The flag carrier of Indonesia, Garuda flies from Sydney, Melbourne and Perth to Denpasar and Jakarta. Garuda Indonesia’s Business Class is a popular option for residents of Sydney, Melbourne and Perth when taking a holiday to Bali as the airline offers fully lie-flat beds on its Airbus A330s. By comparison, Jetstar and Virgin Australia offer only recliner seats in Business Class on their flights to Bali. And Qantas offers lie-flat Business seats only on its Sydney-Denpasar route.
From the Australian east coast, the flight to Bali only takes around 6 hours. But almost all of the return flights back to Australia operate overnight, so a lie-flat bed makes a big difference.
AFF member pgsdiver recently flew with Garuda Indonesia from Sydney to Bali in Business class, returning back to Australia from Jakarta. This member has taken the time to review the Garuda Business Class experience.
As Garuda is a member of the SkyTeam alliance, it uses the SkyTeam Lounge at Sydney Airport. This is located beside the Amex Lounge near Gate 25.
The Sky Team lounge isn’t bad, although not up to the standard of the other premium lounges I’ve experienced in Sydney and Singapore (in particular). The decor is modern and the food was plentiful.Special kudos goes to the pastries on offer, which were fresh out of the oven and were crispy and delicious – and on this trip I was officially “allowed” to indulge – so I did.
Business Class on Garuda’s Airbus A330 is laid out in a 2-2-2 configuration. This means that passengers at the window seat don’t receive direct aisle access, as they do on Qantas’ refurbished A330s. But the seats are comfortable, spacious and convert to fully-flat beds.
The service on pgsdiver‘s flight to Denpasar was good. The in-flight entertainment and meals were fine, and the flight ran punctually.
Cabin service was efficient, friendly and courteous, and not too long after takeoff we received our meals.
Landing into Denpasar was very smooth and all told I was pretty happy with our decision to try them.
After a pleasant holiday in Bali, the return trip was via Jakarta. Despite an unexplained delay to the connecting flight, pgsdiver was able to get a good rest on the overnight return flight.
In the opinion of pgsdiver, the service on Garuda is still not quite up there with Singapore Airlines. But that is a very high bar to reach. Of the airlines flying non-stop from Australia to Indonesia, Garuda remains a very good option.
Garuda Business Class from Melbourne or Sydney to Bali generally costs around $2,100 round-trip. This is cheaper than Singapore Airlines but a little bit more expensive than the sale fares on Qantas and Virgin Australia. Jetstar and Malindo Air usually have the cheapest fares.
Read the full trip report on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Garuda SYD-DPS in J