Metrotvnews.com together with a number of other Indonesian media, reported major delays for Lion Air passengers departing from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport on Saturday and Sunday August 31 and September 1, 2013.
Hundreds of frustrated and irate passengers waited extended periods for their delayed flights to depart and, in at least one case, sat on the ground in the airplane for at least one hour waiting for a loaded plane to take off.
Passengers were reportedly compelled to sit for hours at departure gates 17 & 18 at Bali's demestic terminal without any news on when their flights would leave.
Industrial Action by Lion Air Ground Staff?
Radio Republik Indonesia reports that in response to widespread public complaints a spokesman for the Transportation Ministry, Bambang S. Ervan, said on Sunday, September 1, 2013, that delays on Lion Air in Bali were due to “internal problems” at the carrier.
Ervan said: “I have received a report from the (Bali) airport authority that there is an internal management problem at Lion Air. But, there is no explanation and Lion Air staff is refusing to handle flights. This has been happening since last night (Saturday).”
Hundreds of Lion Air passengers flying to various cities waited for hours on end without any explanation. Angry passengers verbally abused staff, pounding on counters at the departure gate. In Jakarta, hundreds of Lion Air passengers demonstrated at the airport, protesting their treatment by the low-cost carrier.
One European passenger flying from Bali to Jakarta on Sunday, September 1, reported on Facebook that his departing aircraft was hours late and, when it did depart, was overbooked with some passengers asked to sit four a three-seat aisle. He wrote that military personnel were assisting in the boarding process.
Ervan said his Ministry’s request to Lion Air to resolve the matter and address passenger complaints remained unanswered on Sunday.
Angkasa Pura, who manages the Bali airport, together with officers from the Indonesian Air Force, were deployed to assist stranded passengers with their baggage. Because of an increasingly tense situation at the airport, additional security personnel were assigned to maintain the peace.
Bambang S. Ervan said the government would urge Lion Air to take responsibility for the losses caused to passengers, both material and non-material, in accordance with Law Number 77 of 2011.
Ervan said the government would not "punish" Lion Air for causing losses to its passenger, preferring, instead, that the airline voluntarily take responsibility for its actions.
Passenger Rights in Indonesia – What you Need to Know
The Indonesian Ministry of Transportation has established laws that apply to all domestic air operations that stipulate the following levels of compensation in the event of flight delays:
In the event of force majeure (i.e. weather or natural disaster), no compensation is due to the passenger due to flight delays other than a full ticket refund.
- Delays of 30-60 minutes: The airline must supply light food and drink refreshment.
- Delays of 90-180 minutes: The airline must provide drinks, light refreshment, lunch or dinner. The airline is also obliged to book the passenger(s) on the next available flight or another airline.
- Delays of more than 180 minutes: The airline must provide compensation in the form of food and drink, lunch or dinner.
- If the passenger cannot be booked on the following flight or on another airline: Passengers are entitled to accommodation until such a time they can follow a flight to their destination.
- If the airline cancels the passengers’ flight: The passenger is entitled to a full refund of the ticket price.
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