Flight Review – Garuda Indonesia GA838: Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta to Singapore by Airbus A330-300

Terminal 3 (also known as Terminal 3 Ultimate) is the newest passenger terminal of Jakarta Soekarno–Hatta International Airport. It is located nearer to the highway to Jakarta city than the existing Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 cluster. With my Garuda Indonesia flight back to Singapore, it also gives me my first opportunity to use this new terminal for departures.

Check-in for Garuda flights are at Row A.

While the terminal is new, I wasn’t expecting seeing signboards that look a little too familiar for my comfort.

With Garuda Indonesia being only one out of very few airlines currently operating out of Terminal 3, immigration and security queues were non-existent. A fantastic start to a flight.

Inside the massive new terminal.

The signs leading to the gates. At present, only Gates 5 to 10 are operational for international flights.

At Gate 6 where my flight will depart from.

Hmm two delayed flights, with the Jeddah one not even being updated to the new delayed timing. I don’t have a lot of hope in my flight too.

Ooh look at Airbus A330 at Gate 6 pulling in at 4.15pm, 15 minutes before my scheduled departure.

Hmm, why do you make me feel uneasy.

The crowd formed as it approached departure time, at 4.30pm.

And at once, the doors to the aerobridge of Gate 6 were shut.


While I am sort of okay with bus rides, it’s not very okay when I’m taking it to board a plane.

Going down a second set of escalators to the bus lounge.

Boarding my “bus” from Jakarta to Singapore.

The bus got pretty crowded for the ride. Wonder where they’re taking me. I hope it’s not the plane on the remote gate in the far distance – it’s raining.

8 gates away and we arrived on the domestic side of Terminal 3.

Feels strange to board a bus from gate to gate within the terminal. Maybe they should have designed the airport with a stacked domestic and international area like KLIA, Suvarnabhumi Airport or other airports in general around the world.

No money to fly Bisnis Class but I’ve got a Bis. Ha.

Boarding through Gate 14 of the domestic area.

The next bus has arrived with more passengers.

Boarding my flight to Singapore.

Passing through the Business Class cabin.

Ah yes, those welcoming smiles are exactly how I remembered Garuda when I first flew with them to London last year. A far cry from the glum crew on my way to Jakarta.

Here comes the bags.

The IFE was also more familiar to use than the clunky and dated one on my way to Jakarta. While the entertainment selection is the same, it’s way easier to navigate on this newer screen and interface.

Even the safety video has the correct dimensions to fit on the screen. Oh wait, it is probably a basic requirement I guess.

Pushing back from the gate.

Taxiing away from the terminal building.

It’s a long queue for take-off.

And finally, take-off. 1 hour delayed from schedule.

On my way to, uh, Jakarta from Bali? I guess that with the quick turnaround of the aircraft stacking up the delays, the IFE wasn’t reset for this flight. The timings were all correct for the current flight with Denpasar Bali taking the time for Jakarta and Jakarta taking the time for Singapore.

This time, there was a choice of “Nasi Daging” or “Nasi Ayam“. Since beef seems to be rare for economy in-flight meals, I opted for that option. My seat neighbour opted for chicken though, which made me really disappointed when I saw it – it wasn’t nasi (rice), it was an Italian Chicken Crespelle.

Back on home soil after circling above Batam for 5 times. There probably weren’t any available landing slots for us after we missed the original slot due to the late departure.

Overall, this flight finally reminded me of Garuda’s 5-Star Airline Rating on Skytrax. The food was still missing an appetizer but it’s probably Garuda’s regional catering style. Overall a comfortable trip with Garuda, but there’s probably a great way to fly too. Stay tuned!


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