Garuda domestic flights

Sep 17th, 2006, 01:18 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 245
Garuda domestic flights

Am trying to get an idea of time schedules and available flights, etc for the leg Solo-Surabaya. Garuda site is irresponsive. Anyone who knows how to get to time schedules for this flight (morning or afternoon? frequency?)
cram is offline  
Sep 17th, 2006, 01:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,541
I called their agent in NY. Their website will give you contact numbers for different countries and cities. Be aware that when flying Garuda, be prepared for schedules that change. Indonesia runs on "rubber time" and just because a flight is supposed to leave at 1pm doesn't mean it won't leave two hours earlier instead. You need to be flexible with your plans.
laurieco is offline  
Sep 17th, 2006, 06:48 PM
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Actually, I've been flying around Indonesia a lot lately, and haven't experienced the kinds of delays that were indeed common 4 or 5 years ago.

On the Garuda web site, I've found the form on the home page generally doesn't work, but clicking on the 'schedules' link will get you the information you're probably looking for.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Sep 17th, 2006, 09:25 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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cram, According to my OAG book Garuda doesn't fly from Solo to Surabaya.
The only non-stop is a Sriwijiya Air flight(SJ266) that flies everyday at 0830.

Choices from Yogya are
JT8560 0705 Lion Airlines, every day
7P231 1220 Batavia Air, every day

These are all small domestic airlines. I don't have any opinion about them one way or another, except to second laurieco's observation that flights are commonly delayed and/or cancelled.

The best way to get a confirmed reservation is to go through a travel agent in Indonesia or another Asian city. I use Smailings but I'd want to stress that this isn't a personal endorsement. As far as I'm concerned they're inconsistent at best.

I'd also note that the official name for Solo is Surakarta and sometimes it is listed under this name.

I fly Garuda about once a month. 9 times out of 10 they're on time, but that 10th time can really set you back.
marmot is offline  
Sep 17th, 2006, 10:20 PM
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Thks. So, should I then maybe consider to get from Solo to Surabaya by car? Probably a full day trip. But it is maybe better than taking the risk of sitting around an airport for the better part of the day, waiting for a small domestic airline's plane that does not turn up. I'd take the chance if Garuda flew from either Solo or Yogya to Surabaya, but that does not seem to be the case.
cram is offline  
Sep 17th, 2006, 11:03 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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cram, It's difficult to advise. Everyday thousands of people fly these small regional airlines. Their safety record is good and evidently their reliability is acceptable as they manage to stay in business. It's simply the only way to get around the archipeligo.

As I wrote on your other thread getting someone to drive you from one city to another in Indonesia is not so easy either. People just don't often go outside their home area and when they do they're prone to get lost.

What I'd do is try calling a big hotel in Yogya (like the Hyatt) and ask the concierge about getting a car and driver from Yogya to Surabaya. This would give you an idea of the time and expense involved.

If you're more comfortable with Garuda, then you could always go back to Jakarta and fly Jakarta to Surabaya. Cumbersome, yes, but a lot less so than driving.

Another option is the train which are fairly reliable in Java, though definitely not deluxe.
marmot is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 05:34 AM
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You're right. I should maybe re-arrange things a bit, for instance like this:
- from Yogya/Solo to Malang, passing by Patanaran for a stop of a couple of hours underway.
- the Malang area
- from Malang to Bondowoso for Kawah Ijen
- from there along the coast to the Probolinggo area for access to Bromo
- from Bromo to Surabaya and fly out.
Probably Solo-Malang and Malang Bondowoso are driving trips of 6-7 hours. But if there is here or there a stop in between and the village life and landscape is nice, why not? It is maybe preferable to spending hours on end in an airport, waiting and doubting. I understand giving advice is difficult in this. But, is the above feasible? And is the assumption of drives of 6-7 hours more or less correct? I suppose that if we get ourselves organized with an agency, getting a car and a knowledgeable driver will not be a major difficulty. It has not been in any of the SEA countries where I visited.
cram is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 05:24 PM
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cram, I think you've really nailed the contradiction: being driven throughout Java is profoundly meditative -- volcanos, rice paddies, charming villages -- but finding a knowledgeable driver with a reliable vehicle WILL be a major difficulty.

People tend to stay in their own neighborhoods. They know how to find the important tourist sites -- for example any driver in Yogya will know how to find Borobudur -- but they will not have had much experience outside of their comfort zone.

So the chance of finding someone in Malang who has actually ever been to Bondowoso is slim. You'd be better off contracting with your hotel in Bondowoso (for example) and asking them to arrange someone to pick you up. At least that way they wouldn't have to learn the route with you in the backseat.

The major highways in Java are generally well maintained (except when they're under 10 square miles of toxic mud!). Driving is erratic and even to me who should be used to it, terrifying. The big long distance buses own the road and head on collisions are common.

Bear in mind that there is no AAA in Java. A breakdown means you're stuck until another driver fetches you.

Driving times? I haven't actually done it so I hesitate to predict. Maps are fairly usely as indicators as roads often don't actually exist and mountains have a habit of popping up unexpectedly. I know it's hard to believe but I have never found an Indonesian driver who knows how to read a map.

I'd suggest that you look at a train schedule and add 50% to the train time.

As a point of comparison I often drive from Ungaran which is just south of Semarang to the Borobudur area. If you look at this on a may it seems as if it should be a simple 2 hour drive.

Well, actually it takes about 4 hours and I can't tell you how many times the Ungaran drivers have been unable to find Borobudur! Then they start asking directions from some old guy standing by the side of road smoking a cheroot and in no time we're halfway to Malaysia.

Well, Cram, believe it or not, I'm not trying to discourage you from your itinerary. I have no doubt that you'll have the trip of a lifetime in a fascinating and beautiful part of the world. People will treat you with unbounded hospitality and you will be charmed and amazed. A well developed sense of humor helps pass the time.

Just be prepared for delay.

PS, If you do find a smart and resourceful driver with a passable car, keep him with you even if it means paying his room and board. He'll be happy to stay at a local guesthouse and eat cheap. His monthy salary will be under US$100 so economically you will be able to work something out that benefits both of you.
marmot is offline  
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