Other Asian, Australian, and South Pacific Airlines - Garuda FF program not foreigner friendly?
Lately I have flown Garuda a couple of times between Jakarta and Tokyo as well as on some other flights. I was invited to enroll in their frequent-flier program, only to later be "rejected" on the ground I am a U.S. citizen and resident. It is even worse: quite apart from the fact this precudes me from having an extra baggage allowance based on FF status, I notice on Garuda's website that those with Indonesian passports can bring on extra baggage (at least that is how I interpreted their chart).
In any event, have I missed something or are U.S. citizens (as well as other non-Indonesian nationalities) banned from participating in their frequent flier program? Or is there some alternative or work around?
I should say I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder every time I fly Garuda owing to what I am going to liberally call its xenophobia. Why should I give it my business if it is going to essentially treat me like a second-class citizen? It is particularly bothersome given they are now advertising internationally for international customers.
And yes, I know it is scheduled to join SkyTeam, although the date has been pushed back until 2013. I wonder whether the delay may be related to issues such as the above (if I were in charge of SkyTeam, I wouldn't let them in given these circumstances).
May 2, 12, 6:44 am
Korean will be the work around as they exchange points on each others programs.
As Australians we used to collect on NW but lost them when the Garuda ban happened.
Now we can belong to Garuda and fly regularly and appreciate the perks which come with status.
I think US residents will be able to belong when the US allows Garuda to fly to to the USA again.
The Righteous Dude
May 2, 12, 9:38 am
Yes, currently only Indonesian residents can join Garuda's FF program.
However, GFF is likely to be significantly overhauled when it officially joins the Skyteam alliance, soon.
Other people have had similar experiences too:
May 3, 12, 5:26 am
Actually some Non Indonesian residents can join , if Garuda decides that country can participate.
For instance Australia was added in Jan 2010.
Not sure who else
May 3, 12, 5:35 am
I am Dutch and also member of GFF.
if you want to join garuda, try to signup from gff.garuda-indonesia.com and always mention your card number at check in and don't waste your boarding pass and ticket until the millage posted.
Well, here I am at the Garuda lounge at CGK (Jakarta). Gave them my Korean Air card at check in and they took it. I then asked about getting Korean Air credit on the flight I took a couple of weeks ago and they took my Korean Air card and previous boardings passes and said they would track me down in the lounge to return them.
About 30 minutes later they came and told me they could not give me credit on Korean Air because my Korean Air Skypass number starts with "BA" and they only give credit when it starts with "KE."
So, let me reiterate my detestment (did I just make up a word?) of this xenophobe airline, at least insofar as their frequent flyer policies are concerned.
I might try applying at gff.garuda-indonesia.com next, as was recently suggested.
May 12, 12, 12:21 pm
they could not give me credit on Korean Air because my Korean Air Skypass number starts with "BA" and they only give credit when it starts with "KE."
Sound like a load of c**p. To my knowledge Korean Skypass accounts start with "BK", American ones with "BA", European ones with "BU". Doesn't look like Skypass would have special Indonesian ones starting with "KE"!
Garuda is listed as a Skypass partner, earning credit on all flights except Indonesia-Korea ones, with the usual exception of discount fares (G, B, V, H, X, O, Z, T, J).
Do retroclaim your Garuda flights with Skypass, not from the CGK Garuda lounge staff, which probably doesn't have the capability or knowledge to do so.
I am Dutch and member of the GFF, when I applied I provided the address of our branch office in Jakarta. I experienced (so far) no problems with GFF. I did however experience problems with the Garuda website. It was bad 2 years ago, then it improved a little bit by allowing you to make a profile so you dont need to input all the data everytime you make a booking. Also foreign creditcards (although selective for a number of countries) were excepted. Now its gone to bad again. You cant make a booking anymore with a foreign creditcard due to a glitch in their website, only with (again a selective number of) Indonesian credit cards. No wonder they are loosing business to Air Asia, and no wonder it takes this state company an additional 2 years to join SkyTeam. They definitely lost my business now.
Jun 20, 12, 8:09 pm
I am Aussie and Silver GFF (thanks to a single SYD-CGK return in Biz)...
Website is pretty average and I suspect my points will expire before I ever use them.
Jun 23, 12, 5:35 am
The website is getting better and better. The points do not expire.
GA has made huge inroads in the last few years, but sons of their staff are hopeless.
I recently flew SIN CGK SYD , on boarding at CGK I did not have a Indonesian departure tax receipt as I was a transit passenger, she tried
to deny me boarding until I paid the 150 000 rp
She really did not understand that I had not entered Indonesia while I was on a 90 minute transit.
She referred me another desk who
Just pointed to the boarding door
May 3, 13, 12:29 pm
I recently went to Indonesia to make some sales calls. Within 6 days time I flew more than 10 segments, enough to make me Silver.
I don't really care about the silver moembership as much as the miles. I am DL Platinum, and when Garuda joins SkyTeam I want to merge the two memberships. So when I got home, I enrolled in GFF, and then went to request my miles using all my boarding passes. To access my online account, I had to "verify" it. I called customer service and eventually got an English speaker to tell me US address wouldn't work, and that I needed an Indonesian one. Fortunately for me, I just used the address of my local rep in Jakarta. I told him it would just be for two years until the joining of SkyTeam is complete.
Headed back next week. Should get another 10 segments. If I plan it right, I also go back in November for the same. I could actually make Gold for next year, just in time to not matter as I will already be ElitePlus.