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Garuda Indonesia appears to be offering 90% off their standard award prices!
I say ‘appears’, because frankly this seems rather too good to be true on the face of it – but there are now reports that people have managed to book the discounted rates successfully.
Between London and Jakarta, Garuda normally charges 63,000 Miles in Business Class or 190,000 in First Class one-way. With 90% off, that works out at just 6,300 Miles For Business or 19,000 for First Class which is clearly bonkers!
You can take a look at the full award chart here.
Things to know
Officially, you need to book by 31st December, though I really can’t see this deal lasting that long in reality.
You have to call in order to book the discounted rates: (44-20) 74678661, 0804 1 807 807 or +62 21 2351 9999
As far as I know, there aren’t any Points/Miles (Amex MR, SPG etc) in the UK that can be transferred across to Garuda, so unless you’re lucky enough to have a stash already, you’re going to need to buy some in order to take advantage of this. You can buy Miles here for ~£24.50 ($30) per 1,000. Business Class one-way would therefore work out at about £150 and First Class would be about £470.
I don’t know how quickly Miles purchases are completed, so there is a definite risk involved if buying Miles.
To the best of my knowledge, Garuda charge small surcharges of about £100 each way, and if you flew from the UK (rather than say Amsterdam) you would have to pay Air Passenger Duty too.
Is Garuda any good?
Absolutely brilliant by all accounts. It’s a Skytrax 5 * airline and I’ve only ever heard good things – there’s a great review of First Class here.
For anyone with Garuda Miles squirreled away in an account somewhere, Christmas really has come early for you!
For the rest of us, whether this is a deal to be taken advantage of or not really depends on your appetite for risk. Personally, I would not buy Miles until I had priced an award myself with an agent over the phone and confirmed with them how long Miles purchases take to be completed, but you might well judge the situation differently.
Unfortunately I don’t have the time to cover this in detail as it develops (Christmas!), but the US blogs will no doubt all be going nuts over on BoardingArea all evening, so you can get the latest info there.