Sriwijaya’s Sorong Scam

Last updated: September 15, 2014
Scam Alert

Sriwijaya Air’s cheapest fares to Sorong often cannot be booked.

The author rarely criticises Indonesian domestic airlines on this website, seeing he needs their cooperation when booking his clients’ flights. It is more helpful/practical to advise clients which airlines are more/less reliable, more/less punctual (not late) and safer/less safe.

However, when airlines are ripping off unsuspecting passengers, he makes an exception.

Previously, he alerted clients to Garuda Indonesia overcharging airport tax. He also explained all the extra fees that AirAsia charges on Indonesian domestic flights. Finally, he explained on the Frequently Asked Questions page all fees that are passed on to the customer, including booking fees and Paypal fees.

Currently, Sriwijaya Air appears to be consistently offering the cheapest fares between Jakarta and Sorong. However, when trying to book the flight, one gets an error message:

Sriwijaya Air Scam 3
Sriwijaya Air Scam 2

In other words, after entering all the passenger and payment details, the passenger finds out they can’t book the cheap fare that the website offers. (Some Indonesian airlines do offer web-only special fares, but advertising fares that cannot be booked at all is ridiculous and probably illegal). Sriwijaya Air then encourages you to select another, more expensive fare.

Very angry womanThis is infuriating for travel agents, let alone their budget-minded passengers who feel sure they are being overcharged. At this time, it seems to be only occurring on flights between Jakarta and Sorong.

The author has complained to the airline, but so far there has been no response.

In the meantime, it is intended that this post will go some way to explaining this bizarre situation and generating some action from Sriwijaya Air.

If this discourages you from flying with Sriwijaya Air to Sorong, other airlines that fly between Jakarta and Sorong are Xpress Air (the only non-stop flight), Lion Air (via Ambon) and Garuda Indonesia (via Makassar). You can compare the different airlines in more detail here.

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