There’s a way to book your Air Asia, Lion Air, Batik, Sriwijaya and Citilink flights from the United States, it’s just not through their respective websites unfortunately.
As we previously covered, booking flights within Indonesia using the Indonesian airlines’ websites result in frustration. For whatever reason, Indonesian credit card processors reject VISAs, Mastercards, and American Express cards from the United States and Canada.
The good news is that you can still book your tickets within Indonesia without ponying up a crazy, unreasonable service fee. As we posted previously, Tiket.com is a legitimate and safe site that will allow purchase of airline tickets — it just takes a couple extra steps and some patience.
How to buy your Indonesia airfare online
When attempting to buy your Indonesia airfare with a U.S. credit card on Tiket.com, you’ll find that all your U.S.-based credit cards will be declined. Trust me, I submitted multiple times using multiple cards to no avail (for more of that — check out what Tiket.com’s CTO had to say in the comments below).
I clicked on their live chat to see if there was a way I could book tickets through their system (the cute floating icon of a service rep beckoned me to chat with her!) I was quickly greeted by a friendly agent that also spoke English:
YES! So nice and friendly. That goes such a long way. Anyways, I explained to Reza the issue and he responded that in order to book my tickets on tiket.com, I would first have to have my credit card verified and information white-listed in their system.
To do this, I’d have to email a copy of my passport and credit card side-by-side in a single photograph. Specifically:
If your credit card rejected, please send the first page of your passport or your identity card along with the front of your credit card side by side in a single photograph and send it to our email address at email@example.com, so that we can confirm your identity for security reasons and we can do whitelist to your credit card.
I wasn’t in rush to get my tickets so sending this information over to Tiket.com wasn’t a problem. I took a photo of both my passport and credit card with my phone, cropped it and sent it over to firstname.lastname@example.org. Here’s the auto-response I received.
Thank you for contact Tiket.com. If you require more information, please do not hesitate to contact our 24 hours Customer Service at +62 21 2963 3600, email email@example.com and Live Chat, with pleasure will assist you.
After a couple days of waiting, I received an email confirming that my credit card had been added to the system and I would be able to book my flight from Jakarta to Yogyakarta:
Thank you for the trust that has been given to Tiket.com. We would like to inform you that your whitelist process already done. Kindly you can try to make a reservation again in our website.
The following morning, I went into the Tiket.com system and went through the process of booking my flight again. After six previous attempts that were declined, it was a relief to finally get a confirmation.
Smooth. The price of the airfare was the same as quoted from Lion Air, so there wasn’t an additional fee charged by Tiket.com — not one I could see at least. The good news is once your credit card is white listed by Tiket.com, you can then purchase multiple flights and segments on the site.
If you can spare a couple days before booking your flights in Indonesia, go with tiket.com.