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Brands poke fun at Garuda Indonesia’s no-photo policy

/ 11:49 AM July 18, 2019

JAKARTA — Garuda Indonesia’s recent statement that urges passengers and cabin crew members to refrain from taking pictures or recording videos on board has become the subject of controversy on social media.

Many netizens bemoaned the national flag carrier’s announcement, with some calling it a public relations misfire following the viral Instagram photo of a handwritten menu for in-flight meals in the airline’s business class.

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However, several companies such as ride-hailing app firm Grab Indonesia took a playful route and parodied the airline’s announcement by posting a mock letter on its official Twitter page @GrabID.

“Please read the following letter carefully. This regulation may be subject to change. Don’t forget to follow me. Thanks,” the company wrote on Tuesday in a tweet that has since been deleted, alongside a copy of the fake announcement.

The humorous letter outlined three ‘rules’ aimed at the company’s customers.

Number one: Customers are allowed to post a selfie or a Boomerang clip in GrabCar with a caption that says, “I’m always picked up by a Grab driver. When will I be picked up by you?”

Number two: Customers better refrain from recording a video or making a TikTok clip with a Grab driver during transit.

Number three: The company warns that netizens would give its customers cruel virtual punishments for posting on social media during transit. The company urged its customers to use their discretion to ensure that they go viral for good reasons.

Grab Indonesia’s tongue-in-cheek parody was met with enthusiasm from netizens, with some comparing it favorably to Garuda Indonesia’s recent announcement.

Grab Indonesia’s now-deleted tweet garnered more than 9,800 retweets and 9,000 likes.

“This is the way to run your PR. Garuda Indonesia 0 vs Grab 1,” Twitter user @danicajohanna tweeted.

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Other Twitter users were also amused by the hidden pop culture references featured in the faux announcement.

The announcement contained seemingly random combinations of numbers and letters, but astute netizens have deciphered them and revealed them as pop culture references.

“Am I the only one who noticed ‘GOTS08JELEK’? The [Grab] admin must be a Game of Thrones fan,” said Twitter user @merantaulah.

Meanwhile, other brands also took cues from Grab Indonesia and made parodies of their own.

The Flip Burger restaurant chain posted its own spoof on Instagram, urging its customers to eat burgers slowly to avoid choking. Additionally, the company also encourages its customers to take pictures of their burgers and post them on social media to get a lot of “likes”.

Sang Pisang, a banana fritters brand owned by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s youngest son Kaesang Pangarep, put a unique twist on the parody. In an Instagram post, Sang Pisang prohibits its customers from purchasing only a few banana fritters. The brand also encourages its customers to collectively buy Sang Pisang products with their friends as “humans are supposed to help each other”.

Separately, Kaesang himself also took a jab at Garuda Indonesia’s controversial no-photo policy.

“Will our old photo be blocked because it’s no longer [in line with the policy]?” Kaesang asked in a tweet, alongside a photo of himself and his sister Kahiyang Ayu, as well as what appears to be cropped images of his parents, Jokowi and First Lady Iriana, inside a plane cabin.

YouTube content creator Rius Vernandes posted a photo of an in-flight meal menu written on a piece of paper on his Instagram story when he was on a flight back to Denpasar last Saturday evening.

Rius and his partner Elwiyana Monica were summoned by the police for questioning on Wednesday based on a report submitted by Garuda Indonesia.

“Elwi and I were summoned by the police regarding this issue. We were reported for defamation. I never meant to defame anyone,” Rius wrote in an Instagram post on Tuesday.

In an official statement dated July 14 made available to the press, Garuda Indonesia informed its crew members to prohibit plane passengers and fellow crew members from taking pictures or recording videos during a flight.

Furthermore, the airline instructed crew members to speak in an “assertive” tone when telling passengers not to record anything on the flight.

Additionally, the airline also noted that it would impose sanctions for any violation of its rules.

Garuda Indonesia clarified in a statement dated July 16 that its previous statement was originally intended as an internal announcement for its employees and was not supposed to be widely published.

In the most recent statement, the airline said the prohibition was meant as an effort to respect privacy among passengers and cabin crew. The airline also said that it represented its commitment to uphold the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law.

TOPICS: Asia, Aviation, consumer issues, Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia, Social Media, technology
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