Hello fellow aviators, bagaimana kabarmu?
Allow me to share once more a story of a special flight I took.
A few months back from now, the national carrier of Indonesia, Garuda Indonesia, restarted it’s non-stop Jakarta-Amsterdam service, utitlising it’s flagship aircraft, the Boeing 777-300ER. Fellow a.netter ronerone has written an excellent report on this route, flying in first class:
The Evolution Of GA 88: Garuda First Class CGK-AMS (by ronerone Aug 23 2014 in Trip Reports)
Since Sept 8th, Garuda has added a short extra flight on this route whereas the flight now continues from AMS to LGW and back to AMS only to leave for CGK in the early evening. Traffic rights for AMS-LGW-AMS are secured thus enabling us a.netters a nice new 5th freedom flight on a world class airline. Of course, I took advantage of this offer and for the price of € 56 one way - a no brainer - I secured me a seat in Y class on the 2nd day of operation.
However, financial issues with Garuda make the rumour mill go round and it might be that these tag on flights will not live a long life, so for any of you who want to feel the Garuda Experience, do it asap! You’ll not regret it, as I will show you in the following set of text and pics
The actual taxied and flown flight paths - as recorded by a gps device.
After an unexpected 1h45 leisurely drive to AMS, I leave my car in one of the parking lots. It’s a nice morning outside and the smell of fresh A1 fills the air, lovely!
The moment I step into the walkway that leads to the terminal, I see something that lifts my spirits even more
This very morning I did succeed to check in online through the mobile website of Garuda, nicknamed Touch. Despite the fact that the regular website states that OLCI is possible from 24h in advance, I was only able to check in 12h in advance as an error message kept on popping up stating that check in would only open at 23h55 local time The same message would appear on the regular site as well
First off, let’s get a boarding pass! Garuda’s check in is done at departures 3...
... which is thankfully very calm this morning.
There’s not a single soul around at the check in area - except for the agents of course - and I’m quickly and friendly attended to at the First Class desk. I sheepishly ask if this means that I’m being upgraded, being checked in at this ‘special’ desk but the lady replies smiling that ‘I cannot do that unfortunately’. It doesn’t hurt to try now, does it
All set, I quickly go through immigration and into the direction of the G gates.
Some minor spotting is done on the way as well. These big KLM machines look so good in their blue coat.
Care to Arkefly to somewhere sunny anyone?
G4, nearly there. I need G5.
Through another walkway, the travelator way.
Here she is, PK-GIE, basking in the morning sun. Looking good, isn’t she
The office, where the drivers are preparing for the journey over the Channel.
Her tail, ready to wiggle it later on.
From the other side.
Her feet, taking all the heavy weight
Loading and catering is in full swing.
After a brief walk around I decide it’s time to enter the holding pen.
Security screening is done at the gate here, using the Nude-o-scope.
The indicated boarding time is 1h before departure but with a light load this morning, the gate agents seem to take their sweet time. Half an hour before we are supposed to leave, we are allowed to enter the ship. I position myself strategically somewhere at the front and when the boarding by rows start for Y class, I’m the 1st passenger to enter the jetbridge
AMS to LGW
Boeing 777-300ER PK-GIE
Photo © Nik Deblauwe
A bow and friendly welcome at the door by 2 female FA’s in orange and blue kebaya. The walk to the very last row goes through the business class section where all seats have direct aisle access.
Next is the economy class which looks very stylish and appealing with a mix of dark brown and blue. The layout of 3-3-3 is nice and spacious
My pair of seats, window last row and the only row of 2 seaters in Y class.
The still empty cabin seen from the very back of the bus with a range of messages displayed on the PTV’s. Relaxing music is played as well during the boarding process.
To me, Indonesian is a funny language. Good that there is an English version below because I can’t make head nor tails of it
The view from my seat.
I like that logo! And the winged headrests!
My neighbours seat and a pillow - he apologises for not making it today
A minor disadvantage would be that the IFE is not of the touchscreen type.
Enough space and definitely a roomier environment than on my last widebody flight with Air China:
Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE (by sultanils Aug 21 2014 in Trip Reports)
That foot rest pedal may disappear for me, I don’t use it and it is only in the way.
Low down in the middle between the 2 seats is the power port module including a USB port which can be used as a media player and for charging - as tested by myself. If the USB were right in front of you on the seat back, that would’ve been a bit more convenient.
The IFE unit, well tucked away and not intrusive at all.
Then, what’s next? The seat pocket with a few cm’s of reading material and heaphones - which I didn’t use..
Those ratings are arguable but the product seems to be very good indeed
My name on the seatbelt and the personalisation is complete
No electronics and seat belt sign.
Equipped with onboard wifi
During my exploration, the cabin fills up with a light load of pax.
Outside I have a view on the M gates, where the easyJet’s at. If nothing goes wrong as usual, I will end up there later in the day, coming back with easyJet from LGW.
When everyone is nearly settled down, the usual welcome speeches are done and a few moments later we’re good to go!
We leave our stand a few mins before STD. It seems some construction is ongoing at the adjacent gate.
Singapore Airlines has left already for SIN but Cathay Pacific is still here with their A343 to HKG. This reminds me of my trip to Vietnam now already 7 years ago where I took the very same airline, the very same plane type at the very same gate. Ah, nostalgy...
As expected, we head for 36L aka the Polderbaan.
These Fokkers are allowed to takeoff from 36C though.
We are tailgated by a Finnair A319. Always those bloody Finns
Passing by the 2nd tower.
This Delta A330 seems to be lost or maybe it is returning to the gate due to some problem
The engines rev up and we accelerate for a 777 take off we all love
Rotterdam has the biggest, but also Amsterdam has one: a port.
Some of Holland’s beaches.
A steep left turn and we’re on course for the UK.
With the plane cruising swiftly, I better get back to business. Nice to see a personalised welcome message.
The IFE has a good selection of entertaining stuff loaded. It’s not overwhelming but I guess it does the job for longer flights.
A toilet stop becomes mandatory. The aft toilet is installed longitudinally next to the galley, making it very roomy inside.
Inside there’s a nice flowery smell. Some amenities are also on offer as per your convenience.
Taken from the inside, there’s at least 2m of space before you to strech your legs when you’re doing your business
The aft galley.
The cabin is quiet. Are there any pax on board
I settle back in my seat...
... and meanwhile the crew starts distributing boxes and bottles. Food seems to be on the way
This is what we get, a cardboard box containing a wrap and a cake, and a bottle of still water
The cake may not look too appetising, but it’s quite tasty. Although I’d rather prefer such cakes cold. Also the wrap is very good. I ask for a 2nd box which is brought in an instant
The trash is gathered as fast as the food is distributed since we’re already starting to descent for Gatwick upon flying over the UK coastline.
Fasten your belts pls!
After a final and grand right turn, we’re good to land on LGW runway zero eight right.
Looks like there are some more a.netters on board.
Someone up for a used - or whatever - car?
Or would you rather store your car?
After 41 mins of airtime we land in LGW, that’s another airport added to the log
I’m sure knightsofmalta would appreciate this particular species
We taxi for a good few meters and come to a stop. After 5 mins of waiting, the cockpit comes on the horn and tells us that despite our on time arrival, our gate is still occupied and we’ll have to wait here for another 10 to 15 mins
It’s not one of these that’s holding us up though...
... or neither is it this one (mind the registration!)...
... or this beauty.
No, in fact, we’re holding her up as we’re standing too close near the taxiway. So we move a few meters forward as to avoid our tail being chopped off by an Airbus A330
Finally, things start moving again and we arrive at our designated parking position.
There’s a bit of a wait again to disembark as the police will be checking everyone’s passport upon exiting the plane. While waiting I ask a crew member if I can can a few more pics of the business and first class sections which is granted without a problem.
Elvis has left the plane!
This part contains a few pics of my transit time in LGW. Immigration was suprisingly very fast and I was out in the public in matter of minutes. Unfortunately that’s where the good things ended I had checked in for my flight back to AMS with easyJet via their excellent Android app. However, a few days prior to travelling my phone crashed and I had to reinstall it from scratch. Therefore my boarding pass that was stored in the app was lost - I wasn’t aware of that - and because of the fact that it was now less than 2h before departure I had to get a new (paper) one. As luck may have it, there was an IT system failure with massive lines at the easyJet bag drop. I queued for more than 40 mins to obtain my boarding pass. Security however was quick and I made it to the flight without a problem I do wonder why easyJet has no SSK’s on offer, like in GVA?
Check in hall.
Over the bridge. The views down are pretty cool
My 1st flight on an easyJet A320, G-EZUP. Too bad it still had the old interior.
I reserved seat 8A.
Funny to see it all from the other side now, also PK-GIE was back at AMS, being prepped for the long journey back to CGK.
Garuda Indonesia impressed me greatly! The hardware is top notch and on par with other carriers that consistently rank high. I found the crew to be genuinely warm and approachable. Bonus points as well for serving a snack and a drink. Too bad the flight was so short to be able to appreciate it all...
Terima kasih untuk membaca or Thank you for reading and any comments are appreciated and gladly answered!