2018 – Part 71 – Bali

With just around 6 hours between our flights in Bali, we had one final debate of what to do as we left the aircraft and entered the warm humid [air-conditioned] area of Bali airport.  Enter the country and go exploring for a few hours?  Or transit immediately for our next flight and hang out in an leisure destination airport?

would have been nice, but…

The appeal to truly step out of the airport, hire a driver for a few hours was very appealing to me, however three things prevented us from doing it:

  • We had no idea of what to do and see in our time available
  • Supposedly the line for immigration could take a lot of time, and,
  • We’d have to venture away from air conditioned comfort (more on that soon enough)

Airport transit

Transiting through Bali is straight-forward. 

Before you arrive at immigration is a small area facing the gates for transit.  Here we presented our boarding passes, and then were allowed through security screening.  Once complete we took the escalator up and we were in the departure level between gates 1 and 2.

This experience was quick because we were the only people going through transit.  In total, in less than 10 minutes we were in the departure area.

Bali Airport

The airport is designed with one main thoroughfare after security that took passengers on a serpentine path past all the duty free shops before arriving at gates 1 & 2.  The gates are in one row, so if you have a flight departing from a high numbered gate, there is a good 5-10 minute walk before reaching your gate area.

As we arrived at the end of the store maze we went against traffic and walked by the shops.

Satisfied with our walk around the shops we headed upstairs.

Lounge Report of Garuda Indonesia in Bali

Choices to get to the upper level is either by a tiny elevator or a staircase.  I had read prior reports that access for KLM passengers was with Premier Lounge.  Just before we headed in I noticed there was no KLM logo listed on their signboard.  Sure enough, KLM uses Garuda’s lounge.  We made the short walk over and we welcomed into the lounge.

Given the time of day the lounge was almost deserted.  This was a good thing as the lounge was undergoing renovation works.

A large section of the business class side was closed off for the renovation works.

With it being the weekend, there was no noise as there wasn’t any work occurring, however due to the location of the works, the only washrooms available were the first class washrooms, which were actually showers.

We found a spot to sit on the far side of the lounge.  There was a gigantic air conditioner around a set of chairs. 

I quickly figured out how to set the temperature on maximum, as the temperature in the airport was warm and humid.  Compared to outside it was probably quite comfortable, however for us who always run warm, we wanted North American style air conditioning.  She found a way to get the vents pointed at her to make the most of the cooler air coming from the machine.


After good food on board, neither of us were hungry, and I was personally confused by their approach to the food setup.  Warm items didn’t seem that warm, and cold items didn’t seem to be cold enough.  Not wanting to risk anything I stuck to a few of the simple items to enjoy as a snack.

Seating Area

I didn’t take any pictures of the first class area when I used the washroom, however all business class seating was along the railing that is open to the terminal.

During our stay in the lounge she did say “if this [temperature in the airport] is what is considered air conditioning, I’m very happy we didn’t go outside”.  This inspired me to articulate her statement in another way:

After the sunset, the lounge started to fill with passengers for upcoming flights.  Given the time zone difference another passenger changed the channel on the TV to the event of the day — the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.  With our inbound flight delayed (just a little) we were able to watch the beginning of the ceremony, however had to leave to catch our flight.

During our stopover, I did exit the lounge to walk the terminal a few times.  When I stopped in the washroom, I just had to take a picture of the decor:

A few more shots from the terminal:

After arriving at our gate it wasn’t long until the pre-boarding call for families with small children, and those in wheelchairs was made, and our turn to board was next.

Read more about our trip by clicking here.

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