9 Things To Know About Garuda Indonesia’s 90% Off Award Promotion

Garuda Indonesia has what I’d consider to be the mileage deal of the decade at the moment, as they’re offering 90% off award tickets booked through the end of the year. Garuda Indonesia first class is incredible, so there’s potentially a lot of value to be had with this promotion. However, the GarudaMiles program as such can be quite confusing, so in this post I figured I’d share some of the things to be aware of if you’re considering taking advantage of this promotion, which are based on the questions I’ve seen asked so far.

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In no particular order:

Sign-up for a Garuda miles account first

Before you get too far into this, sign up for a GarudaMiles account. This can be done on their website and the process is instant. Many people have issues with completing this form, so be aware that:

  • If you’re American, look for “American” in the dropdown menu rather than “United States” for nationality
  • Some people are having issues entering the city of their address; just leave the dropdown blank and enter the city name in the box next to it, and that should work

You have to reserve the 90% off awards by phone

Garuda Indonesia recently started allowing award tickets to be booked online, though these discounted awards can’t be booked online. So you’ll have to call Garuda’s call center at +62 21 2351 9999. You have to call their Indonesian number, as their U.S. call center can’t process this.

The call center should be well aware of this promotion, assuming you’re able to get in touch with someone. Unfortunately the phone system hangs up on people after the second call, so expect that you’ll have to call over and over. Eventually you should be connected.

Transfers from Citi ThankYou to GarudaMiles aren’t instant

The best way to get the miles needed for this award is through Citi ThankYou, as they’re transfer partners with GarudaMiles. However, points transfers aren’t instant, and it can take a couple of days. However, that’s not much of an issue, because…

garuda-miles

Buying miles may not be as easy as it sounds

In theory you can buy miles directly from Garuda Indonesia, at the rate of three cents per mile. However, it looks like this process isn’t as straightforward as many of us had hoped. Unfortunately it’s not possible to do this online, and apparently you can only buy miles at their ticketing office in Jakarta.

Some people have been told that faxing in the order sheet will work, though that’s not an “official” policy.

So if at all possible I’d try to acquire the miles through Citi ThankYou, as that’s much more straightforward.

GarudaMiles lets you hold award tickets

The great news is that while points transfers from Citi ThankYou aren’t instant, GarudaMiles agents are letting people hold these award tickets. So you can call, put the ticket on hold for a week, and then transfer points.

You’ll have to show up in person to ticket your award

This is perhaps the most frustrating and bizarre part of this. Garuda Indonesia apparently requires you to show up at one of their city ticketing offices in order to ticket these reservation. They have several offices in the U.S., though you’ll have to make an appearance at one of them before the deadline. That’s super frustrating, but could well be worth it.

garuda

You technically need to show your original membership card

Technically the terms state that you will need to bring the original GarudaMiles membership card with you to the ticketing office, which seems highly restrictive. However, many people (including me) are being told that a copy of the online card will be fine, given that many of us just joined the program. However, it’s something to be aware of.

Personally I’d feel pretty comfortable that a copy of the online card would work at a ticketing office, given that many of us don’t have the card.

It’s not just first class awards that are on sale

All saver level flights on Garuda Indonesia “metal” are 90% off, so this isn’t just useful if you want to fly Garuda Indonesia first class from Jakarta to Amsterdam, London, Singapore, or Tokyo. Garuda Indonesia has a great business class product as well, and you can book that for 90% off.

This is the mileage deal of the decade

Garuda Indonesia first class is flippin’ amazing. If you are able to take advantage of this offer, it really is the deal of the decade. Redeeming 9,000-19,000 miles for a one-way first class ticket in one of the world’s best first class products is an astoundingly good value.

garuda-indonesia-first-class-5

Bottom line

There are definitely some hoops you’ll have to jump through to take advantage of this offer, though assuming you live near one of Garuda Indonesia’s ticketing offices (or have the ability to fly to one, as I plan on doing), I’d really consider taking advantage of this offer. There’s no other program through which you can book Garuda Indonesia first class, so this really is a one time opportunity (well, unless they repeat this promotion, I suppose!).

Comments

  1. Thanks for the round-up Lucky. I am still holding off from transferring any TY points until the membership card “in person” situation is clarified.

    Do you think the “low grade” R (First Class), O (Business Class), and X (Economy) fare codes will mean different service or amenities on board? I wouldn’t be surprised if complimentary airport transfer is not part of this fare for First or Business but have you heard of things like lounge access or other service being restricted as part of this offer?

  2. This is the deal of the year if you have nothing to do in your life. If you work, have a family and have a normal life this deal is not for you.

  3. I assume that anybody non US based is totally hosed then? With no way of getting hold of citi points and unable to buy miles or transfer in from elsewhere.

  4. Maybe you should add other things to the list that clearly makes this “the deal of the year” for people NOT with normal lives. At least if you live in the US. First, all the hassle to get this done. You have to have a lot of free time. Second, if you don’t live in one of the few cities they have offices in the US you have to plan a trip at the busiest time of the year. You have to show up in person between 12/22 and 12/31. If you count business days only we are talking maybe 5 or 6 days since you have holidays and a weekend in between. Then if you get all this done you have to position yourself in Europe since Garuda does not fly to the US. Then you have to go to Indonesia between Feb and May 2017. That is not bad but how many people really have free time to take a vacation during that time. Thus, I feel this is a huge marketing campaign from Garuda to be on the news. They made this as hard as they could but got lots of news from it.

  5. I try to access my card on the mobile app but I get an error… I will plan to print out a copy of it from the website as well. Also, I happen to be in London next week – if I can reserve one I will just go there…

  6. Forget it. Most GA offices seem to be outsourced and don’t deal with awards. In Europe for example only Amsterdam and London are possible. Yes..it’s an awsome opportunity But too much hassle. The deal of the year were the 250Dollar GOL tickets on QR F and not this .

  7. I’m trying to use ExpertFlyer to look up availability, but when I input fare classes R,O,X, I don’t see any availability. Does GA perhaps uses different fare class codes than what ExpertFlyer does? Thanks!

  8. The agent was able to put an award on hold for me for a week, but the problem, he said, is that they don’t have a way of processing US credit cards, even if I stop by a US office. Anyone else hear this, or have a solution?

  9. Can’t even get my “city” in NY to show up. Any work arounds? (there is no box next to this required field)

  10. So if all of their US offices are closed and/or can’t process those awards, and they don’t accept US credit cards, but you need points from Citi (so, an American card) to put on your Garuda account, I’m not quite sure how ANYONE based in the US could benefit from that.
    The only case that works seems to be for someone who has enough Citi points (or who flies Garuda enough to have the points), but somehow also another card from a non US issuer, and can be within the next few days in one of the very few cities in the world that have offices to process it. Oh and that is flexible enough to position for the flights and take them next spring.
    This is completely nuts!

  11. So, wait… you need to go to one of their offices to ticket, but none of their offices can ticket? So basically it’s not possible to actually get this offer?

  12. Hahhaha the greed is dripping from the comments. Those who have collected the miles by simply flying them should have no problem.

  13. coins – is there a general award chart for GA F? or is it something that has to be looked up for any given route. I know they just revamped their F and only fly it on selected routes – however it sucks that they dont publish F rates atleast alongside the award chart for Y & J cabins. I understand they’re a distance based awards program but kinda odd for them to leave out F rates.

    in any case, basically wanna know what’s the longest, direct F flight on their network that makes use of their new B777-300ER and how many miles it takes to book? since I’m prolly only wanting to check this off a bucketlist (so will most likely only fly GA F once) wanna maximize the flight time as well as the reward value of my miles! thanks for the heads up.

  14. @Lucky

    I happen to be in Indonesia on the black friday deal at the moment. I can try to ticket one of these for you at the airport if you want. I fly back CGK-LHR in a few days.

  15. Got through quickly to head office [try calling when it’s daytime in Jakarta, much easier ], made booking and now on hold. Very helpful and knowledgeable agent, she said to call back once miles post to see whether we can ticket over the phone or to go to either London/Amsterdam office.

    In a few hours I will call the offices in Europe to confirm whether this can be ticketed at their office.

    I do not have the physical card, and the iPhone app doesn’t work – would the pdf printout work?

  16. I somehow managed to get connected to a person before my skype call was cut due to insufficient credit (just my luck..). Anyway, three big things I managed to confirm 1) the promo is valid only for travel between Feb to May, 2) any date change is practically impossible after the promo period ends as the mileage required would be the normal mileage requirement, and 3) showing virtual card from Garuda’s app is fine, but whether a screenshot/printout of the card is acceptable or not is left to the discretionary of each office. Spoke in Indo, so there’s definitely no scope for misunderstanding.

  17. Oh, and buying mileage requires you to turn up to the office in person. Theoretically you can get someone to come in person on your behalf, but you’ll need to write a letter of attorney for that.

  18. Wow. I know where Indonesia is now.

    Lucky you need to get their national award. You single handedly made a bunch of uneducated Americans suddenly care about where djakarta is.

    Hehe

  19. @Credit

    “Djarkarta”

    How old are you? How many decades has it been since Jakarta was known as Djarkarta?

  20. Dear Lucky and all readers.

    Take note. I’ve been with Garuda for the past hour. Difficult to find particular dates and also remember they’re only releasing ONE reward ticket per flight!! I planned on getting two tickets to fly as a couple but it can’t be done.

    50,000 Garuda miles which is the max sell for $2100 AUD which is a bargain as it’s 25,000 Miles from PER to AMS via Jakarta one way + $400 AUD in Taxes. Could not find any First Class seats in the SIN Jakarta London flights either!

    The biggest mention is that you have to be a ACTIVE Garuda Miles member. I’m currently not but have joined a while back so I cannot buy Miles without being an active member/flyer/Miles earner…

  21. Dear fellow AvGeeks,

    For those who have successfully placed a reservation on hold but unable to get it ticketed due to logistic, please consider to cancel the reservation. There are many of us who are able to redeem our miles and get it ticketed but unable to find any availability because there are many reservations on hold. I understand that the reservation will eventually get canceled if not ticketed by the end of the year, however, that means we can’t take advantage of the promotion after the due date.

    Again, please consider that because you may be on the same boat at some point.

    Many thanks!

  22. Well there is that John W!

    Shame I couldn’t buy the Miles today… They were technically closed due to shortened Xmas hours and I’m not back to a main city until Dec 30th otherwise they could have held my flights – in saying that a return flight if I could have gotten one (!!) and processed it all on Dec 30/31 with my purchased miles but alas not an active Miles earner 🙁 Sad Face.

  23. Hi Lucky, I’m from Singapore, managed to ticket SIN-LHR in J but sadly LHR-CGK-SIN in Y. Wonder if I keep calling nearer to the deadline to secure the booking will some J award space will appear!

  24. Well all the holds are killing this deal, almost no space available. Which you would not expect by the difficulty in securing this deal.

  25. Also, I was informed by the callcenter that the first class VIP ground services treatment is not included with this sale. He was not exactly sure what it meant though and thought lounge would still be included.

  26. “This is the mileage deal of the decade”

    Just when I thought OMAAT’s credibility couldn’t sink any lower! For the odd, rare few people with the exact right circumstances and means, whose stars just happen to align perfectly – yeah, sure, great deal! For 99.9% of us, it’s a joke.

    Next time, maybe flesh out the details and kinks in the system first before recommending so highly to your readers?

  27. @John W I totally understand your perspective but who in their right mind is going to spend hours on the phone trying to cancel a reservation at this point for the common good? It is unfortunate but I suspect close to nobody. If I had made a reservation I honestly wouldn’t (well I try for 10-20 minutes but after that no way sorry). So glad I sat this one out quite the “deal of the decade” though certainly a good deal for a certain set of folks,.

  28. Quite a few of you are starting to sound like spoiled little brats who saw a shiny new toy on TV and then threw a tantrum when you didn’t get it for Christmas.

    I’m here just for the reviews. I don’t get into the points/miles hobby; yet, even I know that nothing is guaranteed. Isn’t that suppose to be part of the fun? Slamming through all the obstacles trying to get land big score? OK. So this one got away. It was worth a shot. Now, put your big boy pants on and get back to your life.

  29. @Imperator

    Same here. Interested in the reviews so I know what to fly and to avoid. As a non american who doesn’t get all those sign up bonuses I’m quite amused by the greed to redeem here.
    Just fot my F tickets today, and paid for it.

  30. I finally got through to Jakarta call center and they said the promo ended early morning hours Indonesia time on 24 December. There goes all my hard work on my spreadsheet… 🙁

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