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Problems with Garuda Indonesia Online Bookings

Problems with Garuda Indonesia Online Bookings

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Old May 5, 11, 10:43 pm
  #1  
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Problems with Garuda Indonesia Online Bookings

I'm having a problem with Garuda if anyone has any advice for me. Otherwise, I hope just to warn others that Garuda is having major problems with its new online booking system - beware!

On 31 March 2011 I bought an airfare online with Garuda Indonesia. The payment system kept telling me my payment was rejected, please try again. I tried 8 times in all, without any apparent success. But I discovered a week later while routinely checking my bank account that the Garuda booking system had actually debited my account twice for the US$833.08 ticket ($A814.76 from my bank account). They probably would have debited me 8 times except they had sucked my bank account dry after only 2! They didn't even contact me to tell me I had a ticket - no E-ticket, no email - it was just lucky that I happened to check my account!. I had actually been trying to book one ticket for me and one for my partner, but their system put both tickets (on the same flight) in my name (obviously their mistake).

Contacting Garuda was a nightmare involving numerous phone calls and visits to the office. Finally, after 2 weeks of wrangling, they refused to simply change the name on the ticket but offered to refund one of the tickets, saying " I can then buy a new ticket for my partner at the same price as the first ticket". That sounded reasonable, so I agreed to it. On 27 April 2011 they refunded one ticket US$833.08 but due to the exchange rate difference I only received A$774.98 into my account (a penalty to me of $40). Obviously I am not happy with this, as the error was not mine in the first place. I'm pretty much through with dealing with Garuda - they may have the cheapest unrestricted tickets but its just not worth the time and hassle of dealing with their hopelessly faulty systems.

I have asked my bank whether they can just reverse both entries, as the airline has failed to deliver the product I ordered, and am waiting for a response from them, but I suspect they will tell me that I have to sort it out with the airline. Any advice anyone?
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Old May 10, 11, 8:58 pm
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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A similar experience

Another person also had a problem recently with the Garuda online booking service, but this time with a happy ending:

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntre...readID=2054751

Garuda's online booking service is new, but I used it successfully it once when they had an Internet-only special fare. If the price is the same as at the travel agent, I would say go with the travel agent.

Or if the travel agent can't book Garuda domestic, try a service like Mau Ke Mana. They specialise in booking domestic flights for visitors to Indonesia.
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Old May 11, 11, 2:41 am
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Thanks Dude, I put a post on the Thorn Tree thread you indicated. Problem still not resolved yet. I went to the Garuda office and the supervisor is once again going back to negotiate with the online office in Jakarta, waiting to hear back. Nothing is ever simple in Indonesia!
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Old Jun 8, 11, 6:11 pm
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I tried to book a rt. ticket CGK-TKG with my Canadian Issued Visa and it keep telling me that the transaction was failed and asking me to try again.
I did few try until I finally gave up....
I hope Garuda won't charge those failed transaction like what happen to 'freegyn'. I never received any confirmation nor eticket for any of those what the call "failed transaction"..... let's wait and see....
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Old Jun 9, 11, 8:52 am
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I definitely advise you check your bank account Mraquinas. The only reason why the Garuda system stopped debiting my bank account after two goes was because it had emptied it of funds already! It was like a big vacuum cleaner hoovering up all my money!!!
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Old Jun 12, 11, 4:58 pm
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I tried to use this airline in the past (last year) and tried to book anything online with them was an adventure. Either the site failed or can't even get to the site or won't take my CC info to others. I gave up on them. Looks like things haven't gotten any better this year.
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Old Jul 11, 11, 9:09 pm
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Just to follow up on my situation with Garuda. They finally solved the matter for me, after numerous phone calls and about 10 visits to their Denpasar offices over a 3 month period. Initially they refunded one of the mistakenly debited airfares by crediting my foreign visa card account, but due to the exchange rate difference during the time delay I lost about $40 in this process. After complaining, they eventually they refunded me the $40 in cash, but I was still out of pocket the $20 in bank charges for the transaction, which I have now written off, as its just too hard to follow up with the airline's bureaucratic administration. Then I had to rebook my partner's ticket again in his name. The airline, to their credit, did allow me to re-purchase his ticket at the original price I found online right at the start of this saga. The problem came with paying for it: we went to the Garuda office in Denpasar to pay with my Indonesian Permatabank visa debit card and were told they do not accept this card! They claimed they don't have a merchant agreement with this bank. I find this very hard to believe as Permatabank are one of the larger and more reputable banks in Indonesia. Besides that, merchants dont need to have individual agreements with individual banks - they can accept any Visa card from any bank. So I dont know what game they were playing there, but the upshot was i had to physically go to an ATM and pull out cash to pay for the ticket, which was inconvenient from a book keeping point of view.
My advice: DON'T use the Garuda online system. But if you do, then stop trying to book after the first payment attempt, even if it tells you your first attempt was unsuccessful and to try again. Then, ring the Garuda online reservation office and tell them to manually follow up your failed booking, as they will have a record of it in their log and they can pursue it from there. I understand Garuda do have an offline payment system via telephone or by ATM machine, and maybe you can request this payment facility when you ring their online centre to follow up your failed booking? I'd be interested to know if anyone has any success with this method.
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Old Aug 7, 11, 6:25 am
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Had a similar experience with Kuwait Air flying RT from KWI to CAI. They rejected my BOA credit card twice and the third time went though. I noticed that they charged me twice after my trip and called to see if I can get a refund, but the NA agent stated to take it up with my credit card company. I tried to dispute with BOA, but they couldn't resolve the issue and then from then on I swore off BOA.

Garuda did have a problem with their site being down for a while when I tried to book my DPS to ICN flight, but eventually it came around and I was able to book 2 tickets. BTW the flight from DPS to ICN was on a rather new plane and the best experience in economy I've had comparable to Qatar or Emirates. I read horror stories in the past of safety records, but everything went without a hitch. Glad you got your issue resolved.
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Old Aug 8, 11, 4:38 am
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It's official - Garuda's online booking engine is useless

Last week, visitors to the Garuda website received an apology from Garuda's President Director for the:

unreliability and instability of the Garuda Online Internet booking system
I took a printscreen of it and would like to upload it here, but I can't.

Acknowledging the problem is a good start. Unfortunately, it also said:

we do not expect to completely ... stabilise all the Internet Booking functions until the end of November 2011.
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Old Jan 14, 12, 5:37 am
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Indonesia domestic flight bookings

Thanks again to Flyertalk. I needed help with a domestic Garuda flight that was impossible to book on-line from Italy. This thread pointed me to the folks at Mau Ke Mana. Just wanted to give a thumbs-up to the service. My inquiry was answered promptly and the booking was made smoothly. Very professional. Kudos to everyone involved.
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Old Apr 2, 12, 8:13 am
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gosh...im about to book online from italy but kinda confused since there is no option for infant
what a pity if they dont have reliable service
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Old Jul 6, 12, 10:02 pm
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Question Still not working! Any suggestion?

I never flew on Garuda; any advise on how to book a domestic ticket if the Garuda website is not working?

I tried Expedia, but the fare is twice the amount of the fare available on Garuda.com.

I have been trying for over a week, without success, although, one time, I went to the end of the process, to the screen indicating that my Chase Visa had been declined, after I had entered the requested verification information.
I called Chase: the agent indicted that no payment charge was attempted by Garuda on my account!

Last edited by UASPG; Jul 21, 12 at 8:01 am
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Old Jul 7, 12, 2:15 am
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The cheaper fares are most likely only valid for SITI transactions. Maybe wait until you are in Indonesia by the time which the cheaper fares might be gone?
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Old Jul 7, 12, 7:23 am
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Originally Posted by holtju2 View Post
The cheaper fares are most likely only valid for SITI transactions. Maybe wait until you are in Indonesia by the time which the cheaper fares might be gone?
Thanks for your response.

I will be flying on TG from Bangkok and taking a domestic connection on Garuda (if I can purchase the ticket!), so I must purchase the ticket before my departure from BKK. I guess that I will keep trying, hoping that the aircrafts are better operated than their website.


PS: as I had to Google "SITI transactions", if others wonder, SITI means "Sold In, Ticketed In" that country.
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Old Jul 7, 12, 8:06 am
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I thought that it was my lucky day. The process went smoothly on each screen, except the last one, after I entered my c/c information:

"We could not book your itinerary at this time. No payment has been taken. Either attempt to purchase again or start a new search."
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