A Joy to Fly: Garuda Indonesia GA873 Hong Kong to Jakarta Business Class

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Flying Garuda Indonesia down to Jakarta in business class was a treat: top-notch service inflight from start to finish.

At the airport

There was no queue at the business class checkin counter. The ground agent was friendly and gave me a fast pass which I think was for Soekarno Hatta although I never used it. I had been allocated an aisle seat and asked about switching to a window one as it was a clear day and the flight down to Indonesia may be interesting. He said that the seat next to me was likely to remain empty, as indeed proved to be the case.

As this was a business class ticket I had access to the Skyteam lounge, which was almost empty.

The flight was scheduled to leave from gate 20. I got there a bit under half an hour before scheduled departure and boarding started. It was a fast, orderly boarding process.

Equipment

The flight was on a Boeing 737-800 (registration number PK-GMZ).

I didn’t bother with the inflight entertainment system during the flight although there was one. I did enjoy the airline’s detailed and informative inflight magazine.

The seat was spacious and had a small recline.

At the seat upon boarding was a large, comfortable pillow, a blanket and also a pretty amenity kit which was well-stocked and included miniature bottles of Clarins skincare products. Full-size bottles of the same products were carried in the toilet, which was kept very clean throughout the flight.

Flight

The business class cabin was about half full. We pushed back on time and had a lovely, smooth flight down to Jakarta, arriving slightly ahead of time. We quickly disembarked and from there it was a few minutes’ walk to the immigration lane, where there was a queue of about ten minutes and an unfriendly immigration officer.

Service

Garuda’s cabin crew on this flight were elegant, poised, friendly and professional. They exuded a helpfulness which made the flight highly enjoyable.

Service started with drinks and a satay appetizer.

A tablecloth was laid and the meal served on it by course, from starter to dessert then hot drinks.

Food and Drink

The menu was printed on one folding out card and was as follows.

I chose the chicken serundeng for my main course, which was tasty but not outstanding. The starter was excellent and the dessert was not only delicious but beautifully presented.

I mostly stuck with the Pouilly-Fuisse to drink, which was decent and opened up after a while.

Conclusion

From the amenity kit to the restaurant-quality dessert, and the excellent cabin crew, this was an excellent flight and burnished my good opinion of Garuda.

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