A Lion Air pilot is facing suspension and grounding after video surfaced of him striking a hotel clerk. The incident happened on April 30th at a hotel in the eastern Indonesian port city of Surabaya. The video’s source was a hotel CCTV camera. According to Channel News Asia, since being released on Facebook on May 1st the video has been viewed over one million times. The dispute was apparently over the improper ironing of a shirt.
In the low-resolution video, the pilot is initially gesturing angrily at the hotel staff behind the desk. Shortly afterwards, he proceeds to walk around and behind the reception desk to give the staff member a closer look at the shirt. The employee leans it to inspect the shirt carefully.
It is at this point he strikes the worker with an open palm, twice with his left hand, causing the worker to cower back. After this, the pilot strikes the employee two more times with his right hand apparently with more force. The situation ends as another hotel employee arrives to usher him away.
This video posted to Twitter shows a portion of the physical abuse inflicted on the hotel worker:
— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) May 3, 2019
Of the vast number of people who watched the video, many commented that the hotel worker should report the incident to police.
Company spokesman Danang Mandala Prihantoro addressed the media saying:
“Currently Lion Air is gathering data and other information needed for an investigation…If the pilot is found guilty after the investigation, Lion Air will apply firm sanctions by dismissing him from the company.”
Lion Air in other news
Lion Air gained worldwide attention in October of last year after its new Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed into the sea shortly after take off. In fact, this was the first of two fatal Boeing 737 MAX incidents. Since the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March, all 10 of Lion Air’s 737 MAX aircraft have been grounded.
Lion Air is one of Boeing’s largest customers for the 737 MAX. The airline has placed an order for 201 MAX aircraft divided between three models. We recently wrote that Lion Air is angry with how Boeing has treated them, one of these reasons being that Boeing initially cited pilot error as the main cause of the October crash. However, we now know this to be a flaw in Boeing’s systems.
Airline personnel in the spotlight
Much of the public finds themselves interacting with airlines every so often. This attracts media to report on these issues. While this incident from Lion Air is by far one of the worst we’ve seen, other stories have also come to light recently.
On the lighter end of things we had Cathay Pacific flight attendants under fire for stealing ice cream. On the other, more serious end of things, a United Airlines employee was accused of directing racial slurs towards a customer.