The Best Garuda Indonesia First Class Roundtrip Fare I’ve Ever Seen

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.

first-class-fare-1

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.

garuda-indonesia-first-class-1 garuda-indonesia-first-class-2

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.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0048.
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.

Bottom line

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-)

Comments

  1. Thanks Lucky! Just booked me and my family tickets. Instantly got an email from the concierge as well!

  2. Do it Lucky! You have no idea when you’ll have the opportunity next to review them. (And also, I really wanna read a review of GA F longhaul

  3. Do a massive trip, something like:
    LAX-SYD – VA J, SYD-CGK QF A330 J, CGK-AMS F, KLM AMS-LAX. Shouldn’t be too hard to do last minute on award tickets

  4. Why not turn it into another fun vacation with Ford or a friend if he’a not available? I don’t think the long flights are the problem by themselves, I think it’s the short turnaround time between them. Give yourself a couple of days between flights and you’ll be fine.

    Don’t do it for us, but if you don’t book it I think you’ll regret it.

  5. I was struck by your prediction that the fares are unlikely to go down. Would you develop that point please?

  6. Try Philippine Airlines for a new experience from HNL, LAX, SFO or JFK to MNL then transfer there to CGK!

  7. Wow. You are loaded. Time for a trip with ford again. This luxury is meaningless without a squeeze besides you.

  8. I think you should go for it, just give yourself time between flights. You should do Philippine Airlines J LAX-MNL-CGK, this fare, and then Kuwait J CGK-KWI-CAI, and then EgyptAir CAI-JFK. It would be a great read!

  9. Being Bali-based we just picked up business class tickets at a recent travel fair to Japan on Garuda for $950/return, which we consider a steal. This week we travel the return portion of the fantastic business class promo you’d featured on Oman Air, which has a first class business class.

  10. Fly DL to Tokyo on their 747 and take JAL first class down to CGK (you haven’t flown them in a year and a half), rest in Jakarta, then do it. When you’re back grab a cheap fare CGK-HKG-LGW on the A350 or something. LHR-LAX on AA. Never have to leave a reverse herringbone seat or first class suite.

  11. There is also a new CGK-SYD route operated by SQ beginning 11/23 in a 777-200 with first class, and CGK finally has a new terminal that opened in the last couple months that is more comparable with what other country capitals already have. Will be interesting to see the difference in ground experience especially after your awful transfer experience a while back (I’m apologizing on behalf of my fellow Indonesians T_T but some people working in the airport are just LAZY as if they were paid just to hang out).

  12. I think you should do it, but just allow yourself some time over there instead of flying back right away, so you can also enjoy the destination and relax a little bit!

  13. You like reviewing obscure airlines, so why not buy CGK-LOP on Batik Air, their business class can be as low as $100 on that route. And enjoy Lombok for several days, I liked it much more than Bali. Stay at a romantic private pool villa at Puri Mas Hotel. I was impressed. Then go Garuda domestic business on the way back LOP-CGK to compare. Turn you trip to another mini-vacation.

  14. I would think PAL out of LAX to Manila, connecting in to Jakarta would be incredibly interesting for us business travelers for two reasons. First – not a lot of business class reviews of PAL out there. Second – I’d be very intrigued to read some hotel reviews from both Manila and Jakarta. The Garuda flights would be icing on the cake of that review.

  15. @bill We’re not his customers, we’re his product. His customers are credit card companies. He sells us to them.

  16. I think you could do LAX-SYD with VA(New Business Class), then SYD-CGK with SQ (new fifth freedom route), then continue to Europe, and don’t take other long flights there(Take it as a rest of flying, travel around there by train insead). After back to Jakarta, you can fly back to LAX via PEK on CA or via MNL on PR or go to SFO instead via SIN with SQ’s new A350

  17. Take (another) one for the team, Lucky. This is a ticket that normally sells for $7-8K

    I was tempted to book Garuda F from CGK to Europe a couple of days ago but Emirates worked out better for me in the end with less / easier positioning.

  18. Yes, Ben, take one for the team by flying first class =b But seriously, I’m sure you’ll find a way to make it work.

  19. @Lucky – what about Air China F on the outbound? I saw some Saver F availability via United in December, granted those were for the 77W flights, not the 748. Although it may pop up elsewhere…

    Or VA to SYD as some folks mentioned above.

  20. You HAVE NOT tried China Eastern in First class … so you can use KE miles (round trip, and keep the return leg for other trip) for China Eastern.
    I know you had bad experience when the pilot smoke… but they did better job the next morning so I think you should give them another try.

  21. I volunteer myself to fly and review it. I’ll take one for the team. I’ll even have the Indonesian menu options instead of the western ones. Oh yeah. #dedication

  22. @aly
    International section is not operational just yet, even the opened domestic area is still quite rough around the edges.

    @kai
    That’s true. The UA one may be interesting as it will be the first UA BF flight Ben takes in well over half a decade, and an opportunity to see UA service before Polaris kicks in.

  23. Just flew with them Business Class, whilst the hard product like the seat are good, the service is worse than Singapore Airline’s economy. The female cabin crew does all the work whilst the male cabin crew are nowhere to be seen, except browsing gay and straight social app for hookups and social media. The male purser was SLEEPING in the First Class Cabin much like your Saudi Air experience and was walking around with an open collar sans tie throughout the flight. My meal preference became a special meal request and I had the most revolting meal ever, the female crew won’t even tell me what the shit I am having until it was served and still it was basic ‘chicken and rice’ or ‘chicken with veg’ description. Then there was ONE passenger who refused to shut his windows so my cabin was the only bright day glo one for the 14 hours flight from Singapore to London and the crew refuses to ask him to shut the window! A massive, messy bloody disgrace

  24. Philippine Airlines is available for just over $2,000rt in business class from LAX to MNL – but there is a reason for it: They are flying their old A340 on that route with recliner seats (ok, I’d call them angled, almost-flat). Service is very friendly, food is good, lounge at MNL is fine. Business class review of the different planes is here:
    http://tinyurl.com/PalBiz
    More interesting is PAL’s A330 fully flat business class – they use it from Australia to Manila – just one extra stop, you can do it! 😉

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