I have always been intrigued flying with Garuda Indonesia. A legacy airline that has served the sky for over 50 years, standing on par with airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Thai Airways at one point. However Garuda has seen itself going through turbulence times, from inefficiency to inprofitability, from the outbreak of SARS and the Bali bombings to a disastrous safety record that led to the carrier being banned from any EU airports.

However, it’s great to hear that the airline is recovering from its past and venturing deeper into the future with its new aggressive expansion plans. The airline is rated 4 star and also is the winner of ‘the World’s Most Improved Airline’ in 2010.

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Jakarta – Kuala Lumpur

Class: Economy Class
Date: September 2010

Final Verdict:

The new Garuda Indonesia experience is fantastic. A quality product with great Indonesian hospitality. I just hoped I could use the newer aircraft’s with IFE.

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RATINGS

with 10 as maximum

overall: 8.0 out of 10

at the Airport

Check-in: 10/10

Onboard

Aircraft: 6/10
Cabin crew: 8/10
Responding to request: 9/10
Seat Comfort: 8/10
Legroom: 8/10
IFE (InFlight Entertainment): 6/10
Food quality: 8/10
Food quantity: 9/10
Cabin cleanliness: 8/10
Amenity Kit: Not Available

Garuda Indonesia B737-400 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Check-in: 10/10

Check-in was hassle free. The check-in agent was very friendly and helpful. Queue’s were short.

Aircraft: 6/10

Garuda uses an old but well maintained B737-400 for this 2 hour trip.

Cabin crew: 8/10

Cabin crew greeted passengers onboard the aircraft. Hot towels and juices were given before airborne. Despite being very friendly there is little interaction between passengers.

Responding to request: 9/10

The crew responded promptly on request for drinks. They seem to be genuine at giving a great service.

Seat Comfort: 8/10

The seats are relatively comfortable for this short trip. It’s well padded and pillows are available for every guest.

Legroom: 8/10

Garuda provides a generous 33″ of legroom

IFE (InFlight Entertainment): 6/10

There is an extremely limited IFE on this flight. Only an overhead screen and also a limited number of radio channels available. However this is only a short regional flight and passengers were given a selection of newspapers on board.

Food quality: 8/10

Food onboard this flight is good for a 2 hour flight. There are 2 options of hot food available and to be honest with you the taste is quite good. I wish they serve warm rolls though. Presentation of meals unfortunately looks on the cheaper side, but nevertheless quite tasty.

Food quantity: 8/10

Portion is great for a 2 hour trip.

Cabin cleanliness: 8/10

The cabin are kept clean throughout the 2 hour flight. Washroom was in a good condition.

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Conclusion

The new Garuda Indonesia experience is something of a pleasant surprise. The service showcases the genuine warmth of Indonesia. I am also surprised that they’ve handed out 2 options of hot meals on a 2 hour flight. Despite some minor drawbacks, Garuda Indonesia is definitely an airline I look forward to fly again in the future.

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