Asia Vlogger accused of defamation by Garuda Airlines for posting photos of flight...

Vlogger accused of defamation by Garuda Airlines for posting photos of flight menu

The travel blogger Rius Vernandes posted photos of what looked like a hand-written menu much to the ire of the airlines

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Indonesia – While it is inevitable for companies to receive bad reviews, some are willing to take the necessary steps to ensure no mishaps are posted online.

Garuda Indonesia, for example, banned passengers from taking photos and videos inside the aircraft after a vlogger posted a photo of the plane’s business class menu which looked like it was handwritten on notebook paper.

On July 13 (Saturday), a popular Indonesian travel blogger named Rius Vernandes, went to Twitter to share a photo of the flight’s menu he received while travelling business class on his Garuda Indonesia flight from Sydney to Bali.

It looked like someone took a piece of notebook paper and wrote down the menu by hand.

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Garuda Indonesia was quick to deny the claim stating that it was not a menu card for passengers, but a personal record for cabin crew. The copy was not supposed to be disseminated, said the airline company.

Garuda Indonesia’s corporate secretary vice president M. Ikhsan Rosan, in a statement to Kompas, added that if the handwritten copy was indeed meant to be handed to passengers, others should have received the same and there would have been an online trail in social media.

Mr Rosan also questioned Rius’ intentions for sharing the photo and how he obtained it in the first place.

There were comments on the post wondering if this was a publicity stunt of sorts because Rius had recently participated in marketing campaigns with Singapore Airlines, a competitor of Garuda Indonesia.

Suspicions were negated when Rius posted a 21-minute video of his flight experience.

He was not the only one who received the handwritten menus.

He also explained that it was typical content for him to post photos of the menu on his vlogs.

Rius mentioned that it not only the menu that he had an issue with.

Two Australian passengers shared their honest feedback of the flight and said that although the seats and food were good, the champagne and wine ran out quickly after takeoff.

They noted that the lack of alcohol would make them reconsider taking Garuda Indonesia in the future.

After the video was posted, Garuda Indonesia released an internal memo that prohibits all forms of photography and videography by passengers and cabin crew during a flight.

Those who violate the rule would receive unspecified sanctions by the airlines, the memo warned.

A few hours later, the memo was revised, and the airline company took back the prohibition on taking photos and videos.

The revised circular said that photos and videos were not totally prohibited as long as the privacy of other passengers and cabin crew were not violated.

Garuda Indonesia has also filed a police report against Rius and his fiancé (who was his travelling companion during the incident), accusing them of defamation.

Rius posted a photo of two brown envelopes allegedly containing police summons.

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?

A post shared by Rius Vernandes (@rius.vernandes) on

He noted in the caption that they would cooperate with the legal process although he was not convinced that they were guilty of defamation. The vlogger hoped that constructive criticism would not start being categorized as a defamatory act and lead to someone being criminalised.

Garuda Indonesia confirmed that a police report was made for alleged violations of the Electronic Transaction Information Act (ITE).

Rius could face up to four years in prison if found guilty of spreading defamatory content online.

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