Flight Review: Garuda Indonesia GA86 from Singapore to London by Boeing 777-300ER • Day 0

From London to Singapore in 40 Days has finally begun! Planning for this trip only started about 2 months before, so it felt a little rushed when I departed. I flew Garuda Indonesia* for my flight to London, and since I was sort of flexible with my exact travel date, my one-way fare costs only SGD450.10, non-stop to London Heathrow.

*NOTE: As of 31 October 2017, GA86 no longer makes a stopover in Singapore en route to London Heathrow. It now flies non-stop between Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta and London Heathrow.

*NOTE: As of 30 October 2018, Garuda Indonesia will no longer serve its Jakarta – London route.

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Garuda Indonesia departs from Changi Airport Terminal 3.

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Heading off to the departure transit lounge.

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PK-GIA would be sending me to London for this trip. The Boeing 777-300ER is Garuda Indonesia’s flagship aircraft.

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My boarding pass for the flight to London, my longest flight yet.

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My flight was departing from Gate A10.

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Hello there, my home for the next 14 hours.

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Walking down the aerobridge.

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The Business Class cabin of Garuda Indonesia’s Boeing 777-300ER. Too bad I won’t be sleeping in here for this flight.

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The Economy Class cabin interior on the Boeing 777-300ER.

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The flight was only around 40% full, so everyone had a whole row to themselves for the 14-hour flight.

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Before departure, everyone was handed a wet tissue, mineral water and a travel pack which consists of a pair of socks, earplugs and eye mask. Not bad for a $450 ticket.

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Taking-off from Changi Airport.

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Bye Singapore. Gonna be a long while before I come back.

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Turning to head north-west to London.

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Lunch consisted of Nasi Kuning with Beef Rendang. Tasted not bad for an in-flight meal, the rendang sauce was still evident when I ate it.

A sandwich snack and the typical “fish with rice” or “chicken with noodle” dinner was also provided, but I did not take a photo of it since I was still groggy after being suddenly woken up for dinner.

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Approaching London.

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The empty Economy Class cabin before I disembarked from the plane. The rows with pillows and blankets intact are those which ran empty throughout the flight.

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The flagship of Garuda Indonesia at London Heathrow Terminal 3.

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Proceeding for immigration and customs clearance.

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The signs at Heathrow are extremely well-thought of. The flow progresses as you advance through the various checkpoints so you would almost never get lost.

Immigration took about 45 minutes to queue for, and they were rather strict with their checks, but no one was rude and there was free WiFi in the airport. Do expect questions on your travel plans and what your occupation is, but generally it’s fine if you have nothing to hide. The family in front of me spent about 5 minutes answering questions regarding their trip because they were being rather vague about it, but I took barely a minute and a half, even though my reply to “What are you in London for?” was “To take the train back to Singapore.”.

Before we continue…

Many have already asked me what is my exact travel plan and cost, and even how much does the train ticket from London to Singapore cost.

Travelling doesn’t really work that way.

First, by following my exact plan, you may not enjoy yourself as much as you would if you had planned everything yourself. The places that I visited are places that I want to go, even skipping some extremely popular places, such as skipping the Louvre Museum in Paris, because I prioritized my destinations based on my preference. Do it yourself – you’ll enjoy yourself more and you’ll be more satisfied with your planning.

Next, ticket purchases and pricing does not work like buying a bus ticket from TBS in KL. Most places (and even airlines and Tune Hotels) practice dynamic pricing. (For most of you who would already understand this, please bear with me.)

For the Moscow to Beijing Trans-Mongolian for example, the tickets would be bought out by travel agents 60 days before departure, before they go on sale to the public 45 days before departure. The actual fare of the train is negligible in this case as all available tickets are for sale by the travel agents only. They would control the price based on the supply and demand of the train at that particular departure date with the pre-determined queue list to purchase the ticket.

Basically, using the post above, I cannot promise you that you can find a $450.10 Garuda Indonesia ticket from Singapore to London if you were to search for it now. All prices that I would state are simply the prices that I paid, at the exchange rate of that time and how much my bank actually charged me. Think of it as a stock exchange graph based on the supply and demand of each individual journey.

And before we move on the the next extremely popular question you might have for me, no, I cannot help you book your tickets. RailTravel Station is not a club nor affiliated with any company. It is simply my personal travel blog. You may check out the frequently asked questions about my site here.

Finally, I suspect that there are already forged pages about RailTravel Station going around online. You will only find the actual information on this website at http://railtravelstation.com/ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RailTravelStation/. I have not revealed my personal identity yet. If you see any suspected forgery, please let me know, thank you.

My travel experience can only be shared. The true feeling of travelling can only be experienced once you try it on your own, in which your experience may vary vastly different from mine. You may have already been to some destinations, or even taken a greater trip than I have, but please don’t comment with “you should have done this” or “why didn’t you do that”. I probably know of it already, but it’s either I had no time to visit a destination or had no interest in it. Also, if you wanted to treat me as a researcher before you embark on your journey, sorry I was unable to detour to a destination specially to experience it for you.

It is a joy to share my experience with all of you, and I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed the trip and typing my experience out now that I’m back, allowing me to revisit the whole trip again. Do look forward to the many updates coming your way!