I have received a lot of questions from you guys asking about Garuda frequent flyer in details, so I’ll try to be thorough this time. You will learn how you can earn miles, redeem miles for ticket and ultimately how to maximize your miles.
Garuda Frequent Flyer (GFF) – The basics
Almost every airlines have their own frequent flyer program. Garuda Indonesia has Garuda Frequent Flyer (GFF) or more commonly known as GarudaMiles now. Garuda is part of SkyTeam, so earning or redeeming other SkyTeam alliance flight is possible.
GarudaMiles has 4 membership tiers.
GarudaMiles Blue. This is the card you will get when you enroll for the first time. You will get a welcome bonus of 1000 miles. Registration is of course free, and you can enroll here.
GarudaMiles Silver. You will get an upgrade from GarudaMiles Blue to GarudaMiles Silver once you earn 10,000 Tier Miles or 10 eligible flights. The main benefit you will get in GarudaMiles Silver is dedicated check-in counter in Terminal 3 Soekarno-Hatta Airport and 5 kg additional baggage allowance.
GarudaMiles Gold. You will get GarudaMiles Gold once you earn 30,000 Tier Miles or 30 eligible flights. Main benefits includes dedicated check-in counter, access to Lounge, 15 kg additional baggage allowance, 25% tier bonus.
GarudaMiles Platinum. This is the highest tier. You will need 65,000 Tier Miles or 65 eligible flights within a year. Benefits include premium check-in, access to Garuda Lounge with 1 guess, 25% Tier bonus, 20 Kg additional baggage allowance and priority baggage handling.
GarudaMiles Gold is equivalent to SkyTeam Elite and GarudaMiles Platinum is equivalent to SkyTeam Elite Plus. You can read here for my take on GarudaMiles Platinum
Qualification is evaluated every year end and downgrade/ upgrade will be reflected in the following year. From what I have heard, Garuda has stopped printing out GarudaMiles card, except for GarudaMiles Platinum. The rest will get a digital copy of GarudaMiles through the app.
Earning Miles on Garuda Frequent Flyer
The mechanism of GarudaMiles is quite straightforward. You will earn miles for flying with Garuda Indonesia or other SkyTeam alliance flights. However, not all flights will earn you Tier Mileage. Only full price economy class that will earn you Tier Miles. Heavily discounted ticket class, such as V, H , S or G will not earn you any Tier Miles.
As you can see from screenshot below, my recent flight Jakarta to Haneda did not earn any Tier Miles on discounted class S. If I fly on full price economy class (Y) I would earn 3612 Tier Miles each way.
Claim missing mileage
I have gotten so many questions about this. What do you need to do if you forgot to present your GarudaMiles card during check-in? Why did I earn no miles on my recent flight?
The answer is you need to check on your ticket class. Remember, discounted economy class will not earn you any Tier Miles. If you forgot to key in your GarudaMiles account number when you purchase the ticket, or if you forgot to present your card during check-in, afraid not. You can always claim your missing miles here.
Before, redeeming your miles for free ticket is a pain in the arse. You need to complete the award ticket form and only be processed in the sales ticketing office.
Now you can redeem miles online on the Garuda Indonesia website or App, as long as you have the required miles. You can also redeem miles for other people. I have just redeemed ticket for my sister using my miles. The process is similar to purchasing Garuda’s ticket. You enter your destination, dates and click on redeem miles. You will be presented with the required miles and you can proceed to check out to pay for the taxes. I have to say it is a huge step for Garuda to automate and simplify this process. Kudos!
Protip. GarudaMiles EC+
For those of you asking how you can get to GarudaMiles Gold, here is your answer; GarudaMiles EC+. It is equivalent to GarudaMiles Gold but you don’t need the required 30,000 Tier Miles or 30 eligible flights. However, the membership is not free too. It will set you back at IDR 4,500,000 for first year and IDR 3,500,000 for the subsequent year. You will get the benefit of GarudaMiles Gold plus Travel Insurance coverage. I know it is not for everyone and you need to evaluate if it is worth the cost in order to jump up 3 tiers of membership levels.
Hope this answers some of your questions. Drop me questions in the comments below if you have any more questions.