So finally my holiday in Bali ended. It has been quite awesome and I enjoyed it a lot. Some parts of the holiday will be posted soon. And it was time to be back to Jakarta, once again with Garuda’s B77W.
I arrived at Ngurah Rai International Airport at 8.45 AM, a bit too early because… well, Bali Mandara Tollroad makes Denpasar-to-airport trip much faster. I arrived with an excitement because finally the new domestic terminal has been opened. Last time I went back to Jakarta, it was still using the temporary terminal below international terminal. The new domestic terminal was build on the old domestic and international terminal land.
First time I entered the new terminal, it looked clean and minimalist with white almost everywhere. And the FIDS has also been changed, like the international FIDS with different color palette which I like it. The terminal was not as big as the international one, but still quite nice. One thing I like the most is that this terminal is very good for spotting with transparent glass, although Angkasa Pura stickers are everywhere.
I had a quite long time waiting there as I arrived early. Thankfully – as I mentioned earlier – it was easy to spot aircrafts due to nice view to apron. Only domestic planes could be viewed, though, which means I was not able to see SQ, MH, or other foreign carriers; but still acceptable. My flight was scheduled to depart from Gate 1A, the leftmost gate from entrance. When I entered airside, gate 3 was the closest to me. Going left brought me to Gate 1A, 1B, 1C, and Gate 2 while going right brought me to Gate 4 to 6. I did not know why Gate 1 was numbered that way, my guess was that the layout for Gate 1A-C was different because it was built on the old domestic area while the rest was built on the old international. Oh by the way, Garuda dominated Gate 1A-C and Gate 2 while Citilink dominated Gate 3 and AirAsia-Lion dominated Gate 4-6.
Just like GA412, this flight was also using Boeing 777-300ER. There were 3 flights from Denpasar to Jakarta using Boeing 777-300ER: GA407, GA417, GA421. Since I had to travel to Bandung after arriving in Jakarta, I chose to fly with the earliest B77W flight which was GA407. (by the way, I just noticed that recently GA has been downgrading those flights with A333 or A332 although other flights like GA419 could also be upgraded sometimes to B77W. GA is surely trying hard to be profitable again by cutting costs everywhere including downgrading all those B77W flights)
And finally the awaited one came… PK-GIC came from CGK as GA402. So the trend did not continue (PK-GID, PK-GIE, then PK-GIC instead of PK-GIF).
Garuda Indonesia Flight 407, 7th January 2015
Route: Denpasar Ngurah Rai International (DPS) – Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International (CGK)
Scheduled Departure: 11.25 WITA
Pushback Time: 11.30 WITA
Actual Departure: 11.34 WITA
Scheduled Arrival: 12.25 WIB
Actual Arrival: 12.06 WIB
Long story short, I boarded the plane. The aircraft was parked at the nearest international gate but I did not have to go there by bus. It was on schedule (on the boarding pass it was stated that the boarding time was 11.05), however I was not sure if 20 minutes was enough. It was indeed not enough, but only by 10 minutes as the flight was not full (but not sadly half-filled).
I sat at 41H, once again I had to give up the window seat to my brother. No problem I guess because this is one of the most frequent route I have been flying and also the arrival time is also very usual for me, so I think where will not be something new on arrival in CGK.
The take-off took quite some time as we were queuing with both departing and arriving aircrafts, but it was a smooth take-off; just how a B77W should do. We were climbing directly to the west, so we could see Kuta and Seminyak area below. Good bye Bali… I can’t wait to see you again!
When we have reached cruising altitude, the food started to be distributed. Since it was lunch time, I was hoping there were more than 1 choice of menu. And yes there were! The options were rice with either pepes ikan (fish steamed with banana leaf) or black pepper beef. My brother chose black pepper, therefore I chose pepes ikan so that we can try both. My brother was lucky, the black pepper was very delicious! The pepes ikan was also very nice, but the black pepper was better. This time was much better than on last GA412.
The flight was enjoyable, no turbulence at all and we landed safe and sound in Jakarta. The plane parked at F7, to go back to Denpasar as GA410. Overall, I might say this flight was better overall than last GA412. The flight was on time, the food was better, and the weather was also nice.
It was a nice experience with Garuda Indonesia. I just hope that I can fly more frequently with Garuda… until recently I got a news that GA is becoming more rigid of their frequent flyer program. It is disappointing though, as Garuda may lose a lot of their loyal customers due to this policy. Even for a non-frequent GarudaMiles passenger like me, this news makes GarudaMiles not appealing anymore. I know Garuda is struggling to reduce its loss, but loyalty program should not be one of the feature to be cut. I think it is better for Garuda to focus more on cost efficiency, as I believe Mr. Arif Wibowo has been already familiar with in Citilink. I really hope Garuda can review again this thing, since I believe with this level of service Garuda can really compete at the highest level.