Our Globetrotters are reviewing 30 of the world’s leading international airlines for their family-friendliness. Our reviews cover the airline’s policies and service offerings that the average family will deal with when flying standard economy class. For more details on the Our Globetrotters reviews and ratings referenced, please see the lead article.
Another holder of the coveted Skytrax 5-star airline rating, Garuda Indonesia comes in ranked 11th favourite international airline in the Passenger Choice Awards 2016 (down from previous years), but number 1 for World’s best cabin staff. I am unfortunately a sceptic of this airline but here are the facts;
Skytrax Rating 2016: 11
JACDEC Safety Rating 2015: 58
Garuda’s Pregnancy Policy
Expectant mothers with a single or multiple pregnancy, of normal health with no complications are accepted up to 32 weeks without restriction (but to the contrary their website then states that all expectant mothers should fill in a medical information form and contact reservations).
Pregnancies with complications can be accepted with restrictions; medical clearance must be obtained 7 days prior to the commencement of travel and signed by Garuda’s appointed physician.
It does not explicitly state whether passengers can be accepted over 32 weeks at all, you would need to contact reservations to confirm.
Travel within 7 days after birth is not recommended. Premature babies will be treated as MEDA and handled as an incapacitated passenger.
Infants (under 2 years)
Infants are accepted from 7 days to 2 years and pay 10% of the adult fare, they must travel with one adult passenger.
Amenities for infants include Heinz baby food, pack with wipes and nappies.
Strollers cannot be taken on board and they recommend you check these items, but if needed up until boarding you can leave at the gate, allow 45 minutes before the flight so there is time for ground staff to stow.
Garuda Baby Bassinets
There are a limited number of “baby cradles” on each flight which are available first come, first served, these must be booked ‘well in advance’. Suitable maximum weight is 9kg but no dimensions are given. They are only available when flying wide-bodied aircraft so check this when making your booking.
Children (2-11 years)
In most cases, children’s fares are charged at 75% of the full adult fare.
Children’s meals can be ordered in advance; they include food items generally enjoyed by children and are served in a special design box.
There is very limited information on any other amenities available to children.
Between 7 and 12 years old children can fly as UM’s. The child must be in good health, they must have valid passport and no overnight stops are allowed. Reservations must be made in advance for their service and some minors may require an escort (no further information could be found on who those ‘some minors’ are).
Infants paying a 10% ticket get 10Kg (22lbs) checked luggage allowance as well as 1 checked or carry on, fully collapsible stroller/pushchair or infant basket or infant car seat, which may be carried in the passenger cabin subject to the availability of space.
Children paying a 75% fare get the full adult allowance of 20kg (44lbs) – however elsewhere there are indications that since November 2014 all luggage allowances have been increased by 10kg (except infants in economy).
Frequent Flyer Programs
There is a Garuda Miles Junior program for children 2 to 11 years (they only earn 75% of Adult Garuda Miles). After 12 years old children can upgrade to Garuda Miles Blue. Applications appear to need to be made at the airport not online. There is no obvious mention of family pooling or transfer policy.
The Globetrotters View
There is really nothing exciting here for me. I must say I still have a vivid childhood memory of hearing news on the radio that Garuda Airline pilots tried to land a plane on Horrie Miller Driver in Perth – the road to the airport, not the runway; I have never had faith to book a Garuda flight since!
That said this was many years ago and I’m sure a lot has changed – though they do rank pretty low in the JACDEC safety ratings at 58 and have a very checkered past when it comes to aviation safety, including being banned from flying to the EU for several years due to safety concerns. They clearly have some satisfied customers with good rankings with both Skytrax and Trip Advisor but I can’t help but remain sceptical.
Their family policies all seem standard, if anything a little lacking on information they make available – much of my research for this airline I had to find from sources other than the airline’s own website as I just couldn’t find the information, or where it was available, there was further statements to the contrary elsewhere on the website. Additionally, their frequent flyer points don’t allow pooling and children don’t earn the full rate either. This airline is hit or miss for me, I would only look into them further if pricing and flight routes/timings were paramount.
Check out our reader review of Garuda Indonesia Flying With Kids
Things to do in Bali
Disclaimer: The information provided on this page should be used as a guide only. It has been gathered from public sources and correct at the time of going to print (May 2015). Please consult the airlines own website before booking any family travel with this airline. This review is not an endorsement of Garuda Indonesia’s services and I am in no way affiliated with the airline.
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Have you flown pregnant or with infants/children on Garuda? Do you have a review or advice to share with travelling families?
Don’t forget to check out our Flying with Kids home page or what about our advice on how to travel with 2 or more kids
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