At least 120 Lion Air passengers in Tarakan claim plane left them behind due to faulty check in system, stage protest

A Lion Air plane in Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Budget Indonesian airline Lion Air is about to find themselves in yet another serious PR nightmare following allegations that they left behind over 100 waiting passengers at Juwata International Airport in Tarakan, North Kalimantan this morning.

As reported by news agency Antara, at least 120 passengers staged a protest by blocking access to Lion Air’s customer service booths after they claimed that they had been left behind by the airline through no fault of their own.

According to the passengers, they were scheduled to leave Tarakan for Jakarta via Balikpapan on flight JT673 at 6 am. However, Lion Air’s digital check in system was down at the time, so the ground crew had to check in the passengers manually, which was more time consuming.

Only 86 passengers managed to board the plane when the pilot decided to take off on schedule, leaving the other 120 behind in Tarakan.

Lion Air has not issued any statement regarding the incident. There is no information so far on whether or not the stranded passengers were compensated or put on other flights.

Despite being Indonesia’s largest airline company, Lion Air is notorious for its flight delays. Some delays in the past also led to protests by their passengers at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport, such as when hundreds blocked off access to a departure gate due to long delays and uncertainties in 2016, or when some angry passengers invaded the runway after an 18-hour delay in 2015.

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