By Farah Nabila
An important development in the consumer protection area concerns air travel consumers. The Ministry of Transportation (the MOT) first addressed consumer protection for airline passengers in 2011 with the issuance of Minister of Transportation Regulation No. 77 of 2011 regarding the Responsibilities of Air Carriers, dated August 10, 2011 (MOT Reg 77/2011). That regulation, among other things, created an obligation for air carriers to indemnify passengers for delays, baggage loss, accidents or death caused by carriers.
As to delays, MOT Reg 77/2011 required airlines to indemnify passengers for a delay of more than four hours. It provided legal certainty in the growing airline industry at that time.
With the proliferation of airlines operating in Indonesia, however, passengers have experienced more frequent delays. Whether this is due to poor airline operations or a lack of adequate infrastructure is not known, but there certainly have been instances in which this may have been the responsibility of the airlines themselves.
For example, on February 18, 2015, several airplanes belonging to Lion Air could not be operated due to technical reasons in several parts of the country. As a result, several thousand passengers were delayed for three days at airports.
In response to overwhelming public complaints, the MOT issued MOT Reg 89/2015. This regulation sets out a new obligation that airlines must inform passengers if there is any flight delay along with its reasons. Such information must be provided at least 45 minutes before the scheduled departure or once the airline realizes the possibility of such delay, such as in the event of delay caused by weather factors. Previously, under MOT Reg 77/2011, an airline did not have a prior announcement obligation in the event of delay.
As to indemnification, MOT Reg 89/2015 requires airlines to indemnify passengers for any delay of more than 30 minutes from the actual flight schedule. The indemnification required varies from snack box or heavy meal, financial compensation to a ticket refund.
In addition to the indemnification obligation, MOT 89/2015 allows the MOT to impose sanctions on an airline that does not adhere to the regulation by reducing and/or freezing its routes.
This article is from SSEK's Indonesian Legal Review, which looks at recent legal and regulatory developments in almost 50 sectors, from Airports to Tourism. This publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Any reliance on the material contained herein is at the user's own risk. You should contact a lawyer in your jurisdiction if you require legal advice. All SSEK publications are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of SSEK.