In this review, we will visit the Garuda Indonesia domestic business lounge at Jakarta Airport (CGK).
After a light breakfast at my fabulous Jakarta hotel I took a taxi back to Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta Airport. It being a Monday morning, I left early knowing the horrors of Jakarta traffic.
And indeed – traffic was quite bad and it took almost one-and-a-half hour to two hours to reach the airport from Menteng. Because I had left really early, I however still managed to arrive around two hours before the departure of my flight.
All of Garuda Indonesia’s flights are operated out of terminal three, which consists out of a domestic and international airport. The terminal is relatively new as it was only opened in 2016 and it still looks very fresh and new. Even better: it was so empty that walking around was a breeze.
As I was travelling hand luggage only, I easily managed to print my boarding pass from one of the self-serve check-in kiosks. There was no queue whatsoever at security and I was landside in the domestic terminal within minutes.
Just like the international departures area of Terminal 3, the domestic departures hall is bright, shiny and absolutely massive. The domestic terminal is shaped like the letter L and walking from one end to the other can take quite a while!
Walking distances are sometimes so big that there are even some sort of golf carts in use for the elderly or passengers with mobility problems. When I visited, the service was available for free, which is certainly a nice touch!
If you do not have lounge access, Terminal 3 is not a bad place to spend some time as there were a couple of decent-looking cafés and restaurants to sit down for a while, as well as plenty of shops to browse through.
Garuda lounge entrance requirement
The Garuda Indonesia Business Lounge is just a short walk away from the moment you have cleared security and find yourself airside in the domestic terminal.
Business class passengers, as well as Sky Team Elite Plus members get complimentary access to the domestic lounge.
Priority Pass and other lounge membership cards are not accepted at the Garuda Indonesia Lounge, although there are some contract lounges you can use instead as a passholder.
A friendly, welcoming lounge attendant had a brief glance at my boarding pass and welcomed me into the lounge.
Inside Garuda’s domestic business lounge
My first impressions of the lounge were certainly not bad. Given the sheer size of Indonesia’s archipelago, Garuda has dozens of daily domestic departures.
The sizeable lounge surely reflected this, as the Garuda Indonesia business lounge certainly felt among the largest domestic lounges I have ever visited.
Even though it was fairly crowded inside, there were plenty of comfortable seats available to relax, as well as some dining tables for those wanting to eat something from the buffet.
Just like Garuda’s international business lounge in Terminal 3, the lounge itself is located on a mezzanine level overlooking the terminal. Although there aren’t any direct tarmac views, there was plenty of natural light.
Aesthetically speaking, I would say the lounge is rather functional. Apart from a few artworks on the wall it has a forgettable interior design.
One thing which the Garuda Indonesia Lounge does extremely well is its buffet. The food buffet was simply huge and I found it quite impressive for a domestic lounge!
At my arrival in the lounge, the breakfast selection was still out, but throughout my stay some dishes were slowly replaced by more typical lunch food.
Most of the food was obviously Indonesian – with only a limited amount of international (Western) dishes available. Even though I already ad some breakfast, I tasted some of the food for review purposes.
Although I wasn’t too impressed with the quality and taste of the Western breakfast food, which tasted like it was cooked days before, the Indonesian dishes were much more fresh and flavourful and actually good quality.
The predominantly Indonesian passengers were for sure enjoying the food and made repeat visits to the buffet to scoop up more, so it indeed seemed like the food hit the right spot.
If you don’t have breakfast at your hotel, or you didn’t have lunch or dinner yet in Jakarta, then the buffet at Garuda’s domestic lounge is surely a good substitute.
There are plenty of soft drinks, juices and tea and coffee available from the self-serve fridges and beverage stations.
Do however note that the Garuda Domestic Business Lounge does not serve alcohol, although this is something that seemingly counts for all domestic airport lounges in Indonesia.
Other lounge facilities
WiFi internet was relatively fast and reliable, and there were enough power sockets in the lounge to charge your electronic appliances.
The lounge was kept perfectly clean by the staff, which regularly passed by to clear plates and glasses. Restrooms were clean and plentiful too, and there are reportedly also a few (very basic!) shower cubicles available.
For a domestic business lounge, the Garuda Indonesia lounge at Jakarta Airport’s Terminal 3 is certainly large in size. This is a vast lounge with plenty of seats, which doesn’t come as a surprise given the size of Garuda’s domestic flight network.
Although the lounge in itself is rather forgettable and unassuming in its décor, it does have a few positive aspects.
First of all, the lounge makes for a calm area to sit for an hour or two before your flight. With reliable WiFi internet and more than enough power sockets, it isn’t a bad place really to have a drink, check your email and social media accounts or to get some work done.
By far the most impressive part of the lounge is the buffet, which certainly is large enough in size to shame many hotel breakfast buffets. The quality of the Indonesian food is good, although I did not find the Western food options very appealing.
If you are flying in economy class or just didn’t have breakfast, lunch or dinner yet, the lounge buffet makes a perfect alternative for any meal.
The only downside is the lack of booze inside the lounge, although this is something which counts for all domestic airport lounges I ever visited in Indonesia, so I wouldn’t be surprised if some kind of law forbids it or so.
Although I wouldn’t go out of my way to get to the airport early just to visit Garuda’s domestic lounge, it certainly is not a bad place to spend some time in before your flight.
Trip report index
This article is part of the ‘Journey to Java‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:
1. Review: Wizz Air Bucharest to Rome Ciampino (Airbus A321)
2. Half a Day in Rome: A Walk Around the Eternal City
3. Review: Casa Alitalia Lounge ‘Piazza di Spagna’ Rome Fiumicino Airport
4. Review: Saudia Business Class Rome to Riyadh (Airbus A320)
5. Review: Saudia Alfursan Business Lounge Riyadh Airport
6. Review: Saudia Business Class Riyadh to Jakarta (Boeing 777-300)
7. Review: The Hermitage, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia
8. A Day in Jakarta: Exploring Indonesia’s Bustling Capital City
9. Review: Garuda Indonesia Domestic Business Lounge Jakarta Airport (current chapter)
10. Review: Garuda Indonesia Business Class Jakarta to Yogyakarta (Boeing 737-800)
11. Review: The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta – Mgallery By Sofitel
12. A Magical Sunrise Visit to Borobudur Temple
13. A Visit to the Great Hindu Temple Complex of Prambanan
14. Review: Yogyakarta to Surabaya (Indonesia) by Train
15. Review: Majapahit Hotel, Surabaya, Indonesia
16. A Day in Surabaya: Exploring Indonesia’s Second Biggest City
17. Review: Concordia Premier Lounge Surabaya Airport
18: Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class Surabaya to Singapore (Airbus A330-300)
19. A Short Singapore Stopover: Into the City or Stay at the Airport?
20. Review: SilverKris Lounge Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2
21. Review: Singapore Airlines business class Singapore to Manila (Boeing 787-10)
22. Review: PAGSS Lounge Manila Airport Terminal 1 Gate 2
23. Review: China Airlines economy class Manila to Taipei (Airbus A330-300)
24. Review: China Airlines Business Lounge Taipei Airport Terminal 1
25. Review: China Airlines Economy Class Taipei to Rome (Airbus A350)
26. Review: TAROM economy class Rome to Bucharest (Boeing 737-700)