Over the weekend (13th July), popular Indonesian travel vlogger Rius Vernandes took to his Instagram stories to post about his Garuda Indonesia business class flight from Sydney to Jakarta.
During his journey, Vernandes was surprised to see that the business class in-flight menu was just handwritten on a piece of paper from a notebook.
The vlogger posted a photo of the menu to his Instagram stories along with a quote believed to be from the flight attendant, which translates, “The menu is still being printed, sir.”
According to Coconuts Jakarta, after the photo was posted, he was then summoned to the airline’s customer service after landing at the airport. He was quoted as saying,
“The point is, Garuda Indonesia apologised [to me] regarding this matter. I really wasn’t mad or anything. I was just doing my job as an airline reviewer. Sharing whatever that was going on in the plane. That’s it.”
“It wasn’t the fault of the stewardesses, nor the fault of anyone. It’s just, it’s not supposed to happen. If you always watch my videos, you know that I’ve always shown the menu card in every flight I’ve ever been on.”
The photo soon began to go viral, much to the disapproval of Garuda Indonesia, prompting them to file a police report against Vernandes and his fiancé, Elwiyana Monica, who was also on the flight with him, for defamation. Vernandes posted a photo of summons him and his fiancé received.
View this post on Instagram
Guys, gw sama elwi dapat panggilan dari polisi mengenai masalah ini. Kami di laporkan atas dugaan melakukan tindak pidana pencemaran nama baik. Gw yakin kalian tau kalau gw TIDAK ADA maksud sama sekali untuk mencemarkan nama baik siapapun. Gw sangat minta support kalian soal ini. Semua nya. Siapa pun. Kalian semua punya suara. Terutama teman2 influencer. Gw harap kalian bisa bantu share dan support gw dalam masalah ini karena gw gak mau di masa depan ketika kita review sesuatu dengan apa adanya, ketika kita memberikan kritisi yang membangun, kita bisa di pidana. Gw akan menghormati segala peraturan hukum yang ada dan akan menjalani semua ini. Gw sama sekali tidak merasa mencemarkan nama baik. Gw tidak takut. Tapi tidak ada kah cara yang lebih kekeluargaan dalam menyelesaikan masalah ini?
The airline also issued an internal memo announcing that it would ban all passengers and crew from taking photos and videos on any of their flights. According to Jakarta Globe, an excerpt from their memo translates,
“It is not permissible to document activities on the plane, either in the form of photos or videos, by the cabin crew or passengers.”
“Cabin crew must use assertive language to convey the ban to passengers.”
Meanwhile, speaking to Kompas, Garuda Indonesia’s corporate secretary vice president M. Ikhsan Rosan denied claims that the handwritten menu was distributed to passengers, as it is only meant for the cabin crew to use. He added that if the handwritten menu was given to all passengers, then other passengers would have shared photos of it as well.
However, Vernandes showed there was proof that he was not the only passenger who received this menu in his vlog (shown at the 1:50 mark).
In his Instagram post, Vernandes wrote,
“I am appealing for your support, especially fellow influencers. I hope you can help share and support me through this problem because I don’t want to see that, in the future, whenever we review something as is, whenever we give constructive criticism, we can be criminalised.”
If found guilty of disseminating defamatory content online, the vlogger could face up to 4 years in prison.
In an update on this story, Garuda Indonesia withdrew their instructions to ban passengers and cabin crew members from taking photos and videos while on board flights.
What do you think about this case? Let us know in the comments section!
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