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Garuda: Handling poor service for disabled passenger?
Seeking your ideas on how to handle Garuda Indonesia as I’ve run out of what else is possible?
My Mum, elderly Nan (in a wheelchair) and sister are scheduled to travel with Garuda from PER-CGK on a revenue Y ticket. GA recently changed their schedule and cancelled the direct flight and have rerouted them via DPS.
A few context factors here:
[*]As soon as the booking was made, with original routing, wheelchair to the plane was requested and confirmed by Garuda.
[*]The rerouted flight now leaves over 12 hours earlier than originally scheduled disrupting a full work day.
[*]The rerouting includes a 1 hour connection from Denpasar’ international to domestic terminal remembering Garuda did know about the wheelchair passenger on this booking.
[*]They paid extra to travel in the bulkhead row for some extra leg room. Nan won’t need it but Mum and my sister are at least 5’10 so they do like a bit of extra space.
We reached out to Garuda to see what other options were available such as a later connection due to the wheelchair and whether any compensation might be available due to the significant disruption and cost difference between flying direct vs connecting. They provided a choice:
[*]Fly the day before on the direct flight (which wasn’t viable)
[*]Take a refund and book somewhere else.
Admittedly, we didn’t expect any compensation but never leave it off the table as a few miles wouldn’t have been bad. However, the option to push the connection, after Garuda chose to reroute the itinerary without prior notice to the passengers, who includes a wheelchair passenger, seems unreasonable. There’s about a dozen flights the same day after their arrival from PER between DPS-CGK so it seems unreasonable that Garuda simply wouldn’t do it as “those are unavailable”.
Given we kept asking and the request was continually escalated at Garuda, their General Manager has signed off stating (paraphrased from their email) “…take a refund or put up or shut up are your options”. We asked if there was a delay in connecting or if there were issues connecting whether they would accomodate on the next available, only to be once again, tough luck.
To add insult to injury, Garuda decided to not allocate bulkhead extra leg rooms seats on the revised itinerary. They only relented and transferred the paid bulkhead row seats across to the new itinerary after about a dozen phone calls stating that these were paid for, submission of the receipts they’d issued for payment, etc.
As you can see, this is a really poor experience. I understand cancelling routes and schedule changes but it seems unbelievable that Garuda will not allow them to be placed on a later flight to avoid the possibility of a misconnect due to a tight connection, change of terminal with a known wheelchair passenger.
Love to hear anyones thoughts if there’s anything else that might be possible.