Monday, October 02, 2006

Manual Validation

Last night, my cousin was going back to Australia after few days in Indonesia to finish some things that has to be done. He picked Garuda Indonesia for his flight from Australia to Indonesia and vice versa and it was his first time using Garuda. Usually, he tends to use Qantas Airways. His plane was scheduled to leave at 8.20 PM and we went from my auntie's house at 5.30 just to be safe because Jakarta was very very unpredictable for traffic jam problems. Luckily the road was very clear so it only took less than half an hour to get into the airport. I accompannied my cousins until the front gate because i couldn't came in and then he was processing his tickets and so on.

After about thirty minutes or probably more, he came out and said that there was a problem with the ticket. When he used Qantas, he didn't have to bring the physical tickets, because it's already listed on Qantas' database, so you only need to confirm that the name on your passport matches with your record on the database and that's all. But it seems that Garuda is still using the manual procedures, so you have to bring your tickets and they will confirm it three times (tickets, database record, and also your passport). Because the real ticket was still in Bandung (because his girlfriend who bought the ticket wasn't leaving to Australia at that day, she still hold the ticket), so my cousin couldn't get into the plane and he had to buy another ticket for that. Luckily they will refund the money in Australia after he shows the original tickets (that means he has to wait until his girlfriend comes to Australia). What an unpleasant way to treat people who are leaving for other countries.

He was very lucky as we didn't leave him before he finishes all his administration at the airport. That's a new lesson that i learn when we want to go abroad using local airways. Always bring all the documents needed (passport, visa, and also tickets). When you are using international airways, perhaps you will only need to bring passport and visa (and very small printed paper to replace the ticket).

I think Garuda Indonesia (and all domestic airways) should learn about this also. When they have such a good technology infrastructure, they should learn to trust it and utilize it, rather than having to do the manual ways all over again. It's time and money wasting. Why do they have to build such a huge infrastructure if at the end they just don't use it??