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Garuda Indonesia - Don't book online with them!

1 post
Garuda Indonesia - Don't book online with them!

Just a warning to all people who book online with Garuda Indonesia - cross your fingers and hope for the best.

I attempted to book a flight with them online. The following occurred:

They did not generate a booking confirmation for me;

They took the money out of my bank account:

They cancelled the booking;

They told me I should try to rebook on the flight (knowing it was full); and

Have not returned my money.

All of their customer service staff (I have made a number of long distance calls at my own expense) have very poor English and do not hesitate to say "I do not understand, can you call back later", then hang up.


110 replies to this topic
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3,974 posts
14 reviews
1. Re: Garuda Indonesia - Don't book online with them!

Contact your credit card company/bank, with written proof they (a) took the money (b) cancelled the booking and ask the c.c. company to reverse the payment.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
105 posts
10 reviews
2. Re: Garuda Indonesia - Don't book online with them!

Hi All,

Just want to share my experience with purchasing

Garuda Indonesia online air tickets.

31st March 2011

I booked 2 tickets (my husband and I) from Singapore to Bali online and paid via credit card. The transaction went through with the below comment

"Your transaction has been approved but e-ticket cannot be issued online. Please contact helpdesk".

I received an email confirmation with a booking reservation number that starts with 8xxxxx. On the same email, it has a payment confirmation number.

I called Garuda Singapore office to explain the above situation and they advised me that Garuda only issue booking number starting with a "Q" or "R".

I insisted that I have booked from a legitimate Garuda website and the payment did went through since I got a payment confirmation number. They then advised me to call their head office. I called the head office immediately.

The head office (after a very painful and slow English phone conversation for 30 mins) then advised me that they have my name in their system but the payment has not gone through. They asked me to send an email to their helpdesk to ask to refund the ticket as the reservation number 8xxxxx is not valid and I should go book another ticket online! I insisted I want to buy the air ticket (why should I book online again when the 1st time booking has failed!) so she took down my credit card details and gave me another booking number. This time with Qxxxxxx. Then my phone went off!!!! I think it was due to bad phone connection.

I called Garuda SG office to explain the situation (thank God for their fluent English!). They then advised that I have now 4 tickets under my name! All not paid for. They asked me to follow the head office instruction to send email to helpdesk and get a refund.

I sent the email on the same night.

28 hours later, no reply. I got worried and call Garuda head office. I told the lady the whole story and all I got was "erm.... ahhmm....."

I was so frustrated! I then asked to cancel ALL booking. And she said she can't! She then ask me to do another booking online!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! or wait for the email reply since I sent email already. I got so fed up and just hang up. Call back Garuda SG and explain everything again. Was literally yelling at the poor lady (felt so bad now). She then checked and confirmed I now only have 1 booking under my name which is the Qxxxxx. She then tell me the head office only asked for my credit card details but did not charge it!!!! She asked me to confirm with my credit card company to see if payment has gone through. She will be able to hold the Qxxxxx reservation till 7th April.

I called my credit card company and indeed they have a transaction from Garuda. Though my credit card company has the funds ready for Garuda to claim it but Garuda has not claim it. Credit card company will allow up to 14 days for them to claim. And I cannot block/stop the payment!!!! The only way is to wait for Garuda to claim the payment and IF Garuda is not going to issue me the tickets then I will be able to ask my credit card company to get back my money via a dispute claim.

another 24hours later, my credit card company called me to inform me that the money has been claimed by Garuda.

I called back Garuda Singapore immediately and told them that the money has gone through. I told Garuda Singapore that Garuda has claimed the money but will not be able to link the booking number to that money they claimed! My credit card transaction was for booking ref 8xxxxx, not got Qxxxxx!!!!!

Goodness, is it really that hard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????!!!!!!!!

Sensing my frustration, Garuda Singapore (within an hour) issue me the e tickets.

Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
2,329 posts
159 reviews
3. Re: Garuda Indonesia - Don't book online with them!

Jeez, what a frustrating experience! It really shouldn't be that hard! Hope your flights are good!

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
105 posts
10 reviews
4. Re: Garuda Indonesia - Don't book online with them!

May I also add that Garuda Singapore is also aware of similar problems when air tickets are purchased online using overseas issued credit cards. I think if you use a credit card issued in Singapore or Indonesia, you should be fine. Mine isn't. But then again, don't accept online booking with credit cards if your website can't work! Honestly, first and LAST time I will book with Garuda!

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Philippines
Level Contributor
11,284 posts
2,254 reviews
5. Re: Garuda Indonesia - Don't book online with them!

Three or so years ago, this was a probloem with Filipino airline Cebu Pacific but now booking online with it is easy.

Garuda is one of a number of 'second tier', legacy (non low-cost carrier) airlines whiose websites are not up to scratch. Others include some of the Chinese airlines.

The simple solution to minimise fraud is for airlines to insist that travellers use the 'Verified by Visa' or similar Mastercard additional steps that force us to use a password at the end of the transaction.

No system is completely criminal-proof but these extra steps help those of us with foreign credit cards to undertake worldwide transactions with relative ease.

Garuda should learn from Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific, both of which have excellent Internet sites where I have made many bookings without incident.

Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
2,329 posts
159 reviews
6. Re: Garuda Indonesia - Don't book online with them!

Until I read this, I was under the impression Garuda had fixed their website-- it's certainly improved, and unlike a few years ago, welcomes non-Indonesian credit cards. Having only bought tickets on GA while inside Indonesia, I had no idea people were having such troubles. Makes me think twice about looking at fares for December...

Level Contributor
1,204 posts
44 reviews
7. Re: Garuda Indonesia - Don't book online with them!

i booked online with garuda indonesia, and had NO PROBLEMS at all, got an email a few mins later with booking number and e ticket, all good here!!!

western australia
Level Contributor
7 posts
35 reviews
8. Re: Garuda Indonesia - Don't book online with them!

Thank you so much for taking the time to post the trouble you had with your Garuda website booking. I was about to purchase when I decided to check it out on trip advisor, read the post and rang Flight Centre to ask if they would match it and they did. I don't want to go through what you did and it would spoil my holiday!

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
11,534 posts
32 reviews
9. Re: Garuda Indonesia - Don't book online with them!

Must be frustrating to have this experience, however, I had a different experience with them. I originally booked Mandala Airlines last year for a flight from Jakarta to Semarang in May this year. Lo and behold, the airline went bankrupt, so I had to try other airlines. I found out then (about Feb this year from memory), that they can now accept my Australian credit cards, so I went ahead and booked. All confirmation was issued immediately, and within a day I received all the e-tickets. Not only that, I received a personal phone call making sure everything was ok with the booking.

Destination Expert
for Philippines, Bandar Seri Begawan
Level Contributor
20,265 posts
254 reviews
10. Re: Garuda Indonesia - Don't book online with them!

I booked online once with Garuda and it perfectly went well like any other airlines I've booked before. The first I tried Garuda was in 2007 and the last one just early this year and their service now is a 360-degree turn from 4 years ago. I can't wait to fly with them again soon.

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