I took Garuda to Singapore today because my company has a special deal with Garuda. Otherwise, I’d rather not to fly with Garuda – I hate their inefficiencies (always late, sloppy service – bad actually, etc.).
The problem started when I checked in. They said the system was down, so they couldn’t assign seat number, couldn’t tell gate number, and couldn’t print out the boarding pass – all had to be done manually. The guy told me to check out the screen for gate number once I passed immigration. I needed about 15 minutes just to do the check in.
After paying out fiscal fee and passed the fiscal fee check point – I had to stand in a long immigration line. I wonder why these officers – who work in the International Airport – didn’t provide additional staffs to reduce these long lines *sigh*. And, as usual – they don’t show that they are the first and important “touch points” for tourists, local or international, they don’t show good customer service attitude. No greetings, no smile, nothing! Even they don’t respond to my “Selamat Siang, Pak”. It’s so sad to see this happens in the biggest international airport in the country.
Then, I thought I better check the gate, get my seat number, and later I could go to have my lunch (I was so hungry because I didn’t have breakfast yet). One of the officer said GA 828 should depart from Gate E6. OK, I went there. I thought, hm… good, the screen in front of Gate E6 said so. Couple of people already queued to enter the gate and get seat number. By the time I reach the officer, he assigned my seat number, and later he said that I should go to Gate E4 and scratched the seat he had assigned for me before. Off I went to Gate E4. It’s quite a walk for a hungry lady like me. (I was usually cranky when I was hungry.) Another passenger who also needed seat number assigned before he went out for lunch was already there. One lady officer was on the phone – asking for seat plan form to be delivered to Gate E4. I and this other guy waited. This lady officer then went out to pick up the form. About five minutes later another lady officer came in – didn’t care less about us. The guy asked again for seat number and she responded slowly. Gerakannya lemotttt banget. Gregetan ngeliatnya. Fifteen minutes later the previous lady officer came with the seat plan form and started to assign seat number for us. I got seat 8D. I told her that I’d go out for lunch – thus, she took my other half of boarding pass and disembarkation card.
I went to Starbuck to have a pie and black coffee. I got a call from a friend who wish me a safe and fun trip *smile*.
Half an hour later, I rushed to Gate E4 to boarding. The officers in Gate E4 said that I should go to Gate E7 for boarding. Geez… it’s really a test of patience! I told them it’s the third time I should follow their wrong “direction”. Rasanya sebel banget – ini nih akibat harus naik Garuda. OK, officers, I walked again to Gate E7.
I got no problem entering Gate E7. But, it’s not even five minutes passed when I heard they called my name and asked me to approach the officer’s desk. This time they said that they had to re-assign my seat because they did some mistake and they booked two people with the same seat number. They blamed the system – manual, that is. My tolerant meter went down significantly!
I told them not to blame the system because it’s the people who made the system. They should be prepared – I believe they experienced these things often. I said, “How many times I should walk the distance because of your lousy system. I had already walked back and forth among the gates, four times to be exact, got assigned seat number twice, and all wrong. And now you tell me that it’s wrong again?”
The officer said, “Kami hanya ingin memberikan pelayanan yang terbaik.” Goodness grace! If it’s “the best service” – do we have to settle for it?
I took a deep breath while he wrote down my new seat number. Really, I needed a lot of patience in this hopeless situation. Yes, a lot needed when they later announced that we experienced "a slight delay" *smile*.
It’s so sad… that our biggest international airport operates like they are still in the 70’s. Indonesia, Indonesia, kacian deh lo… kapan ya nyadarnya…