Wednesday, March 11, 2009

After an Internet war, we´re going to Bali!

We finally booked our air tickets to Bali!

Oh man, it was like climbing the Internet Mount Everest! I tried to use the Indonesian budget airlines, http://www.lionair.id/ and was thrilled to find out that the original air tickets would have cost S$339 for 2 people at the beginning. However, when we wanted to extend one extra night, the flight tix went up to a staggering S$520 - difference of S$181 (almost 100€) just for one extra day!

I was quite reluctant to do so, but Stephan said that this would be our annual "indulgence" trip, so its "ok". However, when I tried to booked the tickets, that´s when the nightmare started.

The website asked me for my "cardholder name" - ok, followed by "phone card holder". What on earth is that? I was like "Huh?" So, I went to search the terms and conditions on the website, but found none. Next option, Internet.

I actually found 5 links to this topic and none of them was in English! They all apparently were stumbled by the same issue and the only one I could read and understand was in German! (haha, A German guy with a blog, who´s spending 6 mths in Indonesia) ... he clarified that he entered in the telephone number of the credit card company - never heard of before. So, I tried that too.....

However, all the way to the last page, they rejected Stephan´s credit card! I was so puzzled, so I kept trying and trying again. Sometimes the website would not even process the first few pages! I would already be on the second page and suddenly I would be directed back to the homepage!!

It was like the website had a mind of its own and I was so ready to kill the website! I must have tried like over 2-3 hrs! The worse thing was that while I trying to buy the E-ticket repeatedly, the price of the tickets kept increasing! It was like I was working against a time bomb! The price eventually increased until S$660!!!!!! That´s like a 100% increase over 3 hours!

Anyway, I finally gave up on Stephan´s credit card and decided to try my Singapore credit card instead. However, as expected, it was rejected due to "insufficient funds". At least I know it works with Singapore credit cards. What did I do next?

Charissa, my dear friend from Singapore started chatting with me online and I was like going bonkus about my booking frenzy. It suddenly dawned on me that I could ask her if she could transfer money to my Sg bank account via Internet banking and I could try again!

Thing is, LionAir is still the cheapest option, compared to the any other airlines that. And guess what? It worked! It actually worked! I was so happy that I couldn´t believe it when the payment was approved! I was jumping and shouting around the house.......

Oh, guess what I found out when I finally actually called the company? They told me that the website only works with Indonesian credit cards. I was like "Huh"??? Which airline would offer tickets online and not accept International credit cards and not mention it anywhere on its website? I think I´m simply too used to the efficiency and "idiot-proofness" of most Singaporean websites.

Anyway, that´s enough of my ranting.....What´s more important is, we´re going to the island of some of the most beautiful sunrises, sunsets, beaches etc. in the world! Bali here we come!

13 comments:

Grace said...

Hi Pris,

U may want to confirm with the airline later via phone if your booking is confirmed since the internet booking only accepts Indonesia Cr cards & yr transaction managed to get thro. Kind of suspicious. Its just that Indonesian airlines are infamous for many things, among which are overbooking and computer system problems.

Pris said...

Dear Grace
Thanks for your advice. I tried calling the Singapore office, but it was closed by the time I tried to call them...have sent them an email and will try calling again tomorrow. Yah, this is the first time I´m going to fly with Lion Air, but hope it´d be ok...since a friend of mine recommended this flight carrier.

Sabrina said...

I'm soooooooooooooooooooooooo jealous... :( I soooooooooooooooooo wanted to go to Bali, too... :(

Anyway, very happy for you that you've managed to get the tickets. As far as I know it was 'your own fault' that the price went up. My friend told me once that the price increases the more people click on that particular flight. So whenever we had a girlie weekend away we had one girl responsible to check out all the options so that not 7 of us would click on the same stuff and make it more expensive.

So annoying though!!!!

xx

Pris said...

Dear Sabrina! Someone told me the same thing too! How was I supposed to know? Hmm, well at least we have got the ticket! :) Heehee.

Pris said...

Oh and don´t feel so jealous! I´m sure we will go back to Bali again, we could go together the next time! hahahah....

Cory said...

Hi Pris,
Airasia just launched direct flights from SIN to DEP too recently. That could be another option for you next time.

Pris said...

Hi Cory! I realized that before....Only thing is that Air Asia didn´t have any flights back on Sunday- 12.04 The price is about the same as Lion Air but at least the timing is much better! Aiyah....never mind, at least we booked our tickets and will try out Lion Air...as you said, they provide food too....so perhaps its even better than Air Asia. The prices are abt the same, abt S$20 difference.

Cory said...

Hi Pris, no worries. To me Lionair is pretty decent despite all the bad comments about Indonesian Airlines. I find the service during the flight is pretty decent too. Airasia is just another alternative to Lionair and Jetstar.
There are SO MANY places to go in Bali. Where would you be staying?
6 days, you can take some trips to explore different part of Bali. Are you staying in Ubud as well? It is a very nice cultural village which I think will be recommended by your friends who have been there.

Pris said...

Hey Cory, we´ll be staying at Le Meridien at Tanah Lot...I heard its a bit ulu, however I couldn´t seem to find any other place that both of us were really happy about. That´s why..... Oh yes, please send me a list of places to visit!

Cory said...

Have you booked already?
I'm not a honeymoon person when i was in bali, but i think Seminyak is a really nice place to stay. A unique way to appreciate Bali is to stay in Villas. Some of the villas are really not too expensive to stay and it is a good way to experience the Balinese lifestyle.
Yes, for outdoor, you can take local tours to Kalimantan (which my friend finds it touristy), white water rafting, etc. If you have time, you can take a yacht out to a nice island - Nusa Lembongan.
And sunset dinner at Jimbaran is a must!!! Remember to ask for discounts when you are there.
U can see my photos of Bali in 2004 here: http://corytpl.multiply.com/photos/album/4/Bali_04 and my short trip last year here: http://corytpl.multiply.com/photos/album/116/Indonesia_2008_-_Bali_-_Lombok
Let me know if something really interests you.

Pris said...

Thanks dear Cory! I have cut-and-paste your places of recommendation....getting so excited about my trip by the day! :) I´m going to take a look at yr photos too.Hahha, think I´m even more excited about going to Bali than Sg! Just the thrill of going to a place that I haven´t been to before.

Sabrina said...

Yeah, rub it in... :(

Only joking, have a fab time and when we get to go you can tell me all about where you've been, do's and don't's etc. We would have been going backpacking for three weeks to see as much of the island as possible. Maybe next year... :)

xx

Pris said...

Oh Jie jie, I´m not trying to rub it in. :) Heehee. Yes yes, we will be the guinea pigs first and you and Holgar can benefit from our experiences ok?

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