Flight attendants check the cabin of a Garuda Indonesia plane before take-off. (Antara Photo/Lucky R.)

Garuda Indonesia Bans Photos on Board Its Flights After Bad Review From Vlogger


JULY 16, 2019

Jakarta. Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia announced on Sunday it would ban both passengers and crew from taking any photograph or video on board its flights after a famous Indonesian vlogger posted a devastating review of the airline's services on a business-class flight. 

"It is not permissible to document activities on the plane, either in the form of photos or videos, by the cabin crew or passengers," the internal memo, dated 14 July, said. 

The memo, that was shared online and quickly went viral, also said, "Cabin crew must use assertive language to convey the ban to passengers."

On Saturday night, YouTuber Rius Vernandes posted an Instagram story of his trip from Sydney to Jakarta via Bali on Garuda Indonesia's business class. 

The photo showed the airline's menu scribbled on a piece of scrap paper. It also included a quote, supposedly from a flight attendant, explaining that the real menu was still being printed.

The airline has since reported Rius and his fiancé Elwiyana Monica, who was traveling with him, for defamation. 

Chief Comr. Victor Togi Tambunan from the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport police station confirmed to Bisnis.com that the airline has filed the defamation report and that an investigation into the case is ongoing. 

In a video uploaded on YouTube on Sunday, titled "What Really Happened Behind Garuda Business Class' Handwritten Menu," Rius defended himself saying he did not mean to destroy Garuda Indonesia's reputation and also that he often posted reviews of other airlines' services as well. 

In the video, Rius interviewed two other passengers who complained that the airline had run out of wine and champagne during the flight. 

On Tuesday, the airline seemed to have backtracked on its threat to ban cabin photos. 

"[Sunday's] announcement was an internal memo that had not been finalized and should not have been shared to the public. The [finalized] memo calls for passengers to respect the privacy of others, including the on-duty crew," Garuda Indonesia corporate secretary Ikhsan Rosan said in a statement.

"People can still take pictures [on board our flights] for their own use… as long as they don't disturb the other passengers," Ikhsan said.