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Garuda Indonesia Throws Tantrum After Bad Review

Garuda Indonesia Throws Tantrum After Bad Review
Jennifer Billock

Garuda Indonesia is in the process of making a bad situation much, much worse — a popular Indonesian travel vlogger recently flew with the airline and did a video review of the experience, which highlighted some failings on that particular fight. Instead of apologizing, the airline went to the police.

Rius Vernandes, a popular travel vlogger from Indonesia, recently took a business class flight on Garuda Indonesia from Sydney to Bali, and just like other flights he’s reviewed, Vernandes reviewed this particular flight on video. The flight didn’t go so well, though—the airline ran out of wine, the staff had to write out the menu because the menu cards weren’t there and more. Vernandes included all this in his review along with a shot of the handwritten menu, which cabin crew had written out to make the process easier for passengers.

Garuda Indonesia has not taken it well. First, the airline sent a memo to employees, One Mile at a Time reported:

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.

Then the airline flipped about the menu:

“We would like to convey that this wasn’t a menu card for passengers, but a personal note for flight attendants that wasn’t supposed to be published. Thank you” and “We don’t know how he could get his hands on it. And if it was the menu card, other passengers should’ve gotten it either but no one shared it [other than him]. The question is where he obtained it from and why he’s sharing it, saying that it’s the menu card.”

And then they turned on Vernandes, calling the police on him for supposed defamation. Whatever happened to a simple apology?


[Featured Image: YouTube/ Rius Vernandes]

View Comments (11)


  1. El Puerco Volante

    July 19, 2019 at 7:28 am

    This makes me want to fly Garuda.
    Hope they manage a successful legal action against him, so this teaches a lesson on others who annoy people with their videos onboard to get a bit of hype.

  2. DutchessPDX

    July 19, 2019 at 8:00 am

    Garuda Indonesia, I would like to introduce you to Mrs Streisand.

  3. downinit

    July 19, 2019 at 8:26 am

    I just want to compliment whoever wrote out the menu, that is some very clean writing!

  4. J S

    July 19, 2019 at 9:12 am

    Congrats, Garuda. There is zero chance I would have heard about this negative review if not for your reaction.

  5. Sabai

    July 19, 2019 at 10:17 am

    GA will forever be a carrier that “soon will get better.”


    July 19, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. Garuda has had such a horrible past (CEO, hid deputy and pilot proved to have participated in killing opposition Munir Said Thalib activist in 2004), many accidents, scatchy service (I have flown on them several times), this just shows that it is an airline that still did not learn their lesson and is dangerous to fly. What are they going to do to you for taking a photo? Unless in conditions of carriage (they did not mention anything), or laws in Indonesia (also no law prohibits you from taking picture on board of aircraft), they have no legal ground to stand on in inforcing this. And once the law would change – there goes one final warning for ALL the travelers never to fly with them. What else, they disappear from radar and we never find their aircraft? Garuda, Malaysian Airlines are set in their corporate ways, it is better to take well established counterparts.

  7. zitsky

    July 19, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    Wow. Great way to lose business.


    July 23, 2019 at 7:11 am

    While some vloggers can be annoying, this response from Garuda is beyond the pale. Sad that the company does not see this as an opportunity to get better and provide stellar service.

  9. cashmccall

    July 26, 2019 at 9:56 am

    If anything it embarrasses INDONESIA more than anyone….the idea they can sue or even complain versus own their mistake. It makes me so mad they didn’t try and lighten the situation or just roll with it….instead BANNING PICTURES?!? It really shows the lack of professional management that still does not exist around anything Indo-managed. That’s why the damn hotels have to be foreign-run. Just stupid.

  10. FEasy

    July 27, 2019 at 12:15 am

    Silencing a critic is never smart, unless you have convincing arguments and he/she can be discredited. This didn’t seem to be the case here. Next time, swallow your pride please GA: apart from this one, you still get pretty good reviews (which, except for the friendly onboard staff, aren’t quite justified imho).

  11. Bowgie

    July 30, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    Having flown most of the airlines in Asia in biz class, I’d rate Garuda as above-average among them. Apologizing for doing nothing wrong might be an American thing. Nothing says an airline has to grin and bear it. If Garuda wants to discourage people from on-board blogging, I’m fine with that. It’s a private environment, and maybe others just want to fly in peace.

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