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Garuda flight booked with FlyingBlue cancelled - new flight doesn't work

Garuda flight booked with FlyingBlue cancelled - new flight doesn't work

Old Aug 27, 19, 3:09 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Orcas Island, WA
Programs: Alaska MVPG, HHonors Gold
Posts: 40
Garuda flight booked with FlyingBlue cancelled - new flight doesn't work

Hi everyone,

Apologies, I'm not terribly familiar with Flying Blue. I've searched this forum and haven't found this problem elsewhere, and appreciate any guidance.

Back in February, I transferred 58K Chase UR points to a Flying Blue account created for the purpose of booking the following flight for me and my wife: SOQ-UPG-DPS on Garuda Indonesia in Business on 15 December.

Last night I got an email from Air France saying my flight had been canceled. It took a little sleuthing, but I eventually discovered that to SOQ-UPG leg had been canceled entirely, only running a couple of days a week. The replacement flight offered by the system is SOQ-UPG on 14 December, UPG-DPS on 15 December, still in J.

This doesn't work, as my wife and I will still be on a liveaboard scuba boat on 14 December, and of course, the overnight layover is not desirable.

I called a bunch of Air France numbers in France, mostly to no avail. I eventually got a US-based Flying Blue agent (probably a Delta agent), who was able to offer me a SOQ-DPS flight on 15 December with two layovers (can't remember where off the top of my head) in coach, obviously not the greatest. There is a flight on Garuda on 15 December from SOQ-CGK-DPS that works for us and has seats in Business (Experflyer says J9), but there's no award availability. I asked the US-based Flying Blue agent if she could override the system and get me on the good SOQ-CGK-DPS flight since I had booked a ticket and had it canceled on me, but she could not.

I called the Garuda office in Jakarta, and thought I was about to get on that flight, but the guy put me on hold to check something and came back to tell me that only Air France could rebook it.

Any advice? Perhaps a better number to call, maybe France based? I tried several but couldn't get to the right person. Obviously, my first choice would be to get on the good SOQ-CGK-DPS flight in business, but failing that, if I end up in a coach flight with two layovers, I'd like the difference in points back and/or the option to switch to the good flight should seats become available.
OrcasIslander is offline  
Old Aug 27, 19, 6:31 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Programs: Flying Blue Gold, Iberia Silver
Posts: 608
Originally Posted by OrcasIslander View Post
Hi everyone,

Apologies, I'm not terribly familiar with Flying Blue. I've searched this forum and haven't found this problem elsewhere, and appreciate any guidance.

Back in February, I transferred 58K Chase UR points to a Flying Blue account created for the purpose of booking the following flight for me and my wife: SOQ-UPG-DPS on Garuda Indonesia in Business on 15 December.

Last night I got an email from Air France saying my flight had been canceled. It took a little sleuthing, but I eventually discovered that to SOQ-UPG leg had been canceled entirely, only running a couple of days a week. The replacement flight offered by the system is SOQ-UPG on 14 December, UPG-DPS on 15 December, still in J.

This doesn't work, as my wife and I will still be on a liveaboard scuba boat on 14 December, and of course, the overnight layover is not desirable.

I called a bunch of Air France numbers in France, mostly to no avail. I eventually got a US-based Flying Blue agent (probably a Delta agent), who was able to offer me a SOQ-DPS flight on 15 December with two layovers (can't remember where off the top of my head) in coach, obviously not the greatest. There is a flight on Garuda on 15 December from SOQ-CGK-DPS that works for us and has seats in Business (Experflyer says J9), but there's no award availability. I asked the US-based Flying Blue agent if she could override the system and get me on the good SOQ-CGK-DPS flight since I had booked a ticket and had it canceled on me, but she could not.

I called the Garuda office in Jakarta, and thought I was about to get on that flight, but the guy put me on hold to check something and came back to tell me that only Air France could rebook it.

Any advice? Perhaps a better number to call, maybe France based? I tried several but couldn't get to the right person. Obviously, my first choice would be to get on the good SOQ-CGK-DPS flight in business, but failing that, if I end up in a coach flight with two layovers, I'd like the difference in points back and/or the option to switch to the good flight should seats become available.
Your schedule is tight, so I would advise to accept the economy option and have the miles difference refunded. All other good options have been ruled out. You may still be able to buy a cheap "daily upgrade" with Garuda on DOD, although on short flights like these it should be fine to travel in eco.
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HalconBCN is offline  
Old Aug 27, 19, 6:58 pm
  #3  
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
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The agent was correct, AF cannot "override" the system other than as to its own flights. It cannot force GA to do anything. However, you might try calling back during regular business hours in Western Europe and asking AF to have a liaison agent reach out to GA to determine whether GA might force award space for you. It is entirely up to GA, will likely take several days and you are stuck with whatever answer you get.

As a practical matter, I agree that for such a short series of flights, I would take what has been offered and be done with it.
Often1 is offline  
Old Aug 29, 19, 2:11 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Seattle, DL PM
Posts: 875
Hmmm... GA is still selling SOQ-UPG-DPS on Dec 15 on it's website and through OTAs. Are you sure your flight got cancelled?

Take economy and refund in miles if it's cancelled. Also going through CGK maybe a longer route, you will probably have better option in IRROPS compared to UPG.

If you have Elite Plus you can select bulkhead or exit row for free on domestic flights for you and your partner. Bulkhead is almost as good as J on short domestic flights, I would save miles even if business award was available.

​​​​​​Just a piece of warning, Indonesia is still a third world country and GA despite 5* rating maybe the best in Indonesia, it is still corrupt and insefficient airline, especially by Western standards. I have witnessed it on 6 flights I took in August. Set your expectations straight. Your flight can be cancelled and reinstated several times before now and December. You may not be able to reach GA phone agent for hours during busy time. And if your flight is cancelled or delayed on day of departure, do not expect western style service recovery or rebooking on other airlines (and you probably do not want to as some airlines in Indonesia are really scary). Arrive to the airport early, even to small stations, because agents working at checkin including SkyPriority can be very slow (I had two occasions when SkyPrioeiry check-ins took more then 30 minutes , almost missed a flight from DPS).

And most important: add padding to your schedule and do not plan to depart cruise on the day you arrive. Besides GA incompetence and poor IRROPS handling , Indonesia has volcanos that can delay flights and it happens more often that you think.

Have fun, Indonesia is a beautiful country.

Last edited by AntonS; Aug 29, 19 at 2:18 am
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