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Parked with the Doors Locked

AirAsia Passengers Forced to Spend More than 35 Minutes on Parked Aircraft to Allow Presidential Party to Land at Bali Airport

(11/24/2013) The passengers arriving in Bali on board AirAsia flying from Jakarta to Bali on Friday, November 22, 2013, were forced to remain on their aircraft for some 35 minutes when their arrival coincided with the arrivals of an aircraft carrying the Indonesia President and his entourage.

The AirAsia flight departed Jakarta at 8:35 a.m. and landed in Bali at around 11:15 a.m. local time.

According to Kompas.com, as the passengers prepared to leave the airplane, the AirAsia Captain made an announcement telling everyone they would need to stay on board because a VIP aircraft was landing.

The passengers were informed they would need to remain on the plane until 12:00 noon.

Looking out the windows of their airplane, the passengers saw a deployment of Air Force personnel guarding the tarmac and runway.

Approximately 10 minutes after the AirAsia plane landed, a Garuda Boeing 737-800 touched down as the Air Force detail swung into action.

Only later did the delayed passengers learn that the arriving Garudaflight carried Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his entourage coming to Bali for a five-day working visit.

Held on board the AirAsia flight until the Presidential Party disembarked and left the apron area, the Bali visitors spent more than 35 minutes on their plane before being allowed to disembark.

One passenger on the AirAsia flight complained, asking why, if the VIPS left the airport on a special route, the regular passengers were forced to wait?

President Yudhoyono and his wife, Ibu Ani, were in Bali to attend the World Culture Forum that is set to open on Monday, November 11, 2013.

The official Presidential Website said the President was accompanied on his visit to Bali by the Minister for the State Secretariat Sudi Silalahi, the Cabinet Secretary Dipo Alam and the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Jero Wacik.

Scheduled to arrive on subsequent flights were the Coordinating Minister for Politics, law and Security Djoko Suyanto, the Minister of Forestry Zulkilfi Hasan, the Minister of Education and Culture Mohammad Nuh, the Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy Mari Elka Pangestu, the Minister of the Environment Balthazar Kambuaya and the Minister for the Empowerment of Woman and the Protection of Children Linda Amalia Sari.