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Indonesia forum

Translation please. Booking domestic flights

Posted by SBE on 28/9/2012 at 15:06

I emailed Batavia the other day with this fairly simple enquiry:

Is it possible for a foreigner to pay for a domestic flight online with a foreign credit card? My bank is in Europe. I do not have a bank account in Indonesia.

Here is the answer I got. Can anyone tell me if they said yes or no?

It used to be only possible to book flights on Indonesian airlines if you had a credit card issued by an Indonesian bank. Just wondering if that is no longer the case? Has anyone actually managed to book a domestic flight online?

Thank you sent the email to batavia air.
Information about the purchase of the online ticket in website [url=http://www.batavia-air.com,this]www.batavia-air.com,this[/url] is the step and the stage for the purchase through website:

-Determine the aim of the flight
-Identity document (Proof of ages orDriving licenses , Passport)
-Credit Card (visas and MasterCard) or the Card ATM Debit (Independent BNI BCA) and confirmed if using the Card Debit, Customer has activated internet facilities banking and had token (key) BCA DAN BAK MANDIRI
-Customer must register account members in website www.batavia-air.com to get sin in account
-Next Step in payment please the click this http://www.batavia-air.com/the label/? Page=how to pay atm To pay attention to kodepembayaran and kodebooking (BCA KODE PERUSAHAAN 710019)
-And if the purchase customer from overseas credit card batavia provided the transaction through PayPal Usd or singapore sgd ,And don't forget choose location OTHERS OR SINGAPORE.Condition of payment with overseas credit card customer must 48 hours before flight.We accept VISA and Master card . It will be automatic directly to payment system.

#1 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,055

Posted by tyler on 28/9/2012 at 15:19

My credit card (Canadian) has been refused for online booking with AirAsia and Garuda. I don't believe it is possible. I have had to personally go into the airline itself or a travel agent in order to book a flight.
Hope this helps.

#2 tyler has been a member since 7/12/2010. Location: Canada. Posts: 257

Posted by busylizzy on 28/9/2012 at 15:24

First step: "Determine the aim of the flight' What?!!

My take on it is that once you select 'Singapore and Other' as 'Location' somewhere on the booking page, you will be directed to pay through PayPal, and they in turn will process your credit card.

#3 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152

Posted by somtam2000 on 28/9/2012 at 20:54 admin

I believe you need a local card to book with Batavia - foreign cards should work fine with Garuda & AirAsia as I book with both regularly.

#4 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,090

Posted by SBE on 29/9/2012 at 05:01

Unfortunately Air Asia and Garuda only fly to very obvious places and I prefer very obscure places. I've never had any problem booking Air Asia fights either (Garuda didn't work a couple of years ago) from home.

HOWEVER, Visa (or my bloody bank) now makes me jump through impossible security hoops whenever I try and buy anything online when I'm abroad. eg They send a 6 digit security code to a phone which MUST be in your home country and the code expires after a few minutes. Try coordinating with someone in a completely different time zone and getting them to text you the code in time to make the purchase. No es possible... I've tried. Were you trying to make a booking from Canada or from abroad Tyler?

LOL Lizzy! My "aim" is to get from A to B in one piece and I feel the chances of achieving this are marginally higher on Batavia than Merpati....could totally wrong though. Thanks for your interpretation. You are always sooooo much better at understanding incomprehensible gobbledygook than I am, I wish I was as clever as you, but I thought that's what it said too. Usually I go through a booking agent (and pay commission for the service) but as internet availability and speed in Indo has improved markedly in the last few years, I check annually to see if the airlines have staggered into the 21st century yet. And if so, I was curious to hear what (if any) online payment security they offer. Paypal should be OK (if it works).

Only one way to find out I guess... experiment time again.

#5 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,055

Posted by tyler on 29/9/2012 at 07:18

@SBE - I tried repeatedly while in Indonesia. Denpasar, Surabaya and Jogja. No go. I really don't quite understand the reasons for it. Was it just my card (I met many other people that had the same problem)? Or the connection? Or what? Never got to the root of it so now I just eat the commission and get an agent to book it for me. Too many hours spent looking at a frozen monitor over the years...
I can book AirAsia flights in other countries to Indonesia...but just not while in Indonesia. Crazy!

#6 tyler has been a member since 7/12/2010. Location: Canada. Posts: 257

Posted by SBE on 29/9/2012 at 13:09

Weird that you couldn't book Air Asia if you were able to book it from elsewhere in SE Asia.

My bank and credit card seem to think the whole of SE Asia is very dodgy. My credit card treats every online transaction as highly suspect and sometimes won't even let me withdraw money from an ATM.

I tried to buy travel insurance with paypal in Malaysia once. They said they'd detected that I wasn't in my home country and informed me that I couldn't make the transaction without a 4 digit security code which would appear on my bank statement the following month. How very convenient... I have fly halfway across the world to pick up my post if I want to use paypal?


Pleased to report that Somtam was wrong and me and lizzy were right! :-)

You CAN pay for Batavia flights online now. If you're trying to do it away from home (I wasn't) then I suspect paypal will try to make things difficult so you'd need to make sure any supplementary security checks are sorted out beforehand.

I'm exceptionally good at finding bugs that nobody else can reproduce so I did find a few little quirks when I was trying to book.

Try 1. I managed to get to the pay process without using the ID and password the first time I tried (this is not supposed to be allowed). But then I messed up with the paypal password so I don't know if I'd have been able to actually buy a ticket. Paypal didn't recognize my password and I had to reset it.... I hardly ever use paypal, so maybe I'd made a different password and not noted it down or maybe paypal passwords expire after a certain time? Dunno.

Try 2. This time I couldn't get to the paypal process without the ID login. (Eventually found the ID login stuff in my junk mail files. Look there first, because it's where they sent my ticket too). I typed the login details but the box kept saying this field has to be filled in (even though it was filled in) and it refused to let me proceed any further. Clearing cookies and retyping the ID details didn't help. Suggest rebooting the computer, pouring yourself a glass of wine, and starting all over again. Seems to work a lot better than deleting firefox cookies.

I think you'd be able to book tickets on either a PC or a Mac because I was using an Ubuntu operating system and it worked.

One last thing .... I'm almost certain that the promotional price ticket I wanted to buy cost $35 when I looked a few days ago. Batavia seem to have upgraded the site in the last few days (reaction to my email enquiry I expect) ;-) and it now automatically detects that you aren't in Indonesia. The default language is English and "other" country is already pre-selected. The promo price has mysteriously risen to $45 as well, a 28% hike.

So I'm not sure if booking direct with Batavia is any cheaper than booking through an agent, might even be more expensive.

#7 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,055

Posted by busylizzy on 29/9/2012 at 15:07

Glad you got it sorted, SBE!

You mentioned your bank sends you a 6-digit codes....one of my banks uses that system, and I need to enter the code sent to my phone when I transfer 'large' (ie $500+) amounts to another account, or as a one-off payment. When travelling a couple of years ago, they gave me a token that I could carry around instead. The token generates a number every minute or so and you just enter the current number instead of the one sent to the phone. Cost me NZ$1/month for that service and it worked OK. Maybe your bank offers something similar?

Tyler, I have had heard of other people having problems booking on Air Asia although not in Indo specifically. Often it can be due to slow internet connections and it just times out while you're processing your booking.

#8 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152

Posted by tyler on 29/9/2012 at 16:20

@SBE - Weird is right. No rhyme or reason to it. So I'll continue what I've been doing while I'm in Indonesia and support our travel agency friends. BTW - where are you trying to go?

@busylizzy - experienced the time out repeatedly as well. Fun stuff! Part and parcel with the connections as you said. But my card has not been allowed to book with Garuda, AirAsia and LionAir. If I remember correctly LA has a disclaimer on their website about foreign card - I can't be bothered to look it up right now. My present connection is worse than anything in Indonesia!

I got up to the Arctic for work last night... I'm just happy to have ANY connection :) Needless to say I won't be booking any flights from here!

#9 tyler has been a member since 7/12/2010. Location: Canada. Posts: 257

Posted by SBE on 30/9/2012 at 03:52

My bank offers something similar lizzy, a virtual e-card that generates different numbers for each transaction. Unfortunately my new netbook doesn't have Windows installed on it and my bank assumes that if you own a computer it must have MS on it. Doesn't work with other operating systems. I might see if some clever bloke at Pathip Plaza can install a dual boot when I'm in Bangkok but then the bank will probably think it's highly suspect to be setting up an e-card from Thailand and refuse to let me do it. Ho hum.

The flight was from Makassar to Gorontalo Tyler... a plan B because the Pelni website doesn't yet show a ferry I was thinking of taking. That could be because it's broken down (again) or just because they haven't updated the website yet.

Maybe I should have tested to see if Srijiwaya's online booking system now works, because last time I flew this particular route on Batavia they were using a very old plane and had a lot of trouble shutting the cabin door. I seem to remember quite a lot of duck tape decorations. It'll be even older now if it's still the same plane. Just had a look at the Srijiwaya website to check return flight prices and they seem to be accepting foreign credit cards too now.

And I met a young couple in Bau Bau about three years ago who'd managed to book Lion Air tickets when it was reportedly absolutely impossible to do from outside the country. Can't remember where they'd booked from (Sweden maybe) but when I asked how they had managed to do it, they said they'd entered Indonesia as their location!

Go figure. I reckon most of the Indonesian carriers will have got their act together in the next year or two (not NBA because I don't think that company has even got a computer yet). The main problem is the banks not allowing people to use their own money as they wish.

#10 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,055

Posted by busylizzy on 30/9/2012 at 04:19

Haven't even heard of these airlines, SBE. Hope you know what you're doing! ;-)

#11 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152

Posted by caseyprich on 30/9/2012 at 04:23

I had some problems like this and though the problem is solved now - in the future I'd suggest you could use these folks (good for train tickets as well):


#12 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281

Posted by SBE on 1/10/2012 at 00:50

I've tried that agent you linked in the past Casey but they took ages to get back to me so I went with another one called travelindo instead and have used them since.


Travelindo reacts to enquiries lightning fast and are also quite helpful with any further enquiries you may have. You pay through paypal and, like Batavia, they only accept payments in $US. I've never had any problems with the tickets they sold and I think their fees are a bit lower than the agent you mentioned too.

Just wanted to see if I could book tickets without using an agent yet!

The problem with both these companies is that you have to email them before you can see the airfares so it's time-consuming comparing prices and you then have to check fares on the airline websites as well to make sure they didn't "forget" to mention a promo fare.

Travelindo tends to do this but they'll modify their quote without argument if you point out that a lower fare is available. (ie you still have to do a bit of work yourself).

#13 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,055

Posted by Digitarius on 13/7/2016 at 15:58

Wow the original post is pretty old. I just want to update this post a little. I found this site Tiket.com to be quite easy to navigate and book trains, planes and automobiles with a foreign credit card. Initially they refused my credit card as I was attempting to make a flight purchase from the comfort of my living room in sunny California. So I opened a chat window, which is in Bahasa, and asked if they spoke English and they did. Come to find out that Tiket.com will not let you book a flight through their site until your credit card has been whitelisted. That is their term. My guess is due to corruption, terrorist acts etc they have to check your credentials. They request you send a picture of you pass port and credit card w/out the ccv number showing to a specific email they will give you. Once you do that you wait about 24 hours and they will contact you either approving or denying your ability to book flights or rides through their site. The site offers a choice of languages also. Hope that helps other out there.

#14 Digitarius has been a member since 15/6/2016. Posts: 20

Posted by AlexChandra on 14/7/2016 at 00:15

Hello SBE, for your information the batavia air it's doesn't running at all at the moment. it's has been off/shot down the airline since few years ago. The only running of the local airplane is Wing Air, Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air, Batik Air, City Link, Garuda Air at this moment.

#15 AlexChandra has been a member since 12/7/2016. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 3

Posted by YogaSearcherBali on 14/7/2016 at 00:26

Hey SBE, it's true like AlexChandra mentioned about the Batavia Air. i never seen the famous local travel agent selling the ticket of Batavia Air anymore such as traveloka dot com. The last time i used Batavia Air it's on 2010. Hopefully everything work out with your issue. If it's me i will claim of refundable.

#16 YogaSearcherBali has been a member since 25/2/2016. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 71

Posted by SBE on 14/7/2016 at 03:15

Yes, I know Batavia doesn't fly any more.... I can personally confirm that they went bust just after I bought that ticket online in 2012! When I arrived at the airport there were no passengers or staff at their check in desk so I went to make enquiries at their sales office. They informed me that the route had been cancelled and gave me a cash refund on the spot but I was still very pissed off because they hadn't bothered to inform me beforehand. Not just a wasted trip to the airport, I also missed a ferry connection and had to pay through the nose for an alternative flight a few days later.

Merpati went under a year or two after Batavia.... both were crappy airlines with very poor safety records and they deserved to die. Garuda is BY FAR the best domestic airline in Indonesia but tickets are usually quite expensive. Lion and Srijiwaya aren't too bad ... minimal service but most of their planes are relatively modern. I've never had a problem with Srijiwaya but Lion cancelled several flights (without warning) when I was in Banda Aceh earlier this year. Small companies like Aviastar, NBA and Susi Air are difficult to book and they sometimes use very old propeller planes held together with duck tape. They frequently change schedules and cancel flights at the last minute but they also fly places nobody else does... it's that or a Pelni ferry.

#17 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,055

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