Garuda… Back into London again?!!

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This topic contains 69 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  cwoodward 27 Aug 2019
at 03:45
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Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 70 total)

  • paulkaz
    Participant

    Hi Marcus Did you attend GA’s office here in Sydney, level 6 55 Hunter St for assistance? If you’re booked on a flight that doesn’t exist then that must be a cancellation with in the terms of your insurance.
    Naturally the insecure nature of your return flight is stressful and will affect the quality of your stay. I would book a return flight. Book a fare that can be changed so if GA comes through you can keep the new ticket for another time. If GA doesn’t come through then sort out your insurance clain once settled back home.
    China Southern is skyteam and will have lots of seats. Korean run a daily A380 at present too.
    I know our internet is appalling but what town or region are you going that is so isolated? The NBN has made most places seviceable. Good luck.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    According to Airlineroute Garuda will be operating a Jakarta-London Heathrow on December 13.

    But this one-time flight will be operated with a three-class B777 (which presumably means there will be first class) rather than the two-class B777 which is supposed to be operating its European services.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    paulkaz
    Participant

    13 December flight with first. Some Jakarta Grandee must be doing some christmas shopping in London.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Maybe that’s why it’s scheduled as a three-class B777 (according to Airlineroute) …


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Garuda eh.

    Personally I wouldn’t trust any airline that comes from Indonesia. From what I read (see articles on Lion Air) the whole aviation sector is a disaster.

    Has your plane been properly maintained? Or has someone somewhere been paid off to process key paperwork?

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    MarcusGB
    Participant

    The Garuda office in Sydney informed me that the flights will begin 15th December.
    Agent told me that the Business cabin is full at 26, and about 140 in Economy.
    So seems not to really pay them to lessen Premium Cabin, or ridding of 1st Class. They are not packing Economy passengers in.
    With these figures, no wonder they do not want to actually start the route with an actual aircraft flying!
    Clearly it is purely about not having the numbers to make a flight viable, heard no excuse or reason for not flying and the delays

    Failing that, they re-route via CGK to HKG and on with Cathay Pacific.
    Few options left as many Airlines are full already,

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    The Garuda office in Sydney informed me that the flights will begin 15th December.

    Agent told me that the Business cabin is full at 26, and about 140 in Economy.

    So seems not to really pay them to lessen Premium Cabin, or ridding of 1st Class. They are not packing Economy passengers in.

    With these figures, no wonder they do not want to actually start the route with an actual aircraft flying!

    Clearly it is purely about not having the numbers to make a flight viable, heard no excuse or reason for not flying and the delays

    Failing that, they re-route via CGK to HKG and on with Cathay Pacific.

    Few options left as many Airlines are full already,

    They told you, eh? And you believed them?

    Let’s hope that when your flight is cancelled due to low numbers there are still spaces on Cathay.


    MarcusGB
    Participant

    The first of the newly Introduced Garuda flights, CGK- LHR, has flown over to London today, 13th December.It is about to leave LHR on its return, Non stop to CGK.

    “13 Dec 2018 Jakarta (CGK) London (LHR) GA86 14:48 12:05 PM 12:57 PM 8:00 PM
    Landed 8:45 PM.” FlightRadar24 Tracking
    AIRCRAFT
    Boeing 777-3U3(ER)
    REGISTRATION
    PK-GIG.

    Therefore it seems Garuda are now running the flights 3 x weekly, as before. First class has been removed, and only 26 Business class seats now feature. These are full for flights upcoming, yet the take up in Economy has been in low numbers, not even 30% capacity booked, Garuda office in Sydney inform me. First Class is not any longer on this route.
    They will now join Skyteam at Terminal 4 at LHR. Not Terminal 3, meaning also a change to The Skyteam Lounge access, one of the best at LHR, and not the Overcrowded No 1 lounge in T3.
    However, they do not meet easily the flights connecting onto Sydney, and always need an overnight stay in Jakarta, on the return.
    Their Routes down to Australia are therefore, with no easy connections unless you stopover, provide no alternative as a direct 1 change route Down Under.

    Unlike in the previous weeks, anyone booked has had a refund or been re-routed, I will travel before Xmas
    This will not not apply to my trip, though the helpful staff at Sydney’s Garuda Office had a re-routing plan that i discussed with them ready, if it had not started before the announced 15th December.

    So, at this time, they ARE running flights back to LHR T4, but as usual, we shall see how long this lasts!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    MarcusGB
    Participant

    I can confirm Garuda are now flying the 773 non stop ex Jakarta – LHR, as of the 13th December.
    They have only 26 seats in Business Class on a 2 cabin configuration, the rest only Economy. Perhaps a Premium Economy would be their answer?

    Europe – Australia –
    However, they still do not connect every day ex LHR-CGK and onto Sydney, with a 3-4 hr wait. This i found on only 1/2 of the 3 flights a week ex LHR with a connection for Sydney.
    Returning, flights from Sydney depart at 11.30 or 13.30hrs, arrive 15hrs or 17hrs into Jakarta. Not everyday!
    The flights to LHR on Tues, Thurs, Sat, depart at 12.05pm.
    Any trip from Australia to LHR, would need a 21 hr stop, overnight hotel (Provided by Garuda for Business Travellers). This is according to their timetable.

    If you wish to take the Garuda flight to Amsterdam, you wait 7 hrs in Jakarta.
    The KLM flight, leaves an 1.5hrs hour earlier only, and also stops in Kuala Lumpur, and then you would arrive in Amsterdam. Another connection time to London, or regional airports in the UK may be useful.

    It really is quite impossible to use them as a means for getting to Australia, apart from a decent value one way fare, unless you have time, and willing to spend time in Jakarta (which is really not a great venue to stay for a City, except stay in yr hotel), on return.
    So i think their “Kangaroo route” has gone.
    I do understand the curfews in Australia and LHR, but connection timings could be matched as other Airlines enable. It would only take a few hours of changes on each aircraft timings Ex Jakarta to Europe and Australia.
    This could be a major revenue raiser, but clearly they cannot put this together at Garuda. I find their Business Class very good, and they should have added to this number of seats or introduced a P E Cabin, rather than packing more seats into Economy, that are not being taken.

    Unless you are flying to Indonesia and domestic, or Further Out from there, would anyone then fly backwards to SIN, BKK, KUL?

    We chose to spend Xmas at Raffles in Jakarta, so leave Sydney 24th, and fly on flights that are not so busy as they will not get people back for the Xmas period.

    As you pointed out, having a “C class” fare one way SYD-CGK-LHR, meant only a AUD $ 100 change fee.
    I think having a flexible / refundable or changeable fare with Garuda, is extremely wise. It still works out half the cost at times of many other Airlines, or a £150+ difference on a Business fare. You would also earn 25% more Skyteam member miles.
    Otherwise you have chaos having to re-book yourself, or being put on any route or airline they feel is adequate. This may still mean being re-routed on Cathay, but also via CGK on Garuda to HKG!

    It is also interesting to note, for KLM / AF Flying Blue program which was adjusted/Diluted this year, that booking on a KLM site or KL fare, would give you some 8,500 miles Europe – Australia now!
    On Garuda on a Business Fare GA prefix, you will be credited with over 26,000 miles as a Platinum FB member!
    The same 30/35 “XP Points” would be given, but if you connected to LHR on the KL flight via Amsterdam, Plus you gain Europe Biz XP Points.
    The KLM fares are 2-3 times the price, and vary on many carriers they use.
    So using Partners Airlines of Flying Blue, is far more generating of miles than KLM or AF now.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    So i think their “Kangaroo route” has gone.
    I do understand the curfews in Australia and LHR, but connection timings could be matched as other Airlines enable. It would only take a few hours of changes on each aircraft timings Ex Jakarta to Europe and Australia.
    This could be a major revenue raiser, but clearly they cannot put this together at Garuda.

    Thanks for the update, Marcus.

    Years ago (when GA flew to Europe before the EU safety ban) it along with PAL and MAS sold cut-price kangaroo route tickets sold through what were termed “bucket shops.”

    But over the years the market changed, yields to Australasia have fallen and these and other carriers no longer devote all their energies to that one routing.


    MarcusGB
    Participant

    Hi. Best wishes for New Year, 2019 all.

    Yes Alex, i know Garuda’s long story, but they still have been continuing pressing their Kangaroo route on their website.
    Despite Their cancelling and re-nstating the LHR Route.

    I flew in on todays 12.-5hrs CGK-LHR.
    It was a pretty dire experience to be honest. It shows me yet again that Garuda continues to decline in its services, standards, and aircraft maintenance especially.

    I had to ask 3 crew, before being told “The Wifi is broken, on this 15 hrs flight on a 773, with the configuration of only Business/ Economy. pretty dire for a flagship re-instated route.
    My IFE box was also faulty, and screeching noises coming through the 3 tried headphones. Same on the SYD-CGK Flight. So i had no access to and entertainment at all on both flights.
    Toilets were crackled, and dirty, and not serviced during the flight.
    No drying towels apart from boxes of tissues, which made an absolute mess, and fell apart as using them.

    Food was awful, with one Lemon Meringue dessert so stale, and i handed it back, showing i could not even get a fork through it!.
    The Vegetarian meal food was bland, (a 20p cost) array of tomato and Lettuce, boiled vegetables cooked with glass noodles. a bread roll in a preserved packet which was refused, for fresh bread.
    They again have not a clue what a healthy Vegetarian meal is, no protein at all.

    Passengers throughout the flight one major “package tour Group in Business class, were wandering around when seatbelt sign on, just before take off also, and got up again when we landed on the LHR runway. They also brought their own biscuits to eat which they had dropped on the floor.
    The crew seemed unwilling or unable to assert the safety signs, and unable to maintain or put right All Else.
    The flight arrived at LHR, with 1.20hr’s to turn it around and depart by 22hrs, which would have not been possible.
    The returning flight would have also been late

    For Garuda to send out an Aircraft that clearly had so many deficits, puts it to an end for me.
    I paid for a C class one way SYD-CGK-LHR.
    With the doubts around its cancellation, then delayed re-instatement, broken parts of the Aircraft, awful food, and decline in attitudes on board, i am finishing with them.
    The standards are noticeably low, and they should now have their 5 Star Skytrax rating taken away for sure…

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Marcus – Thanks for the detailed business class check.

    It would seem that Garuda is reverting to its old ways. In other words it’s becoming a volume airline majoring on price.

    When new Garuda returned to Europe it appeared to be emulating SIA (Indonesia’s unofficial national airline) in terms of product quality.

    Last year Garuda withdrew first class from its Jakarta to Amsterdam and Tokyo services – see link below.

    It meant London was the only route to retain first class which I always thought was uneconomical when you consider the cost of providing the inventory / catering etc just for a handful of passengers on a few flights.

    Now London has become two-class.

    Just now I checked Jakarta-Tokyo and first class remains “greyed out.”

    Garuda Indonesia cuts back


    MarcusGB
    Participant

    Thank you for the information again Alex.

    I flew often in Garuda’s First Class in the last 3 years to Sydney, but of course this was a mixed class ticket, being only on the LHR- CGK Sector.
    I thought much of your previous comment on the supply and catering for First class when on Board, and to be honest i did not see any difference in Business in terms of food, choices and quality, wines are the same.
    The cabins were very small compared to say Etihad, never-the-less, worth paying for an upgrade from Biz for the privacy, quiet.
    But in reality, there is also not much space difference but the enclosure of the cabin of their First to a row of Business staggered seating. Looking carefully at this configuration, they had in the front space of the 773ER, 4 cabins across for First in 2 rows, and 4 seats staggered across in Biz. Several rows of these in the front cabin, with a whole next cabin used for Biz also.

    However, i agree that with other Airlines, this must be significant.
    Perhaps they could have gone for an inbetween arrangement, and used the First as an upgraded Business Suite, but not at a Full First ticket?
    I think this is what Qatar did with their Q Suites, A supplement…?

    They Only use the front section of the aircraft now for Biz, which was previously a mix of the 8 First cabins, and several staggered rows of Business. This then stretched into the following section of the aircraft with a larger Biz only cabin.
    This is economy with this version. So they have now only 26?? 28 seats in Biz now alone.

    I feel this is a great mistake, as the Business Cabin is now always full, and Economy certainly far from full. With this decent Biz seating, they could easily have added seats and made a good greater revenue from this cabin. As long as they continue to run this non stop, they will an advantage over other Airlines.
    But using it as a Carrier from Europe to Australia, they need to connect up their flights rather than overnight stays, or 7 hr waits, to link to their London flights on returns, or with Mixed use of KLM, CGK – KUL-AMS-LHR.

    I note currently, their Biz cabin return LHR-CGK-SYD are now increased around £3,400, which overall, is about average, but their service and standards on board, not the same as other Carriers for that price. They do have a small lounge for Business class you go to when you reach The Baggage Hall, and they collect your bags for you whilst you take a basic hot or machine drink, or cold juice. This is a simple but effective service that gives a good impression.
    I do not see their current 5* Skytrax Airline rating can be justified, and taking their poor ground services, support, changes and communications, they just about deserve a 3 in my view.
    Their Lounge is not air conditioned on the mezzanine floor, and food of poor quality, asianic only food choice, hygiene not good. It is nearly all cheap processed food, drinks cheap carton juices, coffee from filter coffee jugs, and overall food you would not pay for.
    I actually went out to a cafe to buy a healthy sandwich, and bring back a decent coffee.

    I also observed on entering the now about 18 month new Terminal, where other Skyteam Airlines have now also moved in, it has only for a brand new Airport, been rated Skytrax 3 Star! These now show the Logo and 3 star around the airport.

    Overall, Garuda have a unique Profit opportunity with this non stop flight, one of the longest of 15 hrs ex LHR, to a far reaching SE Asian destination.
    They could capitalise, and make more of the route Europe to Australia, but need to shake up their timetables to connect flights both ways.
    Even for flights to Amsterdam, flying in from Sydney, you would wait over 7+ hrs to connect returning.
    Their crew costs will be much less than KLM, and their own brand new hub, i am sure very much on a lower cost basis than other Airlines.
    Attitudes at the gates and check-ins is very undisciplined, staff lying or sitting on the floor, playing with their mobile phones, appearing very lazy and giving out a sloppy impression. When things go wrong with changed planes, late aircraft, changes to aircraft, there is no capability to look after say Domestic to International passengers for on-going flights. I have had to push this myself, look up options, and insist they act. This is sloppy, unreliable, and has been a feature perhaps a culture, always of Garuda.
    The staff actively avoid you, seem totally indecisive, and lack experience knowing of options. Tiers of Management will appear, but fail to communicate with the passenger or explain. I have been the subject of it, as well as seen and heard of it from other passengers.

    But clearly Senior Airline management are not efficient either, cancelling the LHR route re-instating it as they have with several delays, and now to T4.
    Confidence and reliability of the Airline is poor currently. Garuda are a nightmare when changes are made or aircraft changed or late. Booking months ahead, this can result in many emails with winter to summer timetable changes, that may often not enable you to connect to Australia anymore. But you have to call them and have what you want, ready to change to!

    They are advertising it as a “Newly opened route to London”.
    They list this as “Now departing from Counter 4 and not Counter 3 at LHR”, and not a change in Terminal, to LHR’s Skyteam Terminal, (which adds to a better image and being encompassed into Skyteam). So even this is sloppy and incorrect.
    The arrival time of 20hrs is rarely met at LHR, and turn around time of 1hr 55 minutes just not realistic (21.55hrs departure). This will lead to a constantly late flight statistic.
    Ultimately, unless you fly only to Jakarta or within Indonesia, the current Tues, Thurs, Sat flights ex LHR, will not promote its use down to Australia.

    A Very Mixed bag, of positive and negative issues surrounding Garuda, once more.
    However, a downwards turn in the food and service, a kissed opportunity with one of Asia good new Terminals being sloppy in its management, giving a poor impression, and poo premium lounges, and always the attitude that passengers do not get any information with Boarding which is always chaotic, and adds to the poor impressions.
    No meal on the overnight flight until breakfast before arrival in Australia, does not help either.

    But again with the KLM / AF Flying Blue downturn in miles earning, you will earn only half the miles that will be credited when you fly Garuda as a partner Airline, thought the same “XP” Points. However, these have to be manually corrected as they should show LHR-CGK 35 XP POints, and CGK-SYD 30 pints, but shows as 24 points!

    These issues on Garuda’s history will not be corrected, and i fail to see the route will remain viable as the AMS route, and eventually it will fail into LHR. Not for the First time…!

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    I thought much of your previous comment on the supply and catering for First class when on Board, and to be honest i did not see any difference in Business in terms of food, choices and quality, wines are the same.

    In which case it would appear Garuda was ahead of MAS in selling first class as a sort of superior business class.

    Malaysia Airlines rebrands first class cabins as business


    Flying Kiwi
    Participant

    They have now switched to LHR-DPS direct three times a week from 22 Jan. Wonder how long that lasts?

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