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Airline Threatens Legal Action Against Instagrammer Over Negative Review Of Their Menu

By Stephanie Ogbogu

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Indonesian airline, Garuda Indonesia, has had it with social media influencers, so they’ve decided to fight back.

Popular travel vlogger Rius Vernandes and his girlfriend flew business class on Garuda from Sydney to Denpasar Indonesia. When it was time for their in-flight meal, Vernandes was handed a handwritten menu on spiral paper. As usual, Vernandes documents his travels on social media. This occasion was no different.

Rius Vernandes posted about the makeshift menu with the caption: “They told me the menu was still being printed” and a face-palm emoji. Vernandes’ review also included that the airline had run out of alcohol. The airline’s transgressions went viral, but the added attention ended up being a bad thing for Rius.

After being dragged online, Garuda Indonesia released a statement saying that the DIY menus were for cabin crew and were never supposed to be given to passengers.

The airline tweeted: “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”

They also decided to implement some new rules, including banning passengers from “documenting activities on the plane.” If that wasn’t excessive enough, the airline sicked the police on Vernandes and his girlfriend on charges of defamation.

“We were reported for the alleged criminal defamation,” Vernandes said in a caption an Instagram under the photo of his court summons. “I’m sure you know that I have no intention at all to profane anyone’s name. I am so asking for your support in this.”

As the caption continued, Vernandes called upon fellow influencers to take a stand.

“I hope you can help share and support me in this problem because I don’t want in the future when we review something the way it is, whenever we give constructive criticism, we can be criminalized.” he wrote.

Fortunately, things worked out in his favor. Garuda Indonesia Workers Union has since dropped the charges against Vernandes and his girlfriend. They’ve also walked back their ‘no documenting activities on the plane’ rule. According to Vernandes, the airline also offered him two free flights as compensation.

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Stephanie Ogbogu

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