Garuda Indonesia, the country’s national airline has faced criticism for banning the taking of in-flight images. The Indonesian airlines implemented the new rule after a popular vlogger posted a photo online showing a handwritten menu. He was handed the menu in business class, reports The Guardian.
The travel vlogger, Rius Vernanded, was even reported to the police by the airlines after he put up the post. Rius uploaded the photo with the caption: “The menu is still being printed sir.”
The passenger was on a flight from Sydney to Denpasar on Saturday when he took the picture. Rius and his partner (who was travelling with him) have been reported to the police and could defamation charges under Indonesia’s strict electronic transactions law.
Garuda announced a ban on photos after the incident
After the incident, Garuda announced it was banning passengers and flight crew from taking in-flight photos and videos. An internal memo was circulated on July 14 stating the same. However, after facing severe public backlash, the airlines backtracked. Garuda’s corporate secretary Ikhsan Rosan, said the decision had “not yet been finalised, and should not have been shared to the public”.
He added, “People can still take pictures [on board our flights] for their own use, as long as they don’t disturb the other passengers.”
Rius defended himself online after he was called in for police questioning
Rius defended himself in a video on Youtube, entitled “What really happened, behind Garuda’s business class handwritten menu”. He explained that he did not intend to harm the airline’s reputation. In fact, he frequently reviewed the services of other airlines as well.
In another post on Instagram, Rius asked for support from his fellow influencers after the ordeal. “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,” he wrote.
Indonesia’s electronic transactions law has been frequently used to prosecute opposition figures and government critics. The law scrutinises any material posted online