Garuda Indonesia Economy Class SYD-CGK

Flight 3/12: Sydney to Jakarta

And, we outta here! Seriously, it never feels like I’m on holiday until I’ve left the country. Some weird psychological thing.

Was up early this morning and went to the hotel cafe and restaurant to see about doing breakfast (after spending an hour on the treadmill in the on-site fitness centre)…No luck. It was all muffins and bacon and eggs, etc. Didn’t see any fresh fruit – and I wasn’t going to pay $20 just for an apple. I had a small bag of dried fruit that I’d intended to keep as a snack to eat on the flight to Jakarta (just in case), but ended up eating that for breakfast instead so that I could take my meds.

Checking in at the Garuda counters at the airport was a mess. There was a flight to Bali and my flight to Jakarta both trying to check in. You’d think they could deal with having multiple flights checking in at the same time, but apparently not. Eventually got my boarding passes through to Sorong. Immigration went relatively quickly, as they now have those Smartgate things for departures as well. Security was a mess. It’s always a mess.

You want to know something funny? And I do know it makes me sound like a total wanker…But this is literally the first time I’ve been in Sydney airport and not had lounge access. Seriously. OMG, I don’t know how people put up with it! It is a horrible, horrible airport if you can’t hide in the lounge! On the upside, these flights will be enough to push me up to a high enough status with Garuda so that I will have Skyteam lounge access in the future. No more slumming it!

Anyway, we boarded about 40 minutes late and took off about an hour late. Pretty much as soon as we boarded, a baby started crying. Apparently the flight was full of babies, because as soon as one started, that set the others off. It was a 7.5 hour flight of nothing but screaming babies. That is not an exaggeration. I tried to sleep, but it wasn’t to be.

Not long after taking off, we got a snack and a drink. The snack was a small packet of nuts, and I had to read the packet carefully, because on the picture on the front of the packet, there was wasabi peas, and wasabi normally contains gluten. The ingredients said no gluten, and there were no wasabi peas in there anyway, it was just salted nuts. They were safe, and as I still don’t feel ill, it’s safe to say they were ok.

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The picture on the front of the packet was misleading, there were no wasabi peas.

The main meal came out about an hour or so later, which turned out to be some kind of eggplant parma, rice, vegetables, and a tomato sauce. The parma had breadcrumbs, and was definitely not gluten free. I ate the rice and vegetables. The meal also came with a dolomade and capsicum dip, neither of which I ate. And some kind of berry compote and museli bar bites for dessert. The compote was ok. The museli bars contained honey – I checked the ingredients list.

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The VGML that wasn’t entirely vegan, and definitely wasn’t gluten free…

So close, Garuda, so close! I could forgive the gluten, as there’s never any guarantee that a VGML will be gluten free…But honey? Meh. Not the end of the world, but disappointing regardless as I hadn’t been able to eat the eggplant thing or the entree.

I watched a couple of episodes of The Flash on the inflight entertainment system, for lack of anything else that interested me. Not a particularly inspiring range of movies on offer to be honest.

Anyway, we landed a bit late in Jakarta, and then I had a panic attack when my luggage didn’t come off the belt. I was about to cry, when I got myself together and went and spoke to the Garuda staff – who told me that it’d been sent straight to Sorong. This is unusual, because you’re normally required to clear it through customs at your first port of call in Indonesia (like you do in Australia). Here’s to hoping it makes it!

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