Malindo Air and Tiket won’t take my money

Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali, Indonesia
We’re planning a trip to Asia and need to get from Bali to Bangkok.

AirAsia had the cheapest non-stop, but Malindo was selling an even cheaper flight including baggage with a connection in Kuala Lumpur. Oddly, the same flights were offered for sale on sister airlines Lion Air and Thai Lion Air all at different prices (Thai Lion was the most expensive). Since Malindo had the cheapest, we tried to book there.

I first tried booking on a Thursday. The site advertised two seats left at a price of 1.2M IDR and I tried to snag them. After clicking through all the upsells I entered my credit card and tried to book...only it failed. First, the website displayed a payment error, so I reentered the payment information only to have the site claim the fare was no longer available.

The new fare was about $6 more so I thought I’d just bite the bullet and pay this time with Visa Checkout. Once again I clicked through the options only to get a payment error. On the second attempt the fare was also no longer available and hiked it $25 more than initially offered.

At that point I balked and decided to wait. I doubted there was a sudden run on these tickets. Sure enough, 30 minutes later the price was back down to the initial 1.2M IDR.

I again tried to book it only to have the same errors.

At this point I tried calling Malindo. They left me on hold for 15 minutes before I hung up without talking to a representative. I also sent an email to customer service. Someone wrote me back a few hours later asking for my phone number, but never called me.
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I already had some hesitations because the Malindo flight required a connection and I read some complaints about punctuality and customer service. This was the last straw and I turned to booking with AirAsia.

Usually I like to buy direct, but Orbitz, Expedia and Tiket, an Indonesian booking site, all had lower prices for the same flight.

Expedia and Orbitz both claimed their fare included a checked bag, but I wasn’t sure what to believe. I called Expedia and the representative said it was an error and the bag was not included. Orbitz said the bag was included. Both are owned by the same company.

Not wanting to chance it, I tried booking with Tiket.

Tiket allows you to add a bag for $19.96, which was less than AirAsia was charging at the time, so I added it. You can’t buy the Value Pack (which I wanted) from a third-party, but I figured we’d chance it with the seats.

I tried to complete payment only to have it rejected, too. On the second try the fare went up about $15. I started having flashbacks to Malindo and decided to Live Chat with Tiket. A rep claimed they could only process credit cards issued by Indonesian banks online and told me to email a picture of my card with the numbers obscured. I submitted it, but never heard back.

I also called Chase to make sure there wasn’t something on their end, but they didn’t have any record of Tiket or Malindo trying to process a payment.

The next day AirAsia put its non-stop on sale so we just booked that with the Value Pack. It was quite an unnecessary hassle.
Malindo Air and Tiket won’t take my money Malindo Air and Tiket won’t take my money Reviewed by Brandon on August 22, 2017 Rating: 5



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