Bali Governor Wayan Koster, celebrity lawyer Hotman Paris complain about Garuda Indonesia’s ‘overpriced’ tickets

At left, Bali Governor Wayan Koster, and at right celebrity lawyer Hotman Paris Hutapea. Photos: Bali Provincial Government and screengrab from Instagram
At left, Bali Governor Wayan Koster, and at right celebrity lawyer Hotman Paris Hutapea. Photos: Bali Provincial Government and screengrab from Instagram

The cost of flying with flag carrier Garuda Indonesia from Jakarta to Denpasar has come under scrutiny recently, with Bali Governor Wayan Koster among those lamenting the issue of tickets being “overpriced” despite the pandemic.

Koster raised his concerns while giving a speech at an event last weekend, which also saw Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Minister Teten Masduki in attendance.

“Mister Minister, please help campaign for comfortable travel using airplanes. We must speak with Garuda [Indonesia] so that they can give discounts to tickets to Bali,” Koster said, claiming that business class return tickets are now twice the usual price, which is “too expensive.” 

“This is too much from Garuda. So sir, please talk to the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, if the CEO of Garuda is my college mate, I would’ve told him: ‘Hey, don’t be like that, you.’ It must be better in December,” Koster added, referring to Erick Thohir.

Indonesian lawyer Hotman Paris Hutapea, who’s well-known for his flamboyant lifestyle, took to Instagram just yesterday to complain about the same issue. 

“Hello Garuda directors, it’s Hotman Paris, have you heard the complaint from the Bali governor? He who raised the issue of ticket prices to Bali with Garuda being too expensive? Just because people are heading to Bali for holidays during this time, as they cannot go abroad,” Hotman sneered, explaining that he paid around IDR20 million (US$1,423) for return tickets on business class, something that he said would cost around IDR12 million (US$854) normally. 

“Garuda directors should pay attention to the Bali governor’s complaint to boost tourism in Bali.”

Garuda Indonesia CEO Irfan Setiaputra has responded to the scrutiny, saying that the airline’s ticket prices are dynamic and affected by demand.

“It’s better that passengers plan ahead for their trips so that they can get the best prices,” Irfan said. 

“The prices offered certainly take into consideration the targeted market for Garuda Indonesia as a full-service airline, which also takes into account existing rules and regulations.” 

Controversy surrounding business class tickets is not exactly relatable for most of us, and it should be pointed out that Garuda Indonesia has always been on the more expensive side anyway. 

Though Irfan didn’t say anything definitive in his public response, the airline may have quietly made some changes by the time of publication, as tickets for a return trip between Jakarta and Bali cost around IDR10-12 million for business class and about IDR3 million in economy, as seen on their official website this afternoon.

Read Also ⁠— Bali’s unemployment rate jumps to 5.63 percent

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