Wed, 28 Jun 2000

What professionalism, Garuda?

Well, it's just fantastic that Garuda is promising to "professionalize" its flight service. However, I personally don't care whether Garuda serves my orange juice in a plastic or crystal container; what concerns me, and I assume the majority of other Garuda customers, is whether our flight and luggage will actually arrive at the point of destination.

Recently I foolhardily forwarded personal prepaid freight from Australia to Jakarta using Garuda Freight. The freight arrived within 24 hours and was held at Garuda Airport Freight Terminal. My adventurous but daunted Indonesian friends arrived at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 24, to collect the luggage. After the typical runaround for two hours, they were told by a smiling Garuda clerk that "the office was now closed and they would have to return on Monday".

They returned on Monday at 10 a.m. sharp and then the "real Garuda professionalism began", with teams of agent thugs hounding them every 10 meters for bribes. They were shuffled and bounced from one Garuda counter to another, dropping at every point Rp 50,000. Finally after three hours and Rp 500,000, Garuda staff decided to relinquish the prepaid luggage. As a final act of "professionalism" in concluding this transaction, we discovered upon examination of my luggage that Garuda rats had eaten into the luggage and boxes of chocolates within. Obviously Garuda staff aren't the only ones getting fat from handouts. Show us how changed you really are, Garuda, and explain Garuda Freight's actions.