Tue, 04 Feb 2003

Booking Garuda open return seat

While in Singapore late in January traveling on Garuda with an open return to Jakarta, on Saturday, Jan. 25, I tried in vain to book my return to Jakarta for Sunday afternoon. I called Garuda airport number 654-24554 until late, just to get the recorded reply that "all our staff are attending to flights, for reservation please call 250-2888, for flight information 542- 4422".

I called 250-2888 for hours but could not get through. I could not in my wildest fantasy believe that Garuda would give out the wrong number on their answering service. But that is exactly what they did. After checking with the operator, I found out that the number had changed more than a year ago for both reservations and flight information.

It was already Saturday afternoon when I got the right number and finally got through to the Garuda office, just to be told by a recorded message to have a nice weekend and that the office would open again on Monday.

I kept trying all night and continued on Sunday morning to phone the Garuda airport office, but there must have been an extreme number of Garuda flights as the recorded message continued to inform me that all staff were still busy attending flights.

My question to Garuda is how do you expect me to book my return flight in Singapore outside of office hours, and is it really professional to give out phone numbers on your recorded message that are more than a year old? Is it too much to ask for a full-time telephone operator at your airport office?

Luckily it came to my knowledge on Sunday afternoon that my wife, at my request late on Saturday, had managed to book a seat for me from Jakarta.

SOREN LAX, Jakarta