Within a couple of minutes, I had my bags checked in at Sydney Airport for my 10am Garuda Indonesia flight to Denpasar.
Thankfully the lines at customs also moved quickly and I made my way straight through to my gate, where I surfed the net on a free-to-use computer terminal.
The boarding gates opened on time and I was soon making my way into my first ever Garuda Indonesia flight.
The heartfelt hospitality of which the Balinese are world-renowned was in full force from the moment I stepped aboard the GA 715 flight to Denpasar.
I was welcomed aboard the Airbus A330-300 aircraft with a glass of orange juice and a wide range of newspapers.
I took stock of my surroundings as soon as I was comfortably seated (16F).
The Economy class seats are laid out in a 2-4-2 configuration and they feature ample leg-room (the best I’ve ever seen in economy class).
Immediately after take-off the air conditioner kicked into overdrive and I was served another drink and a packet of salted peanuts.
I was a little bit disappointed to find that the aircraft didn’t feature personal video monitors as I personally think they should be a given on any mid to long-haul flight.
I had to make do with the small cabin monitor, which was a bit to far away for my poor short-sighted eyes.
However, as I had forgotten to bring a book with me I decided to make do and give the movie a go.
Luckily I did, as the movie “Yes Man” starring Jim Carrey was absolutley hilarious and it was funny to look around the cabin and see the other passengers laughing at the same points in the movie, like we were all sharing in a private joke.
As I was watching the movie our meal was served, I chose the Beef in Oyster sauce with rice and vegetables, which was delicious.
The main was accompanied by a salad, bread and crackers, and a slice of cheese-cake.
I decided not to try the cheesecake (as it looked like it had seen better days) but thankfully the flight attendants handed out a delectable chocolate icecream shortly after they cleared away our lunch.
I decided to get some sleep after lunch, and had to wrap myself in a warm blanket as the main air conditioner was blasting freezing cold air straight down on me.
The extra leg room was much appreciated at this point as it made it so much more comfortable for me to catch some Z’s.
Before I knew it I was woken by the sound of our captain announcing our descent into Denpasar.
The whole process of clearing customs at Bali airport is quite arduous and you have to pay for a visa on arrival.
I was given a 30-day visa (even though I am only staying for a week) and was asked to pay 40 US dollars.
When I pointed out their mistake I was refunded the money and given a 7-day visa – so my advice is to be very careful when clearing customs and to read every document you are given thoroughly before you sign anything.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F