The Best Garuda Indonesia First Class Fare I’ve Seen

For those of us who like to sample the world’s best first class products, the good news is that most of the best products are easily attainable using miles. There are two exceptions which come to mind:

Fortunately I’ve had the opportunity to fly Air France first class, and found it to be great. But I still haven’t flown Garuda Indonesia first class. The product looks stunning, between the fantastic hard product and the supposedly industry leading soft product.

So while I’d love to review Garuda Indonesia first class, I just haven’t yet found a practical way to do so.

Well, a couple of days ago my friend Kelly was posting some pictures on Instagram of a Garuda Indonesia first class cabin. And the pictures were taken in Jakarta, so he wasn’t just on the Amsterdam to London flight, which is the cheapest way to try out the product (though also doesn’t give you the full experience).

I mean, who wouldn’t salivate over these pictures?

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0048.

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Of course I messaged him in a split second asking how on earth he managed to book that ticket. And he was kind enough to share that Garuda Indonesia seems to have decent first class fares out of Melbourne, Australia. Now this is by no means a “cheap” ticket, but it is the best value I’ve ever seen for Garuda Indonesia’s longhaul first class.

The fare from Melbourne to London via Jakarta and Amsterdam (with the first segment in business class and remainder of the itinerary in first class) is ~$2,800.

Garuda-First-Fare-1

For comparison, the Jakarta to Amsterdam to London flight alone would cost over $4,000.

Garuda-First-Fare-2

The catch is that this fare expires in March, when Garuda Indonesia is cutting that particular route. They’re replacing the Jakarta to Amsterdam to London flight with a Jakarta to Singapore to London flight, and will operate a separate flight to Amsterdam. So the amount of time left to take advantage of this fare is limited.

Bottom line

On one hand, ~$2,800 is a lot of cash to spend on a first class flight. On the other hand, my goal is to try as many products as possible. In addition to the actual fare, I’d also have to position to Melbourne and from London. I suppose I could review Air Tahiti Nui enroute to Australia and Iberia on the way home from London, though it would still be a hell of a routing.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0050.

What do you guys think — is the fare good enough to jump on, or is it not worth it at that price? Anyone know of a better Garuda Indonesia first class fare? I’m all ears!

(Thanks again to @kellydaoud for sharing the above pictures and fare)

Comments

  1. Worth it! That’s almost 16 hours in one of the world’s top first class products. One which you have not flown yet. Only 4¢ a second!

  2. What’s the point to review a product if it’s not attainable for the vast majority of your blog readers? If you focus on premium products which are easily bookable with miles, then it would be relevant and interesting.

  3. I’d love to see trip reports on all those products, so my vote is to go for it, but that’s easy for me to say since I’m not paying for it out of my pocket.

  4. Hi Ben,

    When I select Melbourne as the origin and London Gatwick as the destination on the Garuda website for mid-March, and I try to select the class, I find that First Class is greyed out and not selectable.

    Has anyone else noticed this ?
    And are there any solutions ?

    I happen to be from Melbourne, Australia so this flight is a goer for me.

  5. Sounds like they’re expanding routes. Possible for future premium class deals that people could look to in the future.

  6. So this will not be bookable to either LGW or AMS once they split the flights, as of now?

    Do they make it cheap because of the inconvenience of two connections? Otherwise, why would they just expire the fare?

  7. Book it with your fav cc. You have enough funding from all the reader cc signups through your blogs.

  8. I think you should give it a try, you get to experience both business and first, and perhaps the lounge at CGK as well (though not the limousine ride). And if it hasn’t convince you, maybe you can ask for a krug or simply anyhing during the flight (one of the trip reports said that they will provide you with almost anything you ask)

  9. Absolutely worth it! You always talk about it with such reverence – you’ll be so happy you did! And you can say absolutely honestly that you have been on ALL of the world’s top airlines.

  10. Yes! See how much krug the first class call center will allow you to have. Seriously they have a first class call center and you’re still questioning it?

  11. You have to take one for the team Ben 🙂 go for it! I cannot wait for the review, wasn’t it a few years back that Garuda was to be avoided for your own safety?

  12. Other exception would be SWISS, no? M&M SEN is a pretty high bar… AF just requires 25k status, right?

  13. Oh, yes. Do it. That is an extraordinary fare. I bet there would be a flood of people to OMAAT just to read a Garuda first review; perhaps there would even be enough clicks to justify the out-of-pocket expense.

    And I also bet that–being the commercial aviation geek that you are–you would kick yourself in the future if you did not take advantage of this great opportunity.

    Garuda’s first class has such a mystique that it would be an absolute joy to read of your impressions.

  14. I have to admit, I would have nothing against the price (especially if you’re paying :-))… But… The product really doesn’t look that exceptional, in my opinion. I can see on breaking consensus here, obviously. A lot of champagne going around, but everything else looks a little ropey!

    So, after a bit of consideration, I’m putting myself in the “you’d be mad” category. That said, I’d be one of the most eager to read the review!!

  15. A cheaper way is ex-PER using the same J/F combo. Pricing at ~$2360. They use a 738 on the PER-CGK, however the fare also allows PER-DPS-CGK using a A330-300 which offers flatbeds, as compared to the -200s ex-MEL which are angled.

  16. YES! DO it!

    I’m Indonesian, and I’m looking forward for you to review the Garuda Indonesia F class and to compare it with other Asian and Gulf carriers F class.

  17. Go for it!

    How about you combine this with a trip to Longyearbyen? From LHR it is only one short stop in Oslo away. And then LYR(-TOS)-OSL(-CPH/ARN)-EWR/IAD/SFO/ORD in SAS’ new business class?

  18. I vote YES! Once in a lifetime price. First Class on AF to Africa or Asia regularly cost about 10k. 2.8k is a cheap price for a revenue business class ticket. And it’s a nice long route!

  19. Yes, for you definitely. I mean, it is your job and it is more a less just a business expense in order to be “up to date” about the different first class products!

    ( God, your life is awesome 😉 )

  20. I’ve keyed in MEL – LGW in via Kayak, Google Matrix etc and don’t see anything this cheap? Closest I could find was $4049

  21. You should have set up a poll below the post with these options:

    1) Should I do it?
    2) Screw anyone that doesn’t think so, I’m gonna do it anyway !!!

  22. I don’t believe Air Tahiti Nui flies to MEL, but it does fly to AKL. 😉
    Given the time constraint, go for it! However, one thing I’ve admired about your blog is how you use miles/points to redeem for F/J cabins. You know you can transfer Citi ThankYou points to Garuda’s frequent flyer program — why not do that?

  23. Lucky: “On one hand, ~$2,800 is a lot of cash to spend on a first class flight.”

    You are joking right? ~$2,800 for a Business/First Class combo ultra long haul flights (going to the other side of the world no less) is rather minuscule compared to similar fares on this route. It often gets said here on OMAAT that you earn millions from your blogging, so seems weird you are dithering on cost.

    That said, seems from other posters here, people are having trouble booking that combo at that price. Definitely one of your more stranger articles.

  24. First i want to say I’m David who has posted comments before, but not the troll David who i see posts terrible things frequently!

    I was looking the other day randomly and saw a fare from DPS-NRT for ~$3,000 in June. Its not as long of a flight, but if you wnt to experience Garuda, this would be a little cheaper option.

  25. Yes do it!!! I am Indonesian and sadly I have never had the chance to fly Garuda since the company restructuring. I will be interested to see what you think of the entire experience.

  26. Thanks for the idea! this is exactly the flight I was looking for…but different. I was baffled searching for the perfect itinerary from Sydney to Cologne. Booking SYD=>AMS right now over the phone because I couldn’t replicate it on the Garuda website. So stoked. I mean chuffed.

  27. Do it! I flew them in business last year ICN-DPS and loved the flight even with their angled flat seats. Food (especially the presentation) was some of the best I’ve ever had in a biz class product. Imagine first would be amazing!

  28. Use Expedia.com.au. You must use the Aussie site. NRT-DPS is another bargain route for Garuda F. Looking forward to the TR.

  29. Hi Ben,

    I glad to see your interest to fly on the flagship product of Garuda Indonesia, the flag carrier airline of my country, though I’ve never flown on Garuda Indonesia’s first class, I’ve read in this blog (http://thepointsguy.com/2015/09/garuda-indonesia-business-class-review/) if Garuda Indonesia flights can be redeemed with Delta SkyMiles. So, if you have Delta SkyMiles frequent flyer, you may book Garuda Indonesia first class flight. I hope this helps, thank you.

  30. I’m not sure of the pricing, but there is a NRT-DPS route operated by a 777 with F, but It is only 6h 55m though, so it’s a bit short, but then again, it would allow you to visit Bali again, which would be awesome!

  31. Great fares from London to Australia but not from Australia to London rtn. Shafted yet again. The Black Friday deals only appear if you use GA uk site, nothing on AU site.

  32. I am one of the lucky people who has flown Garuda First Class from Jakarta to London and back from Amsterdam, and I can tell you that this is THE best experience I have ever had. The service both on the ground and in the air was fabulous and since I always travel first class, I can speak from experience. The staff on board the aircraft was amazing in their attention to my needs and everytime I woke up during the flight there was someone there to see what I needed. The flight I was on even had a Chef on board and 3 different menus to choose from. Western food, Indonesian food and Japanese food, simply amazing.
    On the ground I was treated like royalty, with personal escort on and off the flight, whilst in Amsterdam on the stopover to London a late model Audi was waiting at the front of the plane, to take me to and from the first class lounge.
    What a treat, and what service. Beats all of the other airlines I have flown with, hands down, since even in first class the staff on some of the mid eastern airlines tend to wait until you call them before they come. It is in some cases almost as if they are doing you a favour in taking care of you, and normally the flights are nearly double the price of Garuda.
    Only complaint (and a minor one at that) is that the sleep suits (pajamas) provided in Garuda 1st class have been designed for Indonesian men, and even the XL size did not eve go close to fitting my 6ft3 frame.
    Give yourself a thrill, and go Garuda 1st class. Remember there are no pockets in a shroud!!

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