Last month, Air France KLM Flying Blue made First Class redemptions with China Eastern Airlines available for award bookings. This was a significant milestone, since historically, SkyTeam airline loyalty programs hadn’t offered First Class partner award redemptions.
Just over a month later, Flying Blue has now added Garuda Indonesia First Class redemptions, which were previously only available through GarudaMiles.
Garuda Indonesia First Class Now Bookable on Air France KLM Flying Blue
Air France KLM Flying Blue has made Garuda Indonesia First Class available to book with Flying Blue miles.
This marks the second SkyTeam partner airline First Class product that can be booked with Flying Blue miles. It’s worth noting that Air France La Prèmiere can also be booked with Flying Blue miles, but only by members with Flying Blue Platinum status.
Currently, Garuda Indonesia offers First Class on a single route to Amsterdam from its hub in Jakarta.
A one-way ticket on this route prices out at 275,000 Flying Blue miles, plus $297 (CAD) in taxes and fees.
A one-way ticket between Amsterdam and Jakarta also costs 275,000 Flying Blue miles, plus $308 (CAD) in taxes and fees.
It’s worth noting that the award pricing for Garuda Indonesia First Class is quite high, especially considering that China Eastern First Class flights between China and Europe cost less than half of Garuda Indonesia First Class booked through Flying Blue.
First Class redemptions with Garuda Indonesia are only possible through the Air France website at the moment, and not the KLM version of Flying Blue. When searching, you’ll have to select “La Première” as the desired cabin if you’re searching for First Class awards.
You may have to look around for award availability throughout the schedule; however, there are often multiple seats available when you can find Garuda Indonesia First Class awards.
Will Flying Blue Add More Partner First Class Redemptions?
In the past few years, Garuda Indonesia has been retrofitting many of its Boeing 777 aircraft, and removing First Class cabins in the process.
As it stands, Amsterdam is the only destination to which the airline flies with a First Class cabin. The airline had previously offered First Class to other destinations, such as London and Tokyo, but has since either scrapped the route (in the case of London), or switched to a two-cabin aircraft instead (in the case of Tokyo).
Prior to Garuda Indonesia First Class being available to book with Air France KLM Flying Blue, the only other way to book was through GarudaMiles. However, without any North American transfer partners available, including Marriott Bonvoy, or co-branded credit cards, the program was quite difficult to access.
For what it’s worth, award pricing on the Jakarta–Amsterdam route costs 190,000 Garuda Miles in either direction, plus a nominal amount of taxes and fees.
If you’re interested in booking, Garuda Indonesia First Class cabin features eight suites spread out across two rows in a 1-2-1 configuration.
The suites feature sliding doors, comfortable bedding, and what’s reported to be very attentive service.
Perhaps the most intriguing part of this development is if Air France KLM Flying Blue will continue to make partner First Class redemptions available to members.
In terms of SkyTeam airlines, the only remaining First Class products would be Korean Air First Class, which is currently only available through Korean Air SKYPASS, and Saudia First Class, which can also be booked with Korean Air SKYPASS miles and Saudia’s AlFursan miles.
However, Flying Blue also has partnerships with non-affiliated airlines that also happen to offer First Class, including Etihad Airways.
It would be fantastic to be able to have more First Class awards available through Flying Blue, especially if the award pricing and availability is competitive with that of other programs.
Air France/KLM Flying Blue has made First Class award redemptions available with Garuda Indonesia. This is the second First Class product from a SkyTeam-member airline to be made accessible through Flying Blue in the past month.
As it stands, Garuda Indonesia only operates a First Class cabin between Jakarta and Amsterdam, and to be frank, the award pricing is indeed quite costly.
However, hopefully this is another sign that Flying Blue will continue to add more First Class redemptions in the near future.