Traveling by airplane is almost always the first choice. Besides being fast, using an airplane can make it easier for us to manage our time. But not every flight always goes according to plan. Sometimes we have to deal with flight delays, which might not be acceptable for some or even most people. Many passengers, when faced with the situation, grunted and even vent their anger to the officers on duty, especially if the delay occurs for hours, added with uncertainty on when the flight will depart.
Delays in flight schedules from the specified time often occur on some airlines. These delays can occur for several reasons, one of which is due to unfavorable weather and also the technical readiness of the aircraft that will take you. Nevertheless, whatever the reason for the delay in your flight schedule, the airline is obliged to compensate you for the time you spent waiting for the revised flight schedule.
The type of compensation that must be given by Air Transport Business Entities or airlines due to flight delays is various and depends on the length of delay that occurs. Some are only given soft drinks, food, and drinks, so they can be transferred to the next flight or given the option to refund the entire ticket.
Related to the delay in air transportation, Article 1 point 30 of Law Number 1 Year 2009 concerning Aviation (“Aviation Law“) explains the definition of delay as follows:
“There is a time difference between the scheduled time of departure or arrival and the actual time of departure or arrival.”
The types of delays were then clarified in the Ministry of Transportation Regulation No. 89 of 2015 concerning Delay Management in the Scheduled Commercial Air Transport Business Entity in Indonesia (“Ministerial Regulation No. 89/2015”). The provision was made as a guideline about actions that airlines must do to serve passengers affected by delay or delay management.
According to Article 2 of Ministerial Regulation No. 89/2015, flight delays at scheduled commercial air transport business entities consist of:
- Flight delays;
- Not transporting passengers due to aircraft capacity (denied boarding passengers); and
- Cancellation of flights.
In the event of a flight delay, the airline is required to provide compensation to its passengers. The airline is obliged to provide compensation to passengers in the following delays:
1. 30-60 Minute Delay
Delayed 30 minutes to 60 minutes, compensation in the form of soft drinks.
2. Delay 61-120 Minutes
Delayed 61 minutes to 120 minutes, compensation for drinks and snacks (snack box) .
3. Delay 121-180 Minutes
Delayed 121 minutes to 180 minutes, compensation in the form of drinks and heavy meals.
4. Delay 181-240 Minutes
Delayed 181 minutes to 240 minutes, compensation in the form of drinks, snacks (snack boxes), and heavy meals (heavy meal).
5. Delay More Than 240 Minutes
Delayed more than 240 minutes, compensation is in the amount of Rp.300,000 (three hundred thousand Rupiah).
6. Flight Cancellation
For flight cancellation, air transport business entities must divert to the next flight or refund the entire cost of the ticket (refund).
So, indeed in some conditions as explained above, passengers have the right to be transferred to another flight (get another flight ticket), along with getting food and drinks. But in other conditions, passengers are only given compensation in the form of food and drinks.
Compensation for category 5 delays, namely compensation in the form of money of Rp. 300,000 (three hundred thousand Rupiah), must be insured to the insurance company in accordance with the applicable provisions as described in Article 12 of the Ministerial Regulation No. 89/2015. Insurance companies are required to make compensation mechanisms with easy and simple requirements. The compensation can be given in the form of cash or vouchers that can be cashed or through account transfer no later than 3 x 24 hours from the delay and cancellation of flights.
There are several events of flight delays that enter into a case in the court because of the lawsuit filed by prospective passengers or consumers who experience the delay. The consumer argued that the airline did not give away its rights over the delay.
Some time ago, a consumer filed a lawsuit against PT Garuda Indonesia (Persero) Tbk in the Central Jakarta District Court. The flight number GA 152 that was boarded from Jakarta to Batam experienced a delay of up to 70 minutes. The flight, which was scheduled to take off at 9:10 a.m, experienced a number of delays until it was blocked off or left the parking lot (apron) at 10:20 a.m. The aircraft took off later at 10.45 WIB. According to the Plaintiff, referring to Ministerial Regulation No. 89/2015, the airline should provide compensation in the form of snacks because the aircraft he was on had experienced flight delays for more than 60 minutes. However, the lawsuit was withdrawn and settled at the mediation level outside the court. The Plaintiff and Defendant have met and the case has been settled amicably.
Prior to that, the Central Jakarta District Court also sentenced PT Lion Mentari Airlines (LMA) as the operator of Lion Air and Wings Air to pay compensation of Rp.718,500.00 for the loss on the flight delays suffered by its customers.
In certain situations, based on Article 6 paragraph (2) Ministerial Regulation No. 89/2015, the Air Transport Business Entity is exempted from liability for compensation due to flight delays due to operational technical factors (factors caused by airport conditions at the time of departure or arrival), weather factors, and other factors caused outside factors of airline management, technical operational and weather, including riots and/or demonstrations in airport areas.
Hope it’s useful,
FREDRIK J. PINAKUNARY LAW OFFICES