Garuda Indonesia Has Pulled Their 90% Off Award Promo Early

What a flippin’ mess. It looks like Garuda Indonesia has pulled their 90% off award promo as of December 24 (Jakarta time). Garuda Indonesia on Twitter claims that “available seat is fully booked,” though I’m guessing this just turned out to be too much of a headache. There’s no way all the seats have been booked, given that every single award seat throughout the system (including in economy) is available through this promotion.

The website seems to have just been updated to reflect this change, at least the Indonesian site (the promotion still shows when selecting English as the language). However, call center agents are consistently confirming that the promotion is over.

I guess the next big question is whether Garuda Indonesia will honor the promotion for those who had tickets on hold but hadn’t yet ticketed, or if it’s not being honored for anyone.

C’mon Garuda Indonesia, I love you guys, but what were you thinking with this promotion?

I’ve seen a lot of horribly managed promotions in my day, but this has to be one of the worst.


  1. This should surprise no one. I mean, it was 90% off! How did this promotion even get approved by management in this first place??

  2. I was hoping to fly Garuda through their promotions! Anyway, thanks for your article! I really hope Garuda can honour those who have already paid but have yet to be ticketed. Merry Christmas to all!

  3. Garuda will not honor the promotion for tickets on hold. Now, we will need to pay full miles to issue the discount tickets on hold. I checked twice, called two different agents just to be sure.

  4. What’s the catch? Oh, they pulled it early…..calling their local booking offices in Indonesia.

    There’s no doubt this promotion was for inside Indonesia, until the “cracks” like Matthew Weyer was calling all day (and put on hold all day). lol

  5. This is true, just called them to reserve a business ticket to Singapore, but told me it was no longer available.

  6. Garuda confirmed that the booking I made yesterday remains confirmed provided I issue the ticket (and purchase the miles) within 3 business days, so it appears existing bookings will still be honoured – it’s just that they aren’t taking any new bookings at the promotional rates.

  7. Garuda is doing promos all wrong.

    Hopefully this will be a (relatively) inexpensive lesson for the future: Garuda’s word seems to be worth just about…not much. Integrity appears lacking as well.

  8. Don’t believe every award seat taken? Consider for a minute the population of Jakarta, Surabaya, and Denpasar. Consider next how many (not much) international flights thry have (5x/week cgk-mel vs 4x/day SQ sin-mel) and finally, consider how many individuals booked and held more than what they needed, am not surprised all seats taken up.

    This was a 90% off promotion, not 10% off. Based on mistake fares of the past, this was equivalent to the biggest mistake in terms of value. You actually thought it will last till the end of the promotion period???

  9. Indonesian site of GarudaMiles clearly state that you’ll be able to ticket until 31 Dec if you have already booked but have not ticketed yet

  10. is the Jetblue – Virgin America promotion the only “too good to be true” promotion that was honored and lasted the entire promo period?

  11. They only released 1 First Class ticket, 2 for business class in every flightsand very few for economy class. So, it is possible that all flights are taken. Been to one of its offices yesterday morning in Bali and I was the 7th person wanted to book the seat. And they said that in Jakarta offices, tons of people were queuing to book seats. It was hard for me to find free seat on my preferred date of travelling as most dates are booked

  12. Lucky you might be wrong. The GA service centers in JKT were extremely crowded yesterday with people trying to book the promo. I have every reason to believe all available seats have been booked.

  13. @ ron — This promo was also good for economy and business class. You’re saying every economy class award seat to everywhere was booked?

  14. @Lucky, my friends were more excited about the economy seats than business or first. Please try to understand the demographics of Indonesia before you make statements like “every economy class award seat to everywhere was booked”

    The lines for economy were much longer than business or first obviously.

    I know personally a few people who booked a number of economy class award seats through this promo. One person who went late, at 3pm Jakarta time or so, was only able to find economy seat to Sydney in May 2017

  15. Incredibly, I just got a call from the Garuda office in Hong Kong. They confirmed me on HKG-CGK-LHR for May 29/30. Now I have to scramble and transfer points to the account from my Visa card before Dec. 28, which will be challenging given that we are on holiday here until that day, and then go to the ticket office and get the ticket issued (with a handsom US$250 in fees/taxes, I’m guessing some of it is the LHR factor).

    Given the hassle, the need to overnight in Jakarta, and the fact that it falls a bit before my actual planned travel day of June 1st, I’m wondering if it’s worth it… but J/F for 23,500 miles is bloody tempting.

  16. I don’t understand the greedy mentality there.

    It’s just like a Black Friday event in America. They advertise a crazy promotion with limited supply for 3 days. You go to the store when it opens at midnight after thanksgiving day. You fight for the item you want. The items are sold out within 10 minutes. The store says – sorry it’s sold out. People who do NOT go to the store obviously don’t get the item available IN-STORE only.

    The same thing with Garuda promotion. People who do NOT go to the Garuda “store” don’t get the “item” available IN-STORE only. The seats are sold out. Why are you mad and furious about it? It clearly said on the original ads that seats are limited. Quite frankly, they don’t even have to update their site and make an announcement that the seats are sold out. They can just say to every single person who calls the call center that the seats are no longer available. This announcement is just to save your time and theirs.

    Get over it and move on.

  17. I called their head office and walked thru every date between AMS/LHR and JKT originating both ways and month by month was shown no availability by the agent. Even though I saw plenty of availability online. This was purely a mismanaged promotion and a nightmare for everyone involved. I’m sure even those that got ticketed.

  18. @ Ray — This has nothing to do with demographics, it’s a basic fact. The first route I pulled up is CGK-DPS, and there continues to be saver level economy class award space virtually every day.

  19. @ John W — The seats aren’t sold out… they said all saver level award seats are eligible, and there are still lots of saver level award seats. So if you want to do a Black Friday comparison, it’s like a story saying they’ll sell 100 TVs at a discount, but after they sell 10 they say “oh, nevermind.”

  20. @ Moses — It all depends on the route, but Garuda has a massive route network, including within Indonesia. There are still hundreds (if not thousands) of saver level award seats during the promotion period.

  21. @Lucky

    Yes. The discounted seats are gone, including economy. An indonesian friend called and asked for any date/ any route if there was still availability and there was none. Indonesians are easy to line up for deals like this. The GA flagship store in Senayan yesterday was super super packed. Not even thinking of all people booking by telephone.

  22. I called on Dec 22nd and held 2 seats on CGK-AMS in F for late May, and transferred Citi TYP to my Garuda account (they just showed up today). However, the phone reps won’t ticket it because apparently the promo is for “self use only”, meaning they will only issue the ticket for 1 person (and that name must match the name on the account). If I had known this a priori, I would have set up 2 accounts, one for me and one for my wife, and held the 2 tickets separately. Sadly I think my points are now lost in the black hole of Garuda.

    They definitely sold a ton of Garuda miles to Citibank with this promo!

  23. “They definitely sold a ton of Garuda miles to Citibank with this promo!”

    …And now you know why they ran the promo.

  24. dear kurt,

    rules from Garuda miles is they can ticket it for yourself over the phone, but if you would like to ticket it for someone else, you must visit garuda Indonesia office…. you need to fill a form and show your id card+garuda miles card, they will ticket it within minutes.
    welcome to Indonesia 🙂 Om telolet Om

  25. I would be very surprised if bookings already made but not ticketed wouldn’t ticket at the promo price.
    As for the promo ending early, it’s like the VISA promo that ran back in September for Conrad and WA hotels… it was supposed to last 2 months but it was around for 2 days…

  26. My experience with this promo is very smooth. I live in Bangkok. I called the Garuda office in Bangkok and an agent answered in 10 seconds. The agent told me to book the flight first then I told her I want to purchase the miles after that. It took not more than 15 mins for award reservation then I sent all the document and signature for purchasing miles.I transfered all the fee by internet banking. I got the e-ticket after sending the slip. Perfect.

    My flight is BKK to Jakarta to Shanghai in business class. Overall the cost is US$371.

  27. Hi. Sorry for unrelated reply. How do you find the most accurate availability for booking AA award for CX/JAL? I tried to find availability , but when I called AA for a few times already, they were all phantoms.

    Any suggestion?

  28. Managed to get four first class seats same day for feb mel to lhr. First sector in business the rest in first!

    The melbourne agents just great!

  29. I can’t disagree more with you, Ben. John W’s black friday logic was spot on. GA didn’t make all award saver seat available. I assume they have quota for this promo. Once it passed, doesn’t matter what flight/class you target become automatically unavailable.
    I understand a lot of disappointment of our community, but let’s move on and hoping for more to come.

  30. Well maybe Garuda is not up the the world standard yet in term of integrity. I have lost respect for them. This is purely a cheap publicity stunt by Garuda. What a shame.

  31. @joko not quite true for me. I was able to reserve both for me and my wife. The only catch is we couldnt get 2 F or 2 J tickets. The only more than 2 seats available is in Y.

    But again, we havent been ticketed so I am worried now that they change the rule anytime they feel like it

  32. Pity, I rang Jakarta and was told the offer was closed. Finally an offer Australians could have some benefit from, but first class will remain wishful thinking for us.

  33. Hi Lucky,

    I have visited the garuda office today to pay for the surcharge from the promo.
    I booked the ticket on 23rd (economy and business) after been trying to call them many times. And this afternoon i took almost 2 hours waiting for the payment line (considering that they took the people who came for paying the booked ticked already)
    The lady in the counter confirmed that they only give the following ticket during promotion:
    – 3 first class in for each route/day
    – 5 business class for each route/day
    – i kinda forget but not much economy class either for each route/day
    the queue in the jakarta rep office was massive both on the 22 the 23. On the 23 most of the popular destinations are already fully booked that’s why i think they decided to say that the promotion has to be pulled early.

  34. We are in Australia and our family has been ticketed through to London in F in February, we are based in Perth so it worked well for us, this promotion wasn’t targeted to the US so it was easy for us to obtain, we are happy with how it went, all we did was call the Garuda call centre in Australia and they ticketed them over the phone and emailed the tickets straight to us. Doesn’t surprise me they pulled it early at all. Was a ridiculous promotion but was happy to take advantage…

  35. Garud is not lying, i worked with an agent yesterday and we basically searched through all routes and all classes, and there were no more seats available for this promotion. They only allocated a quota of 9 seats per flight (inclusive of first, biz and eco). And with everyone putting many of those seats on hold for 7days, the seats were gone very fast. The only missed opportunity here is that those seats that were held on 12/22 and not ticketed by 12/29 would become available to everyone on 12/30. Another thing that garuda didnt think through for this promotion is that there is NO LIMITS to how many award space a person can place on hold (thus taking away from the quota) even though they may not ticket the award.

  36. Well, went to the Garuda Office in Bandung on 23rd..
    Managed to get 2 DPS-NRT F, 2 NRT-DPS-CGK J, 1 CGK-HKG J vv and 1 CGK-PVG J vv.

    At that time HKG and PVG still has a wide open availability.
    Domestics flight availability is awesome but international is limited.

    I actually wanted to get the CGK-AMS in F vv but was told that there is only 1 J CGK-AMS for the whole month left.
    Well, considering I spent around 60K miles and 6 million, I’m very happy with the promotion

  37. @Lucky: As stated in the aforementioned comments and other blog posts, “They only allocated a quota of 9 seats per flight (inclusive of first, biz and eco)”.

    Based on your analogy, there were only 10 TVs for sale, not 100.

  38. Any data point how long it takes for the miles to post on your Garuda account from ThankYou Points? I transferred on the 23rd and hasn’t shown up yet.

  39. It caused massive craze among jakartans, very long queue in all their sales office. After countless attempt to call GA call center morning to evening at 22nd, I managed to reach them at 2am instantly (23rd Dec) Jakarta time LOL. Grabbed 4 CGK-AMS-CGK in Y for 10.000 miles each. Getting harder to get when I came the next morning to get additional seat for my mom. Y class redeem for CGK-AMS is no longer available, but they offered me an F for 19.000 per sector. I thought, why not?? They still have plenty of special economy fare though. CGK-AMS-CGK for only IDR 9,9mil (USD 737) all-in. As stated in their webseite, the seat availbility is limited. I confirmed to the reservation agent that they only provided 9 seats per fllght for this promo. My friends mostly got the promo award tickets although not on their preferrd dates.

  40. If someone has a reservation for 2 in R Class (First) for AMS-CGK-AMS in may and won’t be using it, please let me know. Would like to take over the reservation!

  41. I managed to book 1st class from Denpasar-Tokyo. Basically, when I made a call to the reservation center, they encouraged me to make a reservation first and then appear in person to the ticketing office. When I got to the ticketing office, I heard this news that the promotion seats were sold out but they told for me for the one who made the reservation in advance will still be able to redeem the miles so I did.

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