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Yesterday, the miles and points Internet world pretty much exploded as news came out that Garuda Indonesia was offering a promotion for 90% off Garuda Indonesia first class.  Originally the thought was that it might be a mistake (that it was intended to be 10% off), Point Me to the Plane confirmed that it was intended to be 90% off

Details on the Garuda Indonesia First Class 90% off deal

You can find the details on the deal on Garuda’s site (make sure to choose English if it doesn’t default to it)

garuda-indonesia-first-class-90-off-deal

It’s not just Garuda Indonesia first class that is on sale for 90% off, but also Garuda Indonesia business class and Garuda Indonesia economy class.  I think Garuda advertising this as the “Deal of the Year” is probably reasonable, though Ben from One Mile at a Time proclaimed it the best deal in his lifetime!

The details of the Garuda Indonesia first class promotion are that you have to book the flight between now and December 31 for flights between February 1, 2017 and May 31, 2017. A one-way first class flight (example: from Amsterdam or Tokyo to Jakarta) will show up as 190,000 Garuda miles and therefor cost only 19,000 miles.

The good news is that if you don’t have Garuda Indonesia miles (as I do not and I imagine most of you do not), you CAN transfer from Citi ThankYou points. You can also buy ThankYou points or Garuda miles, and you can hold / ticket an award without having enough miles in your Garuda account, as long as you have enough miles when you actually ticket / fly it.

Now for the bad news on the Garuda Indonesia first class promotion

Okay so that was all the good news – are you ready for the bad news?  I think Rapid Travel Chai summed it up the best with his article: Haha, Good Luck With The Garuda 90% Off Award Promotion

Here’s a rundown of the troubles that I and others have had with this Garuda Indonesia first class promotion:

  1. Let’s start off with the fact that I could not even get Garuda to recognize my US address.  Choosing United States and Ohio – there was no place to enter my city.  Some other folks reported that there was a text box off to the side to enter your city – that did not show up for me in Google Chrome.  Instead, I did what Matthew from Live and Let’s Fly did – register as “US Minor Islands”.  I live on the “minor island” of Ohio. 🙂
  2. Their website is horrible. Not only the English translation, which looks it’s a direct output of Google Translate. I’m okay excusing that as I’m sure their English is better than my Indonesian, but just the mechanics of trying to search for awards – everything keeps getting reset, there are hidden fields that you don’t know about at first… Try it out – you’ll get what I’m seeing.
  3. In order to book your ticket, you have to visit one of the Garuda Indonesia sales offices (in person!). There are a few in the US (Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Houston) but some of the reports have indicated people showing up and finding no actual office at the address listed…
  4. In order to book your ticket, not only do you have show up in-person, but with your physical membership card. Which, if you just signed up today like me, you won’t get for another 4 weeks or so :-). Point Me to the Plane does suggest that you may be able to show up with just the printout or smartphone picture
  5. AND you have to bring the original passports of everyone ticketed on the itinerary
  6. AND you have to do that by December 31st 😛

In good news, their Twitter response teams have been super friendly and helpful!

A few other cautionary tales: 9 Things To Know About Garuda Indonesia’s 90% Off Award Promotion and Why The Garuda Indonesia Promo Is a GIANT Time Sink

So is this Garuda Indonesia first and business class deal worth it?

I have reached my personal threshold of time I’m interested in investing in this Garuda Indonesia first class deal.  I can totally see the value, especially for people who are super flexible, or already nomads with unlimited time flexibility.

I’d love to hear if you are taking part in this deal and if you got anything booked

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