Garuda maximising airport tax payment convenience… and cost.
Since October 2012, Garuda Indonesia’s domestic flight tickets have included airport tax (a.k.a. passenger service charge) in the advertised price.
On the Garuda website, it is identified in the fare breakdown as a “surcharge”, separate from other taxes, charges and insurance. It is convenient for passengers to not have to pay airport tax, especially for visitors from other countries who aren’t expecting to pay.
However, sometimes Garuda Indonesia overcharges its passengers for airport tax.
When passengers travel on two domestic flights on the one ticket/booking code, they only need to pay airport tax for the first airport; transiting passengers do not have to pay airport tax at the second airport. (The same things happens when transiting on international flights).
For example, this customer (right) is flying Garuda one way from Denpasar to Padang, via Jakarta. They should only pay Denpasar airport tax of Rp40 000 ($4.50 €3,50 £3). However, Garuda is also charging them an additional Rp40 000 for Jakarta airport tax, for a total of Rp80 000 under “surcharges”.
But when booking a return ticket – see the graphic here – Garuda Indonesia charges the correct amount of airport tax: Rp75 000, comprising Rp40 000 for Denpasar and Rp35 000 for Padang.
Why would Garuda Indonesia – the only airline so far participating in this “pilot scheme” of incorporating airport tax into the ticket price – overcharge its customers for airport tax? Here are four possibilities, none of them positive:
Maybe a brave passenger would like to inform Garuda customer service of their ripoff and request a tax refund, or send a link to Garuda’s Twitter account and see what happens.
For now, the author will just keep a running total of how much Garuda Indonesia has overcharged Mau Ke Mana clients in airport tax, since 1 January 2013:
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