Most of us are resigned to grudgingly accept the inconvenience of flight delays, with most people asking for whatever little compensation they are entitled to by law, at most.
But one Indonesian man has become somewhat of a symbol of resistance against airline incompetence after the above video went viral this week.
In the video, the man in the white shirt, who claims to be a lawyer but whose identity is unknown, seem so pissed off about the apparent long delay for his Lion Air flight that he called upon other passengers to unite and occupy the plane. It appears this was a form of protest against the crew’s request for passengers to exit the plane and return to the airport waiting room due to uncertainties about the plane’s departure time.
“That other plane to Medan has been (delayed) for seven hours and it hasn’t departed. (They were) given IDR300,000 (as compensation) but they still haven’t departed. Do you want IDR 300,000 but they won’t fly you? No, right?” the man said to other passengers, who agreed with him at the beginning at the video.
The man then went on to say that if the passengers were to exit the plane, the airline will come up with all sorts of excuses and they eventually won’t fly the passengers at all.
“Now we will occupy this plane, ask for meals, ask for whatever you want. As long as we stay united. If you go down there (back to the airport), what guarantees do you have?”
The video ends with the passengers demanding to speak with decision makers in the airline.
Lion Air confirmed that the incident did occur.
“It happened on the evening of October 2, 2017 in the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (Jakarta),” said Lion Air PR Manager Rama Ditya Handoko, as quoted by Kompas today.
According to him, the plane was initially delayed because it arrived late in Jakarta due to technical issues. The airline decided not to fly the plane that night to its destination, Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport, because the island’s airport had been shut due to the escalating threat of eruption of Mount Agung.
Rama assured the media that Lion Air has compensated the passengers for the delay as required by law, and that they were flown to Bali the next morning.