never disappoints. As one of their frequent customer I felt proud that you enjoyed their service and gave them a rather excellent score of 91%.

Glad to hear that Garuda maintains such stellar service on a regular basis.

Quoting dirktraveller (Reply 22):
Thank you for the report.

Thank you, glad you liked it.

Quoting julio777 (Reply 23):
Thank you for the excellence report, and awesome pictures, truly enjoyable....I am fan of your trip report as well

Thank you for that, always nice to hear.

Quoting julio777 (Reply 23):
Talking about food portion, actually the crew on my flights offered me to have 2nd portion of Indonesian rijsttafel, seems that this time they forgot to offer you...

They must have forgot, but I am not holding that against them. The quality was still excellent.

Quoting julio777 (Reply 23):
e ( so i can share the garuda indonesia signature boarding music as well), i attach the link below, however my appology due to quality of the puctures is very low, as i did not bring my camera on this trip.

Excellent video! No need to apologize for the pictures, they are excellent and give a great insight into the experience.


User currently offlineojas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2975 posts, RR: 24
Reply 25, posted (1 year 8 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 17599 times:

Hi SR 103,

Once again a well drafted trip report, my apologies for the late response.

Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
Everyone has their own opinions and perceptions on various airlines, be it through experience or hearsay. I myself am guilty of this, but I like to think that I am open-minded and willing to change my opinion if proved otherwise. Up until 2007, Garuda Indonesia was constantly showing up in the news and it was mostly due to various runway overruns, damaged aircraft, safety violations, etc...

As I always say, opinions are like posteriors ... everybody has one. However respecting others opinions is what the general public lacks.

Quoting SR 103 (Thread starter):
and while Roni had already flown them in 2010 he was only too willing to fly them again (and again and again).

That is so roni-esque

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 1):
With that both Roni and I headed towards security, which sadly must have been a mile long. For an airport that prides itself on efficiency, this is where the Schiphol experience failed miserably. The single dedicated business class line was constantly interrupted with cabin crew and passengers needing special assistance. In the end Roni and I jumped to one of the three regular lines out of frustration. Even with that, we spent close to 50 minutes waiting for an available immigration desk.

The first ever negative aspect of AMS ... and that too coming form you means something.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 1):
By now we were running low on time but come hell or high water I was not going miss out spending some time in my beloved KLM lounge! (Yes, as most of you know I am a HUGE fan of KLM and Schiphol.)

Yes, yes your favourite 
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 1):
"So are you going to write today?"
"Excuse me?"
"Are you going to write?"
(Roni was silent with a rather perplexed look)
"You know … write a trip report on the flight today? I am a huge fan and I follow all your reports"

Turns out Sarina recognized Roni from his trip reports and is quite the fan.

IMO this was the ultimate compliment roni could receive, and I'm sure this one instance was good enough to cover any other slips through the journey.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 3):
With regards to the in-flight catering, I found it to be authentically Indonesian. The Rijsttafel was particularly enjoyable for both Roni and I. If I had to find something to complain about, it would have to be the size of the portions. They could definitely be a bit more plentiful. However, in the end it is more about quality than quantity, which is why I think the meal service really hit the spot for me on this flight.

I agree too, quantity could have been better.

Nonetheless I infer you had a fantastic set of crew with a good product on offer. With regards to IFE, of course nothing beats ICE!!!

Thanks for sharing.



A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 42
Reply 26, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 17247 times:

Great read from you, long time no read!

I can only agree on GA - heavy flooding in Jakarta today (17JAN13), so I scrapped my JT ticket 18JAN morning in case it gets worse. (5 separate tickets to get home so better play it safe or safeish at least...). Sped it to CGK and took the last GA out.

The new GA 737-800 Y is a great product, one of the best around... Food was fairly disgusting, but it's a single aisle 1h18min flight with a choice of hot meals!


Lari



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 38
Reply 27, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 14096 times:

Quoting ojas (Reply 25):
Once again a well drafted trip report, my apologies for the late response.

Thanks Ojas. Always appreciate comments from you.

Quoting ojas (Reply 25):
The first ever negative aspect of AMS ... and that too coming form you means something.

What can I say, I am their biggest fan but I was let down big time!

Quoting ojas (Reply 25):
With regards to IFE, of course nothing beats ICE!!!

Have you ever heard me say otherwise?  
Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 26):
Great read from you, long time no read!

Hi Lari, it definitely has been a long time. Hope things are going well. Where are you these days? Philippines, Indonesia or Finland?

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 26):
JT ticket

You know, I flew them in December on my may to Jakarta. Quite the experience when compared to what could have been on GA.


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