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This Lion has No Pride
Hundreds of Lion Air Passengers Waiting for Compensation Following More than Four-Hour Delay in Denpasar-Jakarta Flight
(11/6/2013) Nearly two hundred passengers on board Lion Air (JT 033) flying from Denpasar to Jakarta on Sunday, November 3, 2013, were delayed by more than 4 hours. Bisnis.com reports these passengers are angered at Loin Air's refusal to honor an earlier promise and legal obligation to pay Rp 300,000 (US$27) in compensation.
The newspaper reports that the compensation promised to all passengers upon arrival on Sunday evening in Jakarta had yet to be paid on Monday.
The passengers were apparently also denied light refreshment as stipulated under the Aviation Law of 2011 (PM No. 77/20122) concerning commercial air passengers and flight delays.
Donald, a passengers scheduled to fly on JT 033, told the press that the plane was originally scheduled to depart Bali at 6:15 pm on Sunday evening. Several minutes before the scheduled departure time, a delay of the flight until 7:00 pm was announced due to late arrival of the aircraft from Jakarta. In the end, the plane departed Bali at 10:23 pm – more than four hours late.
Videos of angry passengers arguing with Lion Air in Bali were quickly posted to YouTube. The video shows a heated debate between Lion Air ground staff and angry passengers over compensation.
An Airline staff member named “Fendi” assured passengers that compensation would be paid upon landing in Jakarta. In Jakarta, however, the promised compensation was not prepared or paid as primised on Monday morning, November 4, 2013.
According to the Bisnis.com, the secretary of the Lion Air Group, Aditya Simanjuntak, was unable to answer the newspaper’s questions on when the promised compensation would be paid. Meanwhile, more senior members of the Airline’s management were unavailable for comment due to their absence in Bangkok attending the launch of Thai Lion Air.
Bisnis.com published the following passenger-supplied chronology of the delayed flight incident for JT 033 Denpasar-Jakarta on Sunday, November 3, 2013:
The Official Record
- JT 033 Denpasar-Jakarta was scheduled to depart at 6:15 pm. Several minutes before departure a delay announcement with the new time of 7:00 pm was made, blamed on later arrival of aircraft from Jakarta.
- At 7:00 pm no boarding information was shared with the waiting passengers. At 7:45 pm an announcement of a delay until 10:00 pm was made by ground staff, blamed again on late arrival of aircraft from Jakarta.
- At this point, passengers began approaching the Lion Air Counter requesting food and refreshments. Until 8:20 pm no Lion Air official was able to confirm that refreshments, as required under law, would be provided.
- Growing increasingly frustrated, passengers began to approach and insist on compensation in accordance with the regulations of the Ministry of Transportation. Counter staff repeatedly told the waiting passengers that the chief of passenger handling Erick S, based in Jakarta, would coordinate the matter.
- When the flight was more than 4 hours late, passengers began demanding the Rp. 300,000 (US$27) – their entitlement under the law when a flight is fours late.
- At 9:00 pm “Fendy” – a Lion Air ground staff at the departure gate in Bali promised passengers that compensation would be paid on the airplane and reportedly began shouting out a command “Get the money ready, Get the money ready.” When the gate opened, a portion of the passengers unsuccessfully demanded the compensation payment be made before they boarded, Around 30 passengers reportedly refused to board the aircraft.
- Fendi reportedly called his Jakarta-based boss, Erick, and told him “We’ve been hit by Ministerial Decree Number 77” and said he would sign a declaration for the payment of compensation would be paid in Jakarta. Passengers standing near the gate heard Fendy using the speakerphone facility on his Gemini Blackberry then received authorization from Erick to sign the promise to compensate.
- Once the passengers boarded, a passenger in seat 10B discovered his seat had been double booked. Arrangements were made to find an empty seat. The airplane pushed back from its parking bay at 10:20 pm – four hours late.
- The plane left at 10:30 pm. On board the flight no refreshments were distributed and no announcement on compensation was made. The flight crew did, however, offer paid meals for those passengers willing to pay for food or drink.
- The plane landed in Jakarta at 11:00 pm local time. No passenger bus greeted the landing plane, leaving passengers to walk an estimated 300 meters to the terminal.
- Attempts to secure compensation from Lion Air Staff inside the terminal were unsuccessful. Passengers were then told that Erick would meet with them and asked to wait.
- A foreign passenger who scheduled a four-hour transit period in Jakarta to connect with a flight to Canada, missed his international flight by only 5 minutes, suffering a loss he claimed amounted to Rp. 17 million (US$1,550) .
- 30 minutes after the aircraft landed in Jakarta, Erick, the Lion Air Staff in charge of passenger handling arrived, saying passengers would only receive food and drink, but no money. Erick told the passengers the delay was less than 4 hours.
- The foreign passenger then demanded Lion Air help him find a new flight to Canada or provide compensation for the delayed flight and a hotel.
- At midnight, Lion Air handed out boxes of food. Some passengers were reportedly sufficiently angry that they threw the offered food on the floor. The Lion Air agent, Erick. was adamant in insisting cash compensation for the delayed flight would not be paid and that the flight was not four hours late.
A check of the Flightaware.com website - an internationally recognized international on-line flight tracking system, records that the scheduled departure time of JT 033 on Sunday November 3, 2013 was 06:15 pm, but, in fact, actually departed Bali at 10:23 pm – clearly more than four hours after schedule. [Flightaware data]
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