I’ve written quite a bit lately about Garuda Indonesia, the newest SkyTeam member airline.
In the past they’ve had a horrible reputation, though the past few years they’ve been working hard to try and turn that around.
Possibly what’s most impressive about them are their new Boeing 777-300ERs, which look state of the art.
Garuda Indonesia first class 777-300ER
Garuda Indonesia business class 777-300ER
But beyond the hard product, the soft product really looks borderline revolutionary. Check out this trip report someone wrote on airliners.net about a flight in Garuda Indonesia’s first class between Jakarta and Amsterdam. I don’t think I’ve ever read about (or experienced) such personalized service on a commercial plane.
So what’s the best way to redeem miles for Garuda Indonesia first class? Well, Citi ThankYou points do transfer to Garuda Indonesia, so you can redeem those points for Garuda Indonesia first class. Unfortunately their redemption rates aren’t very lucrative, though.
Also, in theory you should be able to redeem Korean Air SkyPass miles for travel in Garuda Indonesia first class, given that Korean Air allows redemptions in first class on partner airlines. Unfortunately SkyPass doesn’t seem to have access to the first class award fare code for travel on Garuda Indonesia. I’m not sure if that’s an oversight or intentional, though I’m leaning towards the former, to be honest.
But here’s one fun way to try Garuda Indonesia’s first or business class — they recently launched service between Jakarta and Amsterdam, with continuing service to London Gatwick. Garuda Indonesia has pick up rights on the flight between Amsterdam and London, so in theory you can book them on that segment alone.
The one way business class fare between Amsterdam and London is £144, which is about half the price of what British Airways charges for Club Europe (which is basically economy with a blocked middle seat).
Meanwhile first class costs £266, which is only marginally more expensive than British Airways Club Europe.
The catch here is that this is literally a 40 minute flight, so chances are you won’t really get the “full” Garuda Indonesia experience.
That being said, if you’re on an award ticket between the US and Europe, this seems like a fun segment to include. For example, if you’re traveling from the US to London via Amsterdam, instead of flying KLM between Amsterdam and London, you might as well add in travel on Garuda Indonesia — seems more fun anyway, and award space is wide open in business class with Delta SkyMiles.
If you are interested in the flight, it operates with the following schedule on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays:
GA88 Amsterdam to London departing 11:50AM arriving 11:55AM
GA89 London to Amsterdam departing 1:10PM arriving 3:15PM
Has anyone flown Garuda Indonesia between Amsterdam and London yet?
(Tip of the hat to Head for Points)