VIRAL: Lion Air passengers furious upon learning luggage had been looted for valuables

Lion Air is one of the fastest growing airlines in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, but it has also been the subject of numerous articles regarding passenger complaints about the airline, often due to flight delays or other service problems, often caught on video featuring Lion Air personnel facing crowds of angry customers.

The latest viral video about the airline comes from Facebook user Pendi Manalu, who was on flight JT 305 from Medan to Jakarta on Saturday night. His post features a video documenting the disbelief and anger of the flight’s passengers after they see their luggage coming down the baggage carousel, along with photos showing strong evidence that the bags had not simply been treated roughly but were actually damaged for the purpose of getting at the valuables inside.

Parah..!!! Lion air JT 305 Dari Medan/KNO tujuan Soekarno Hatta Jkt. Hrsnya brangkat jam 18;20 namun delay jd jam 20;00,…

Posted by Pendi Manalu on Sunday, January 14, 2018

The other videos show the furious customers yelling at Lion Air personnel after finding out that many of them had valuable items stolen from their bags. Since Pendi published it, the post has been shared over 47,000 times.

JT-305 had been scheduled to leave Medan’s Kualanamu Airport at 6:20pm but its departure was delayed until 8pm. Passengers only learned about their damaged luggage upon arriving at Soekarno Hatta Airport at 11:35pm.

“Our bags were damaged, as well as other passengers’, we do not know if they were broken into in Kualanamu or at Soekarno Hatta,” Pendi told Okezone on Tuesday.

Investigating their seemingly ransacked bag, many passengers said that their valuables had been stolen out of their luggage including money and jewelry.

“There was also a student who lost the money from a wallet she had placed in her bag, she did not even have the fare to leave the airport,” Pendi added.

According to his account, passengers who went to complain were only given complaint forms and directed to file them with the airport police.

Pendi said it wasn’t until 5am that he and his wife managed to complete their report with the authorities and leave the airport. He claims Lion Air promised to resolve the problem with 48 hours but as of yesterday said he had not gotten any official word and was planning legal action.

On Sunday, the head of the Soekarno Hatta Police PR division, Ipda Prayogo,  said airport authorities were investigating the case and said they suspected the passengers had been the victim of “tikus bagasi” (‘trunk rats”) who had purposefully broken into the bags to steal money.

Ramaditya Handoko, a spokesperson for Lion Air, also on Sunday confirmed that nine passenger suitcases had been ransacked, but said they were not legally responsible for the valuables taken from the bags.

“In terms of lost money, according to the law, we do not have to replace it. Because there is no evidence [it was there before]. As for the damaged suitcases, we can replace them,” he told Medan Today.

According to the Lion Air spokesperson, investigators were checking CCTV cameras and interviewing witnesses at both airports. He also appealed to customers not to put valuables in their check-in bags to prevent similar losses.

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