Garuda Website Woes

Last updated: May 24, 2012
Gaurda Logo Inverted

Garuda Indonesia’s website is crap – it’s official!

For most of this week, yours truly has been unable to make bookings for clients on Garuda Indonesia, while it struggles to successfully implement a system upgrade.

Garuda’s Booking Engine
Garuda Offline Garuda Still Offline
29 February: offline (left), 2 March: still offline (right)

This is the latest in a series of problems that Garuda’s booking engine and website has given travel agents, and the general public. Some of the past lowlights:

Garuda Apology #1

- A public apology after a flurry of complaints about the unstable and unreliable booking system. It was published on the opening screen of Garuda’s website.

Garuda's Problems in Canada

- Complaints on online travel forums like FlyerTalk:
(i) Credit cards still being charged when Garuda’s website said the transaction had failed.
(ii) Canadians unable to book Garuda flights with Canadian credit cards, despite Garuda’s website saying they could (see above).

Garuda Skyteam Airport Queue
- The same day that Garuda signed on to join the Skyteam Airline Alliance (left), an IT system failure created flight chaos for days afterwards (right).

Your patience and understanding is appreciated while we wait for Garuda to work it out.

Having said that, Garuda Indonesia doesn’t seem to worry as much as its competitors about public perceptions of care and good service. As an example, after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan last year, a Japanese client cancelled her return flight to Indonesia (on another airline, without penalty) and wanted to cancel her connecting domestic flight on Garuda from Denpasar to Yogyakarta. However, Garuda repeatedly refused to give a refund and said the ticket could not be cancelled; while the ticket did have a no-refund clause, it was surprising that Garuda that would not make an exception for even these unusual/special circumstances.

Still, considering Garuda’s international ticket sales increased sharply upon the introduction of online sales in May 2011, you would think solving these problems would be a high priority.



32 Comments on Garuda Website Woes

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  1. avatar Chris Says:
    June 17th, 2012 at 12:13 am

    The latest version of Garuda’s website does seem to be more stable and reliable. But the last two times I have booked tickets, it has given me an error message:

    Unfortunately error has occurred while adding ticketing information to reservation. Please call 0 804 1 807 807 or +62 21 2351-9999 to contact our support service.

    I did as asked, but two days later am still waiting for the e-tickets to arrive by email.

  2. avatar Oigal Says:
    June 17th, 2012 at 6:58 am

    You would think that setting up a workable airline website would be pretty simple, there must be several thousand of them out there to copy.

    As for the inability to make an exception, that’s a business wide trend.

  3. avatar Chris Says:
    June 17th, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Oigal,

    You would think that setting up a workable airline website would be pretty simple, there must be several thousand of them out there to copy.

    That’s right, and the online booking part of (Garuda’s budget airline) Citilink used to be identical to Merpati – probably because they were set up by the same company: Mercator. So there is a precedent in the Garuda Group for that.

    Unfortunately, Garuda’s “economy best fare” prices are Internet-only specials, so it’s not like you can go to your local travel agent or Garuda office and get the same price.

  4. avatar W Says:
    June 20th, 2012 at 8:48 am

    20th June 2012 and I am still having the problems booking with an Australian Mastercard. The website accepted the credit card information and then redirected the website to the bank security window, where usually a netcode is asked for. At this point the website timed-out or collapsed and the error “your transaction failed” was given on the screen.

    Only problem is that my credit card HAS BEEN CHARGED and I don’t have a booking reference or Itinerary. How long this will take to sort out will be anybody’s guess! :(

  5. avatar Chris Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Dear W,

    You aren’t the first person to report this problem. You can read some similar experiences on Flyertalk here.

    As soon as you have something on your credit card statement (paper or online), I suggest you complain to your credit card company and Garuda. The list of Garuda offices in Australia is here. I have only had experience with the Melbourne office for something relatively minor; the staff were friendly and helpful when answering my questions.

  6. avatar Chris Says:
    July 4th, 2012 at 12:44 am

    The latest bizarre error message I have received from Garuda’s website this week:

    We are sorry, but the server is unavailable. Please try again.

  7. avatar Peter Says:
    July 4th, 2012 at 6:02 am

    Hello all, when you book online with a credit card and receive this message, “Unfortunately error has occurred while adding ticketing information to reservation. Please call 0 804 1 807 807 or +62 21 2351-9999 to contact our support service.” this is because there system as many comments here have stated is useless, when I called them they said the bookings were in the system and until I get a transaction number from my bank they will not issue the tickets. I advised them that when using a credit card that I could not get a transaction number immediately and gave them an example saying that if they were in a restaurant with their family, then paid for their dinner by credit card would they expect the staff to say we will not accept your card unless you give us a transaction number but they still insisted I get this number. Even my bank BNI was surprised to here such rubbish when using a credit card and just typed up a letter to say the amount had been approved which after a few days finally worked and I received my tickets. If I would have booked my tickets for a flight the following day I would have missed the flight so I wish someone in Garuda with half a brain realise this and fix the problem without all the rubbish and apoligies, not only does this affect me personally but also my business as a lot of my staff travel.

  8. avatar Daniel Says:
    July 5th, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Hi, I am having difficulties getting on the website of Garuda since yesterday. No matter which browser or device I use it keeps giving me a gateway timeout. I am in Indonesia using mobile broadband. Anyone haven’t the same issue? The day before it worked just fine

  9. avatar Chris Says:
    July 8th, 2012 at 12:56 am

    Me too, Daniel, me too.

  10. avatar john Says:
    September 18th, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Garuda made a mistake on spelling my name now they want $125 to correct it incompitant

  11. avatar peter Says:
    October 7th, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    if garuda make a mistake on spelling your name is it it $125 to correct. or do they make you pay to rebook the ticket as well.

  12. avatar Chris Says:
    October 7th, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Hi John and Peter,

    I generally avoid the problem by giving Garuda a written version of how I want the name to appear on the ticket, e.g.

    EASTWOOD/CLINT MR

    By the way, Indonesian names don’t have the same (first name/last name) structure, so at e.g. the music shop you will find Michael Jackson under “M”, not “J”.

    If they made the mistake, I would refuse to pay. Instead, you could get them to add a comment to the booking that the correct spelling is …. and it was a clerical error by Garuda staff.

  13. avatar Mike Says:
    February 1st, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    I’ve had lots of problems purchasing tickets from the Garuda website….but yesterday I was pleasantly surprised….. Everything went so smoothly!!!!! The follow up call was an added touch….Go GARUDA!!!!

  14. avatar Rina Says:
    April 14th, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    I am having trouble with book online ticket with Garuda. I did purchase my ticket and they never send me the confirmation online booking via email yet. I tried to call them if my online booking go trough and I got answered that it went trough but still waiting for email confirmation and it is still never get it. It is so frustrating .

  15. avatar Chris Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 12:13 am

    Hi Rina,

    If you noted the booking code, that would be helpful. You can check the status of the booking here.

    Otherwise, you can check your credit card or bank statement, via online banking.

  16. avatar Andy Says:
    April 19th, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Hi Garuda,

    I have an same problem with RINA,
    already have a booking number but can’t download the ticket from : http://www.garuda-indonesia.com/id/ ( eror showing ).

    and haven’t received any email confirmation or ticket from Garuda,

    Payment already succesfull.

    Thanks.

  17. avatar Chris Says:
    April 19th, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Hi Andy,

    Sometimes the booking status page doesn’t work either.

    If you don’t live near a Garuda sales office, the best way to contact Garuda is with an email to e-booking@garuda-indonesia.com .

    Make sure you include the flight details, passenger names and booking code, mention that payment has been processed and ask them to email you new tickets.

    I don’t think it matters if you don’t speak Indonesian.

  18. avatar Chris Says:
    October 28th, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Now the “Check My Booking” function isn’t working on the Garuda website, and there is no solution in the near future.

    Too bad if you don’t live in Indonesia and can’t phone Garuda…

  19. avatar Chris Says:
    October 30th, 2013 at 7:15 am

    UPDATE
    The “Check My Booking” function on Garuda’s website is now working ok. I don’t know if my tweet resulted in the airline fixing it or not…

    My only other pet peeve at the moment is that you can’t select dates more than one month ahead (currently 30 November) because the -> arrow to move the month forward doesn’t work. You need to select 30 November, then select a new date in December, then another in January, etc until you get the date you want.

  20. avatar j12 Says:
    November 28th, 2013 at 5:56 am

    Garuda have a rude service people

  21. avatar Ruaan Deysel Says:
    December 9th, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    I’m personally disappointed in the level of service that I received from Garuda Airlines. I booked a ticket to Bali and asked the ticket operator at Garuda if I will be allowed in the country on a temporary / emergency passport. I was told yes, I won’t have problem entering the country and I can obtain a visa on arrival. On the 8th December I was suppose to depart from Perth International Airport. At the check in I was turned away due to my passport and I was told by the Garuda airline staff that the passport is not valid and Bali will refuse entry. I had to go to the Indonesian consulate to obtain a visa from them and it takes 5 working days. So now I have lost money on accommodation and I can’t even get a refund on my ticket. I have to pay in money to get money back. I wish Garuda Airline would have told me beforehand the exact passport requirements for Bali. I don’t recommend anyone to fly Garuda or use there services. Thanks for wasting my money and ruining my first trip to Bali and family reunion.

  22. avatar Wayan JC Says:
    December 9th, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Bonjour.
    A titre d’expérience, lorsque vous êtes dans une agence émettant une réservation de billets “Garuda” ou autres compagnies, le staff est formé que pour cela.
    Si vous avez des questions hors sujets, le staff vous répondra toujours “OUI”.
    1) Par politesse
    2) C’est la culture et la tradition des pays Asiatiques.
    3) N’aime pas les questions subsidiaires dans leur travail.
    Lorsque vous avez retiré votre passeport, dans votre pays, c’est à ce moment que vous deviez posé la question du transport aérien, la possibilité de sortir de votre
    pays et de l’entrée dans le pays de destination, car chaque pays à ses propres lois et règlements. En Indonésie, par exemple, elles sont très strictes et suivis à la lettre. Le même cas se pose pour la sortie du pays de destination.
    Avec seulement, 1 heure de dépassement de la date de sortie du visa,vous aurez droit, à une bonne amende + le prix du visa. (mais, comme toujours, si vous restez patient, poli avec du temps devant vous, avant l’embarquement, vous pouvez négocié. (seul, l’amende…)
    Allez, vous êtes encore vivant…pour nous raconter vos prochaines aventures.
    Cordialement
    Wayan JC

    Google Translate says in English:

    Good morning.
    As an experiment , when you are in an agency issuing a ticket reservation ” Garuda ” or other companies, the staff is trained for that.
    If you have off-topic questions, the staff will always answer “YES”.
    1) As a courtesy
    2) It is the culture and tradition of Asian countries.
    3) Do not love the subsidiary issues in their work.
    When you removed your passport in your country , this is the time that you were asked the question of air transport, the possibility of leaving your
    countries and the entry into the country of destination, because each country has its own laws and regulations. In Indonesia, for example, they are very strict and followed to the letter . The same case arises out of the country of destination.
    With only one hour of exceeding the release date of the visa, you will be entitled to a good fine + the price of the visa. ( but , as always, if you remain patient, polite time before you, before boarding, you can negotiated . ( only the fine … )
    Come on, you’re still alive … to tell us about your next adventure .
    cordially
    Wayan JC

  23. avatar AAA Says:
    February 28th, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    I have HUGE problem with booking Grauda Indonesia website.
    This is 2nd time that they charged me double.

    After input credit card information, always shows error.
    And no message arrived in e-mail.
    However, it has been created and charged, DOUBLE!
    And last time I tried again

    I have called over 6 times, 5 people, 4 hours at call center this time.
    They promised to call me back but 2 days after, no call back or e-mail.

    In the end, they pay me back, but it took around 2 months although Garuda pay me back within 2 weeks, due to closing date of Garuda.

    I was informed that they could have cancelled one of the credit transaction within a same day, so this time I called within few hours.
    Still they said they will pay me back within 14 days.

    I used non Indonesian credit card so last time they paid me back, I lost some money due to exchange rate changed.

    I have no reply from call center…
    that makes me feel very bad.

    I cannot trust your Garuda Indonesia website but since there is no agency near by, I needed to use website. I got SO tired. I wish I could move out of Indonesia….

  24. avatar kharul hasana Says:
    May 14th, 2014 at 8:44 am

    i want to refund my ticket..i bought on line.
    ticket return kul-cgk-kul..flight on 19 mei 2014 and 22nd mei 2014..
    where i can submit…

  25. avatar Chris Says:
    May 14th, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Hi kharul hasana,

    You need to visit Lion Air customer service. If you are in Malaysia, perhaps a Malindo Air office can help you too. If you don’t know where it is, there is always one at the airport.

  26. avatar Grace Says:
    June 2nd, 2014 at 7:32 am

    I tried to refund my eticket, but Garuda Indonesia office in Perth could not help me due to “eticket” the Garuda lady told me to email Garuda on refundibe@garuda-indonesia.com
    I did email and told them that our trip is now cancelled hence i would like Garuda Indonesia to refund our tickets! After 3 days of emailing them i still have not have any reply from Garuda! Very frustrated….

  27. avatar Chris Says:
    June 2nd, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Hi Grace,

    Maybe try putting a message on Garuda’s Twitter account: @IndonesiaGaruda.

    How to set up a Twitter account

  28. avatar May Says:
    August 15th, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    I should have read this before I attempted to book with Garuda. I booked a flight from Jakarta to London (operated by Etihad) from Garuda website at a pretty good price. But, the problem starts when I paid the booking using debit card from Barclays’ s bank. After the verification process, the website showed an error saying thay the page was not found or something like that. It was crazy as my money had been deducted but I got nothing in my email. So I directly call their CS and explained my case and the cs give me the booking number. I retrieved this and I directly emailed the booking conf. to my email. The cs said that the latest they can give me a ticket was the next day morning. I waited but there is no eticket from them. Fed up, finally I called the CS and that rude cs saying there is no available seat so I have to refund my tix. It was crazy and I was angry to her but she is helpless. I emailed them and no reply. I eventually tweeted them and asked them to check it. They check my booking and they said it is confirmed and I have to wait for my tix. I waited for hours but I got nothing. I finally called the cs again saying if they could just emailed it manually and the cs said I have to wait for the system to send me the ticket. How can i bear to wait this crap system? At this stage, I am totally disappointed and kinda traumatic to book through their website again. Any suggestion to get my eticket quickly? I really need assurance for my travel.

  29. avatar Chris Says:
    August 16th, 2014 at 6:13 am

    Hi May,

    I’m sorry to hear about your experience.

    Using your booking code, you can check your booking (and be sure if it really exists or not) on the Garuda websitemore information and instructions.

    Our clients can only use the “Booking status” function. BUT if you booked your ticket through the Garuda website, you can also use the “Manage My Booking” function. There is additional information in there, including (most importantly) the e-ticket number. Plus there are buttons to print and email the booking information.

  30. avatar May Says:
    August 16th, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Hi Chris. On thursday when I booked the tix, I could retrieve this information and directly sent it to my email. But, there is no e-ticket number in it. The next day evening I retrieved, there was only a flight confirmation to Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi to London is not available. So I called them last night saying my problem and he said that yes, I have the flight reservation to London, not only to Abu Dhabi. BUT, still..I have to wait for the e-ticket from their system. This morning I checked, the booking confirmation is still only showing Jkt-Abu Dhabi though I had informed them they got it wrong. I am totally fed up with their system now and all I need is the e-ticket to assure me that I am able to fly to London.

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