This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

It’s been a big month for alliance announcements, what with news that US Airways would exit Star Alliance and join Oneworld in March, and hints that Air India might finally be preparing to enter Star Alliance, and now there’s another piece of news out of Asia – according to this SkyTeam announcement, Garuda Indonesia is going to be joining SkyTeam in March 2014.

Garuda-Indonesia

That’s interesting news because Garuda was long plagued by air safety problems that got it banned from EU air space from 2007-2009, but has since been mending its ways and even making over its long-haul fleet with some impressive premium products that include a pretty spectacular-looking first class aboard its new 777-300ERs as well as expanding its routes and services with a four-year “Quantum Leap” initiative.

Garuda's new first class suites look pretty sweet.
Garuda’s new first class suites look pretty sweet.

While the airline’s route network is still pretty limited when it comes to non-Asian destinations, it does operate flights to the following SkyTeam hubs from its base in Jakarta: Seoul, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei and Amsterdam, so it’ll be interesting to put together some award tickets that include other SkyTeam partners like Korean Air, China Southern and KLM and have the option to tag on flights to Jakarta and beyond. So frequent flyers should be able to use their other SkyTeam miles including Delta and Air France/KLM Flying Blue – both of which are American Express Membership Rewards transfer partners – as well as Korean Air, which is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner if you have the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold or Ink Plus, to try out the new airline and take advantage of its network.

Garuda's 777-300ER business class looks nice too.
Garuda’s 777-300ER business class looks nice too.

While SkyTeam has made an aggressive push into northern Asia and China including more Delta flights to Japan, an extensive route network with Korean Air, and partnerships with both China Southern and China Eastern as well as Taiwan-based China Airlines, this is a big entree into Southeast Asia and I hope it opens up more flights in that region to awards using miles.

The airline currently operates 131 aircraft and serves 39 domestic destinations and 20 international destinations across Asia, the Middle East, Australia, and Europe. It has four hubs in Indonesia: Jakarta, Denpasar, Makassar, and Medan.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
5.00%
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.