Thursday, March 11, 2010

I thought I would make a quick note to share with everyone my experience with the above travel agent in Indonesia. A big thumbs-up for !

Booking for domestic airline tickets online with any Indonesian airlines can be quite a hassle, especially if you hold a foreign credit card and are not travelling on the airticket(s) that you are paying for. In my case, I hit both rocks at the same time!!

Anyway, despite my complaints about their (Garuda & Lion Air) online booking system, payment especially - I am quite impressed with their "honest quick price display" - meaning what you see is what you pay! You can browse and immediately you would be able to know what's the final ticket price unlike Air Asia website that shows an indicative price, then you have to add the luggage thingy, food thingy, insurances thingy and lastly the convenience fee thingy to arrive at the "total payable" - frustrating ...

MAS online booking has similar "honest quick price display" that would enable easy price comparison! Bravo MAS...

Back to my "Indonesian Domestic Flight Tickets" booking experience.

There are several Indonesian airlines running the domestic routes and the most extensive ones are Garuda (of course!) and Lion Air. Based on "price and flights frequencies" factors, I've decided to go ahead with Lion Air - and this is where the headache starts ...

I attempted to book online on a Saturday evening, then found out about the restriction on credit card payments. I made a call to LION AIR 24-hour hotline in Indonesia and was directed to go to their KLIA Ticketing Dept, which was supposedly operational from 9am-6pm daily.

Sunday - KLIA @ 11.00 am and LION AIR office was closed! I tried to call their Penang Office, no one picks up too .. I panicked! I need to get them all in to Malaysia by Tuesday! Bear in mind, I still need to confirm and send them their e-tickets! The live very far from the airport, 6 hours drive away.

Nothing much can be done on a Sunday - so I made my way to the nearest travel agent and asked for Garuda ticket price - one way - a whooping RM 750! Well, if it comes to it, then I may have to go with this! Most of our local travel agents are not connected to Lion Air online booking, so meaning, they can help us to book (with a fee, of course) by calling LION AIR ticketing dept, in another word - more "waiting" BUT it can only happen on Monday!

So, whole Sunday evening, I surfed and came across a recommendation to the above website.

On Monday, I called the them directly (they are one hour behind us, +7) - I have to say, I was very impressed with their agents, Alip & Byti, who took the efforts to "understand" me with my broken Bahasa Indo/Malay mixed with English - imagine spelling out 6 Indonesian names over the phone! TravelIndo is connected to LION AIR booking and was able to book immediately (I can even cross-check the "bookings" on LION AIR website, just to be sure!) - payment was done via PAY PAL (perfect!) and was converted to USD. All done before 1.00 pm! Phew!

Was it worth the efforts? How much did we save?
Imagine this, Garuda vs. Lion Air, it is equivalent to RM 750 vs. RM 150!
Savings apart, I am glad I learned something new!

So, to those who are planning to travel around Indonesia - try & plan with

Jl. Pringgodani No. 1, Mrican Baru, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia.
Ticketing : 0274-511100 (hunting 6 lines).
Tour : 0274-541409 (hunting 4 lines).
Fax : 0274-541402

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