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Indonesian Court Rules Lion Air Breached Disabled Passenger's Rights

  • Written by Roberto Castiglioni

Indonesian airline Lion Air sentenced for discrimination against disabled travellersThe Central Jakarta Court ruled against the Indonesian airline Lion Air for discrimination against disabled travellers. 


On 21 April 2011, Ridwan Sumantri was flying from Jakarta to Denpasar (Bali) on Lion Air flight JT12 departing at 13:05. The Airline's staff refused to fly the disabled man unless he agreed to sign the complex releases prepared by the carrier, Bali Discovery Tours reports.


Ridwan Sumantri, a wheelchair bound activist for disabled rights, was told by Lion Air staff to sign a release before being allowed to fly. That exemption absolved the airline of any responsibility in connection with his flight and affirmed Sumantri's liability to other passengers should his condition pose a threat to fellow travellers. 


Sumantri objected to the request, insisting such steps were entirely useless in that his condition was not contagious. 


After the incident, the passenger decided to file a lawsuit against the airline Lion Air, and the airport managing body PT Angkasa Pura, accused of providing inadequate ground services for disabled passengers. The Indonesian Ministry of Transportation was also named in court paper, because according to the plaintiff they failed to monitor and supervise the airline’s treatment of disabled passengers.


On 8 December 2011, the Central Jakarta Court ruled against Lion Air, PT Angkasa Pura -the airport management company, and the Ministry of Transportation.


The Court ordered Lion Air to pay Ridwan Sumantri USD 2,780 in compensation and costs as well as publish an apology in a national newspaper. The panel of judges ruled Lion Air is culpable of discrimination against passenger Ridwan Sumantri on April 22, 2011, causing the disabled man both material non-material losses. 


A lawyer defending Lion Air said his client will appeal the ruling on the grounds that compensation awarded by judges exceeds the amount originally requested by the plaintiff.



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