Garuda Indonesia is known for having one of the world’s best first class products. For those of us who are miles & points junkies, unfortunately it’s also one of the more unattainable products on miles, given that the only way to redeem miles for their first class is directly through Garuda’s program, and it isn’t cheap.
So I’m always on the lookout for cheap Garuda first class fares, as I’d love to review their product (a while back Nick reviewed the product between Amsterdam and London, though that route has been discontinued).
The cheapest longhaul Garuda first class fare I’ve seen in the past six months has been between Sydney and London, which prices out at ~3,640USD one-way. That includes the connection from Sydney to Jakarta in business class, and then the first class flight from Jakarta to London via Singapore.
However, that’s still a lot of money, and it’s only one longhaul flight in Garuda’s first class.
Well, it looks like Garuda Indonesia is having a first class fare sale at the moment, which features the best roundtrip first class fares I’ve ever seen on them.
The fare is for travel from Jakarta to either Amsterdam or London, and seems to be valid for travel through the end of the year. Note that this fare isn’t valid in the other direction (so it’s not valid if originating in London or Amsterdam), and the fare also doesn’t show on ITA Matrix or Google Flights (you have to search directly through Garuda’s website).
You can fly roundtrip first class from Jakarta to Europe on Garuda Indonesia for ~3,480USD.
Of course that’s still a lot of money, but for two 13-14 hour flights, that’s a really good deal, and certainly as good as it gets on Garuda. Garuda’s first class cabin consists of eight fully enclosed suites, so it’s a very good hard product.
Garuda Indonesia first class, per my friend @kellydaoud
However, it’s apparently the soft product that sets the airline apart, both on the ground and in the air. I’ve heard rumors that Garuda’s first class product is slipping a bit, though I’d like to experience it firsthand.
This roundtrip first class fare on Garuda is as good as it gets. I’ve been waiting for a Garuda first class fare sale, and ultimately this is a price I’m comfortable with, since I’d like to review Garuda first class and I don’t think the fare will get any lower.
My only frustration is that the fare only seems to be valid through the end of the year. I’ve sort of issued myself a ban on longhaul travel for the rest of the year beyond what I already have booked, as I’ve been flying too much. I was thinking of one last trip to Europe in December, and if this fare were valid out of Europe I might add on a quick roundtrip to Asia.
However, positioning to Jakarta takes a lot more time than positioning to London or Amsterdam. Furthermore, I feel like I’ve reviewed most products between the US and Asia at this point, so I can’t think of any especially compelling flights between the US and Jakarta without complicating this too much.
What to do, what to do…
Hopefully some of you can take advantage of this fare, especially those based in Asia.
Any first class junkie tempted by this great Garuda Indonesia fare?
(Tip of the hat to Euc-)