Plan(e) Ahead

Last updated: October 5, 2014
Plan Ahead

When you can/can’t book Indonesian flights.

Tickets for some Indonesian domestic flights are not always available 11½ months (353 days) in advance, like in other countries. This can be an issue for enthusiastic travel planners, who like everything to be arranged well in advance.

The common limitations for booking Indonesian flights are explained below.

1. The 3 Month Limit

Logo of PT Aviastar Mandiri Kal-Star logo Susi Air logo TransNusa logo Trigana Air logo New Express Air logo

Smaller regional airlines only sell tickets up to 90 days (3 months) before departure; sometimes it’s only 30 days. This especially impacts flights to/from Pangkalan Bun and Banda Islands (Bandaneira), as well as some flights to Komodo (Labuan Bajo) and Raja Ampat (Sorong).

What date is 30 or 90 days from today? Check here.

Frustratingly, tickets don’t always go on sale 90 days before departure; it can be 80 days, 70 or less.

2. The Year End Limit

In addition, some airlines are slow to open bookings for flights in the next year. It can be difficult to predict when tickets for e.g. January 2015 will go on sale.

This may be because airlines are going to change their schedule on 1 January but the final schedule isn’t confirmed yet, or the airline hasn’t decided whether to increase/cut flights on a route that is performing above/below expectations.

air-asia-logo-small Batik Air logo Citilink logo Garuda Indonesia logo
Lion Air logo Sriwijaya Air logo Wings Air logo
Unlike some, tickets for these airline’s flights in 2015 ARE available now

Again, smaller regional airlines and less popular routes are the most common offenders in this area.

3. Other considerations

Early Bird Sales

Early Bird Sale AirAsia Early Bird Sale

In many countries, airlines attract advance bookings by offering special early bird fares. In Indonesia, it seems the opposite can be true: many airlines often only sell the most expensive, full-fare tickets for flights 3+ months in the future.

AirAsia Indonesia does offer early bird sales sometimes, but passenger need to accept strict booking conditions – e.g. cannot cancel – and flights at inconvenient times. Please also remember that the initial fare often does NOT include the airline’s fees for checked baggage, payment processing, etc.

Public Holidays
However, it can be a good idea to book ahead if the flight occurs near an Indonesian public holiday. Fares might seem more expensive than usual and this can be the reason. However, it is unlikely that the fare will decrease closer to the date.

The client needs to decide if they are willing to accept the fare that is currently available, or not.

So what happens when an enquiry is received for a flight which cannot be booked yet?

Mau Ke Mana sends an email explaining the situation and offers to send the quote when tickets are available. If the client agrees, the enquiry will join a “future quote list”, meaning a list of quotes to be sent in the future.

Are you planning your trip to Indonesia and like to plan ahead? Please send an enquiry.

2 Comments on “Plan(e) Ahead”

  1. Nancy says:

    Friends took this flight this year. WE can’t find the GA675 anywhere. Does it still exist.
    Would love to get to Sorong from Bali in 1 day. Depart Jan.2,16 return Jan.13,16
    Need to be in Sorong by 9:00am on Jan.3, 16 for boat transfer.
    Thanks for our help.

    31 Jan 2015 DENPASAR MAKASSAR with Garuda Indonesia GA675 etd 0635 eta 0755

    31 Jan 2015 MAKASSAR SORONG with Garuda Indonesia GA690 etd 0910 eta 1225

    Price IDR 3,004,600/person/pax/ow + 10% handling fee = EURO 221.00,-/pax/ow = EURO 442.00,-/2 pax/ow

    16 Feb 2015 SORONG MAKASSAR with Garuda Indonesia GA699 etd 1435 eta 1545

    16 Feb 2015 MAKASSAR DENPASAR with Garuda Indonesia GA621 etd 1835 eta 1955

    Price IDR 3,004,600/person/pax/ow + 10% handling fee = EURO 221.00,-/pax/ow = EURO 442.00,-/2 pax/ow

  2. Chris says:

    Hi Nancy,

    I think this is the flight you mean:

    Bali/Denpasar (DPS) Ujung Pandang/Makassar (UPG) 08:40 10:10 GA 674

    Garuda Indonesia has changed its schedule, and the morning flight now arrives in Makassar too late to connect to the 09:10 flight to Sorong.

    Most flights to Sorong are overnight or early morning, so it’s hard to do a same-day flight from Bali.

    One idea: You can fly from Jakarta to Sorong on Garuda at 5am and arrive in Sorong at 12:25. On the way back, you can still fly to Bali.

    More generally, most airlines aren’t selling tickets yet for 2016, and the situation may change between now and then.

Comment on “Plan(e) Ahead”.

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