What does this pilot offer passengers to make up for the flight delay? It could cost him his job
Indonesian airline Lion Air has grounded a pilot who allegedly offered a divorced air stewardess to passengers as compensation for a delay on a flight to Bali.
Loud moaning sounds were also heard from the cockpit throughout the flight on Saturday (Nov 14).
Passenger Lambertus Maengkom, who was shocked by the pilot's behaviour, lodged a complaint with the transport ministry.
Mr Maengkom said that as the plane took off late from Java island, the co-pilot jokingly announced over the public address (PA) system that he was offering a divorced female flight attendant to passengers to make up for the delay.
"We want to ask whether it is standard procedure, applied by (authorities), to make Lion Air pilots offer a divorced flight attendant to passengers, repeatedly, over the microphone?" he said in his complaint.
The unnamed co-pilot also loudly wished one of the other crew members "happy birthday" over the PA system.
"It was not funny at all, it was dangerous," Mr Maengkom said, adding that angry passengers had questioned whether the co-pilot was sober and unsuccessfully sought to confront him when the plane landed.
Lion Air, Indonesia's biggest low-cost carrier, launched an internal inquiry after widespread media coverage of the incident
The company said on Wednesday (Nov 18) that following the initial results of the probe, the co-pilot was being grounded.
Lion Air general affairs director Edward Sirait did not comment on the allegation of the offer of an air stewardess. But he insisted the co-pilot was not intoxicated, and that the sounds coming from the cockpit were nothing untoward.
"The co-pilot sounded like he was panting, that’s how he normally talks. The mic was too close to his lips so when he breathed or talked, it sounded like moaning," Mr Sirait said.