Lion Air to Pay Crash Victims $411.95 for “Lost Baggage”

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Suppose you were on that Lion Air flight that dropped in the drink off Bali. You got through the emergency exit, then to shore in a rubber dinghy and ended up wearing a dry “Bintang” T-shirt you bought in the market because you have nothing else. Now what?

Lion Air execs have flipped to the rulebook index and are following directions (Transportation Minister’s Regulation (Permen) #77/2011), according to The Jakarta Post. According to the rules, if more than three days have passed and a passenger hasn’t received their baggage, the compensation is $411.95 (4 million rupiah).

Meanwhile, for those unlucky 46 (some reports say 52) passengers that needed treatment in the Denpasar hospital, a state-owned travel insurance company is reaching for the check.

(Years ago I taught school on Bali and worked on the Lonely Planet guide. The expats always said if your insurance was good you’d never get out of the hospital because the doctors loved a cash cow–I’m not saying that’s true, I’m just juicing this up with island gossip.)

You might also want to know the Lion Air black box was located. There’s no official statement but aviation experts suggest a sudden violent downdraft, perhaps combined with wild contrasting winds at different altitudes, contributed to the crash. (I’m trying to be vague; I don’t want to call it wind shear because someone will comment. Wait, please correct me.)

After examination under the cold tap of fact, the captain and first-officer of Lion Air’s almost new Boeing 737-800 look as golden as US Airways “Sully” Sullenberger. They’ve logged here-to-the-moon miles and the urine tests revealed nothing but yellow.

But there is an elephant in the room. It’s that larger topic of aviation among Indonesia’s 17,000-plus islands. Since the beginning of 2012, this is the fourth airline crash in Indonesia.

Lion Air, which last month agreed to buy 234 medium-haul A320 jets worth $23 billion (in 2011 they ordered 230 Boeing 737s for $21.5 billion) is not allowed anywhere near American or European airspace.

That’s a total of 464 new aircraft. With their wing-and-a-prayer crash rate of four per year the jet supply ought to last 116 years.

That was cruel. Bad things happen and Bali rescue personnel did a heroic job. Remarkably no one died.

(Please know that I love magical Bali, where life is lived as art among Eden-like landscapes. If the islanders are right about reincarnation, I’d sign on in a heartbeat to come back as a rice farmer on the terraced slopes of Mount Batur.)

I’ll fly Lion Air with no worries. (OK, maybe I will exactly pinpoint the exit rows prior to takeoff.)

I’ll leave you with a little more island juice:  In 2004, a young Australian woman was sentenced to 20 years when nabbed at Bali customs with 10 pounds of pot. (Her prison sentence has been reduced.) Her Balinese surfer-boyfriend, Ben Panangian, was among the first to reach the downed Lion Air 737.

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Comments (Showing 2 of 2)

  • Swissaire at 4:28am April 18, 2013

    Today, any air crash without fatalities is a blessing. People should be thankful, and not counting pennies, which at this early stage is premature.

    I have a large collection of Rimowa products built up over the years. None are worth trading for my life, or $ 411.95 USD.

    None.

    Your commendable item here is that local surfers and others came to aid the passengers before the rescue personnel arrived. Hopefully Lion Air will also recognize the fine efforts they made, which also contributed to the absence of casualties.

  • SLC2002 at 8:04pm April 18, 2013

    On a Lion Air flight to Lombok I had one of the roughest landings I’ve ever experienced. It felt like the pilots were trying to put the plane through the runway… Not sure if its the weather, pilot training or something else entirely. This accident doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.

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