Mon, 25 Dec 2000

Garuda offers convenience for holidaymakers

With the Idul Fitri holiday falling between Christmas and New Year this year, the exodus from the city is expected to be bigger than usual. The number of people wanting to celebrate one or more of these holidays in their hometown, and get there by air, is also likely to surge.

In fact, all anyone planning a trip wants is convenience, particularly when they travel by air. When everything runs smoothly, holidaymakers will absolutely enjoy their trip.

For all intents and purposes, therefore, it would be wise for prospective passengers to arrange their trips as early as possible to anticipate the expected surge in air-travel passengers for the upcoming peak season. Otherwise, they may find it hard to get tickets as seats will have been fully booked.

In addition, traveling by air consists of several procedures, including making the reservations, confirmation of flights, checking in, baggage handling and boarding. By being aware of these procedures, prospective passengers will have a smoother trip.

Convenience is what passengers look for. For this reason, national air carrier Garuda Indonesia offers several services to meet their passengers' needs.


Aiming to offer convenience when making reservations, Garuda operates a phone reservation service. For those in the Greater Jakarta area, call 625-8118 to make a reservation with Garuda. There is also a toll-free number, 0-800-1-821747, for the Greater Jakarta area, and 0-800-1-427832 for outside Greater Jakarta.

By dialing the toll-free numbers, people can make a reservation with Garuda from anywhere in the archipelago at no cost. However, callers must have a fixed telephone line to dial the toll-free numbers.

For reservations, Garuda imposes a ticketing time limit, which requires that people who have made a reservation to pay for the tickets within a certain period. For instance, those who make reservations between 11 months and two months before departure must pay for the tickets at least 30 days before the date they fly out. If they fail to pay by the deadline, the reservation will automatically be canceled. This is done so that people who are willing to pay on time and want to travel with Garuda will have the opportunity to do so.

Also, for customer convenience, Garuda does not require passengers to reconfirm flights if they travel to a domestic destination after 72 hours. Instead, Garuda will contact them. For that reason, passengers need to provide their contact numbers both at the place of departure and at break-journey destinations. This can include cell phones or hotel phone numbers.

This is also for the passengers' convenience should a flight be delayed and they can be contacted immediately.

And, based on its Waitlist Management System, Garuda treats everyone equally, so those at the top of the list will be served first.


Prospective passengers who have made reservations with Garuda and confirmed their tickets are encouraged to go to the check-in counters at the airports at least 30 minutes prior to domestic- flight departure times and 60 minutes for international flights.

All passengers must go to the check-in counters as it is during this procedure that passengers find out whether they will be boarded. Then, Garuda will serve "go-show" passengers: those who want to fly but have neither a reservation nor confirmed ticket.

Garuda has also opened several City check-in counters outside airports to offer more convenience to its passengers. This facility is offered to people who are traveling without baggage. Those traveling with luggage will have to go to the check-in counters at airports.

Prospective passengers can complete the check-in procedure at the City check-in counters one day prior to their departure date.

The City check-in counters are located at sales offices and agents in 21 cities in Indonesia and Singapore. There are 11 City check-in counters in Jakarta.

Being aware of the baggage allowance will also ensure that passengers have a pleasant trip. Passengers are advised to bring valuable and important items along with them. Cabin baggage should be a maximum size of 115 cm and weigh no more than seven kg. Passengers must report to the airport authorities if they are carrying dangerous goods such as knives, ammunition or swords.

After completing check-in, passengers should wait in the waiting lounge to board their flight.

Passengers must also have on them any documents concerning their identity as the ground crew will check randomly the names on the documents and the tickets or boarding passes. This is related to insurance matters.