Review: Garuda Indonesia A330-300 Business Class from Denpasar to Osaka

Review: Garuda Indonesia A330-300 Business Class from Denpasar to Osaka

While currently, Boeing 777-300ER is the flagship aircraft type in Garuda Indonesia’s fleet, the airline uses the smaller Airbus A330 on many of its medium- and long-haul routes as well.

When making my way from Europe to Japan back in January, I had a chance to try its business class onboard the larger Airbus A330-300 equipped with its older generation seats.

Read this review to see what the flight from Denpasar to Osaka was like, and what level of comfort and service you can expect on medium-haul Garuda Indonesia flights.

Transferring at Denpasar Bali Airport

I arrived at Bali airport on a KLM flight from Singapore. There was no queue at the transfer security check, and so it took me less than ten minutes to get from the KLM aircraft to the airport’s departures area.

Denpasar Bali Airport International Terminal
Decorations in the terminal.
Denpasar Bali Airport International Terminal
Overview of the terminal.

As I had a few hours to spare before the flight was scheduled to board, I paid a visit to each of the three lounges in the international terminal – Garuda Indonesia Business Class Lounge, T/G Lounge, and Premier Lounge.

While I was able to access the first one because I was flying in Garuda’s business class, I accessed the other two with my Priority Pass membership.

I left Premier Lounge at 11:45PM and headed to gate 1B where the flight was supposed to start boarding at 12:10AM. When I got to the gate, a Qatar Airways flight to Doha was still boarding, and I was sent to a separate waiting area of the gate.

Later – when they started letting us through around 11:55PM – it turned out that rather than the gate itself, it was just an entrance into a separate part of the terminal where the actual gate (as well as gate 1A where a flight to Tokyo was departing from) could be found.

Denpasar Bali Airport International Terminal Gate 1B
Waiting area for gate 1B.
Denpasar Bali Airport International Terminal Gate 1B
Waiting area in front of the actual gate.
Denpasar Bali Airport International Terminal Gate 1B
Gate 1B.

The actual boarding started at 12:10AM – exactly on time – and I was the first person to walk through the jetway and onto the aircraft.

Priority Boarding at Denpasar Airport
SkyPriority.
Garuda Indonesia Airbus A330-300
Garuda Indonesia A330-300.
Garuda Indonesia Skytrax Most Loved Airline 2016
Garuda Indonesia was chosen the most loved airline by Skytrax in 2016.

Garuda Indonesia Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cabin and Seat

Garuda Indonesia A330-300s come in three different configurations, two of which feature both business and economy class cabins. The third is an economy class-only configuration seating 360 passengers.

As for the business class configurations, the older one seats a total of 251 passengers – 36 in full-flat business class seats in a “2-2-2” configuration and 215 in economy class seats in a “2-4-2” configuration.

The A330-300s in the newer configuration are equipped with 24 reverse herringbone seats and 263 economy class seats for a total capacity of 287 seats.

My flight was operated with an aircraft equipped in the older two-class configuration.

Garuda Indonesia Airbus A330-300 Economy Class Cabin
Economy class cabin.
Garuda Indonesia Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cabin
View towards the front of the business class cabin.
Garuda Indonesia Airbus A330-300 Business Class Seats
Business class seats.
Garuda Indonesia Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cabin
Overview of the business class cabin.

While my seat, 11D, was nowhere near as private as a reverse herringbone seat would have been, it offered a lot of legroom and space.

The seat controls could be found in the outer armrest, while the rest of the functionality – the IFE remote, USB and power outlets, and reading light – could be found in the console between each pair of seats.

The console was also equipped with a small counter (ideal for drinks, cell phones, etc.), a storage compartment where a noise-cancelling headset could be found upon boarding, as well as a partition that could be extended to provide some extra privacy from the neighbor.

The seat back in front of each seat was equipped with the in-flight entertainment screen, a shoe compartment (with slippers waiting in it upon boarding), a seat pocket, as well a literature rack and a coat hook.

Meal and drink menus, a pillow, an amenity kit, and a bottle of water were waiting at the seat upon boarding as well.

Garuda Indonesia Airbus A330-300 Business Class Meal Menus and A
Menus, amenity kit, and water.
Garuda Indonesia Airbus A330-300 Business Class Seats
USB port and audio output.
Garuda Indonesia Airbus A330-300 Business Class Seats
IFE remote and storage compartment.
Garuda Indonesia Airbus A330-300 Business Class Seat Controls
Seat controls.
Garuda Indonesia Business Class Water
Water.
Garuda Indonesia Business Class Pillow
Pillow.
Garuda Indonesia Business Class Noise-Cancelling Headset
Noise-cancelling headset.

Departing Denpasar Onboard Garuda Flight 882

Not long after settling in my seat, one of the friendly flight attendants came around to offer me a welcome drink. Champagne and orange juice were available, and as usual, I went with the latter.

The drink was brought together with a warm towel. At that point, I asked the flight attendant whether anyone would be coming to an empty pair of seats by the window, and once she confirmed that those seats were empty, I moved over.

Garuda Indonesia Business Class Welcome Drink
Hot towel and welcome drink.
Garuda Indonesia A330-300 Business Class Seats
My new seat.
Garuda Indonesia Airbus A330-300 Window View
Almost ready to go.

The aircraft doors were closed at 12:35AM, and around the same time, one of the crew members approached me to take my breakfast order.

I asked for some fruits and cereals, as well as the Indonesian main course. I asked whether it would be possible to wake me up an hour before landing to have the meal, but apparently that was too tight, and so I agreed to be woken up 90 minutes before landing instead.

As I was quite hungry, I also ordered the Sate Lilit (Balinese satay) and some fruits to have right after take-off.

Garuda Indonesia Business Class Menu
Midnight snack and breakfast menu.
Garuda Indonesia Business Class Menu
Breakfast menu continued.
Garuda Indonesia Business Class Menu
Breakfast and in-flight snack menu.

About five minutes after that, quite heavy and warm blankets were handed out with the flight attendant spreading them over passengers’ knees.

At the same time, the safety video was played, and Garuda’s flight to Tokyo started pushing back from the gate next to ours (unfortunately I wasn’t able to get an award seat on that one).

Garuda Indonesia Business Class Blanket
Blanket.
Garuda Indonesia Safety Video
Safety video.

We were pushed back at 12:48AM – eight minutes behind schedule – and four minutes later, we started taxiing towards the active runway.

Take-off followed at 00:58 after a fairly bumpy take-off roll.

Garuda Indonesia A330-300 Window View
Taking-off bound for Osaka.
Garuda Indonesia Flight 882 from Denpasar to Osaka
5198 kilometers to go.

Garuda Indonesia Business Class Midnight Snack Service

Seatbelt signs were switched off five minutes after take-off at which point some of the passengers turned down their seats and went to sleep while the cabin crew started preparing for the midnight meal service.

First, a drink (Coke Zero in my case) and an amuse-bouche were served. While it was nice of Garuda Indonesia to offer amuse-bouche on this fairly short redeye flight, unfortunately, the small piece of bread with mayonnaise, salmon, and salmon roe was quite unmemorable.

Garuda Indonesia Business Class Amuse-Bouche
Amuse-bouche and Coke Zero.

Less than ten minutes later, the cabin crew went around the cabin placing table cloths on tables of those that opted to eat. And, two minutes later, I received the two items I ordered – Sate Lilit and a fruit plate.

I should note here that the satay was excellent and the portion of both of the items was perfect for a late night snack.

Garuda Indonesia Business Class Midnight Snack
Fruit plate.
Garuda Indonesia Business Class Midnight Snack
Sate.

Garuda Indonesia In-Flight Entertainment System

While I was waiting for the meal above to be served, I spent some time playing around with Garuda’s in-flight entertainment system. The first thing that caught my eye was the title screen background which featured a slideshow of Indonesian places worth seeing.

Garuda Indonesia In-Flight Entertainment System
Uluwatu temple.
Garuda Indonesia In-Flight Entertainment System
Tanjung Tinggi beach.
Garuda Indonesia In-Flight Entertainment System Main Menu
Main menu.

As for the content itself, it was nowhere near as extensive as Emirates’ ICE or Turkish Airlines’ selection, but it was on par with other major airlines.

There were dozens of movies including some of the newer ones like Crazy Rich Asians, and there were several different TV shows, each with at least two or three episodes.

Garuda Indonesia In-Flight Entertainment System Movies
Movies.
Garuda Indonesia In-Flight Entertainment System TV Shows
TV shows.

There were also more than 200 albums to listen to and more than 50 games to play.

Besides that, there was also a kids menu which was essentially a selection of content appropriate for small children out of the whole offering. And, there was also a section with destination guides provided in partnership with TripAdvisor.

Garuda Indonesia In-Flight Entertainment System Music
Music.
Garuda Indonesia In-Flight Entertainment System Games
Games.
Garuda Indonesia In-Flight Entertainment System Kids Menu
Kids menu.
Garuda Indonesia In-Flight Entertainment System TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor.

Finally, there was an airshow with a couple of different views on loop.

Garuda Indonesia In-Flight Entertainment System Moving Map
Moving map.
Garuda Indonesia In-Flight Entertainment System Flight Informati
Flight information.

The headset offered decent sound quality, but was quite uncomfortable to wear.

In addition to the in-flight entertainment system itself, the aircraft was equipped with onboard wi-fi as well. I didn’t try it and so can’t comment on the speed, however, below is the price list for the packages that were offered.

Garuda Indonesia In-Flight Wi-Fi
Wi-fi pricing.

Sleeping in Garuda Indonesia’s Older Generation Business Class Seat

Going back to the flight, once I was done with the meal – which was less than an hour after take-off – I briefly visited the lavatory before turning my seat into a bed and falling asleep.

There was nothing noteworthy about the lavatory except for the fact that some of the ameny bottles were, for some reason, open. While making my way back to the seat, I also noticed that there was a small “bar” with some soft drinks set up in the galley.

Garuda Indonesia Business Class Lavatory Amenities
Amenities.
Garuda Indonesia Business Class Mid-Flight Mni-Bar
Drinks.

As for the bed, I found it to be quite comfortable. Especially so since I had a pair of seats to myself which allowed me to enjoy the spaciness of the older generation seat combined with level of privacy which I wouldn’t be able to enjoy if there was a stranger sleeping next to me.

That said, when it comes to lie-flat seats in “2-2-2” configuration, I prefer those that have a separate ottoman (for example, those that LOT uses on their 787s) as I find those to be sturdier than the ones – like Garuda’s – where the “ottoman” part of the seat in the lie-flat mode is just an extension coming out of the seat.

Garuda Indonesia A330-300 Business Class Seat in the Lie-Flat Po
Seat in the bed position.
Garuda Indonesia A330-300 Business Class Seat in the Lie-Flat Po
Privacy partition and an extra set of seat controls.

Garuda Indonesia Business Class Breakfast Service

I was able to sleep for about four hours before being woken up for breakfast at 6:30AM Japan time – about one hour and forty minutes before landing. As soon as I woke up, I was served a cup of orange juice and offered a cold towel.

Not long after that, one of the crew members came around to set up my table for breakfast. And, I started watching an episode of How I Met Your Mother on the IFE system.

Garuda Indonesia A330 Approaching Japan
One hour and forty minutes to go.
Garuda Indonesia Business Class Breakfast
Orange juice.
Garuda Indonesia Business Class In-Flight Entertainment
How I Met Your Mother.

Then, I was served bread with butter and strawberry jam, a cup of water, some cereals, and the fruit plate.

Once I was done with the fruits, the main course – “traditional steam rice served with fried chicken in spices desiccated coconut marinated boiled egg, tempeh, fried potato tossed in spicy chili sauce” – followed.

The breakfast was filling and tasty – I especially liked the chicken.

Garuda Indonesia Business Class Breakfast
Breakfast.
Garuda Indonesia Business Class Breakfast
Fruit plate.
Garuda Indonesia Business Class Breakfast
Bread and cereals.
Garuda Indonesia Business Class Breakfast
Indonesian dish.

After the meal, I decided to have a cup of peppermint tea that I was able to enjoy while watching the sunrise.

Garuda Indonesia Business Class Breakfast
Peppermint tea.
Sunrise Onboard Garuda Indonesia
Sunrise.

Before continuing with the flight, below is the complete drink menu in case you are interested.

Garuda Indonesia Business Class Drink Menu
Signature beverage.
Garuda Indonesia Business Class Drink Menu
Indonesian coffee.
Garuda Indonesia Business Class Drink Menu
Coffee and tea.
Garuda Indonesia Business Class Wine Menu
Champagne and white wine.
Garuda Indonesia Business Class Wine Menu
Red wine and dessert wine.
Garuda Indonesia Business Class Drink Menu
Other alocholic and soft drinks.

Arrival at Osaka Kansai Airport

Once the meal trays were cleared, the cabin crew went around the cabin to distribute Japanese immigration and customs form.

A couple of minutes after that, I decided to ask for a cup of fresh ambarella juice – something that caught my attention on the drink menu. The juice had an interesting “leavy” taste, and was very refreshing.

Garuda Indonesia Business Class Fresh Ambarella Juice
Fresh ambarella juice.

By this time, the flight was nearing its end.

We started descending towards Osaka Kansai airport at 7:35AM, and fifteen minutes later, the seatbelt signs were switched on.

Garuda Indonesia A330 Wing
Descending.
Landing at Osaka Kansai Airport
The weather in Osaka was not so nice.

At 8:07AM, the pilots lowered the landing gear, and just four minutes later, we touched down on runway 06L at Osaka Kansai airport.

We taxied for another ten minutes before coming to a full stop next to an Air Calin A330 at 8:21AM – nine minutes ahead of schedule.

Landing at Osaka Kansai Airport
Seconds before landing.
Osaka Kansai Airport
Exiting the runway.
Osaka Kansai Airport
Arriving at our gate.

Garuda Indonesia A330-300 Business Class Summary

Even though the flight was quite short – and departed well after midnight – it was still an enjoyable experience that gave me a brief look at what flying with Garuda Indonesia on longer business class flights might be like.

The crew was very friendly – well deserving of the “Most Loved Airline” award – and the meals were great as well.

That said, while I was able to enjoy a lot of privacy thanks to the seat next to me being unoccupied, the comfort level would have been way lower with a stranger sitting next to me.

As such, when choosing a Garuda Indonesia flight, try to pick a flight operated by one of the A330s equipped with reverse herringbone seats or by the 777-300ER.

Get Your FREE "Four Ways to Try Business Class Without Breaking the Bank" Guide

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2 thoughts on “Review: Garuda Indonesia A330-300 Business Class from Denpasar to Osaka”

    1. Hi Riza, thanks for your comment – glad you enjoyed the review. Also, good luck with your new website! Will take a look. 🙂

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Get Your FREE "Four Ways to Try Business Class Without Breaking the Bank" Guide

No, I am not going to tell you how to fly in first class and sip Dom Perignon for free…

But, I am going to introduce you to a couple of ways you can experiment with to try a business class flight without having to spend thousands of dollars.

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