Aviation, My Life, Travel

Flight Experience: Flying Home from Denpasar – Jakarta GA 413

As the continuation of my previous trip report, here is the story of my returning flight from Denpasar on 14 August 2012.

Finally, after having a super pleasant stay for 4 days in Bali, it’s time to head home. Back in Jakarta, the Idul Fitri homebound travelers geared up for their destinations, and Denpasar airport appeared to be packed by visitors.

Potato Head

Ginger Ale and Black Russian

Our flight was scheduled at 1900 hrs LT (UTC+8) evening and since 1600 hrs we had settled and chilled out at one the edgiest place to hang out in Bali – Potato Head in Seminyak. We had planned on spending our last hours in this place, sipping some refreshments and relaxing near by the pool. However, it seemed like we arrived too late, since tourists had taken all the best lazy chairs near by the pool, hence the only place left we sat was in the right wing. Before heading to the airport, I changed my outfit for a more proper look: Jacket, jeans and my suede shoes!

I might have become one big strange sight in there, from thin t-shirts, short pants and sneakers, while in the next one hour, voilla, I dressed completely different which was too neat for a beach outfit. My friend asked me if I were serious enough with that jacket? I said yes, it could’ve been cold on the plane.

At 1730 hrs, we arrived at the Airport, and we checked in ourselves. One of my friends flew with Citilink to Jakarta, and my 2 other friends and her families also flew with me on Garuda. Unlike my departure flight, the officer checked me in easily, without any further bargain on other schedules (this mostly happens for a concession ticket holder). I always feel calmer when a check-in officer had validated my ticket and requesting to present my ID, and asking if there would be any checked-in luggage. The process was fast, the warm smile lady handed me my boarding pass, “Have a nice flight Mas Danang..” she said “Thank you!” I said.

Domestic Terminal’s FIDS

The departure hall wasn’t that hectic before I realized that the queue line for passengers’ x-ray was long. But we made it through a bit quick though. It’s not that long after we arrived, the boarding call was made and passengers began to assemble at the boarding gate which made the officer felt a bit overwhelmed. They divided the lines into 3 lanes, 1 for business class and 2 for economy class passengers. As usual, we were driven to the plane using passengers bus, and our plane was parked in Gate 2 of the International terminal.

The boarding was smooth, boarding for wide body aircraft is always smooth, that’s why I always try to board the plane first when flying with narrow body aircraft, not just because there won’t be any queue line, but we can get extra space for our luggage. A young lady greeted me with her winning smile, I was let in and guided to my seat at 7A until I met someone who had sat earlier at his 6B seat, he was a pilot friend of mine who had just flown from Osaka – Denpasar flight , and he flew as an extra crew for Denpasar – Jakarta flight. I made a bit surprising moment, that made every crew who served in the business class smiled at me. Well, it’s one of our family closest relatives, and we chatted for a bit as passengers boarded the plane.

The flight that night was using an aircraft that just came on from Osaka, while the crew members were arriving from Sydney, and most interestingly, the plane was brought by a captain and a co-pilot who was on a check ride. “Well, I might not look forward for a smooth landing then,” I giggled. My friend was smiling and he’s like “Yea, told him too. Usually we get nervous during the check-ride,” he said.

After boarding process completed, the crew began serving us with a welcome drink. I still remained in the row 6 middle seat, chatting with my friend until I was instructed to return to my seat, or else I changed my seat to 6F. “No, I’m fine, I’ll move back to my seat,” I said, noticing that my friend was exhausted and so was I. The flight was full in Economy and half full in Business Class, as my friend said that GA 411 was not operating hence the passengers were unified on the GA 413.

Legroom!

My private cabin

I fell asleep during taxi and  I was awakened by the roaring engines during the line up, and the cabin lights had been switched off. I let my camera captured some sights around, but didn’t make any good results due to darkness. At 1910 hrs LT the plane took off smoothly, and here we off to Jakarta!

After seat-belt sign switched off, my friend was aiming to make a short visit to the cockpit, asking if I might’ve been interested to join. I said no this time because I knew that there was a checked pilot that time and the situation might not allowing any stranger who wished for a visit :p, besides I was really exhausted and I think I just wanted to rest. The crew started the meal service after 20 minutes. My friend had returned to his seat and he said he would have a sleep, but too late as the meal cart has arrived earlier. I was greeted by another senior flight attendant who waved her hands, as she recognized me. “Hey, you are the son of Capt. xxx aren’t you? Don’t you recognize me?” I attempted to recall whether I had met her before or not. “We’re neighbors! we live like 5 blocks away,” she said cheerfully. Oh well, apparently I knew her, I was distracted because I always seen her in long hair, unlike then when she had to bun her hair in her uniform. But still – I felt bad, I should’ve remembered her name!

The IFE begins..

The food was with no choice at all. Oh well what should I expect? Sitting at a special area of row 5 or 6 means our meal choices always be the last option available (hahaha!). A rice, chicken with veggies. The only thing that I like from Business Class meal service is that we could have more than 2 breads to complete our main course! The food was delicious, although I thought the chicken was with no taste or less salt at first, but I was wrong, the steamed chicken was tasteful, wish I could have another plate, but nu-uh, the cart had been empty.

My dinner was accompanied by several feature videos that I watched. Frankly speaking, In flight entertainment is not necessarily important to me, as I am more like a chatty passenger. Chatting with my seat mates, or flight attendants is an exceptional entertainment for myself. Otherwise I usually just listen to my music player and sleep.

Garuda Indonesia Airbus A330-300 Business Class seat is very comfortable I must say. Plus, the quietness of my cabin section was a plus point! I always like to sit in the second section  – which contained of seat No. 5 and 6. The cabin is usually quiet, unlike the front section which usually has more passengers. Ironic right? if airlines usually expect high load factor, but a weird passenger like me like an empty plane rather than a fully booked flight hehe..

The flight took for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. We touched down safely at Soekarno – Hatta International Airport.
The landing felt a bit rough though, but I understood that the landing must’ve been made by the checked first officer. Could he be nervous there with the instructor? 😀 The plane stopped at the terminal (thank god not by the ramp), and there’s a cute moment when we’re waiting until the door open, I chatted with my pilot friend, and he asked me on “Do you know what sign to know if the door was ready to open?” I smiled and said “Flight attendant, disarm slide bars and cross check?” unconditionally, I said those words just at the same time with the captain. He laughed and so did a flight stewardess who stood near by my seat. I continued, “Slide bars disarmed, Capt..” imitating the purser who must’ve read back the instruction to the captain.

After the door opened, we said good bye, disembarked the plane, and saying ‘welcome home’ to myself.

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