Garuda Indonesia is one of only 11 airlines worldwide to hold the top five-star rating from Skytrax, an airline rating and consulting company. The flight from Bangkok, Thailand (BKK) to Jakarta, Indonesia (CGK) provided little reason to question such a high rating. Would the Garuda Indonesia International Lounge at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport live up to a five-star standard? The short answer is it’s a nice lounge, but not what I’d consider five-star.
Lounge Location, Access, and Hours
After disembarking from the enjoyable 737-800 flight from Bangkok, it only took a few minutes to go through security and take an escalator up to the concourse. The Garuda Indonesia business class lounge is located near Gate 9 on the mezzanine level one floor above the concourse.
The lounge is open to persons flying Garuda or other Skyteam airlines in business class, GarudaMiles Platinum and Gold members and persons with Skyteam Elite Plus status flying on Garuda or another Skyteam airline. This lounge is also open to first class passengers on Garuda or other Skyteam carrier, but those folks would be better off in the nearby Garuda first class lounge. Garuda does not sell access to this lounge.
If Garuda was a Oneworld airline, Executive Platinum status would give me access to the Garuda first class lounge irrespective of the ticketed class of service. Top tier Delta Diamond status comes with no such privileges on its Skyteam partners.
The lounge opens prior to the first Garuda departure and closes when the last Garuda flight of the day leaves.
Present your boarding pass to the agents at the desk then proceed inside.
The lounge consist of a food service area flanked by long but narrow seating areas. The entire lounge overlooks the concourse.
The primary difference between the two seating areas is that the one to the right as you enter has low ceilings and a glass partition separates it from the concourse below. The seating area on the left has no ceiling and is open to the concourse.
Right side seating
Left side seating
Seats are reasonably comfortable for short stays. Electrical outlets are few. You will probably need an adapter.
Food and Beverages (Controversy and Mystery)
Opinions on the food vary widely. Some reviews give this lounge very low marks. Maybe that’s because most of the offerings are Indonesian dishes unfamiliar to me and many westerners. At least dishes were identified in English as well as the local language.
A noodle bar lets guests prepare noodles to individual specifications. Seafood noodles was the best dish I tried. There is decent variety with soups ,salad bar, fruit, pastries and other dishes on offer. For food, I’d give this lounge three stars out of five.
But here’s the mystery. Lounge Buddy’s website and app state that alcohol is not available. Reviews I’ve read preparing for this review are mixed, but most agree with Lounge Buddy. Although I didn’t take a picture or write this in my notes, I could swear I had a beer(!?).
There are more Muslims in Indonesia than any other country. It is possible that Garuda would not serve alcohol in the lounge for religious reasons. I don’t see alcohol on display in any of my photos. On the other hand, Garuda serves booze in flight.
Maybe alcoholic beverages are served only on request in the lounge.
Other Features and Services
There is a very nice play area where kids can have fun without disturbing others.
An international business class lounge must have showers. This lounge has only one shower for men and one for women.
The lounge also has good WiFi, TVs, a flight monitor, reading materials in several languages, a smoking room, and a business center with computer terminals.
The Garuda Indonesia business-class lounge in CGK Terminal 3 is a nice lounge for a short stay. The seating area open to the concourse and noodle bar are the best parts. However having only one shower per gender, limited food options, and the issue of alcohol leave this lounge far short of my expectations for an airline with a five-star rating.
Next is a business class review of Garuda’s A330-300 outfitted with its latest business class seat and configuration.
Have you visited this lounge or other Garuda lounges in Indonesia? Was alcohol available?