Well, that escalated quickly. Garuda Indonesia has signed off on a directive to ban most photos and video activity onboard its aircraft. And they definitely look like a sore loser.
The national airline of Indonesia is playing this policy change off as a safety and privacy measure, saying that both passenger comfort and making sure the airline follows aviation and electronic information protocols are the reasons for the ban.
However, in reality, it’s because Garuda got a dose of bad press from a business class customer’s video blog in recent days.
Rius Vernandes reviewed his Garuda Indonesia A330 business class flight from Sydney to Bali. In the video which has received more than 200,000 views so far, there is a clear lack of inflight menus and the crew had handwritten them on scraps of paper. Supposedly, white wine and champagne also ran out during the flight.
Vernandes has also been summoned to speak to authorities for defamation of Garuda Indonesia. Ridiculous.
Instead of accepting the video for what it is and moving on, Garuda Indonesia seems to be reacting by throwing a temper tantrum and banning any photo and videos onboard, with exceptions.
“Passengers are still allowed to take pictures for personal reason such as selfies, as long as it doesn’t disturb or cause inconvenience to others,” Garuda’s Corporate Secretary Ikshan Rosan said. Thanks?
Here is the memo to crew with the Google Translation to English below:
Following up on directives from management, all cabin crew are informed as follows:
- Not allowed to document all activities on the plane, whether in the form of photos or videos by cabin crew or passengers.
- Cabin crew must use language that is assertive in conveying the passenger ban for point 1 above except that they have obtained a permit from the company
- The company will sanction if there is a violation of the above provisions
Thus it is conveyed to be known and implemented consistently. Thank you for your attention and cooperation. Enjoy your duty.
Garuda Indonesia is 60% state owned (run by the Ministry of State Owned Enterprises). With the country not having a strong track record for freedoms of expression, shutting down bad publicity is something that doesn’t come as a huge surprise but is highly disappointing nonetheless.
Garuda Indonesia’s highly regarded first class product is on my list of flights that I would love to try, but with this announcement by management, I’m starting to have second thoughts. Still, service from Garuda’s front-line employees and cabin crew are said to be second-to-none so at least the airline still has that going for them.
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