Great use of Delta SkyMiles.
As a US-based traveler, getting to and from Indonesia requires a stop somewhere, whether it’s Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, Taipei, or even Dubai. I needed to get to Tokyo on my way home, however, because I was planning on flying ANA’s first class Square from Tokyo to Seattle, which usually doesn’t fly that route, but for some reason was, AND it had award availability, so it was kind of a no-brainer for me.
Knowing that Garuda Indonesia is part of the SkyTeam Alliance, and having not flown them before, I jumped at the opportunity to try and find a way to use some of the miles in my Delta account, as I typically find them difficult to use for the redemptions I want (read: international premium cabin flights). Sure enough, there was plenty of “saver” level award inventory traveling on GA from Denpasar to Tokyo.
For $15 and 40,000 miles I had the pleasure of having a much-needed sleep on this ~ 7-hour flight on Garuda’s 777-300ER. Of course I wanted to try out their first class suites, but I needed to spend SkyMiles, and Delta doesn’t allow you to book into first class on partner awards 😕.
I am very much a fan of forward-facing staggered business class seats, as typically this means that every other seat next to the window is away from the aisle and almost feels like its own mini suite. The middle seats (pictured above), are also great for chatting etc. if you’re traveling with someone — the flipside being that if you’re not traveling with someone and you get stuck in one of these seats, you are very close to your seatmate.
My seat was 11A, and it was great — right in the middle of the cabin, so not too close to the galley or the bulkhead back to economy. With the console between you and the aisle you really do have a lot of privacy compared to the seats next to the aisle which you can see below:
Overall this is a solid business class seat, from the legroom/footrest to the positioning of the seat controls and power outlets. The tray table is a bit small, but still totally adequate for getting work done, considering your console table can be used for extra beverages, and iPad, etc.
The Amenity Kit
Business class isn’t generally known for having amazing amenity kits, and indeed I find some first class amenity kits are underwhelming, but Garuda has managed to get all of the necessities into their business class amenity kit.
This was a redeye flight, and while there was a meal service, I opted not to partake as I really wanted to get some good rest on this flight. Indonesian food is one of my favorite cuisines, and I have heard good things about Garuda’s food from other bloggers, so I’ll go out on a limb here and say you at least won’t be disappointed with the food, with the usual caveat that it is airplane food… The pre-departure champagne and wine selection were decent, though 😉
The In-Flight Entertainment (IFE)
Totally adequate. This is, again, one of those hard product categories where I’m rarely impressed, and GA is square in the middle of that. The screen size is decent and the selection was good enough for this short flight, but the screen isn’t particularly large or high-resolution, so take it for what you will.
The Bottom Line
I’m very pleased with this Delta SkyMiles redemption. The ticket would have cost me $2,017.00, so my redemption is worth ~$0.05 per point (5 CPP), which is pretty solid IMHO — I usually try to get at least a 5 CPP on point redemptions, no matter the points currency. Would I fly GA on a 13-hour flight? Yes. Would I fly Singapore or Emirates A380 business over Garuda if given the chance? Yes. Would I fly Delta or Thai A330 business class over Garuda? No…so that’s roughly where Garuda’s business class stands in my opinion.
Have you flown Garuda’s business class before? Do you think this was a worthwhile SkyMiles redemption? Let me know in your comments below!