My Garuda Indonesia Review (with kids) 22

We travel Perth to Bali return with Garuda Indonesia on flights GA726 and GA728.

Travelling from Perth to Bali we are spoilt for choice of airlines and flight times.

So why did I choose to fly with Garuda Indonesia for my family’s 5 Day Getaway to Bali?

And what did I think of this flight with a child?


When I choose a flight, I make the decision based on flight times, service provided and of course cost.

For us Garuda met all our needs though as you can read in my post 5 Things I Learnt Booking Flights to Bali getting the right price can take time.

garuda Indonesia review

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Booking Review with Garuda Indonesia

The other thing I also discover when trying to make a booking directly on the Garuda Indonesia website is you need to have current passports in your possession.  Lewis’s 5 year child passport had insufficient validity and whilst I am waiting for his new passport to arrive I am also trying to make the booking; I discover I can’t continue the on-line booking without the passport details.

Garuda Indonesia review

As the prices are altering so much over a short amount of time I quickly contact one of my preferred travel agents who books the flights for me for a small booking fee.

A couple of weeks later we are emailed the e-tickets (which I printed out) and Lewis’s new passport arrives.

Part of my routine when booking air travel with kids is calling the airline a few days before we travel to confirm contact details and book Lewis a child’s meal several days before the flight. But I forgot and don’t call until the day before departure.  So it is too late to get the child’s meal on the flight out to Bali (but we do get it on the return flight).

Check-in Review with Garuda Indonesia

I am not sent an email to check-in on-line, but after the debacle of the Singapore Airlines on-line check-in this is fine with me.

At the airport the queue moves relatively well about a 15 minute wait time.  We have a very friendly girl check us in, giving us 3 seats together across the middle of the aircraft.  The flight is full so no luxury of a spare seat.

The Flight Review with Garuda Indonesia

But seriously it’s a 3 and a half hour flight so no real need for all that extra room.

[googlemaps!1m29!1m12!1m3!1d15350298.786813686!2d106.0564756522464!3d-20.06587036448591!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!4m14!1i0!3e4!4m5!1s0x2dd2441650216933%3A0xdf71da6ddd7bcc1f!2sNgurah+Rai+Airport%2C+Bali%2C+Republic+of+Indonesia!3m2!1d-8.746717!2d115.166787!4m5!1s0x555555555050045%3A0x38a5c9e99cdb584!2sPerth+Airport+-+International+Terminal+1%2C+2+George+Wiencke+Drive%2C+Perth+Airport+WA+6105!3m2!1d-31.941095999999998!2d115.974032!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sau!4v1431316922629&w=600&h=450]We are always one of the very last to board and yet we still find enough room to store our hand luggage in the over head compartments, keeping Lewis’s hand luggage at his feet for easy access to snacks and activities.

I am impressed to find an amenity pack on each of our seats consisting of socks, eye shade, and ear plugs for a short flight during the day.

Garuda indonesia review

Prior to take off the crew come around with a juice for everyone.  Our headphones for the in-flight entertainment are already stowed in the magazine rack in front.

At 7:50 am we are up in the air, the crew make all their required announcements, then we each log into the in-flight entertainment system and chose our preferred movie from a selection of 58 new release, block buster, family and international movies.

Before the special meals are handed out the crew pass small toys around to all the children on-board.

Garuda Indonesia review

Then breakfast is served, a choice eggs and sausages or Asian noodles.  We opt for the eggs as does most of the plane and no-one appears to have missed out on their choice.  Whilst they are serving the meal trays they also offer juice, tea and coffee.  Once they finish the tray service the friendly crew are back to top up the teas and coffees.

What I really liked is we aren’t left for an exceedingly long time with our dirty finished trays in front of us before they are cleared – they had the timing spot on.

There’s a reason that the Skytrax plaque is in the wall advising “World’s Best Cabin Staff 2014.”

My movie finishes and I start the next.  Sadly (I think) the flight starts to descend, my movie is switched over to a briefing on what to do on arrival into Bali depending on whether you are transiting or disembarking.  We are disembarking so I am advised of the visa requirements, how much they will cost (US $35 each), to purchase one before making my way through customs and what to declare through customs.

My movie then returns for a short time before the plane lands.  My only complaint I never see the end of that movie.

But hey, my family has now arrived into Bali for a lovely getaway at the all-inclusive Bali hotel Grand Mirage Resort after what has been an enjoyable start to our trip with a good flight with Garuda Indonesia.

Have you or would you now fly with Garuda Indonesia?

If you would like to read more stories and see more photos from our recent getaway to Bali go to Bali with Kids – All the travel stories

Garuda Indonesia Review

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About Sally-Ann Brown

I am Sally-Ann the author of Toddlers on Tour. I am a wife and mother who has always had a passion for travel. I love sharing my experiences and lessons learned to help you have a better family holiday or day trip. Read "All About Me" under the "Home" tab to discover my story and what lead me to here.

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22 thoughts on “My Garuda Indonesia Review (with kids)

  • Grace

    Great review! I love flying with Garuda. The service and the planes have improved immensely over the past 10 years or so. Always annoying when you don’t get to finish that movie before landing, though! 😉

    • Sally-Ann Brown Post author

      Exactly Grace 🙂 But on the serious note about 5 years ago Garuda went through a huge overhaul, purchasing all new aircraft and improving their service – the airline has completely turned around.

  • Kirsty @ My Home Truths

    That sounds like a great experience Sally-Ann. I like the amenities you were given, the toys your son received (how cool were those!) and the fact your trays weren’t left there for hours. International flights are always better than domestic ones for those little details. We recently flew with Delta in the US for our 5 hour domestic flights between LA and Orlando and everything had to be paid for on top of your ticket and they certainly didn’t provide complimentary amenities – you even needed to pay for headphones (thank goodness we had our own)

    • Sally-Ann Brown Post author

      Kirsty you have really enforced the fact about knowing what is included in your fare. It pays to do your research. Something I noticed several years ago when I was in the US was what they include (or don’t include) for domestic flights is very different to here in Australia.

  • Fairlie

    I’ve never flown Garuda. Sounds like they have good in-flight service and amenities. I liked your comment about them not leaving the dirty trays in front of you for too long – that is always so annoying when you have the tray just left there for ages. 3 and a half hours is such a short flight! About the same as Perth to Melbourne!

  • Karen6182

    I hope your flight back was just as pleasant because ours definitely wasn’t- both and only times I will ever give Garuda a chance.

    The second time was very very ridiculous. Our flight was pushed ahead by 12 hours. No sms, email, NOTHING was given to inform us. We only found out when we checked in online. We had to CANCEL ALL OUR PLANS for this less than capable airline. No compensation was given.

    This airline is still around only because it’s the national carrier.

    • Sally-Ann Brown Post author

      What an absolute nightmare Karen. I can see why you have chosen not to fly with them again. We have flown with them twice to Bali and all flights have been great which is why I have just rebooked to travel with them again. Crossing my fingers our experiences remain positive.

      • Ruby

        HI Sally-Ann
        I found your post when I tried to find out about Garuda’s infant fare policy. I plan to book a 5 day trip to Bali, and I am not flexible with time. My daughter will turn 2 on the return flight, because the return flight will be (+1 day) to Sydney. I wonder if you know anything about the fares. Some airlines honor the return trip as under 2 years old if the infant is under 2 on the departure flight date, some others charge add-on cost to the return flight only, and some requires booking as a over 2 year old if the infant turns 2 at any time of the round trip flight.

        • Sally-Ann Brown Post author

          Hi Ruby, thank you for contacting Toddlers on Tour.
          I would hate to give you the wrong information so I suggest that you contact Garuda Indonesia sales office direct. This is their Sydney phone number (02) 9334 9900, they have offices throughout Australia.
          As you mention each airline has a different policy. Once you know Garuda’s policy you can then decide how you wish to book: directly with that Garuda Indonesia agent, through a travel agent or online.